Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Home-made String Jig In 30 Minutes

Having completed my longbow course up at Heritage Longbows I decided the first thing I should do was give string making another go. So I had a couple of option here either purchase or try making one myself and as you may have guessed I opted for the DIY method. So the first thing I needed to do was find a template for a jig and although I have many in the books I have I decided to take a look around the internet and track one down I liked that was downloadable as a full size pdf. Having downloaded the pdf and printed it off it was time to put it all together and the following entry shows just out simple it is.

Making a String Jig in 30 minutes

As you can guess by the title of this blog it will only take you 30 minutes to build this once you have all the part together. It's just like putting an Ikea flat pack together.


  1. Full size printout of jig.
  2. Prit Stick
  3. 32" piece of 3.5" x 1.5" (810mm of 90mm x 40mm)
  4. 8mm Drill
  5. 5/16" arrow shaft or dowl
  6. 22 x 40mm masonry nails
  7. 1mm Hand drill
The advantage of having a full sized copy of the jig on paper meant I did not need to measure where each of the hole needed to be placed. You will notice that my jig is slightly different from that in the plans because I decided that I wanted slightly moor string for making the loop. Hence in the last image you will notice that I have moved the number for string length one peg higher starting at 46" rather than 48". This gives me an extra inch for each loop.


Step 1 - Stick the Jig template to the block of wood

Here I simply put a blob of the Prit at either end and placed the template on the block aligning one of the long edges. Two small blogs is good enough and the glue will be easy enough to remove.

Step 2 - Drill small pilot holes at the marked location

Simply use the hand drill to mark the centre of each of the holes and then remove the template. Once removed we will have a set of hole makings identifying where the 8mm holes and nails will go.

Step 3 - Drill 8mm peg holes


Step 4 - Add masonry nails to remaining holes

Now simply put the masonry nail in the remaining holes and knock into to the same depth providing the fixed locations around which we will wrap the string (The actual string making will be a future blog).

String Jig 6
String Jig

Step 5 - Add string length numbers

To finish off the basic Jig simple add the numbers associated with the string length and directional arrows as an aide-mémoire and then we are done.
String Jig

Step 6 - Cup of Tea

Now that we have finished it is up to you if you want to varnish / decorate or simply use.

Jig Modifications

You may want to modify the default Jig template it increase the amount of String you have for making the loops. The table below shows some simple modifications that will allow you to change the loop string length.

Jig Dimensions Total Length Length for Loop String Length
Default Jig Template. 88" 6" (88-76)/2 76"
Additional peg hole and start numbering at 46" 90" 7" (90-76)/2 76"
Increase overall length to 31" 90" 7" (90-76)/2 76"
  1. Increase overall length to 31"
  2. Increase lower looping nails and first peg distance to 3"
92" 8" (92-76)/2 76"
  1. Increase overall length to 31"
  2. Increase lower looping nails and first peg distance to 3"
  3. Additional peg hole and start numbering at 46"
94" 9" (94-76)/2 76"

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