Made On Delmarva: XFire Bowstrings
Bart Shortall, the co-owner of XFire Bowstrings has hit a bullseye on Delmarva with his custom bowstrings.
"I knew that there was a lot of people that hunted in this area, but not until I moved down here and saw the number of customers that come in," says Shortall.
An archery and bow hunting fanatic himself, Shortall builds top of the line equipment.
"I've shot so much over the years that I just started making my own strings. I started doing it as a hobby, doing it for others, and 8 years ago I started doing it full time. We ship all over the country and into Canada as well," says Shortall.
Shortall has a workshop at Wink's Sporting Goods where he makes all his bowstrings.
"The material we use is called high modulus polyethylene. It's a blended material, it's got the high modulus polyethylene in it and I also has a material called Vectran in it. It's a material that is stable in all weather conditions," says Shortall.
Shortall first measures out the size of the strings and places them on a machine called a jig.
"You lay out 12 strands of color A which in this case is black, and you seal it off on this end. And then you start on the opposite end with Color B, and this case is white. You go around the post to make 12 strands of white and 12 strands of black," says Shortall.
Shortall tell us he pre-stretches the strings. This will allow the tension to be even throughout the string and make it more durable.
"It's important that the string itself does not stretch and the cables don't stretch, which is the beauty of having a custom bowstring," says Shortall.
Throughout the process, he cleans any extra wax residue on the strings.
And for the fun part…twisting the strings into a beautiful pattern!
Shortall then secures both ends and cleans it with mineral oil. Then it is ready to be installed on the bow and launch its arrows!