Recently I needed to create mouth tabs for adaptive archers - people returning to duty or wherever, from injuries abroad.
We were hosting an event where the goal was to get "bow in hand" to as many visting wounded warriors as possible. Easton Foundation had sent us a "bows in the box" solution for bows and arrows. Texas A&M archery club had loaned 8 indoor target stands and bales, and I had come up with an arrow curtain and a few other pieces of the puzzle.
I was worried about the unknown number of these athletes that would need a way to grip the string without using the traditional method of a string hand. Paralympian multiple-medalist Jeff Fabry has demonstrated very well how using a nylon strap "acquired" from a teammate's backpack can be sewn permanently onto his bowstring and used as a bite-tab. He once took David Cousins to one point at a national championship, he's that good, not to mention a long and illustrious career in the paralympics and world championships.
Anyway, after some thought I decided using a small strip of velcro would let us apply a mouth tab to *any* bow, be safe, and functional enough for a newbie archer to easily shoot the bow with only one arm. When I got to REI, I described to a gent working there my thoughts and the application, and he suggested this product, which is far more smooth and soft than traditional velcro is.
for a total of $12.87 for the entire 9 foot roll. If I can make 3 tabs from each foot, that's 27 mouthtabs!
Take anywhere from about 2 inches to 4 inches of the material (it comes as a long roll, and it is "two-sided" - one side hooks into the other side. It's like a double surface velcro (which is usually two separate pieces rather than one). The hook side is much shorter and less abrasive than typical velcro, and the soft side is far, far more smooth. Take that piece you cut, and cut it in the middle so you have two pieces of about the same length, and flip one of them over so that you have half smooth and half rough, and sew the two pieces together with about 1/4 inch of each overlapping the other.
Then take this and fold it about the bowstring at the nock point, and press the two sides together. If you have done it right, one contact side will be rough and the other smooth, so that they bind together into a single item that one can bite down on, to assist in drawing the bow.
Putting 1 tablespoonful of bleach into an 8 to 12 ounce nalgene drinking bottle (with lid), filling most of the way up with tap water, makes for a place to disinfect the tabs after one archer uses it, preparing it for another to use. After 5 minutes in this solution transfer the tab to a second drinking bottle of plain water(no bleach), to rinse the tabs in. Of course, you have to close the bottle and agitate well to expose thoroughly to either bleachwater or rinsewater. After rinsing the tab will behave just like new yet be acceptably sterile.
It does help to have access to a sewing machine, to join these half-strips together to make each one, of course, but you could use super glue, as long as you left them alone to cure long enough. Or, you could sew by hand with a good thimble<G>.
Not the only way to make a safe, temporary, easily adjustable mouthtab, but the I've found so far....
Ron Carmichael, Sept 2011.