How to Put Cat Whiskers on a Bowstring


Cat whisker silencers, also commonly called "spider legs," are bundled solid or multi-color lightweight, waterproof, rubber strings that help to silence the “twang” sound that comes from a bowstring when shooting an arrow. Sold as rubber strips that pull apart into strings, putting cat whiskers on a bowstring doesn’t require much beyond tying the strips to your bowstring near a string end, securing the strips to the bowstring and cutting the strips to separate the strips into strings.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Multifilament nylon end serving string
  • Scissors
  • Liquid quick dry adhesive
  • Bow press
  • Helper (optional)
  • Lighter (optional)
  • Mask (optional)
  • Measure out six (short bowstrings) to 10 (long bowstrings) inches from a string end with a measuring tape or ruler.

  • Stack two to three cat whisker strips together and wrap lengthwise around the bowstring.

  • Tie thin multifilament nylon end serving string tightly around the center of the strips, knot at least six times to secure in place, and then cut the string ends off, leaving approximately a half-inch of string at the ends.

  • Glue the serving string ends to the center with a few drops of liquid quick dry adhesive. Wait for the adhesive to dry and then pull each strip end apart lengthwise at the middle of the strip—splitting each in half.

  • Secure the bow in a bow press or ask another person to hold it.

  • Grasp one of the split strip ends in your non-dominant hand and the handles of your scissors in the other with the scissors open against the side of the strip.

  • Pull the strip toward you while cutting at the same time to separate the strings. Repeat on the other strips. If done correctly, your cat whiskers silencer should have a round shape.

  • Test your bow. If the silencer slips from its position on the bowstring, secure in place with adhesive.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have experience with melting serving string, consider securing the serving string knots in place with a lighter. Cut the string ends to one inch rather than a half-inch, put on a mask, melt the ends back to the knots, put out the flame(s) and then wait until the center cools before cutting the strips.
  • To tie the strips tightly into a small knot around the bowstring without serving string, loop the strings tightly around the bowstring in the same way you would tie a knot in shoestrings and pull the strip ends away from the bowstring until the rubber no gives and the knot that formed shrinks in size. Apply three drops of liquid quick dry adhesive to the knot and then cut the strips to separate into strings.
  • To make all sides of your round cat whiskers silencer more symmetrical, press the strings between your fingers and trim any long string ends.
  • Never melt the serving string ends to secure the string at the center of the strips unless you have experience specifically with melting serving string, as burning multifilament nylon poses a fire hazard and can possibly damage the cat whiskers strips or your bowstring if you don’t put out the fire fast enough. You could also burn yourself attempting this method.

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