Home Forums Bows and Equipment Help with dogwood self arrows

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    • Wileybuster
      Post count: 11

      Just cut a bunch of dogwood shoots for my first attempt at making some stone tipped self arrows. I understand that winter months are better time to cut shoots, but I just decided to give it a whirl. Problem is I am not sure where to go from here! Should I let them dry before I peel them? Should I peel them first? Straightening? Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Since you cut them with the sap up I would dry them and then peel them. They might split if you peel them now although the bark will come off easier when green. Put them up in the attic for about 3 weeks and see how dry they get. You could probably peel them then without worry. Also may help to tie them up in a bundle to minimize warping while drying. It gets warm enough in my shed during summer to dry things but if you don’t have a shed the attic works or even a car not being used that gets sunlight.
      I use heat to straighten but try not to burn with an open flame. A small rasp and a cabinet scraper will help smooth out the occasional knot and get the diameter more uniform. It’s alot of work but dogwood makes a heavy indestructible shaft.

    • Wileybuster
      Post count: 11

      Thanks for the insight. I cut them at pretty high elevation in the mountains and the plants have just started to bud out so sap shouldn’t be extremely high. But definately not cut while dormant. I will give it a whirl and see what happens!

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Duncan’s advice is great, but I’ll add a few things. I’ve never worked with dogwood but have used many others such as sparkleberry, arrow wood, yaupon, etc. All are more or less the same in what it takes to make a good shaft.

      I usually cut mine pretty big because they tend to shrink a little when they dry. Also, the bark makes up a good bit of the diameter so you loose a lot when you scrape that off.

      I’d do a little pre straightning before bundling and drying. It’ll make it easier later.

      ch

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