How To Serve A Bow String


In time as you shoot your bow the center serving will become worn and will require replacing. Most archery pro-shops will replace your serving for a small fee. The going rate in our area is about $ 5.00 to $7.00 and takes just a few minutes to replace. The problem with this is that you cannot always find a pro-shop close to home or while on hunting trips away from home. For this reason many archers serve their own bow strings. It's a simple process and requires very little equipment.

There are several serving jigs available, Bohning and  Bjorn both make good servers. There are several types of serving to choose from. Brownell, Bohning, Diamond and BCY all make good serving. We recommend not using the monofilament serving. They just don't hold up very well. Stick with the braided type serving.

Step 1.

The first step is to measure where your nock point is. Use a bow square to determine this or you can measure the distance from the peep sight. Next remove the old serving from the string. Use a sharp knife or razor knife. Caution must be used not to cut the bow string when cutting the old serving. It's not required but putting your bow in a bow press to hold the bow while you are re-serving your string makes to process much easier.

Step 2.

Once you have removed the old serving you are ready to put the new serving on. Putting the bow in  a bow press and taking some of the tension off the string will make the job a little easier. Use a bow square and measure approximately 2" above your knock point.100_0789.JPG (39804 bytes) Separate the string at that point and insert the new serving through the string and tie two single knots leaving about a 4"-5" tag end. Next run the tag end down the bow string , the serving will be wrapped around this tag end to hold it in place. There are two common ways to run the tag end, either straight along the string or spiral wrap it around the string. Where the tag ends stops separate the string and run the tag end through the string.

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Step 3.100_0790.JPG (46099 bytes)

You are now ready to start serving the string. Position the serving jig slightly above the top of the knot and start wrapping the serving around the bow string going towards the end of the tag end. In this process the knot will be covered with the serving. As you proceed down the bow string you will cover the tag end. As you rotate the server around the bow string hold the bow string with one hand to keep it from twisting with the server. Continue serving down the bow string to a total length of approximately 6". 100_0791.JPG (52596 bytes) As you reach the 6" length take a small length of scrap serving and make a loop, lay on the bow string and serve over the loop leaving the closed end of the loop on the finished end of the serving. Make about six or eight turns of the server and pull out 6"-8" of serving off the spool while holding tension on the serving. Pull any slack out of the serving, as you pull on the serving end pass the end of the serving back through the loop. Pull the lose ends of the loop until it comes out from under the new serving pulling the end of the serving with it. Cut of the end of the serving even with the main serving being careful not to cut the serving. Burn off any frayed ends on the serving end.

Step 4.

Install your nock point back on the bow string. Use the measurement you took before it was removed. Re-tune your bow and go hunting. Good luck!


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