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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I just accidentally discovered an excellent test for the likelihood of a broadhead tip to withstand hard impact on bone without bending or breaking.

      I am currently building wood hunting arrows for this season’s elk hunt (more to come about the whole setup once it’s finished, for those interested). Because the shafts are Sitka spruce, which appears to be susceptible to breaking behind the head as readily as cedar, I’m using 2″ lengths of 2413 aluminum shafting as reinforcement collars behind the heads. Happily, they fit snugly onto 11/32 shafts simply by heating a little to expand the metal; no glue necessary. (If the shafts have been dipped with lacquer or poly, they’ll be too thick to accept the sleeves, but Tung oil doesn’t build a film on the surface and works just fine.) In order to assure that the back of the heads will rest snugly against the front of the sleeves, I decided to sacrifice a much-used head that’s been through a couple of elk already, including bones, totally undamaged. I started by slipping the sleeves down as far as they would go onto the shafts, then heating the sleeves to expand them and sitting the Tuffhead 300 sacrifice head atop the sleeve and tapping the sleeve into place by using a hammer on the tip if the head. It worked great and all the sleeves are now perfectly positioned to glue on the new hunting heads. What surprised the heck out of me is that after all that hammering to prep a dozen shafts, using a steel carpenter’s hammer, left absolutely no visible dulling or distortion of any kind on the broadhead tip! Now that’s good steel and proof of the strength of the Tanto tip design. I doubt that any of the thinner or softer steel cut-on-contact broadheads no matter how many blades, which so many still swear by, could withstand this test. In fact I doubt that Tuffhead’s own Meathead could withstand repeated firm hammer blows without some deformity, not because the steel isn’t the same hardness but simply because it’s much thinner than the Tuffheads in order to get the weight down. This is one more vote for thick single-bevels, added to the fact that the thicker the steel, the wider the bevel shelf and thus the greater the torque when penetrating bone. Not on the level of the accidental discovery of penicillin, granted, yet a simple test of structural quality that anyone can perform for themselves.

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      Dave,

      Do you hot glue the heads on so you can take them of to sharpen? I am seriously considering doing woods this winter so I am looking forward to your tutorial on the build.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Yes, hot-melt glue is the standard for attaching heads to wood shafts. While not as easy as screw-in, it still allows you to change points, target to broadhead, etc., at will. In a pinch you can do it in camp with a cigarette lighter. What glue-on does not allow that’s easy with screw-ins, is the use of various weighted internals. Thus, with screw-ins I start with a 300-grain head and there’s almost no limit to how much heavier I can make it with internals. My current elk heads are 450 total. But with a woodie, you can’t go much beyond the weight of the head itself (that “much” being, in my case, the 2″ aluminum external sleeves which weight 20 grains).

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      Dave

      On the wood weight issue, to your knowledge, has anyone ever pressured treat any wood shafts? Was wondering if a woodie could be pressure treated with some sort of flexible poly for the first 4 or 5 inches, to make them more resistant to breaking.

      Just an idea than rattled around in my head.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I’m afraid I know nothing about it, though I agree that on the surface it sounds like a good idea, as does compressing shafts. But the latter is so expensive I don’t even know where to buy them any more, and I’ve not heard of the former being tried. I’m sure others here know more.

    • handirifle
      Post count: 409

      OK, thanks. Just another marble rattling around that had to be heard.:lol:

      I figure if you throw out enough marbles, eventually one might connect.

    • mgerard
      Post count: 19

      What about the Woody Weights for adding/changing the point weight on wood shafts?

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      This question comes up fairly often. I bought some and played around with them a few years ago when they first came out, and determined I won’t trust them to hunt with. Even with a good metal-to-metal glue bond, which can be a challenge, the problem remains that you now have lengthened the head and put a lot more weight forward of the shaft attachment. This creates a lot of added torque and greatly increases the chance of breaking the shaft right behind the head with bone hits, which I did repeatedly when test shooting at an angle into fire-hardened trees. That’s my concern and I don’t see any way around it, as convenient as it would be if it worked reliably. Like all rules there are no doubt exceptions where people have made clean kills with WWs, but I’m yet to hear anyone describe hitting heavy bone at an angle without shaft breakage. At that late stage in my hunting career I have zero tolerance for wounding and losing animals, so perhaps I’m “overly cautious,” though that seems an impossibility when we’re sticking arrows into living beings.

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Just a reminder: Structural integrity of the entire arrow system is THE most important penetration factor. Whenever structural integrity of the arrow fails nothing else about the arrow setup matters.

      Ed

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