Home Forums Bows and Equipment Getting into woods…What do I need?

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    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      I didn’t want to highjack USMC’s thread so I started my own.

      Say I wanted to get started into building wood arrows. What are the essentials?

      So far it seems like I need:

      1) A shaft straightener
      2) Dip tube
      3) Taper tool

      Anything else?

      I’m talking about building BASIC but functional wood arrows. Nothing fancy. Not ready for cresting yet.

      Also..how do I figure out my spine? I draw 31″ and shoot a 56# longbow at 31. I plan on weighting the ends at around 175-195g for field points.

      -LL

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      A dip tube would be necessary if you prefer paint on the crown and shaft. I’ve painted arrows with spray paint and done pretty well.

      Straigthener – If you feel you need it. You can also straighten by hand.

      Taper Tool – if you are going to make wood arrows, the accuracy is solely dependent upon how well you taper the nock and point – a woodchuck taper tool is the way to go.

      Cresting – if you do a search you will see my home made creating jig i made. It is really nothing more than a $10 sewing machine motor secured to a piece of wood.

      Paints – Craft stores and Wally World carries Folk Art paint which is very inexpensive. The key with paint is use quality brushes and think small. Sharpie paint pens work well for cresting also.

      Make yourself an arrow rack for drying.

      Poly Gloss or Gasket Lacquer for sealing a must.

      Fletching Jig… you can get a Bear Paw fletching jig – very inexpensive and use fletch tape forattaching feathers. Fletch tape is the best thing since bottled beer.

      Good Luck.. please feel free to PM me if you have questions.

    • George D. Stout
      Post count: 256

      Do you draw 31″ or are your arrows 31″. If your arrow is 31 you would need at least a 32″ shaft to start with….about what P.O. cedars come in. And, with that heavy a point, you would be looking at 75/80 or there about…you would really need to try a few different spines. Fastflight or dacron, how much centershot, etc.

      You don’t need a lot to make cedar or other wood arrows. A taper tool, hack saw, some cheap dip tubes…can be pvc pipe.

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      I actually draw 30.5″. My current arrows are all 31″. I like the broadhead snug up against my finger when I draw a hunting arrow.

      I use Dacron 18 strand strings.

    • CarolinaBob
      Post count: 28

      Basic: use wipe on stain and wipe on poly don’t need a dip tube. Use a screw driver as a tool to straighten the shafts, a fletching jib. Spend it now and buy a Bitz, the best. When you buy the shafts pay to get the nock end tapers ground. The front end is not as critical. Just my two cents. Have fun.

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      I already have a jig guys. I fletch my own arrows. That is covered.

    • Fletcher
      Post count: 177

      If you have a fletching jig, you have most of what you need. The shaft is the most important part of the arrow, so if you want good arrows, get good shafts. Nock and point tapers are important, too. I’ve heard good reports on the new Bear Paw taper tool, but most of the pencil sharpener types do an OK job at best. They also don’t work well with hardwwods or fir. Many shaft suppliers can cut to length grind accurate nock and point tapers for you.

      Minwax stains and oil base polyurethane work great and are readily available. A dip tube is nice for the poly, but not necessary. You can wipe or brush it on just as well; you’ll be happier if you wear nitrile or latex gloves. 3 coats. Duco is the glue of choice for polyurethane. Points can be installed with epoxy or hot melt, just make sure to clean the points first.

      Let us know how it’s going and we’ll keep you pointed ahead.

      Rick

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      Well I can’t afford a woodchuck taper tool right now.

      I’m actually debating on starting off with some pre-tapered/finished shafting and nocking/fletching them myself.

      I’d like a little experience with them before jumping in and doing my own.

    • Fletcher
      Post count: 177

      LL, if you have access to a disk sander you can use a guide and make excellent tapers.

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      I’m also considering getting into wood arrows, but making mine will most likely be a very slow process. This will help me with figuring out the highest priority items to procure.

      Michael.

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      Yep…I actually just ordered a set from Rick to see what this was all about.

      I’ll start making some but it will take awhile to get started. I’ll probably buy a taper tool first. I don’t have a belt sander.

    • SteveMcD
      Member
      Post count: 870

      The very basics to make a wood arrow:

      ‘”

        n”.self::process_list_items(“‘.str_replace(‘
        ‘, ”, ‘
        A Flecth Jig
        Feathers of your choice
        Bohning Fletch Tape
        Taper Tool (Bear Paw is superior to the existing pencil sharpemer type tools)
        Duco Glue or Super Glue for Nock and Points
        Nocks
        Wipe On Stain
        Minwax Clear Gloss Ploy
        0000 Very Fine Steel wool
        ‘).'”).”n

      “‘

      First taper your nock and points
      Second – Brush – Wipe On Stain (Minwax is good – your color preference – multiple coats to darken – let each coat dry first – stain nock & point taper as well).
      Third – Wipe on Clear Poly. Let dry and then smooth wipe finish with 0000 Steel wool – repaet with next coat of clear Poly ( I do 4 coats of Clear Poly to complete – be sure to do the nock and point ends as well – this seals out moisture and prevents warping).
      Fourth – put on your arrow nocks – arrow nocks should be perpendicular to wood grain, Meaning grain needs to be horizontal when the arrow is nocked on the bowstring. (your grain “pointers” will be on the top and bottom of the shaft when nocked on bowstring).
      Fifth step – Fletch your arrows – when using fletch tape
      put a tiny drop of Super glue on both ends of the fletch when attached to the shaft.
      Last – attach field points or broadheads – some folk wipe out the point ferrule with Acetone for better contact – personally I’ve never seen any difference ( for broadheads I always check for a good fit before I permanent glue and spin test – I also have my broadheads sharpened before I attach them to the shaft -be sure to use some type of broadhead tool when attaching for safety sake).
      (Whether you mount broadheads vertically, horizontally or somewhere in between doesn’t matter it is all about individual preference – mine are mounted in the 2 to 8 o’clock position, so when I cant my bow and aim I have a clear unobstructed sight picture. Since we all do not shoot broadheads year round it is critical that you are very comfortable with your broadhead sight picture).
      Let em fly!

    • NY Yankee
      Post count: 10

      Learn how to straighten wood shafts by hand. It’s not difficult. I hold the shaft in my hands, thumbs on the shaft like you want to snap the shaft in half for kindling. That is the position. Now very gently flex the shaft in the opposite direction of the bend in the shaft. It only takes light tension as you are working a very small area. What you have to do is “work” or “knead” the shaft up and down the length of it to work out the bends. You will get the feel for how much pressure you need. If you hear a loud “crack” that’s too much pressure LOL. Any way, like I said, it’s real easy to over stress the shaft so be gentle and work up. This is easier than working it over the palm of your hand. At least for me it is.

    • Cottonwood
      Post count: 311

      LimbLover has an great write up at http://www.longbowblogger.com on his woods that he got from Rick at The Feathered Shaft.

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      Thanks Jon!

      My eyes are honestly open now. I made a set of my own woods this weekend out of some laminate birch clearance shafts I picked up from 3 Rivers.

      I went home this weekend so my folks could spend time with their Granddaughter and my Dad had a lot of leftover stain and polyurethane so I decided to give it a try. All I had was a taper tool and straightened by hand between coats of poly. I did all of my sanding with steel wool. They actually turned out pretty nice. On the heavy side though. They shot a lot better out of my 65# longbow than my 56# longbow. Those laminate birch shafts are heavy arrows. Rick’s douglas firs were 680g and these are a whole lot heavier, even with a 145g tip.

      I can’t wait to get some more shafts and try again. I’m having a blast right now!! Ricks are on the left and obviously look a whole lot better than mine. I just used a basic satin finish and had to hand-brush/rub everything in.

    • Patrick
      Member
      Post count: 1148

      Cottonwood wrote: LimbLover has an great write up at http://www.longbowblogger.com on his woods that he got from Rick at The Feathered Shaft.

      I’ll second that.

    • turtlebunting
      Post count: 103

      what about a arrow saw? u can get one pretty cheap thourgh http://www.sportsmanguide.com. i and its a good saw. i have one.

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      I like a 31″ arrow so – with added taper – I haven’t had to cut my shafts down at all.

      That wouldn’t be a bad idea though. I keep cutting my aluminums off with a hack saw and then finish them with a dremel.

    • Fletcher
      Post count: 177

      A saw is a pretty good idea, but you can do well with less than a high speed machine. Mark the shaft and roll it under a sharp knife or cut with a fine tooth saw. I made a saw guide kinda like a small mitre box with an adjustable stop that worked very well.

      Most of the high speeds use a cutoff wheel that works great with alum or carbon, but not so well with wood, basically burning through the shaft. It took some searching but I finally found a half inch hole wood blade to work with my Horizon.

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      My local shop had a great deal on some Chundoo shafting in both of my spines 80/85 and 85/90. I picked some up this weekend and they were all very straight. I worked on them all weekend as my wife was out of town.

      I’m definitely getting better with practice. I’m still using oil-based stains and wipe-on Minwax Polyurethane.

      The oil-based stain reacted funky to these shafts. Very inconsistent. I’m wondering if the shafts had a little build up on them from sitting around and it prevented the stain from totally saturating? Each shaft came out a little bit different. lol They look unique though!

      I’ve already noticed that my laminate birch shafts are much harder to straighten and keep straight than the Chundoo. I’ll post pics when I am finished!! Just fletching right now.

      Boy this is fun!!! I’ve converted another friend already. 😀

    • Fletcher
      Post count: 177

      Many of the chundoo shafts were burninshed, which slightly compresses the outside of the shaft, making it harder for the stains to penetrate. If your shafts had a slick, shiney finish, this is probably the case. The alcohol base dyes will penetrate much better, but don’t show the wood’s grain like a stain will. The oil base stains and Minwax Poly are very good for arrows. Chundoo, also known as Lodgepole Pine, makes very good arrows.

      Lam birch can be challenging to straighten and can have 2 or 3 bends. Work one bend at a time. Heat can be a big help. Get it about as hot as you can stand to handle, push it a little past straight and hold it for a bit while the shaft cools some. Keep working it and checking the straightness. Stand the shaft upright to let it cool evenly. Repeat as necessary. Heat also can help hook straightening.

      Don’t forget to have fun!

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      I’m in the process of making my first ever self-arrow. LOL. I had some Douglas Fir that I cut last year while firewooding, and finally got around to cutting a chunk out to try and make an arrow out of. I whittled and whittled with my knife until I had it decently (?) straight from one end to the other, and I started sanding from there. While it does still have some wobbles and bobbles in it in spots where I got too carried away with my knife, I think it might just fly for me by the time I’m don. I completely wore out a 3″x4″ piece of sand paper working on it, now I need another piece. LOL. It’s not perfectly round, nor are the tapers that I have on it perfectly centered, but I’m looking forward to putting a point on it eventually and a nock, and bareshafting it, just to see what I have so far. I think the overall length right now is about 33 1/2″ from end of taper to end of taper. Not sure on the diameter, but it varies, depending where you’re at on the shaft. LOL. Gonna be fun.

      Michael.

    • LimbLover
      Post count: 299

      Fletcher wrote: Many of the chundoo shafts were burninshed, which slightly compresses the outside of the shaft, making it harder for the stains to penetrate. If your shafts had a slick, shiney finish, this is probably the case. The alcohol base dyes will penetrate much better, but don’t show the wood’s grain like a stain will. The oil base stains and Minwax Poly are very good for arrows. Chundoo, also known as Lodgepole Pine, makes very good arrows.

      Lam birch can be challenging to straighten and can have 2 or 3 bends. Work one bend at a time. Heat can be a big help. Get it about as hot as you can stand to handle, push it a little past straight and hold it for a bit while the shaft cools some. Keep working it and checking the straightness. Stand the shaft upright to let it cool evenly. Repeat as necessary. Heat also can help hook straightening.

      The 85/89 were super shiny. In fact, I fletched all of one spine in one color fletching and another spine in another color to avoid confusion and I accidentally fletched one up like the other and could easily find it again out of a stack of 12 arrows.

      Great tips on the laminate birch. You are right, there are 3 small kinks or bends in almost every shaft and it is driving me nuts to straighten without heat.

      I’m probably going to stick with the Chundoo and Doug Fir. I really like those two woods for arrows.

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