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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having tried quarter inch square rubber and Theraband gold in various configurations I've found myself firmly in the office band camp. Looped chains of No. 64 bands (89x6mm) from Staples were a good starting point - 2,2,2,3 each side - but a new lot have just arrived from Amazon. First up are "Quality" 208s (203x16mm) - inverted commas cos quality they ain't. Not for catties anyway. They snap at the slightest provocation and don't have that much stretch.

Big huzza for 5-star 38s (152x3mm) though! These are allegedly 90% natural rubber and would appear so from the amount of stretch and done up as looped chains with 4,4,5 each side are accurate, powerful, near-as-dammit silent and no hand slap. 6 quid a pound, guv, including shipping.

The **** with all this typing. I'm off out to shoot.

Alex.
 

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Glad they're working for you!
I'm not a big fan of chains myself but am always interested in hearing about people doing well with these nearly free bands.
 

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I don't make them myself but I have shot them on a couple of slingshots I have been given and find that they preform very well....they are just too much work for me.
 

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I have been shooting "braided" Alliance 64s for the past week. My preference is for the braided method, rather than the chain technique that Nico uses. Here is the braid:



And here is the more usual chain:



The braid has several advantages, from my point of view. The braid does not require any tie at the pouch. You just pull the band through the hole and you are done. Further, with the braid there is no loss of length in the knots used for the usual chain; the rubber in the knots is wasted as far as supplying power is concerned. Also, the braid is self-adjusting; with the normal chain, it is easy to get the rubber on one side of the knot a little longer than on the other side of the knot. In addition, it is a LOT easier to replace a broken piece on the braid than in a chain. With the normal chain, when a piece breaks, it is about as easy to make a whole new band than to try to untie those knots without damaging the rubberbands.

It is very easy to make tapered sets, just by adding extra rubberbands toward the fork.

In my experience, using Gypsy tabs and braids, the set up is about as accurate as flat bands.

Whether you use the regular chains or the braids, you will increase the life of your bands if you dust them with a bit of talcum powder ... baby powder works well. Put the rubberbands in a baggie with a bit of talcum, and shake it up well. Then take the rubberbands out and shake off the excess. Then proceed to make your chains or braids. The talc helps lubricate the bands and cuts down on wear.

Theraband gold will be faster with a lighter draw. But for availability and cheapness, it is really hard to beat office rubberbands.

Cheers ........ Charles
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Absolutely. The 6" bands are good because there are only three links so only two double-thickness lumps per side as opposed to 4 with 5 of the shorter bands. My magnum snubby catty has 4,5,6 of these per side which give an 8" brace height and draw past my ear.

I can also change a broken band while running. Try that with Theraband!
 

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I think that elastic bands are going to be my favourite method, simply because although i've finally got flat latex, i've nothing to cut it with, and the whole thing seems very time consuming. It's good to know someone bought those 5star bands, I didn't want to buy them in case they were no good! lol.

Eddie.
 

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Hey Charles,

How well do those braided bands hold up and where do they seem to wear out first?
I have fired probably 300 shots on the current set with no obvious signs of wear. I have not really kept track in the past, so it is hard for me to give you a definitive answer. And it all depends on how close to the elastic limit you stretch them. In my experience, it is usually one of the middle bands that break ... neither at the pouch nor at the Gypsy tab. With the regular chains, the break usually occurred at a knot, and my regular chains tend to break after a couple of hundred shots. Of course if you are using a "taper" arrangement, say a braid of 222111, then the break will most certainly occur at the "thinner" end of the braid.

Cheers ...... Charles
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I found that with the 89x6mm bands I had to balance them for strength on each side, otherwise I might end up with an uneven draw. The 152x3mm bands don't seem so sensitive. One advantage of these bunches of narrow bands is that if one breaks a corresponding one on the other side can be cut to permit shooting to continue, if a bit less powerfully.

Alliance bands seem to get a bit of good press here; my experience of Staples bands is good; The Quality bands I've tried are a bit fragile; these 5star bands are reet good - any opinion out there on who makes the best office bands for catties?
 

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I have been shooting "braided" Alliance 64s for the past week. My preference is for the braided method, rather than the chain technique that Nico uses. Here is the braid:



And here is the more usual chain:



The braid has several advantages, from my point of view. The braid does not require any tie at the pouch. You just pull the band through the hole and you are done. Further, with the braid there is no loss of length in the knots used for the usual chain; the rubber in the knots is wasted as far as supplying power is concerned. Also, the braid is self-adjusting; with the normal chain, it is easy to get the rubber on one side of the knot a little longer than on the other side of the knot. In addition, it is a LOT easier to replace a broken piece on the braid than in a chain. With the normal chain, when a piece breaks, it is about as easy to make a whole new band than to try to untie those knots without damaging the rubberbands.

It is very easy to make tapered sets, just by adding extra rubberbands toward the fork.

In my experience, using Gypsy tabs and braids, the set up is about as accurate as flat bands.

Whether you use the regular chains or the braids, you will increase the life of your bands if you dust them with a bit of talcum powder ... baby powder works well. Put the rubberbands in a baggie with a bit of talcum, and shake it up well. Then take the rubberbands out and shake off the excess. Then proceed to make your chains or braids. The talc helps lubricate the bands and cuts down on wear.

Theraband gold will be faster with a lighter draw. But for availability and cheapness, it is really hard to beat office rubberbands.

Cheers ........ Charles
I have never had the slightest interest in trying a chain configuration, until now. Charles, your explanation was simple, direct to the point, and I became involved in your comparison, and especially the up side of using the braid chain with a very available and cheap band. I will be trying it soon, I appreciate your sharing this information, thanks.

Al

PS The braid chain looks great on your frame, I think that is your mod of DH's design, isn't it?
 

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I have never had the slightest interest in trying a chain configuration, until now. Charles, your explanation was simple, direct to the point, and I became involved in your comparison, and especially the up side of using the braid chain with a very available and cheap band. I will be trying it soon, I appreciate your sharing this information, thanks.

Al

PS The braid chain looks great on your frame, I think that is your mod of DH's design, isn't it?
Thanks for the kind comments. Yep ... that's a Ninja variant with Gypsy tabs. It shoots very well with the braids. For "serious" work (hunting), I would use a tapered braid, which is dead easy in that configuration. Give 'em a try ... cheap and easy ... if you don't like them, you have lost very little.

Cheers ..... Charles
 

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Do you think you might get better life from you bands, with less friction and rub, if you conditioned the bands with Armorall or some other type of popular rubber conditioner...it does provide additional UV protection, and since the bands are braided there is no problem with knots slipping...
 

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Do you think you might get better life from you bands, with less friction and rub, if you conditioned the bands with Armorall or some other type of popular rubber conditioner...it does provide additional UV protection, and since the bands are braided there is no problem with knots slipping...
I always dust my bands with some talcum powder. It really seems to help, similar to the cornflour that Thera put on all their bands.
 

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Do you think you might get better life from you bands, with less friction and rub, if you conditioned the bands with Armorall or some other type of popular rubber conditioner...it does provide additional UV protection, and since the bands are braided there is no problem with knots slipping...
I have never tried Armorall or anything similar. It is worth a try. Let us know how it works for you.

Cheers ........ Charles
 

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Talking about lubricants.... do you remember the toy airplanes that were simply wings and a tail, with a long rubber band connected to a propeller on the front of the little air craft? We used to wind the rubber band up by turning the propeller until the band was twisted on top of itself and almost knotting, then when you released the propeller it turned rapidly and off the plane went.

That was very hard on the rubber bands, but they found that a lubricant would extends their life by reducing the friction from winding and unwinding. One of the lubricant they use is called Sil-Slick Rubber Band Lubricant. $6.00 for 2 oz. on EBay. I have some on the way and looking forward to trying it.

Small hobby shop dealers are usually very aware of the effectiveness of the products they carry and they have used this for years and still recommend it. So I think it must work to an appreciable extent and am looking forward to trying it. It would be nice if someone else tried it (like Charles) or a lot of Charles' tried it. At any rate, I will provide a follow up report when I "think" I have a result.

Al

PS: I don't think Armorall UV protection does anything, do you?
 

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Of course I used to fly rubberband powered planes as a kid. We have a good hobby store here in Victoria. I will have a look for that stuff next time I am down there. Never heard of it before.

As for UV protection from Armorall ... I have no idea. But I am not so concerned about UV protection for my slingshot bands, as they are not exposed to the sun for long periods of time. I think the lubrication aspect would be more important.

Cheers ... Charles
 

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My reason for suggesting Armorall is that I have used it on rubber products (other than slingshot bands) along with use on monofilament fishing lines that used to age, get brittle and chalky (no longer the case)...When making up chain sets you are inadvertantly applying heat and friction as you draw the loops together (weakening th rubber) ...The added lubrication helps with this problem...Talcum powder and corn flour may also help and I`m sure less expensive....The Armorall does "slick-up" the material so be carefull with use around crucial knots!...and I should say I have treated synthetics with this stuff that are more than twenty, and some possibly over 30 years old....A good cleaning occaasionally with mild cleaners is the start...
 

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I like the braid design. I remember years ago doing the chain style and it snapping after only a few shots.I havent had a failure with my braided band yet but I am hoping since I use 3 bands the whole length it will hold if one rubber band snaps and that I notice it.
 

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My reason for suggesting Armorall is that I have used it on rubber products (other than slingshot bands) along with use on monofilament fishing lines that used to age, get brittle and chalky (no longer the case)...When making up chain sets you are inadvertantly applying heat and friction as you draw the loops together (weakening th rubber) ...The added lubrication helps with this problem...Talcum powder and corn flour may also help and I`m sure less expensive....The Armorall does "slick-up" the material so be carefull with use around crucial knots!...and I should say I have treated synthetics with this stuff that are more than twenty, and some possibly over 30 years old....A good cleaning occaasionally with mild cleaners is the start...
Thanks for the information. I may yet give it a try.

Cheers ...... Charles
 
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