Re-Thinking old Thoughts on Woodies 2015-05-03T11:31:52+00:00

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  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118
    #2830 |

    In a different thread on woodies I mentioned that I had seen an unexpected behavior in wood arrows, that behavior being that as I cut the arrow shorter it began to act weaker.

    Since then I have seen that behavior repeated on my own arrows, and others. This behavior is quite disturbing to ones sense of the universe when seen for the first time.

    For the most part I have not seen any old timer talk about bare shaft tuning wood arrows. I used to think that that was because they just didn’t really understand arrow flight that well back in the day…

    Another piece of advice the old timers seem to universally agree about is that the first thing to do when setting up wood arrows is to cut them as short as you can for your draw length, then play with point weight to get good arrow flight from your fletched shafts.

    I have found this piece of advice to be good and true too.

    Playing with wood arrows over the last six months or more I have learned one thing for sure. Woodies are not carbons. The same rules don’t apply.

    So the next interesting and unexpected piece of advice I am playing with is that straight fletching is better than helical fletching. This according to an article in Yea Silvan Archer back in the ’30’s. And other sources I remember but can’t quote.

    So far it has proven true. I am so confused 😳

    And so now I am shouting out to all shooters of wooden arrows for your interesting experiences and tips for better understanding… What qualities of wood arrows make you sit up and take notice?

  • Bruce Smithhammer
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    Post count: 2515

    Steve Graf wrote:

    For the most part I have not seen any old timer talk about bare shaft tuning wood arrows. I used to think that that was because they just didn’t really understand arrow flight that well back in the day…

    Nor have I, and I think it’s definitely worth noting.

    Steve Graf wrote: Another piece of advice the old timers seem to universally agree about is that the first thing to do when setting up wood arrows is to cut them as short as you can for your draw length, then play with point weight to get good arrow flight from your fletched shafts.

    This has pretty much become my approach to tuning arrows, whether wood or carbon. I don’t start out with full-length shafts and progressively cut them down 1/4″ of an inch at a time till I get the flight I want anymore. I cut them to the length I want, and then tweak the point weight, along with bow variables, to achieve good flight instead. Seems to work just fine.

    Steve Graf wrote: Playing with wood arrows over the last six months or more I have learned one thing for sure. Woodies are not carbons. The same rules don’t apply.

    Definitely. And I’ve seen a fair bit of confusion take place in various internet discussions on arrow tuning topics as a result, when apples and oranges are being discussed interchangeably.

    Steve Graf wrote: So the next interesting and unexpected piece of advice I am playing with is that straight fletching is better than helical fletching. This according to an article in Yea Silvan Archer back in the ’30’s. And other sources I remember but can’t quote.

    With a properly tuned arrow, I have yet to find a persuasive reason to add additional helical to my fletching, beyond what occurs naturally. I fletch all my arrows, regardless of shaft material, with a straight clamp and a little offset.

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    I only have two things I’d like to chime in with. One is that straight fletch makes an arrow spin plenty. So helical might be applying additional torque that just have some hidden effects on the shaft. Just a thought.

    Never mind the second thought. Dwc

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    I used offset fletching back in my compound days, but switched to helical when I moved on to traditional.

    Now that I seem to be moving back in that direction I am hoping to get better fletching life. I figure fletching on an offset as opposed to helical will put less stress on the feather so the barbs won’t separate or fall out as much.

    I wear feathers out before I lose or break shafts, usually.

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    I guess I’m old school cause I refuse to complicate simplicity.

    I buy wood shafts spined 5# heavier than the bow I’m shooting, figured at the AMO 28″ draw, cut them 28″ cause my draw is usually about 27 1/2″, put 125 gr. points on them, use a slight left helical (there are many years of experience for the adage, right hand, left helical, left hand, right helical, more in a minute on that) with 3-3 1/2″ feathers. Sometimes four 3″. These smaller sized feathers I’ve just started experimenting with in the last couple of years because of some whippersnapper from ID.:D

    99% of the time if that doesn’t work it’s because of a crook in the arrow I missed or I’m being sloppy on my release and my old school experience tells me there is lots and lots of arrow flight problems caused by a sloppy release. Just sayin:):)

    RH,LW-LH,RW. I don’t shoot a recurve enough to debate to have an opinion about them but with a longbow, holding one’s hand, like I do, where if I raise my point figure a hair’s breath I raise my arrow off of the shelf, a RW fletched shaft starting to spin towards the bow can ruin your day when it imbeds feather parts and pieces in your finger. Sometimes caused by a bit too stiff of a spine, sometimes because of nock position, sometimes cause it’s out to get ya.

    We never pondered a bunch when we built woodies, I still don’t but that’s because I’ve been doing it for a long time and what I do works. Kinda like Clay says, I dunno, I just make it work.

    Another thought, some oldtimer, much better archer than I, said. “That’s what feathers are for”.

  • Cleland
    Member
    Post count: 40

    Steve Graf wrote: In a different thread on woodies I mentioned that I had seen an unexpected behavior in wood arrows, that behavior being that as I cut the arrow shorter it began to act weaker.

    Since then I have seen that behavior repeated on my own arrows, and others. This behavior is quite disturbing to ones sense of the universe when seen for the first time.

    For the most part I have not seen any old timer talk about bare shaft tuning wood arrows. I used to think that that was because they just didn’t really understand arrow flight that well back in the day…I wish someone would reply on his question o. What arrow to use …

    Another piece of advice the old timers seem to universally agree about is that the first thing to do when setting up wood arrows is to cut them as short as you can for your draw length, then play with point weight to get good arrow flight from your fletched shafts.

    I have found this piece of advice to be good and true too.

    Playing with wood arrows over the last six months or more I have learned one thing for sure. Woodies are not carbons. The same rules don’t apply.

    So the next interesting and unexpected piece of advice I am playing with is that straight fletching is better than helical fletching. This according to an article in Yea Silvan Archer back in the ’30’s. And other sources I remember but can’t quote.

    So far it has proven true. I am so confused 😳

    And so now I am shouting out to all shooters of wooden arrows for your interesting experiences and tips for better understanding… What qualities of wood arrows make you sit up and take notice?

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    R2 wrote: …I refuse to complicate simplicity… use a slight left helical (there are many years of experience for the adage, right hand, left helical, left hand, right helical, … with 3-3 1/2″ feathers. Sometimes four 3″… “That’s what feathers are for”.

    I seem to be back at 3 five inch feathers on woodies. They work, and they look so much better. I get all itchy and scratchy looking at a long arrow with little bitty nubby feathers on the back of it. Ain’t right.

    I did once fletch some arrows with right wing feathers using a left wing jig. Dern if it weren’t hard to get them feathers into that clamp and onto the arrow. Sumpin’s wrong… But when in doubt, plunge ahead with conviction I always say πŸ™„ Got them on, and they flew fine. Still have a few of them hidden somewhere. I pull them out when no one is looking 😳

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    I once fletched a woodie with three different types of feather cuts. I got a lot of comments but the arrow flew beautifully and I shot it for two days in a 3D shoot until one of the 3D animals moved and the arrow drowned in a lake.

    You’re right Steve, they just look unnatural with dinky feathers. πŸ˜€

    I have no clue on the seemingly being weaker acting when being cut shorter??? That’s something for an engineer to think on and keep him on a constructive path. πŸ˜‰

  • peter Vermouthpeter Vermouth
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    Post count: 916

    NOT an engineer (although I’ve been called one), but I think what matters is not the length of the fletches, but the surface area. Thus, short fat fletches will work the same as long skinny. Kinda thinking the short fat fletches will catch the wind more, thus result in in more butt wiggle. On the other hand, you can get 3, 3″ fletches out of a feather, but only 2, 4″.

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    grumpy wrote: … what matters is not the length of the fletches, but the surface area. Thus, short fat fletches will work the same as long skinny. … you can get 3, 3″ fletches out of a feather, but only 2, 4″.

    No doubt about it, surface area is the driving factor to how well fletching stabilizes an arrow. And I have often been drawn to the economy of getting more fletches from each feather.

    If you ever try wild turkey feathers, you can actually get three 4 inch feathers from some of the primary feathers. But never more than two 5 inch feathers.

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    Had my first “robin hood” of sorts with wood arrows yesterday. Not a boast or a brag. As we all know, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then…

    But more of a caution I guess. I figured you couldn’t really bust up a wood arrow like that. Maybe bust off the nock, but no big deal to glue another on.

    But yesterday I managed to send one arrow right down the middle of another arrow. Pealed that arrow like a banana 😳

  • Doc Nock
    Member
    Post count: 1150

    Steve Graf wrote: Had my first “robin hood” of sorts with wood arrows yesterday. Not a boast or a brag. As we all know, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then…

    But more of a caution I guess. I figured you couldn’t really bust up a wood arrow like that. Maybe bust off the nock, but no big deal to glue another on.

    But yesterday I managed to send one arrow right down the middle of another arrow. Pealed that arrow like a banana 😳

    Wow! That is some shot…a “real” Robin Hood with a wooden shaft! I’ve never had one—ever, with any type arrow… I guess partly (hopefully πŸ™„ ) because when they start grouping too tightly, after all that goes into building a well-tuned arrow, I pull and start over…

    Whether luck or good shooting, that is still impressive, Steve!

    As for surface area of fletching, I went to the higher FOC and on Doc Ed’s encouragement, dropped to 3″x1/2″ fletch…tried 4 and realized if my math was right, it was the same surface area as 3 – 4″ so back to 3- 3″ and they fly great. Not for woodie shooters perhaps with the issues of adding front weight (unless you go to fat sticks with nock taper), but it did show me that smaller feathers can drive the bus and as been said — surface area is surface area, short and higher or long and thin, 3 or 4, it’s the AMOUNT that counts, yes?!

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    Shape does have an effect to my way of thinking.

    You can have the same surface area on a box as on a spear but which will pass through the air more efficiently? πŸ™‚

  • Doc Nock
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    Post count: 1150

    You’re always “thinking” there, Ralph…

    Truly and verily…

    I suppose that for my own part, reading others and posting my own thoughts, was in reference to standard arrow shapes of feathers for fletching…

    Indeed, shape affects various things… drag and noise are two I’ve played with a bit… but when comparing zises, I think surface area still is relevant to “flight control”…if you have the surface area between 2 common shaped feathers, surface area can be key using 2 different length/height fedders…

    Some chaps I met get better flight from four fletch then 3. Waaay beyond my understanding, but I’ve said often, there are many nuances of variables in our simple stick n string that perhaps our ancient ancestors gained insight into, but eludes many of us. I’m one of em!

    Shoot what makes you confident and consistent… Since archery is 90% mental, those 2 factors seem to be incredibly important!

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    I was mostly hacking with ya but in part it be truth.

    I my many years of shooting wood arrows, experimenting with “this is it” wisdom of others, I find that as long as your arrows are spined to match your bow, your release is clean and your nock is properly positioned in relation to your feathers, it’s preferential what fletchings you use for a “hunting” type bow and to most, at least mine, one’s skill.

    I have arrows 4 fletched, 3 fletched, 4″, 5″, 3 1/2″, whatever, and I can see no difference in arrow flight. If I extended distances I might be able to discern a difference in speed making me shoot short on longer shots but out to 50 yards any differences I see I attribute to archer error and not a difference in arrow fletching.

    Sure some styles of fletches are noisier than others but some bows are too.

    Breaking it down to our preferred, I think the general consensus is that we attempt to do so anyway, get within 20 yards and under, that there has been many animals taken with as many or more types of fletching on many types or more of wood shafts than we can philosophize on here.

    I shoot in the wind a lot, by choice cause if I choose not to I won’t get to shoot often:D, and it really matters not what fletch, unless of course without saying, big feathers gonna catch more wind. By big I refer to banana feathers and such.

    In 20-50 mph winds, arrows are gonna wiggle, heck, a straight shaft without fletches is wind affected as is a bullet, so whether it zigs or zags first or when is totally unpredictable.

    That leads into another point (pun intended) so I’ll not dawdle here .

    In addition, my nocks are aligned differently in relation to the feathers on 3 fletch and 4 fletch in order for clearance on the shelf and side plate.

    I can’t give any concrete info it’s just years of making it work that makes it work for me.

    But if my arrows are under spined or over spined it don’t matter about tit for tat of feathers, it ain’t gonna work. And if I do a, on some days, R2 release, once again it ain’t gonna work.

    To each his own, there is no one answer only a solution and that is for each to figure out for his own.

    Have fun and there may be a reason that so many before us did as they did and we haven’t figured out their reasoning yet.

    We are but youths in the world of archery and as youth does, questions all, we have yet to learn the reasons why it worked for the elders.

  • Doc Nock
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    Post count: 1150

    Well penned, there, R2. Good thoughts to mull and or not… just do?!

    I think that our more modern times have inclined us to be more “discerning” in many things… where those who went before us just did and lived with it.

    they also likely didn’t have the time to mull and tinker…life was a bit more demanding perhaps?

  • peter Vermouthpeter Vermouth
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    Post count: 916

    If it works, don’t fix it.

  • Doc Nock
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    Post count: 1150

    grumpy wrote: If it works, don’t fix it.

    I LIKE that idea, Grumps…:D

    I used to be an arra Ho’… I had wood, (varied types), fiberglass, alum, and a few carbon in my quiver…all the “right” spine (so they old guys would say)… and enjoyed reasonable accuracy… but occasionally, I’d see this weird behavior beyond 20 shooting… WT?

    So then I read about bare shafting and I cut off the feathers :shock:, which wasn’t easy for this frugal German…!

    Every arrow I had in my quicer was way weak and nearly flew sideways…

    So my bottom line is what the experienced, yet human eye SEES ain’t necessarily what ya get!

    To each his own…

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    Ummm! Ol’Ugg pretty smart, use feathers to make what he had in hand work.

    Hungry man make good thing happen!!!!:wink:

    Not all deep thinking done in modern times. :D:D

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    So in my effort to make fletching last longer and arrows go faster, I ordered a straight clamp for my b.burger fletching jig. I also ordered another indexer.

    Why you ask? According to the B.burger website, the helical jig for traditional shooting should come with a “straight” indexer. Whereas jigs for compound shooters come with the “Left” indexer. My jig, which I bought from 3Rivers came with the “left” indexer. Hmmm… You’d think 3Rviers would be getting the right stuff. That’s another email.

    Anyway, took the indexer out, and while I had it out I drilled out the opening that the nock goes into so that the larger nocks of wooden arrows would fit down into it. Worked out.

    Lesson learned – Put the jig in a tray to remove the indexer as the detent balls / springs come flying on out like chickens out of the chicken coop 😳

    Got through almost an entire Fred Bear video before I found them all πŸ™„

    Now I’m good to go with a straight clamp and a straight indexer. I studied both indexers and see that the detents are at slightly different angles. Not sure how they worked all that out, or what it means.

    But I shot 3541 bulls eyes in a row at 90 yards with the new arrow after I fixed ‘er up 8)

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    That’s relatively admirable shooting there Steve but just think, if you’d bought one of them thar j-jan machines you wouldn’t of had to do all that modifying and you wouldn’t of been so tired and could’ve shot somewhat better.:D:D

  • Doc Nock
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    Post count: 1150

    YOU tell him, Ralph…that whole statistical thing got me stutterin!:shock::roll:

  • Col MikeCol Mike
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    Post count: 905

    I’ll bet he was using that weight ass–er I mean aft on them arrows– pushing the edge of accuracy 😯

  • William WarrenWilliam Warren
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    Post count: 1365

    dwcphoto wrote: I only have two things I’d like to chime in with. One is that straight fletch makes an arrow spin plenty. So helical might be applying additional torque that just have some hidden effects on the shaft. Just a thought.

    Never mind the second thought. Dwc

    Makes sense to me. A slow projectile may be more stable spinning at lower rpms than one spinning at higher rpms. More stable equals better accuracy. Witness the tried and true patched round ball and a slow rifling twist. It just works.

    So if the straight fletch is spinning your arrows at a lower rpm and you are experiencing better accuracy with your chosen shaft weight, could explain it.

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    Duncan,

    I think you and Dave are on to it.

    What got me thinking about it was an article in this old book I have called Archery, The Technical Side. It was published back in the ’40’s and is a collection of articles by some pretty sharp PhD’s. I got the 11th of 500 copies, signed by the authors. It has a list of all the people who bought the book in the back. Pretty neat to read that list too. But back to the point…

    The article was saying that the rotation of the arrow contributes nothing to its stability. Not enough mass or speed for that effect.

    And that got me started thinking about my racketeering days of childhood. I built this rocket about 2 1/2 feet tall and I affixed the fins to it in an offset manner in order to induce rotation as the rocket went skyward.

    My hope was that it would go straighter up into the sky than my previous attempts. Lets just say that I discovered that hypothesis was completely false as I ran away with my hands protecting the back of my head from impact with that out of control dynamo 😳

    I went back to straight fins on my rockets πŸ™„

  • Doc Nock
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    Post count: 1150

    Now, Steve, That is a book I’d love to read!!!

    Not that much new under the sun, but the advances in measuring have likely opened doors to insights we haven’t been privy to in the past, like super high speed video to actually SEE what arrows do at launch…

    Great story by the way…

    My slightly older cousin used to make gun powder…hammered one end shut of a 3/4″ pipe…filled it with BP and inserted a fuse. Suspended a piece of rain gutter on an angle. set the pipe in it butt toward the closed end and launched it lighting the match… back then it was all farm fields behind his dad’s small town barn… it went up and out of sight.

    We never did go look for it, but why it burned and didn’t blow apart like a pipe bomb, i’ll never know other’n the Lord does watch over fools, kids and ….

  • Bruce Smithhammer
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    Post count: 2515

    Makes sense to me. I used to scratch my head as to why so many people told me it was “essential” to have large fletching and helical if I wanted good, stable flight, when my arrows seemed to be flying just fine and no less stable with smaller feathers and a few degrees of straight offset. Eventually, after building lots of arrows that way with no ill effect, I concluded that they really didn’t know what they were talking about, and were just parroting what someone had told them.

    Archery seems to have no shortage of myths taken as fact, particularly in regards to arrow and bow performance. All of this just underscores the importance of using what your arrow actually needs, not just what everyone else seems to be doing, nor what someone has told you you “have” to do in order to ensure good arrow flight.

  • Doc Nock
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    Post count: 1150

    Bruce,

    You preach the sermon, I’ll turn the pages for ya!:D And AMEN, brother, Amen!!!

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    I agree with you Bruce.

    I was brought up among old school shooters, learned their ways, built arrows per their teaching then gradually changed to less amount of feathers on my arrows.

    I have several choppers that make some whoppers:) but I haven’t used them much in a long time. Mostly I use a 5″ that’s been R2’d to where it cuts about 4 1/2″ and my 4″ chopper is R2’d to where it cuts about 3 3/4″.

    My arrows fly beautiful, straight to where I’m pointing them.

    Where their pointed? That’s another issue:lol::lol:

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    But………..I’ve been out back shooting some with 5″ left helical and they look so pretty flying through the air.

    Don’t know that I can ever give up on them, lookin’ good, hittin’ where I’m lookin. What more could a man want.:D:D:D

    That’s what feathers are for!!!!!

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    So the next question is about spine.

    I have noticed that I am tending to shoot a lighter spine shaft with wood than with carbon.

    My point is lighter too, but still. I can shoot a 70b shaft with a 190 grain point out of my 55b bow, and it will shoot well. My gold tip 55-75 shafts spine upwards of 80lbs and shoot well with a 250 grain point.

    The other thing I noticed is that while carbon shafts shoot best keeping them as long as possible, wood arrows seem to like to be kept short as possible, just like the old timers said.

    Anyone have any rules of thumb about spine / arrow length?

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Hey Steve!

    As you know all the old standards are/were based on AMO standards which were established with a 60# bow and 28″ arrows.

    Like all things, gotta be a point A somewhere. 60# a lotta bow for most anymore. Not cause we’re weaker but perhaps improvements and changes in equipment? Another subject, cause I’m weaker:lol:

    Wood arrows are based on 28″. The thinking is 5# weaker spine for each additional inch of arrow length and 5# increase for every inch shorter in length.

    To my way of thinking trying to compare wood to carbon is like apples to oranges, they are two totally different materials with totally different characteristics.

    I shoot some carbons now and have piddled, improvised and have them shootin well and to shoot out of the same bow for example, carbons are 29″, have 225 to 245 gr. up front whereas the woods are 28″ with 125 gr. point.

    35-55 carbons from 47# bow and 45-50# – woods with 125 gr. point. I have some 50-55# woods, 28″, with 160 gr. points and they shoot like the 45-50# but are heavier of course, drop some but you can tell the diff in the “thunk” when they hit the same target. They don’t drop enough to bother me. If one shoots instinct, shoot’em for awhile then instinct takes over. Point gap and you gotta do some figuring.:wink:

    I’m no expert on either but I’ve been shooting woodies a long time and I know what works for me, and if my arrow is flying straight and true to my eyeball, good nuff, science be damned.

    Adding to this, my draw is actually about 27 1/2″ most of the time so I’m OK with 28″ arrows. I’ve noticed of late that since I’ve changed some things my draw has gained some and I can feel the back of the field point. Ummm. Means if I put broadheads on wood I’d better lengthen arrow a tad, probably increase spine and shoot a different broadhead. But then again a difference in feathers might affect that too. A little more feather??

    Lots of little variables to play with. Trial and error!!!!:lol: Nothin fun if ya got all the answers…

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    I shot a possum the other day. Was out behind the chicken coop looking for my ground hog buddy that had helped himself a little too liberally to our garden.

    Instead, I found the possum that was looking to help himself to one of our chickens. Normally I’m happy to share a chicken every now and then, it’s just that recently our neighborhood raccoon family has about done in my hospitality.

    Anyway, the wood arrow slid right through that possum like he wasn’t even there. Now normally I’d have a blunt on the arrow but in this case I had grabbed the wrong arrows and was equipped with field points only.

    My previous experience with field points is that a rabbit will stop one before the arrow is through it.

    Just one data point. Must have been a soft possum.

  • R2R2
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    Post count: 2309

    Good shot. One less chicken thief around.:D

  • Forresterwoods
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    Post count: 104

    One interesting flight characteristic I’ve noticed when shooting wood arrows in 5/16 and 11/32 when spined similar and weighing the same. The 5/16 arrow drops about 8″ more at 30 yards than the 11/32 arrow. My theory is because of more surface area in contact with our atmosphere will hold up the 11/32 shaft better. Has anyone else encountered this issue or have any other explanations?

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    I can say for sure that contact with the atmosphere is not the reason for the difference in trajectory. Contact with atmosphere means friction. Friction means more drop. If friction was the difference, then the smaller shaft should have a flatter trajectory.

    Maybe the 11/32 shaft recovers from paradox faster than the smaller shaft.

    It’s an interesting observation. I have a friend struggling with 5/16 shafts cause he thinks that since they are lighter, they should give him a flatter trajectory for his target contests. I’ll pass this tidbit on!

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    Steve, aren’t some aluminum target shafts made with greater diameter? My impression was that they would recover faster. Maybe someone can offer some clarification on that. Thanks, dwc

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    I’m not a target archer, but I think that they use the bigger shafts in part because it punches a bigger hole in the target and gives them a better chance of a good score.

    I’ve been thinking that strategy would work for me, as long as I could get some arrows about a foot in diameter πŸ˜€

    But you are right, a bigger shaft is stiffer so it won’t be bending as much in the first place. I am not sure it makes a difference with aluminum as far as rate of recovery goes, since the internal friction is much lower in aluminum than it is in wood.

    But the observation that 11/32 shafts have a flatter trajectory is really intriguing, whatever the explanation. Thanks Forester!

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    [quote=Steve Graf]I’m not a target archer, but I think that they use the bigger shafts in part because it punches a bigger hole in the target and gives them a better chance of a good score.

    I’ve been thinking that strategy would work for me, as long as I could get some arrows about a foot in diameter πŸ˜€

    Steve, I go stumping with a buddy who uses rounded off blunts. I use Judos. We often comment on what might have been a close miss becomes a hit with the “judo advantage “.

    Dwc

  • Forresterwoods
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    Post count: 104

    Steve. Actually I use 6-8 different species of wood and mahogany has about 15 subspecies so a larger diameter sometimes has less spine and less weight that a smaller diameter. For example one type of mahogany in 11/32 can be lower OR higher in spine and weight to another mahogany with a 5/16 diameter. Density is a subject I’m not that familiar with but is a factor to consider if hunting thick skinned game or target shooting. Still lots to learn.:)

  • Stephen Graf
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    Post count: 2118

    Do wood arrows get tired?

    It is well known that self bows get tired. In the good old days, competitors would bring several bows to get them through a round. Hunters would sometimes not string their bow until they actually saw the deer coming.

    I have noticed that when I shoot my wood arrows, I shoot an arrow well maybe 6 or 8 times. Then it starts wandering off the mark. I was thinking it was just me…

    But then I started switching up arrows. I shoot an arrow till it starts to wander, then pick up a new arrow. It hits the mark for a while and then starts to wander and I pick up another arrow, and so on.

    I can go back to the first arrow after 30 minutes or so and get a few more shoots out of it before it starts to wander.

    By wander I mean miss the mark by 2 or 3 inches at 15 yards in what feels like a good shot.

    Anyone else seen this?

  • Forresterwoods
    Member
    Post count: 104

    One consistent thing I notice when turning wood arrow shafts. When finished turning they are warm from friction and after cooling they will gain from 3-5# of spine.

  • JimBow39
    Member
    Post count: 1

    When changing arrow diameters, you are also changing the center shot of your bow and also changing the nock height. With larger diameter shafts you should be able to shoot a lighter spined arrow than a smaller diameter shaft.

  • critch
    Member
    Post count: 107

    A very enjoyable thread. I’ve been wanting to get back to more or less making my own arrows, assembling my own arrows would be more precise. I was thinking about whether or not to have straight fletching or helical…straight would be easier.

    My thoughts were to order some shafts spined for my 45# Samick, and finish them with Danish oil. Then, I would straight fletch them, nock them and put trade points on them. The trade points will come from an old saw blade a friend is supposed to be cutting with his plasma cutter, I’m shooting for 160 grain heads. My thoughts were to use the Arizona fletcher with the fletching tape instead of glue. I’ve never used the tape, does it work?

    Many years ago I bought a cheap fletching jig that would only do straight, and I repaired no telling how many aluminum arrows in my compound days..they seemed to work fine. I occasionally shooting some of them in my recurve and they fly straight.

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Arizona Easy Fletch – I’d be leery of using tape in that. My experience with that jig is that it takes a little wiggling to get it settled in with the fletchings against the shaft. OK with glue, not OK with tape.

    Trade Points – I’d like to make some trade points. Circular Saw blades are supposed to be good stock. But cutting them out has always been just too much of a hurdle for me. Seems there aught to be an easy way to do it without needing a plasma torch.

    Straight fletching – I’ve found that helical is not necessary. Straight fletching feathers puts less stress on them too, and they last longer.

    Looking forward to shooting a deer or elk or rabbit or grouse with some wood arrows this fall!

  • TradBoot
    Member
    Post count: 1

    I’m a newbie and I have a new Bear Super Grizzly @ 45#.

    Using the “Yardstick” formula to determine “Draw Length” displayed on Page 73 of T. J. Conrad’s “The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook, my “length” is 26 inches.

    My first question is: what length should my wooden arrows be with nock before they put on field points or broadheads, both of which are 125 grains?

    My second question is that when I shoot a group of five arrows at “the box” they predominantly land to the left of my point of aim marker usually in a scattered up and down line. What or how do adjust? My body? My feet? point of aim?

    Thank you,

    TradBoot

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    Hi Tradboot, welcome to Tradbow! The bad news is, I don’t have a direct answer to your question. The good news is, you’ll probably have to figure most of it out on your own. You’ll get some terrific help here, but you’ll be doing lots of fine tuning to get your set-up just right for you. That’s lot of experimenting and lots of shooting and lots of fun.

    Off the cuff, it sounds like your shafts are a little over spined or too stiff, points too light or some combination of that.

    Try some heavier points to start out with and see it that brings it over some. The up and down part is just you learning and getting the feel of it. If you have not already, look up videos on youtube by Moebow, Jeff Kavanaugh and Jimmy Blackmon for some great help on shooting form.

    Enjoy the ride! best, dwcphoto

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Just got back from colorado (empty handed πŸ™„ ). I took my woodies with me and was a little apprehensive about it as I have heard from others, and experienced myself, that wood arrows can act differently when exposed to different environments.

    I once took cedar arrows on a bear hunt in Quebec. They acted stiff when I got there. Once home, they acted fine.

    On this trip, I took the douglas fir arrows I made last winter. They acted just fine. No change.

    I did shoot some grouse (tasty when brined with salt and maple syrup). Again, the arrows zipped right through the grouse with a field point. Last year the carbon arrows so equipped stopped in the middle.

    Very curious. Same weight bow, same arrow weight, same point. Wood slips through better. Only a few data points, but so far same results. Once a broadhead is introduced, all well tuned arrows will zip through a deer. So hopefully we’ll see that with woodies this year.

    Haven’t been in the woods yet for deer this year, not even scouting…

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Well I’ve killed a groundhog and a few grouse with the woodies so far this year. Last night I killed a 6 pointer. The arrow zipped right on through like butter.

    So far, no reason to consider going back to carbons.

    I do have an issue with my fletching though… I’ve been using wild turkey feathers that I chop myself. Been using them for a few years now, but always wondering about the lack of visibility.

    White feathers are so much easier to see than natural feathers. Last night I just couldn’t quite make out where my arrow hit the deer. Lungs? A bit too far back? Too high?

    As it turned out, the shot was spot on. But the doubt raised by not seeing the arrow hit the deer clearly contributed to my hesitation to follow up right away. I ended up waiting till the morning to discover that the deer hadn’t gone far at all.

    Downside is the Coyote’s found him first. Nothing left. I left the antlers in the woods for the squirrels. Seem the right thing to do.

    I might abandon the natural feathers and just use store bought white feathers. Hate to do it.

    Tried bleaching the wild turkey feathers, but no luck.

    I’ve tried the furry tracers, they don’t last long, and if the arrow goes through the deer, they have to be replaced. And I can never get them on perfectly oriented, so that when the arrow flies, it looks wobbly. Don’t really like ’em.

    Any ideas?

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Steve, I’ve tried a lot of different colored feathers over the years and I’ve settled on either white, orange or chartreuse.

    Some colors that show out in the bright sun disappear when you shoot into a dark background.

    Red, pink for example. Shoot those into a black target in the shade or dim light and I lose them.

    Yellow works pretty good too and surprisingly blue seems to work.

    I saw a color visibility study once, way to many years ago, the said blue had the highest visibility rating as a lure sank into deep water. They also showed it in the forest showing up. But deer it’s said can see blue. Yeah but they see white apparently cause white is alarm for whitetails.

    To make all that short, our need to see the arrow flight is more important than what deer see. You move at the wrong time and it matters not what color you have.

    We see colors differently between us also.

    All said and done for visibility, chartreuse is easiest for me to see (and find).

    Oh yeah, just gotta say I’m glad you’re liking the woodies. I just keep on going back to them.

  • Robin ConradsRobin Conrads
    Admin
    Post count: 801

    Rick Stillman (Fletcher) wrote a tip for us a while back that you might find interesting: Brighten Up the Nock

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Thanks Robin.. I just knocked a nock off on a “planned shot” that hit the fence. πŸ˜€

    I’ll put some white paint on it, let dry, re-nock and see if I can hit the fence again.

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    10-4 on that one. I’ll give it a try!

  • Patrick
    Member
    Post count: 1152

    Webmother wrote: Rick Stillman (Fletcher) wrote a tip for us a while back that you might find interesting: Brighten Up the Nock

    I’m doing this on my next batch.

  • codger
    Member
    Post count: 126

    I only use wood arrows out of my longbows for ever. oh i tried shooting a few carbons and aluminum i got for the recurves but i prefer wood out of any bow i own. i usually use a very slight helical fletch with five inch turkey feathers left wing just because they seem to be commonly available. My arrows fly really well out of all my longbows the lighter bows are a bit more finicky about spine but the heavier bows dont seem to care too much but for me the lighter bows seem to be more effected by a sloppy release with an over spined arrow then heavier bows are by an under spined arrow. i do file my knocks until they are abit looser than most people do maybe that has an effect on the situation. maybe its my shooting style or lack of it ive been shooting the same way since i was a kid just worked up

    heavier bows over the last fifty years or so.. I do build arrows spined for each draw weight but frequesntly just grab a handful of whatever out of the bucket when shooting in the back yard.

  • Patrick
    Member
    Post count: 1152

    Now that I’ve been shooting woodies for a while, here’s my two cents worth (that accounts for inflation):

    I buy and shoot mine full length. Sound accordingly, of course.

    They’re quieter than all other arrows.

    I will never be able to go back to carbon, aluminum, etc. I just love shooting wood arrows.

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Patrick,

    What does “…Sound accordingly, of course” mean?

    For myself, I am so deaf I can’t tell if they are more quiet than other shafts. And I can’t figure how you can shoot full length and get them to spine correctly… I draw 29″ and shoot 29.5″ shafts. If I went longer, I’d need a 100lb shaft for my 52lb bow…

    Do tell! What is your draw length, Bow draw weight, arrow length, arrow diameter, point wt, and spine? (I feel some Dr. Seuss coming on…)

    Does shooting your wood arrow make you feel fine?

    Do you kill things in order to dine?

    Do you walk?

    Do you stalk?

    Do you listen to them talk?

    Why do you kill?

    Is it just for the thrill?

    or is there joy in the strife?

    When your arrow takes a life?

    Carbon or Wood?

    Do you think you should?

    Choose one or the other

    To kill bambi’s mother?

  • Patrick
    Member
    Post count: 1152

    I have no idea what I meant by that…really! πŸ˜†

    I was short on time and was typing fast and furiously and I didn’t review it. 😳

    My bow is a 59# Elkheart and my draw length is 29″. My arrows are spined 80-84, 21/64″ diameter (I have 11/32″ shafts of the same spine as well). I use 145 grain points.

    My bow seems quiter, not the arrows.

    I’m assuming the rest of your questions are rhetorical. πŸ˜†

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    Seuss on! You guys are givg me the itch to dig out some wood shafts and try to make them fly right. Dwc

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Thanks Patrick. I shoot about the same spine arrows with a 165 grn point and 29.5″ BOP. My longbow is but 55# at my 29 inch draw. I do taper the last 10 inches down to 5/16 though. Maybe that accounts for the difference. Of course, my arrows crono at over 753 fps.

    Dave, the only drawback I have found to woodies is the extra work involved. If you want to call that a drawback.

    And there is no doubt that a high FOC carbon arrow is hard to beat for penetration. But so far my wood arrow has passed through all the half dozen critters I have shot with them from possum to groundhog to grouse to deer.

    It seems, for me anyway, that shooting wood arrows answers better the call of traditional bowhunting. My carbon arrows were just that: arrows. By contrast, my wood arrows add to the joy of hunting, and I find myself spending a lot more time holding them 😳

  • Patrick
    Member
    Post count: 1152

    Steve Graf wrote: …Of course, my arrows crono at over 753 fps.

    Of course?! Be careful! You don’t want to be breaking the sound barrier. :lol::lol:

    One other advance for shooting wood arrows is that I can stain them to a bright color. I HATE camouflaged and/or dark arrows. Too hard to find.

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Back before I switched to wood, I called Goldtip and asked them if they had any white or otherwise bright arrows. The best they could due were their Nuge arrows. They were not interested in anything but camo.

    I guess it runs counter to their business interests if people can find the arrows after they are shot πŸ™„

    Woodies rule!

  • Patrick
    Member
    Post count: 1152

    When you have companies making camouflage underwear, not to mention they cost an extra $10, you can forget about brightly colored arrow shafts.

    These are what I’m referring to, by the way:

    http://www.firstlite.com/red-desert-boxer-short.html

    πŸ™„

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Are they comfortable? πŸ˜‰ Just wonderin :lol::lol:

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    They look rather spandexy, not like any boxers I ever had.

    Camo or not, I’d rather see something like that on the fairer half πŸ™„ πŸ˜€

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Another Tuesday night spent drinking Coffee and shooting bows… The old woodies held their own with the carbons.

    If only I could find a deer to shoot one through πŸ‘Ώ

  • ssumner1
    Member
    Post count: 109

    The questions that all this has raised for me is do wood arrows get tuned or do wood arrows tune you to them?:D

  • Patrick
    Member
    Post count: 1152

    It’s a symbiotic relationship. πŸ˜‰

    I haven’t had any opportunities yet this season, but starting this Friday I have some time off work, and it’s that time of year…love is in the air. πŸ˜€

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    I think you have to be tuned in to use woodies 8)

    Good luck Patrick. Too hot around here for much loving. Squirrels are rutting around here though. May have to give them a go.

    Squirrel stew? The best!

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    Steve, when I read “racketeering days as a child” I was really looking for a good story. Now you’re gonna have to make something up. Dwc

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    “racketeering”

    Is that trophy hunting?

    Just wonderin’. πŸ™„

  • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
    Member
    Post count: 197

    After playing with a lot of different woods, I am back to good old POC. I think they are very forgiving fly great and do what I need them to with a regular weighted head. Maybe those old timers figured out something back then and it is just taking me a while to come to the same conclusion. Everything in archery is a trade off….I think POC cut to just above draw length with a 125 or 145 grain 2 blade head is about the most forgiving and balanced shaft I have used…and it has been proving its effectiveness to me on the deer. Hard to find the good stuff anymore but I recently bought some of the older stuff someone had squirreled away and I am impressed.

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    two4hooking wrote: After playing with a lot of different woods, I am back to good old POC. I think they are very forgiving fly great and do what I need them to with a regular weighted head. Maybe those old timers figured out something back then and it is just taking me a while to come to the same conclusion. Everything in archery is a trade off….I think POC cut to just above draw length with a 125 or 145 grain 2 blade head is about the most forgiving and balanced shaft I have used…and it has been proving its effectiveness to me on the deer. Hard to find the good stuff anymore but I recently bought some of the older stuff someone had squirreled away and I am impressed.

    :D:D

    Thanks, now I know there’s others out there. :D:D

    I’d almost bet the shafts you got are where I got some too.

    Ralph

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    I think you fellows might be splitting hairs…. And I don’t mean with your bow 😯

    It’s like arguing about which is better; bud or bud light? The important thing is they are both beer. And while you can argue about what beer is better, as long as you have one in your hand, it doesn’t really matter.

    Pope argued in his book that birch was best. He’s an old timer too I think.

    Anyway, I have found the merits of a wood arrow, whatever its flavor, make me a happier hunter πŸ˜€

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Steve:

    Not necessarily promoting cedar over any other wood, Howard Hill preferred cedar and he was a pretty good archer, just relating to the fact that there are those of us that still use tried and true arrow and broadhead combinations, see not the necessity of the “new” traditions, and enjoy the resulting venison meals. πŸ˜€

  • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
    Member
    Post count: 197

    Exactly!

    They end up just as dead ??

    Like Kenny Rogers used to say, “it is the wood that makes it good”!

  • peter Vermouthpeter Vermouth
    Member
    Post count: 916

    How did we get from traditional archery to rocket science?

    I have a hammer story to tell…

    Terry (the sane brother) got a hammer he really liked, and because he is such a nice guy, he gave one to each his 3 brothers for Christmas. Nice guy. Several years later we were putting a roof on Dad’s house, and the hammers got mixed up. Didn’t think much of it… at first. Then Terry came over dropped my hammer in front of me, and said “Your hammer sucks.” I couldn’t convince him that I had not modified the hammer, until he tried Mike’s (the mean brother) hammer and decided he didn’t like that one either.

    I also know a slater that used the same slater’s hammer for 18 years, because “The new ones don’t work.”

    We adapt. If you are shooting bare bow, and all of your arrows are bent in the same direction, and to the same degree they will all shoot the same, and after 10,000 shots (give or take) you will be accurate. I am not convinced that the ABSOLUTE spine is all that important. What IS important is that the spine is CONSISTENT. Or….. The spine that YOU are used to. Which may be a lot different from what it is supposed to be.

    If you look at all of the shapes and sizes of both bows and arrows over the eons it is obvious that there is a lot of variability in what works.

    Remember that if I wore pants with a 36″ inseam, I would do a face plant before I got out of the kitchen.

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Yeppers, there’s a lot to “making work what ya got”.

    Of course there’s extremes one way or the other that ain’t never gonna be totally right but there’s lots of little, simple things you can do to a bow to maybe match it to an arrow rather than spending money on different arrows all the time. I got a lots of time and little money.

    Simple to me, buy wood arrows 5 lbs. stiffer than bow weight at my draw length, cut to 29 1/4″ so that makes a finished arrow of 28 1/4″ (One main key, spend more time on making sure the shafts are straight than about anything else you do), put 3- 5″ feathers (4″ works fine for me too), left wing my preference. Put 125 gr. or maybe 145 gr. points on them and shoot.

    May have to diddle with side plate in/out, nock set up down.

    That works for me, simple, no complications. Arrows fly straight and true from my point of view, go into the target straight and I’m happy.

    I agree with with ya Grumpy, the old “KISS” works for me….has for eons.

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    Grumpy said… Remember that if I wore pants with a 36″ inseam, I would do a face plant before I got out of the kitchen.

    Cheers to guys who go get their coffee before putting their pants on! Best, dwc

  • John Cholin
    Member
    Post count: 24

    I’m new here so don’t take what I say too seriously. But, I am an engineer and have worked in aerodynamics and external ballistics.

    The helical fletch converts a fraction of the forward momentum of the arrow to rotational momentum. Once the arrow is rotating the helical pitch of the fletch the pitch of the fletch ceases contributing to arrow drag; so there will be no perceptible difference between helical and straight fletching in the CHANGE in arrow velocity due to drag once the arrow is a few yards from the bow – the energy expended in accelerating the arrow rotationally has done its job.

    An arrow rotating on its trajectory axis, like a rotating bullet, tends to compensate for the effect of imperfections in the projectile make in trajectory. If an imperfection tends to make the arrow veer left, as the projectile rotates 180 degrees that same imperfection will now be on the opposite side of the projectile and cause a veer to the right. On average, if the flight distance is long compared to the pitch of the rotation and the length of the projectile, a population of real, somewhat flawed rotating projectiles will produce a tighter group.

    That’s the abbreviated physics behind the arrow fletch from an engineers perspective. What you choose to use for your fltech is, of course, your choice.

    JMC

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Welcome Long John!

    I scrolled through this thread back a bit and cannot figure out to what you are responding.

    But I’ll throw my two scents in anyway πŸ˜€ One of the cool things about feathers is that one side is smoother than the other. Natures way of getting every little advantage, lift wise. The difference in surface texture causes one side to have more turbulent flow, and thus induces lift. On an arrow, this affect will spin the arrow.

    Thus, even straight feathers induce rotation.

    While I don’t think it makes a hill of beans difference one way or the other (as far as killing a deer or hitting a bulls eye) I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis of what happens when an arrow flies with helical feathers. In my experience, they do slow down at a faster rate than straight fletched arrows.

    In fact, many years ago I shot straight fletch and helical fletch through a crono and measured their speeds every yard out to 30 yards (compound bow with sights, archer with beer). The helical fletch curve dropped below the straight fletch curve and kept on dropping (made a pretty excel graph). I lost the data in a hardrive failure a few years back. But I seem to remember that at 30 yards, the velocity was at least 15 fps slower for the helical fletched arrows.

    I have found other advantages to using straight fletching too: Since the feather is not being stressed by bending around the shaft, it tends to last longer and it flies more quietly since the feathers are not causing so much turbulence. Not to mention being easier to put on the shaft in the first place…

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Dang Steve, beer causes the bed to do some weird helical’s sometimes too. No telling what you might be seein!!!!!!:roll:

    Left wing just more purty. πŸ˜€

    Steve I was thinking on this last night, so I’ll ask a question.

    I have no straight clamps nor a bow I wish to set up for plastic vanes so I won’t experiment with this but a question regarding shaft rotation arises in my little brain..

    If one fletches an arrow in straight fletch using plastic vanes which are smooth on both sides, will there be no spin in the arrow?

    Just wonderin…..:?:

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Ralph,

    I don’t guess there would be much rotation. In practice, it may rotate one way or the other just because it is impossible to glue all 3 fletchings perfectly straight.

    New Archery Products came out with a plastic vane called the “quick spin” vane several years ago. It has one side grooved and the other side smooth. Not sure how they managed to get a patent on a naturally occurring property of feathers, but they did.

    If a person didn’t know that wild turkeys beat NAP to the idea a few million years ago, you’d think them folks was genius’

    When they first came out with them, they were 4 and 5 inches long. Now that the short vanes are all the rage, they make them 2 and 3 inches long.

    My bitz jig was set up for helical and that’s the way I did it for years. But then I read an article from the ’30’s talking about the merits of the new fangled helical feathers and it got me to thinking 😳 I know, like pouring molasses is January. So I fletched up a half dozen straight and gave it a whirl.

    I ended up buying a new straight clamp and indexer for my bitz.

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Steve:

    I may buy a single fletch jig with a straight clamp so I can play around some this coming year.

    I have a Jo Jan 6 fletch with left helical clamps, set exactly how I like it and hate to mess it up for an experiment.

    I have gone to mostly 4″ feathers though, about 3 1/2″ if I’m 4 fletching.

    πŸ˜€ The 3 1/2″ just cause that’s the way they come out of one of my choppers..

    Doesn’t really matter much though, no matter what king of fletching, it hasn’t helped me hit a running turkey. Seems my stalking skills improve their running skills.:roll:

    Obviously there’s another aspect of archery other than fletchings that I need to work on.

    Maybe if the arrow wasn’t spinning they might not recognize it as a threat and just stand there looking stupid like with their pea sized brain you’d think they should be…Smart a**ed little ***ts

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    R2 wrote: … Doesn’t really matter much though, no matter what king of fletching, it hasn’t helped me hit a running turkey. Seems my stalking skills improve their running skills.:roll: …

    …Maybe if the arrow wasn’t spinning they might not recognize it as a threat and just stand there looking stupid like with their pea sized brain you’d think they should be…Smart a**ed little ***ts

    I know what you mean! They go from acting like they are too stupid to breath when hanging out next to the road, to spotting me as soon as they come over the hill 100 yards away through thick woods 😳

    But I get the idea behind your plan. And here’s my fool-proof πŸ™„ addition to it: Glue an acorn cap to the tip of the broadhead. That way, they’ll just think it’s an acorn falling out of the tree, and they will come running to it 😯

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    I know!!!:idea::idea:

    I’ll glue an acorn or two on my hat and they’ll know it’s just another nut loose in the woods. πŸ˜‰ They’ll come a runnin!!

    Ahh, there’s that runnin word again. 😑

    Never tried to shoot one comin at me though:)

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    To continue the straight fletch thoughts some more….

    Since I’ve gone to the straight clamp, I can now start to use the seven or eight shoe boxes full of right wing feathers I’ve got laying around. I figured I would trade those feathers to someone for something, but it never happened.

    Now I have two lifetimes of feathers to use πŸ˜€

    And another thought, since I am feather rich, is that I am going to try some six inch fletching 😯 to help stabilize the arrow faster as it comes off the bow. Since the fletching is straight, there’s not going to be a big loss in speed from doing this I anticipate.

    A longer fletch bucks the trend these days, but the trend is based on carbon arrows which have no need of stabilization. Being somewhat unstable myself 8) I can appreciate the need for a little help πŸ™„

  • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
    Member
    Post count: 197

    I like a longer feather also and I shoot a 5 1/2 inch parabolic.

    With more feather and my wood shafts cut as short as I can with my draw length I feel I get quick recovery and very stable flight especially with a big wing (broadhead) on the front of my arrow.

    There is another way that works but it goes against the current trend of way longer than draw length front loaded carbons and tiny fletch. IMO it is a simpler system and has a track record of proven results.

  • Forresterwoods
    Member
    Post count: 104

    A straight clamp works fine if you put some angle to the feathers. After all right winged feathers even if put on straight will give the arrow a right spin because of the ‘airplane’ wing lift design of each feather. That being said it seems like long very low profile feathers have less drag than very short high profile feathers…but I’m really not certain. (I’ve personally had less issues on very windy days with the lower profile feathers).

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    R2 wrote: …Simple to me, buy wood arrows 5 lbs. stiffer than bow weight at my draw length, cut to 29 1/4″ so that makes a finished arrow of 28 1/4″ (One main key, spend more time on making sure the shafts are straight than about anything else you do), put 3- 5″ feathers (4″ works fine for me too), left wing my preference. Put 125 gr. or maybe 145 gr. points on them and shoot…

    You hear things from time-to-time, and over-and-over, but they never really seem to click. Then one day, a-ha! Click.

    All the old timers will tell you the first thing to do is cut your arrows just past the arrow shelf. Howard Hill called any arrow hanging out past the back of the bow “dead wood”.

    Wood arrows are so simple to set up, if we let them be.

    And here’s an observation that may put me in the poo-poo house with the carbon crowd (to which I once belonged) 😳 πŸ™„ 😯 :

    Wood arrows fly like arrows. Carbon arrows fly like darts. What does this mean? Hmmm. Think on it…

  • Mountain ManMountain Man
    Member
    Post count: 41

    Hi,im mountain man,,,,,and im a wood arrow convert πŸ™‚

    I too tried carbon after carbon then aluminum and carbon again just cause im lazy and couldnt be bothered with building arrows

    Then i was saved showed the light,and now understand and embrace the true flight of the arrow!!

    One day at a time,,one day at a time

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Ahhh!!! The smell of cedar…:D

    Hard to make kindling out of carbon in a pinch uh!!!:wink:

    Just got through making up 18 woodies., Best cedar shafting I’ve come across in years. Very straight to start with, nice grain. One shaft spined 49#, three or four @52 the rest 50# or 51#. Weigh within 10 grs. Sweet

    Made’em up simple.

    One day at a time, know where you’re coming from, one arrow at a time too! πŸ˜€

    Just wonderin:? If you got your mind on your form, you got your mind on your spot? Just wonderin:D:D

    attached file
  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Was just wonderin what ol’Andy Capp would think about my carrying a quiver full of carbon darts into his pub one evening.

    He might not even notice giving it second thought, he never spots the canal before he’s wet.

    attached file
  • Forresterwoods
    Member
    Post count: 104

    Low profile long feathers with a slight angle seems to work best for long distances. Manchurian archers 600 years ago made arrows with 9″-12″ X 1/2″ profile and straight fletching. Right wing feathers will naturally turn to the right due to the ‘lift’ of the feather shape.

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    R2 wrote: …Just wonderin:? If you got your mind on your form, you got your mind on your spot? Just wonderin :D:D

    Be careful there R2, you are crossing into the badlands. Keeping your eye on the spot while your mind is on your form is like keeping two squaws in your tee pee. It may work for a short time, but soon enough the tee pee is gonna get burned down.

    And then you’ll be left standing there all alone and naked in the snow, with everything all shrunk up 😳 πŸ™„

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Two in one house!!!

    You be better off to take your woods to the woods and leave the fur to fly…

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Ralph,

    I have no idea what that means, but I laughed real hard anyway!

    Just got a bag of 500 spent 38 special shells in the mail yesterday. Snow on the ground means a day off so I’m gonna get them weighted to 125 grains, slap em on some old arrows, and go worry a few squirrel πŸ˜€

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    Probably good deal Steve. Have fun chasing squirrels.

    Civilization encroached on my old prairie dog hunting grounds.

    One of my best hunting/shooting days ever one time: I got two of those little buggers in one day. Normal count was zero.

    They never let you get close, you’re outnumbered, they always have a sentinel, and they can get in those burrows mighty, mighty quick.

    They got more to worry about than me hitting them with my arrow..

    attached file
  • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
    Member
    Post count: 197

    From today….snow finally melted (mostly)

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    So the snow melted, and you found that bow and arrow setup just laying there? I wonder who lost it?

    Better send it to me for safe keeping. I’ll make sure it gets back to the rightful owner πŸ˜€

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    Steve, I’ve tried that tactic any number of times and it just never works. Those nice white arrows won’t get lost in the snow now. best, dwc

  • R2R2
    Member
    Post count: 2309

    David:

    Next time I find a bow and some arrows laying about, I’ll be sure and get’em to you for safe keeping. πŸ˜‰

    Fair enough:?

    Be well,

    Ralph

  • Thomas Green
    Member
    Post count: 2

    TradBoot wrote: I’m a newbie and I have a new Bear Super Grizzly @ 45#.

    Using the “Yardstick” formula to determine “Draw Length” displayed on Page 73 of T. J. Conrad’s “The Traditional Bowhunter’s Handbook, my “length” is 26 inches.

    My first question is: what length should my wooden arrows be with nock before they put on field points or broadheads, both of which are 125 grains?

    My second question is that when I shoot a group of five arrows at “the box” they predominantly land to the left of my point of aim marker usually in a scattered up and down line. What or how do adjust? My body? My feet? point of aim?

    Thank you,

    TradBoot

    I am/was also experiencing this grouping to the left of my point of aim. For me the correction for this is to focus on a clean release. When I simply open my fingers on my release the darn arrow goes where I look. (Most all the time)

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Anybody try the Norway Spruce Shafts available from Kustom King?

    They are a might cheaper than other shafts seem to be.

    From looking at the properties of the wood it seems to be a bit weaker than our native Sitka Spruce. What got me thinking about it was reading an old book written back in the ’20’s on building / shooting English Long Bows. The author, James Duff, was a famous bowyer in both Europe and the US.

    Anyway, he was lamenting that since “the war”, Norway Spruce was no longer available in the states for arrows. He said it was better than anything else, and commenced to list all the usual suspect woods.

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    We had a big Norway Spruce that blew down in my dad’s yard sawed into boards to build a tree house. I was amazed how light the boards are and how rigid they seem. I’m interested to hear how it works for arrows. Thanks dwc

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    I tried to get some Norway Spruce Arrows from Kustom King, but they were out of the 50-55 spine. That’s when I learned that Lancaster Archery also carries them. They had the arrows in 50-55 and shipped the same day.

    I found the arrows to be straight. The grain is not as tight or straight as we have come to expect with POC or Sitka Spruce. There is also more run off than I would normally be comfortable with.

    The first step was to decide which end would be the nock end. I chose the end with the least run off as the nock end. As it turned out, the runoff was mostly within 1/3 shaft length of one end. This left the other end good and strong.

    The shafts are whiter than Sitka Spruce and when I stained them with my Canary Yellow dye, they really looked good.

    The finished weight of the shafts was about 10 grains less than Sitka Spruce shafts of the same specifications. I was hoping for a little more difference.

    That said, A friend got some shafts in 5/16 diameter and finished them out and they turned out to be 50 grains lighter than his sitka shafts. Not sure why the variation in results.

    Arrows fly true.

    Based on the shafts alone, I would rate them just below our American Sitka Spruce. But considering the price and sustainable nature of the wood, my choice for arrow wood in the future will likely be Norway Spruce.

    Sitka Spruce is becoming rare as it has not been sustainably harvested. It’s the usual story, chop it down with abandon and cry like a baby when the government protects the last remnants.

    The Germans have been managing their forests for hundreds of years (Aldo Leopold travelled to Germany to learn Forest Management from them). So this wood is not the 700 year old trees we are used to (and hence the less straight grain with more run off), but there is no danger of running out of it. Hence the better price and availability.

    I have some stumping arrows made up. The last test will be to take them for a walk in the woods and see if they hold up against the normal wear and tear. If they do, This will be my new favorite arrow wood.

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    So My stumping quiver had six arrows in it, three POC and three Norway Spruce.

    I am down to one POC and the three Norway Spruce.

    The NS does seem tougher than the POC by a fair amount.

    The most notable shot was a 50 yard shot that ended with the harsh sound of an arrow hitting rock. The arrow came down, then shot back up in the air and went off to the left into some thick tangles like a wounded deer to die.

    I figured that was it for that arrow. I wasn’t going to retrieve it, but then decided that I must in order to carry out this experiment correctly. After digging through the poison ivy for a while I came up with the arrow. It was still in one piece.

    I am reading Robert Elmer’s book “Target Shooting” written in the forties. He also extolls the merits of Norway Spruce.

  • David CoulterDavid Coulter
    Member
    Post count: 1983

    When are you going to try poison ivy vine? dwc

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    So having done a bunch of stumping this summer, I have made some changes to my arrows which seem to make them about as durable as can be hoped, without spending too much time / money….

    Step 1 – Strengthen the point end with a lamination. I have some 0.030 fiberglass scraps left over from bow making. 0.030 happens to be the width of my band saw blade kerf. Thus it was easy to add a two inch long lamination to the front of my arrows. So far I haven’t had an arrow break behind the blunt with this configuration. A wood lamination might work just as well.

    I gave this idea to Dave Petersen a few years ago and he put it to work. He told me the arrows held up well. I just have been too lazy to try it myself. I broke enough arrows this summer to finally get me motivated to try it myself.

    Step 2 – Wrap the front of the feathers with thread. An arrow sent speeding through the brush or the grass seems to have a proclivity for getting it’s feathers lifted off by a grass blade or twig slicing perfectly down the glue joint. Thread wrapped around and then dabbed with glue stops that.

    attached fileattached file
  • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
    Member
    Post count: 197

    Steve, i just made up a batch of birch with a black walnut lamination about the same length. I’ll report on durability once i test them. Good sdpect with wood is i can still taper with my taper tool.

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    Birch, or laminated birch?

    I bought some laminated birch years ago, but it was crazy heavy.

  • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
    Member
    Post count: 197

    Sorry, not sure where birch came from? I meant to type POC with black walnut wedges.

  • Greg RaganGreg Ragan
    Member
    Post count: 197

    OK, had a chance to test my walnut footed ones and I am sad to report a rock in my yard showed that the break still occurred just in back of the point. Actually broke the wedge in two just like a normal arrow. I think if you foot with something like fiberglass like Steve is doing you may get some increased durability, but with a hardwood I think the thinness of the footing does not provide that much to make it worth the extra work.

    I think I will pursue normal 4 eared footing with a router in the future.

    Again I think I have learned that the easy way is not as good as the long hard way.

    Greg

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    I’ve made the 2 eared footings without needing any jigs. They are just as good as the 4 eared footing.

    The good thing about footings is that you can make broken arrows new again.

    So far I have had no failures with the fiberglass footing. They will get a good workout this year when squirrel season opens 😳

  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    So far, No broken arrows with the fiberglass “footings”

    I beat them against a bunch of rocks in Colorado. The worst that has happened is that the blunts need to be replaced, and the nocks blow off the back of the arrow. The nocks actually break apart from the impact.

    Here’s an arrow from last night. The arrow smacked rock. No worries, the squirrel was unharmed, as usual 😳

    In the picture you can see how the brass was folded over on itself, and the lead in the end of the point swelled out as it was crushed.

    Dang tough to bust an arrow….

    attached file
  • Stephen Graf
    Member
    Post count: 2118

    So I have yet again rediscovered another truth that has been known and forgotten…

    I’ve been fool’in with 5 1/2 inch fletching on my woodies. Β This only makes sense if you fletch your arrows with straight feathers (no helical, no offset). Β See earlier in thread for justification of such an “unorthodox” configuration.

    You can’t make an arrow so equipped fly bad. Β They seem really well behaved. Β They also seem to penetrate the target more than arrows with 5 inch fletch.

    I heard rumor that Howard Hill used 6 inch fletching… Β But I don’t see how. Β He’d have to have a good 7 inches brace heigh on his bow to accommodate such a beast. Β Still…

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