Arrow Making and Maintenance

For those who live in areas where firearms are not an option and those that are smart enough to have a back up.

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Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:59 pm

It's important to look after your arrows, especially after you've been shooting them for a while.

Recently I went on a trip to Eire, there was some wear and tear and when I got back, it soon became apparent I had some work to do.



I had a batch of arrows to look at making too, so I gave them a look over and a quick inspection. Sometimes, if they are in storage for a long time, they may warp or bend slightly.


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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by buck85 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:42 am

good post I do not shot a lot, but have tools to refletch and refurbish
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:40 pm

This is just a little bit about how even a bit of engrained dirt can unbalance your arrows.
Also about the fletching issues too.



When you're making arrows, unless you want to 'cheat' and use plastic nocks you'll have to reinforce them with stout thread and even horn inserts if you are going for warbow arrows. While plastic nocks may seem superior, they are not. Over time they will wear out and snap, often leaving you with a stub of wood that requires a new plastic nock, or more likely a new arrow shaft. As the snapped-off end may have to be shortened to accept a new nock.

Threaded nocks are not without their own drawbacks though, if the wound and bound thread isn't up to scratch. It could come loose, fall off and result in a near-dry fire as the arrow nock splinters upon being shot.



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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:12 pm

DUPLICATE POST.
Last edited by Watch Ryder on Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:13 pm

This is a longbow I've owned for several years now. It's served me well and not let me down. Yet shooting hundreds of arrows on it, especially without an arrowpass, means it's time for some TLC to get the great bow looking the part again.

First thing to do is get the natty old grip off, next it's time to sand down to the residue from the arrowpass that was once on there. For the interim I'd been using electrical tape but that don't last more than a few dozen arrows before it's worn down.


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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:15 pm

With the sanding done it was time to work on the replacement arrowpass.

Before I could do that though I wanted to repair some slight wear and tear of the bow, this was quite easy. I just got the varnish out and built up the layers.

Image



Once I'd done that it was a case of getting a new arrowpass mounted. Now arrowpasses aren't essential, but if you don't want your longbow to just be a wall-hanger you'll end up with the shooting of arrows wearing out your bow.

Some folks use a blob of superglue but cow or buffalo horn is an excellent, long-lasting choice.

After this was crafted and mounted all that remained was getting a new grip on it...

Image

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:19 pm

With all that done the final step is to add a layer of woodstain (Danish wood oil) to the whole thing. I just used a cloth for this part:


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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by BadLands_Shooter » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:22 am

Very cool thread.
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:50 pm

Ad'Lan buzzed me on a thread so I thought I'd re-update this one a bit.

Just finally put together my arrow video on YT.



It's pretty clear but I don't yet have the skill and tools to make arrow blanks and then round them off into shafts. That will come soon hopefully as I've a bunch of pressure treated wood I want to get experimenting on for spine allocations etc.

For now though the guide starts from the point of getting the shafts from a supplier…

The first thing I do is order up some pre-cut and rounded arrow shafts that suit the bow you’ve got.
Ebay is where I get my supply's currently…

Note: If you have a timber supplier nearby and your own electric band-saw you could try making your own shafts for arrow-making. This is advanced stuff though and for another guide.

Once you’ve got a bundle of arrow shafts (buying in bulk is cheaper) check each one for straightness, if it’s badly bent try and straighten it (sometimes steaming can help with this).

Having the correct ‘spine’ or stiffness counts here. If you don’t get the right ‘match’ your arrow will veer off to the left or right.
The more powerful your bow, the more ‘spine’ or rigidity it needs. You ought to make sure the weights are within about 30 grains too, otherwise your arrow shots will not be consistent either (they'll go short or farther if the grains are too far apart from one another, all things being equal).

Nocks



Next step is making the nock, where you notch an arrow.
You can do this the fancy, easy way, or the old-fashioned way.
The former is where you stick on an external plastic nock. To do that you should taper the last half-inch of the shaft to accommodate a plastic-nock.

The old-fashioned way is to make your own nock out of the wood itself. This my way of doing it as you don’t require purchase a nock. It also means there’s no nock piece to ‘fall-out’ during the course of the arrows life being shot etc.

The grain of the arrow is important, you must go at a right-angle to the grain. That is to say cutting across it.
A vice for this part is real boon. One guy online doesn’t use one (no access) so he just uses his knee’s and his free hand to steady it!

Now, using a hacksaw or equiv. Make a notch that’s about a ¼ of an inch deep or so.
Basically deep enough to get an arrow string into.
A hacksaw is good (what I use and one I made as a teenager at school!). Also a padsaw is fine, possibly a bit more easier to work with for notch-making.

Now widen the thin notch with a file set. I use two tools for widening it.
A small, slender file and a strange coping saw with a circular file-blade in it. It’s a strange little thing
but it is well-versed for this kind of work.
You can make your own shape for the nock edges. Or just leave it rough-cut.
I try and make a ‘bell’ pattern so that the string goes into the notch with a mere smigen of resistence. That way an arrow will stay nocked even on ‘stand-by’
But not so tight that it could throw the arrow awary once it’s released from an arrow.
You’ll want to reinforce the nock with binding, so use Somax thread or similar to wrap around underneath the nock. About ½ inch should be ok.

Arrow Lore: The Fletching / Arrowsmith guru’s use horn inserts for the nocks, this allows greatest of warbows to safetly use arrows without risking nock failure….

Once your nock is complete you can weather-proof it.
I use Danish Oil for this. But any wood-stain should do the trick.
After it dries (3 – 6 hours) you ought to reinforce the nock with strong thread.
Not only will it strengthen the area, but it make’s the arrow have an area you can take a purchase on a bit better.

Arrowheads

Next stage is adding on your arrowhead.
The arrowhead is a class all on it’s own. You can add an array of heads to arrows. Bone, flint, obsidian, metal etc.
Securing it to the shaft can be done in a variety of ways.
One item you will need is a fairly decent glue.
Super glue works, araldite does to.
I haven’t tried locktite and others though.
As long as one surface is porous a bonding glue should work fine.
IF you don’t have a strong glue then making a binding around the arrowhead can reinforce a weak ‘join’.
Normally this is essential if you are ‘hafting’ an arrowhead (with bone, flint etc). Pinning is another way.

Archers Lore: In times of war some archers arrows would have a weakish glue on their arrowheads.
That way an enemy could not remove an arrowhead by pulling out the shaft…

For my arrowheads I’ve got some semi-armour-piercing ones known as Modkin’s.
These are some of the most affordable one’s available outside of forging your own.

These one’s are at 11/32’s diameter.
The shafts I ordered didn't come tapered which is essential for this kind of work. The easy-peasy target points that are churned out by china just slot over the end of a straight shaft. For nicer arrow-heads, you'll have to craft the taper, a careful eye and a file /sandpaper is needed OR a bench grinder (much easier).

Add glue onto the arrow, then insert the arrowhead and screw it on tight.

Next you can start thinking about getting the fletchings done…

Fletchings

Good resources on arrow and bow making:

[YouTube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=778_kC65oYQ#t=624[/YouTube]



You’ll need a fletchers jig to easily fletch the arrow shaft.
Or you can mark 3 x 120 degree points on it and glue it manually. In days of yore they’d bind arrow-fletchings onto the shafts, possibly glueing them as well if they had time.
I used basic superglue, then for some I bind them as well.
You will want to reinforce the ‘throat’ of the fletchings once they are glued in place.
That way you can reuse them without the likelihood of the fletchings coming off at the narrowest point. This is also where the air-resistence meets them so it’s a good idea doing this.
I use a spot of superglue to stick the thread then wind it up over the fletchings. Then another spot of glue to hold it in place.
After that I PVA over the thread and also the nock thread as well.

Finishing touches.

Adding fancy decals and ‘ring’ patterns are what some do.
I don’t bother with faffy things like that though, I prefer to ‘proof’ test my arrows with a clout-shoot and target practice.

That's all for this update, stay tuned for the next databurst folks. :)
Last edited by Watch Ryder on Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:06 pm

I coat the arrows in Danish Oil via this handy-dandy thing I made:



It is a 1 1/2 inch pvc tube that's sealed up and clamped against the work-table. A couple of tins of Danish oil later and in go the arrows! :D

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:42 pm

UPDATE!

I added an innertube seal to the arrow-dipper for excellent dip-application to the arrow shaft. While this worked excellent for the first coat, when I went to apply the second coat of danish wood oil the inner tube left a darker stain to the wood the shade of black rubber! So unfortunately it seems the black rubber coating comes off somewhat when wood oil is contacted with it and onto the arrow shaft it goes.

So it was with reluctance that the inner-tube seal was removed and the flexi-plastic returned to duty.

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Ad'lan » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:04 pm

Very, Very nice thread.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:49 pm

Ad'lan wrote:Very, Very nice thread.
What are your thoughts on pheasant feathers for fletching with? Any good or not firm enough? A friend has just got hold of some for me...

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Ad'lan » Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:12 pm

Watch Ryder wrote:
Ad'lan wrote:Very, Very nice thread.
What are your thoughts on pheasant feathers for fletching with? Any good or not firm enough? A friend has just got hold of some for me...
Plenty firm enough, but you don't get much height out of them. They look great though, and give you plenty of drag for lighter arrows. For hunting distances, I'd want a bigger drag, but for more than 20 yards I'm sure you'll hardly notice, especially if you can get 5" out of the biggest primary.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:22 pm

Alright just secured the acquisition of maybe 25 goose carcasses + Turkey ones too, will pick up after Yule.

The farm has said they'll be 'wet' from the plucking process but this shouldn't matter I hope. I also hope the feathers won't be mixed up between different wings too (As I'm hoping the wings will just be lopped off instead whole?).

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Ad'lan » Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:33 pm

Whole wings is what I used to buy, I presume thats standard, because that's the least work.
I would also presume they won't have bothered plucking them, but you'd know at a glance anyway if they were right or left wing. Do they know that you want them for the feathers?

50 goose wings should give you at least 6 score top notch flights, probably a lot more depending on the condition of the wings.
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:39 am

Ad'lan wrote:Whole wings is what I used to buy, I presume thats standard, because that's the least work.
I would also presume they won't have bothered plucking them, but you'd know at a glance anyway if they were right or left wing. Do they know that you want them for the feathers?

50 goose wings should give you at least 6 score top notch flights, probably a lot more depending on the condition of the wings.
I told them I wanted them to make arrows with. I shouldn't have to pay for them either. If so maybe £1 per carcass? How much did you pay?

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Ad'lan » Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:17 pm

Watch Ryder wrote:
Ad'lan wrote:Whole wings is what I used to buy, I presume thats standard, because that's the least work.
I would also presume they won't have bothered plucking them, but you'd know at a glance anyway if they were right or left wing. Do they know that you want them for the feathers?

50 goose wings should give you at least 6 score top notch flights, probably a lot more depending on the condition of the wings.
I told them I wanted them to make arrows with. I shouldn't have to pay for them either. If so maybe £1 per carcass? How much did you pay?
About $2 for two wings, dried, and then shipping them to the remote location in Canada I was in at the time.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by fred.greek » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:34 pm

Remember to comply with the federal arrow shaft tax, if it applies to your situation...

http://taxmap.ntis.gov/taxmap/pubs/p510-035.htm

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Ad'lan » Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:00 am

fred.greek wrote:Remember to comply with the federal arrow shaft tax, if it applies to your situation...

http://taxmap.ntis.gov/taxmap/pubs/p510-035.htm
Wow, learn something new every day.
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:20 pm

fred.greek wrote:Remember to comply with the federal arrow shaft tax, if it applies to your situation...

http://taxmap.ntis.gov/taxmap/pubs/p510-035.htm
Exemption for certain wooden arrows.(p32)

After October 3, 2008, the tax does not apply to any shaft made of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft (whether sold separately or incorporated as part of a finished or unfinished product) and used in the manufacture of any arrow that after its assembly meets both of the following conditions.

It measures 5/16 of an inch or less in diameter.


Good to go, carry on! :)

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Ad'lan » Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:14 pm

Watch Ryder wrote: Exemption for certain wooden arrows.(p32)

After October 3, 2008, the tax does not apply to any shaft made of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft (whether sold separately or incorporated as part of a finished or unfinished product) and used in the manufacture of any arrow that after its assembly meets both
of the following conditions.

It measures 5/16 of an inch or less in diameter.

Good to go, carry on! :)
The second part of both is:
It is not suitable for use with a taxable bow, described earlier.
Which is defined as:
http://taxmap.ntis.gov/taxmap/pubs/p510-034.htm
It applies to bows having a peak draw weight of 30 pounds or more. The tax is also imposed on the sale of any part or accessory suitable for inclusion in or attachment to a taxable bow and any quiver, broadhead, or point suitable for use with arrows described below.
Which is a bit gutting, more than a tithe share if I sell arrows or points to America.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
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My Guide to Primitive Fletching
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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Watch Ryder » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:37 am

Hmm, about the only way around that is to make the arrows for display only, as wall-hangers etc. Mark them up as 29 lbs etc. Alternatively cross over to crossbow bolts? Sell at shows and fairs etc only?

Otherwise just fire off a cheque to the IRS, pay the tax and add it to the mark-up costs. No big deal. Then there's what a lot of folks are doing and play ignorant or just ignore it. People I've spoken to about IRS rebellion typically just ignore any and all paperwork. Living on a reservation helps too as they are untouchable by the IRS.
Your state may vary as to the shenanigans though ;)

I wonder if the reason this law was made was because the big boys wanted to cut down the little guy who DIYs his arrows for some spare coin on the quiet? That's normally how it goes with the feds nowadays.

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Re: Arrow Making and Maintenance

Post by Ad'lan » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:15 pm

Watch Ryder wrote:Hmm, about the only way around that is to make the arrows for display only, as wall-hangers etc. Mark them up as 29 lbs etc. Alternatively cross over to crossbow bolts? Sell at shows and fairs etc only?

Otherwise just fire off a cheque to the IRS, pay the tax and add it to the mark-up costs. No big deal. Then there's what a lot of folks are doing and play ignorant or just ignore it. People I've spoken to about IRS rebellion typically just ignore any and all paperwork. Living on a reservation helps too as they are untouchable by the IRS.
Your state may vary as to the shenanigans though ;)

I wonder if the reason this law was made was because the big boys wanted to cut down the little guy who DIYs his arrows for some spare coin on the quiet? That's normally how it goes with the feds nowadays.
I have yet to get any orders from the U.S., so it hasn't come up for me. But, please don't discuss the payment or non of taxes, we don't talk about that sort of stuff there, same for the reason behind legal policy.

But I've also never seen the Tax mentioned in TradBowhunter, when I have more time, I'll see if it's mentioned in the Ad's.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
Cymro wrote:Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.
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