Home Forums Bows and Equipment Grain runout: Perhaps the most important aspect of a wooden arrow

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    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      I broke a beautiful, and nearly new, hickory arrow today. (Ouch!) Anyone interested in making wooden arrows can benefit from this. The arrow broke directly along the grain, splitting cleanly down the shaft. Had the arrow only been damaged-but not broken-I may well have unknowingly picked it up and shot it again. The compromised shaft could then have broken upon release and shattered in front of my face, sending shards toward my bow hand. Here are a few pics to illustrate the importance of aligning the grain runout of your wooden arrow with its cock feather.

      1) Top view of arrow; cock feather facing toward bottom of picture.

      2) Side view of arrow; cock feather facing viewer of picture.

      3) Bottom view of arrow; cock feather facing toward top of picture.

      4) Pieces of broken arrow. Cock feather, attached to top piece, facing toward bottom of picture.

      Keep in mind that I am a right-handed archer. For a lefty, the cock feather would face the opposite direction.

      Grain runout may be the most important aspect of making a wooden arrow. A wooden arrow tends to break along its grain; if it should break upon release, the orientation of the grain will tend to dictate which direction the shards fly. If the grain faces up (thus, away from your hand) you have the least chance of sending an arrow shard into your bow hand. If it faces down, you may find yourself in the ER.

    • wahoo
      Member
      Post count: 413

      that’ good I always refer back to TJ’S book when I build arrows . That hickory looks real nice

    • Stumpkiller
      Member
      Post count: 193

      You are right. That arrow shows terrible grain run out. You ahould violate no more than three or four rings for the whole length.

    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      Yah the runout on that one was somewhat extreme. Hickory has an open grain and the runout varies from arrow to arrow; sometimes even within the same arrow. This arrow took a direct hit to metal. You can see in the second picture that even the judo got bent. Pretty dramatic death, sparks and everything.

    • shotsome
      Post count: 33

      So Ben. let me ask you a question, How do you determine which end to knock on raw hickory shafts? I have not built arrows on hickory before,,,but I have built ramrods out of hickory. The best are made from hickory splits, the arrows in the picture seem to be of the doweling type. Lots of stories about doweling breaking with a light amount of side pressure applied with straight force. Have thought about making arrows with split ramrod hickory as they come in several diam. They will cost a bunch though.

      Thanks for sharing safety issue. Ernest

    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      I wish I had some sort of really great reply for you, but the truth is I buy them nock tapered from Allegheny Mtn. Arrow Woods. Bill decides for me. In my experience, these shafts are extremely tough and durable. Out of thousands of shots I’ve broken only 8 now. Six from shooting at the same target twice, one in a doe, and this one. Before switching to hickory I shot cedar; broke ’em almost as fast as I could make ’em!

    • shotsome
      Post count: 33

      Thanks Ben,,,that sounds like an “Easy” button,

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