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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there

I am a South African looking to make string silencers for my Impala recurve.
I would like to make myself some silencers equivalent of Beaver Balls. A
friend gave me some Caracal (Rooikat) fur and it has al sorts of fur consistency
all over the from very long bell fur to think shoulder fur. I know that its not water
repent as beaver fur will be but South Africa is also not that wet. Apparently
some guys use cape fur seal skin as well.

Unfortunately I have never seen beaver fur so the hare density and length is
a mystery, pictures on the net does not really give me to much to work with.

Any help will be appreciated

Thanks
nomad
 

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Nomad

Are you looking for Beaver fur? I have a yr old tanned Montana beaver if you need some strips for silencers.
I could send ya a couple sets of strips.

PM me if your interested.
 

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nomad, are you talking about a narrow leather strip, with tapered ends, that still has the fur on it? This is what the beaver balls and their ilk are like. various critters are used here in the US.
one end is carefully tucked through the string, the strip wound tightly around the string then the other end tucked through. this is best done with the string detensioned a bit. then the two ends are slid together as closely possible to "pack" the wound-up strip as tightly as possible. then the string is put back to normal tension. After a fewshots the fur fluffs out and it can be pruned to final shape if desired.

beaver may be superior due to its possible waterproof characteristics, though i'm a bit skeptical of that after a tanning process. any fur-on leather strip should work. any fur will hold some moisture, between fibres if not actually absorbing it--then there is the leather part to consider.
the idea is that any added mositure will add weight and slow the string--and arrow-- down. a labratory setup and chronograph might be able to measure a difference. I seriously doubt any legitimate target, alive or otherwise, will be able to note a difference. I'm about convinced that "beaver-balz" are as much marketing as actual function.

another method is to insert the fur fibres themselves, either long fur, wool etc directly through the bowstring by tucking it between the individual strands of a slackened string. this can be a timeconsuming process. when they are "packed" and the string tightened they will be pretty well locked in place. they can then be pruned to shape and you'll have the same effect without the weight and water absorbing leather. I believe that papaBulls Mountain Mufflers are made this way as were the Original DAS silenced strings. Both of them used, again--I believe, some sort of "in-the-grease, long-staple wool". they are timeconsuming/costly to make and their price and avability reflects that.

I have made some myself that way using combed out fibres that I scrounged from a llama/alpaca rancher. it is supposedly lighter (being hollow) and finer than sheep wool. I used a very small crochet hook to pull multiple small bundles of the wool/fur between the string strands in a tight radial pattern to get an even distribution. It came in several colors and i was very happy with my somewhat hamhanded efforts.
You could do this with nearly any relatively fine fur or hair that was an inch or so long. Imagine string silencers made from the tip of a lion's tail or mane etc.

In all honesty a pinch of snipped fine rubber bands tucked through the string would quite things equally well, but if all I wanted was efficiency I'd go back to my rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the other DWS,

You have it spot on thanks for the information.

I tried the Caracal fur I did a wrap of fur 70mm long approximately 1/3 down
on the string at both ends (from the belly, long and light fur) and I wrapped the
ends of the string were it touches the limb; I tied it from end of end-serving to
nock loop (fur from the back-shorter and tougher).

It quiets down my bow a lot. Funny actually, it did not sound quite to me until
a friend (He also have Ragim Impala) took a few shots with my bow and I could
listen to it. Compared to his un-silenced bow mine is as quiet as a whisper.

I am not worried to much about the water issue as RSA is a dry country and I
would go shooting in the rain – bad for my bow.

Thanks again for the help. I will try out the wooly option another day.

nomad
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there,

Here is a photo showing my Caracal silencers. (and new homemade bow
socks)



Kind Regards,
nomad
 

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Nomad. You are correct in the placement of the fur balls, but if you want maximum perormance from them, you will have to place them at the harmonic points of the string. The first harmonic is at the point half way between the points where the string first touches the bow. The second harmonic point is 1/3 of the way from the end points. The placement should be as close as possible to those EXACT points. Most folks don't like the idea of having a fur ball that is as close to the nocking point as the first harmonic point, and just go with the second harmonic points. That's what I use anyway and it works wonderfully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi JiminTexas

If I understand correctly;

The first set of silencers (close to limb tips) should be halfway between limb
tips and the point where the string stops touching the limb?
The second set to be tied in position one third of the string length, from limbs
moving towards the arrow nock point?

Currently my “first set” is tied on as an elongated silencer going from the nock
loop to where the string stops touching the limb. Should I rather use a smaller
amount of fur?

Kind Regards
nomad
 

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nomad:
For what it is worth- your string balls look about three times as big as most beaver balls I have seen. But if I had such exotic fur I might choose to show a lot of it for decoration. I say do what suits your own eye and ear. - lbg
 

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Two humble suggestions. First, when I install the fur strips, I untwist the string and then wrap the fur strip in the same direction as the twist in the string. That way, when I put a few twists back into the string, it will also tighten the fur strip.

I found that my harmonic point is at about 1/3 for my recurve -- I use only two silencers, placed at the 1/3 points. I think you can have two sets -- at the 1/4 nodes and the 1/3 nodes, but I suspect if it takes that much to keep the string silenced, you may have other noise concerns that can (perhaps should) be corrected with tuning.

No commercial fur is going to retain much waterproofing (mine are fox furs cut from garage-sale fur muffs and hats) -- I have shot in the rain a few times lately, and it is SO annoying to have the mini-explosion of water fly off of the upper silencer and into my face...

BTW, Nomad, there are some very fine Saddlebreds in South Africa!!
 
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