How to tie Nock Sets, D-loops and Serving

Bowstring Maintenance.

Bowstring maintenance is essential for archers to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Here are some tips to keep your bowstring in top shape:

  1. Regular Inspection:
    • Check for Fraying: Examine the entire length of the bowstring for any signs of fraying, loose strands, or wear.
    • Inspect Nocks and Serving: Inspect the nocks (where the arrow attaches) and serving (the wrapped portion) for damage or wear.
  2. Cleaning:
    • Remove Dirt and Debris: Use a soft cloth or a specialized bowstring cleaner to wipe away dirt, dust, and debris.
    • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Do not use harsh chemicals or solvents that could weaken the string material.
  3. Waxing:
    • Apply Bowstring Wax: Regularly apply a high-quality bowstring wax to keep the fibers lubricated and prevent drying out.
    • Focus on Serving Areas: Pay extra attention to the serving areas (where the string contacts the bow and the nocks) as they experience the most friction.
  4. Twisting and Straightening:
    • Twist the String: If your bowstring becomes uneven or develops twists, gently twist it back into alignment.
    • Straighten the String: Ensure the string lies flat and straight along the bow limbs.
  5. Storage:
    • Store Properly: When not in use, store your bow in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
    • Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Extreme heat or cold can affect the string material.
  6. Replacement:
    • Know When to Replace: Even with proper maintenance, bowstrings wear out over time. If you notice significant fraying, stretching, or other issues, consider replacing the string.
    • Consult a Professional: If you’re unsure, consult an experienced archery technician for advice.

Tying bow nocks is essential for proper arrow placement on the bowstring. Let’s explore a few methods for achieving this:

  1. Adjustable Nocking Point:
    • Start by determining the desired nocking point height on your bowstring by using a bow square and white marker.
    • Use serving thread to tie alternating double overhand knots or string serving at the chosen location.
    • Cut any excess string off.
    • To create a bottom nocking point, tie another nocking point below the initial one. The space between the two nocks will depend on the thinness of the arrow nock.
  2. Fixed Nocking Point:
    • Clip your arrow (or just the nock) onto the string, ensuring the nock is against the nocking point.
    • Tie an overhand knot or string serving just underneath the nock, leaving a tiny gap to avoid nock pinch.
Nocking Points by Shatterproof Archery

To tie a D-loop in archery, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the D-Loop Cord:
    • Cut a length of D-loop cord (approximately 8 centimeters is a good starting point).
    • Fray one end of the cord slightly.
    • Gently heat the frayed end with a lighter until it catches fire.
    • Blow out the flame and press the hot end onto a flat, non-flammable surface to form a mushroom shape.
    • Repeat the process on the other end of the cord.
  2. Prepare Your Bow String:
    • Ensure your bow string has a nocking point (one point is necessary, a second is optional).
  3. Position the Nocking Point:
    • Curve the nocking point over the string, above the existing nocking point, with the bulge facing away from the riser.
  4. Loop the Cord:
    • Pass both ends of the D-loop cord underneath the string and back through the loop of the cord.
    • Pull one end of the cord until the loop tightens around the string. The mushroom shape should prevent it from pulling through the loop.
  5. Tighten the Loop:
    • Pull the cord really tight to secure the loop.
  6. Create the Bottom Anchor:
    • Loop the free end of the cord around the nocking point to start the bottom anchor for the D-loop.
    • Push the cord under the string and back through the loop.
    • Push the cord behind the string once again, then loop it back under itself, allowing the mushroom to catch inside the loose knot that has formed.
  7. Ensure Security:
    • Tighten the knot and make sure it’s secure.
    • Use D-loop pliers to firm up the knots.
    • Leave enough space for the arrow nock.
How to tie a D-loop by Nockon Archery

Bowstring Serving

Bowstring serving is a critical aspect of maintaining your archery equipment. Let’s delve into the details:

  1. What Is Bowstring Serving?
    • Serving refers to the use of an additional thread wrapped around the main bowstring at specific points.
    • It serves several purposes:
      • Abrasion Protection: Serving reinforces areas prone to wear, such as the nocking points where the arrow contacts the string.
      • Loop Integrity: On looped strings (used in recurve bows and traditional longbows), serving keeps the two sides of the loop together.
  2. Types of Bowstring Serving:
    • Center Serving: This serves as the nocking point for the arrow. It’s positioned in the middle of the string.
    • Endloop Serving: Used for endless loop bowstrings, it secures the loop ends together.
  3. How to Serve a Bowstring:
    • Starting the Serving:
      • Use a serving jig (such as the AAE Pro String Server) to maintain consistent tension and spacing.
      • Begin wrapping the serving thread around the string at the desired location (e.g., nocking point).
      • Ensure the serving lays flat and evenly.
    • Finishing the Serving:
      • Here’s a trick called backserving:
        • Instead of using an extra piece of string to pull the tail through, wrap the serving thread back over itself.
        • This secures the end without additional material.
      • Trim any excess thread neatly.
  4. Materials and Tips:
    • Serving Material: BCY #62 serving material is popular due to its durability and performance.
    • Regular Maintenance: Inspect your serving for wear and re-serve as needed.
    • Online Resources: You can find tutorials and videos demonstrating proper serving techniques.
How to start and finish a Bowstring Serving by: Wheelie Pete