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thumper

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have been thinking around and reading and learning on building an ASL. I have also shot and owned straight, backset, and stringfollow profiled bows. They all have their characteristics both good and less than ideal. I pretty much like all of them, but prefer the feel of a straight or slight stringfollow bow. I have had one that had what I thought was too much stringfollow and didn't care for it. I recently traded for a JD Berry Misty Dawn that shoots really nice and it has in my opinion, a "just right" amount of stringfollow to it.  

One thing I have been wondering about, is how do most folks go about building a stringfollow bow?

Is the form it's built on dead straight, and a little stringfollow occurs after the bow is tillered? 

Or is the form actually built to add the stringfollow into the limbs? And the bow pops out of the form with stringfollow and pretty much stays that way? 

What sparked all this dangerous thinking on my end was reading something on a bowyers page that went something like: Stringfollow works best when it is let to occur naturally, and not built in. When it's built in, you lose the lightness of the limb and lose performance. 

Or something to that effect... 

Just thinking out loud, figured you guys may share some thoughts. 
Old3Toe

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Reply with quote  #2 
In—this interests me too.
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Dave Weiss

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Reply with quote  #3 
When I received my new Belcher Union Jack it was dead straight, but after a while took on a slight string follow (all scientifically measured on my coffee table)...
Bowyer magic...

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Hud

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Reply with quote  #4 
ASL with glass is built with backset, straight, or string follow. Generally, they will not change, unlike a self-bow, laminated bow with, or without backing can change several inches. I remember a well known bowyer saying he has had bows with several inches of backset end up as a string follow bow.    
tradlongbow

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Reply with quote  #5 
Howard Hill Archery and other bowyers build stringfollow in the limbs. Jim Belcher builds his limbs straight, and they will naturally set into stringfollow. I’ve owned both. The Belcher stringfollow had less of a bend in the limb then the others. They all handled well and felt good in the hand but the Belcher shot an arrow quicker.


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Steve Graf

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Reply with quote  #6 
That has been my experience too Darin.  I have built them on straight and string follow forms.  I have stuck to the straight form lately as it is just easier to build a straight bow and let nature take its course to add a little string follow.

All bows with wood cores, whether they have glass on them or not,  take some set after they are built and shot.  It's just a matter of degree.
thumper

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Reply with quote  #7 
I sure appreciate the input guys! Sounds like a dead straight form may be just right, especially as Steve says how it's easier. Im a fan of easier!
Fallhunt

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Reply with quote  #8 
Interesting and informative thread.  Thanks!
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Gypsy

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Reply with quote  #9 

I have two string follow bow, a Howard Hill and a JD Berry, along with the normal setback, straight and RD bows. 

There is, to me, a different feel to a string follow bow that I really like and the bows seem a bit more forgiving when my form turns to cow flop.

longcruise

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper
I sure appreciate the input guys! Sounds like a dead straight form may be just right, especially as Steve says how it's easier. Im a fan of easier!


That will work.  

How much set (string follow) occurs will depend on the components that go into it.  The reason for string follow developing in any bow is the fact that typically the tension side (the back) is stronger that the compression side (the belly).  If you use thicker glass on the belly than the back there will be less string follow if all other factors remain the same.  Likewise thinner glass on the back will result in more string follow.  If back and belly have equal thickness of glass the bow with the thinner glass will develop string follow more readily.  This reflects on the percentage of glass to wood in the stack.  An ASL is a thicker stack than a recurve as well as an R/D longbow so it's easy end up with a lower percentage of glass to the wood cores when building an ASL.  When glass ratio is too low the bow is likely to take set right at the fades, depending on overall design.  

The tension/compression characteristics of the core woods will also come into play.  Here is a reference on this aspect   https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/bow-woods/

As the string follow develops the bow will lose a bit of draw weight.  The more it follows the more draw weight it will lose.  It won't be a huge amount but is just one result of the bow developing string follow.

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Old3Toe

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Reply with quote  #11 
Agreed on the different feel, impossible to say just what is so different about it tho. Maybe the force/draw Curve is just enough different... I dunno, but generally speaking, I like it
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Jet Wolverine 69@28, Kramer Autumn 62@27, Jet Leopard 63@28, Howard Hill Wesley Special 57@27, Jet Warthog 69@28. Two Tracks Echo 60@27.

thumper

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old3Toe
Agreed on the different feel, impossible to say just what is so different about it tho. Maybe the force/draw Curve is just enough different... I dunno, but generally speaking, I like it


I think the feel difference is that they build their weight closer towards the end of the draw. No early draw weight like a recurve or backset bow has.

Mr. Graf makes a good point in his book on the draw curve. You build most of the weight towards the rear of the draw, where your body has more "leverage" over the bow. In other words your body/form/bone and muscle structure is more efficient when your shoulders are nearer inline, like at the end of the draw. At least that's how I understand it. And I think it's a good point that I never thought of. I do know I seem to be able to shoot a heavier weight in a stringfollow bow. So for me, I think he's on to something there.
chuckc

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Reply with quote  #13 
I'm not sure you are building in any weight gain parameters. The more you bend it the more you get into stronger and stronger limb cross section ( if you tillered it well) and the more the string angle becomes for less leverage.
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I did too !

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Old3Toe

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Reply with quote  #14 
Chuck, I think what he means is that your body has more leverage strength about the time the bow is getting more and more loaded—stacking in a way. Whereas a RD/Backset/Recurve bow will require more energy up at the beginning of the draw (where the archer has less mechanical muscle leverage).

Did I paraphrase that about right, Thump?

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“Take the good where you find it, be honest with yourself, and let the results be your guide.”

Hebrews 11:1

Jet Wolverine 69@28, Kramer Autumn 62@27, Jet Leopard 63@28, Howard Hill Wesley Special 57@27, Jet Warthog 69@28. Two Tracks Echo 60@27.

thumper

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old3Toe
Chuck, I think what he means is that your body has more leverage strength about the time the bow is getting more and more loaded—stacking in a way. Whereas a RD/Backset/Recurve bow will require more energy up at the beginning of the draw (where the archer has less mechanical muscle leverage).

Did I paraphrase that about right, Thump?


Yep. 

My backset bows seem to have more preload at brace. They seem to build up to the peak draw weight gradually and evenly. 

The stringfollow bow doesn't seem to have the same preload, and the weight doesn't build as smoothly. It seems to "get going" more towards the second half of the draw stroke. Very little weight gain it seems in the first several inches. "Stacking" is used to describe an unpleasant sharp gain in weight, and this wouldn't be considered unpleasant at all to me. More like the weight "catches up" more towards the end. 

A draw force curve I imagine would show it, but I don't have a scale or the know how to make one. There's a very good explanation in Steve's book if I remember right. Now there may not be a huge noticeable difference between all bows of different profiles, but between a Northern Mist American and a JD Berry Misty Dawn it is quite pronounced I think.
Bigmagic

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Reply with quote  #16 
I have a couple questions.

What is ASL?

What is a string follow bow?
thumper

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Reply with quote  #17 
ASL - American Semi Longbow aka "Hill style" longbow. Your Wesley Special is a good example of an ASL

Stringfollow - A longbow with limbs that angle back towards the archer when the bow is unstrung. In other words, its the opposite of a bow with backset limbs. Examples of                            stringfollow bows are: Northern Mist Shelton, JD Berry Misty Dawn, etc


Orion

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Reply with quote  #18 
For shootabiity, I lean toward the string follow bow for those characteristics already mentioned, but there is a loss of performance/speed vis-a-vis a bow with set back limbs.  For targets, I don't care about a few feet per second, but for critters, I do.  Now that I'm an old guy, I can handle only so much weight. Though I like the feel of the string follow, I tend to hunt with set back limbs.
Old3Toe

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Reply with quote  #19 
I do feel that a skinny no-stretch string ‘wakes up’ a sleepy string follow. So much so that I’m more likely to grab one off the rack over a backset model for most any occasion these days.
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“Take the good where you find it, be honest with yourself, and let the results be your guide.”

Hebrews 11:1

Jet Wolverine 69@28, Kramer Autumn 62@27, Jet Leopard 63@28, Howard Hill Wesley Special 57@27, Jet Warthog 69@28. Two Tracks Echo 60@27.

tunamanb52

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Reply with quote  #20 
Bow too heavy or want string follow, leave your wood bow strung in a hot car a few hours. Splitting hairs won't make it shoot better.
Oldschool

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Reply with quote  #21 
String follow models are my favorite I just shoot them better, to me they are more forgiving.
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JR Belk

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Reply with quote  #22 
I prefer string follow bows. I like it built in.
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