Home Forums Bows and Equipment How do I straighten wood arrows?

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    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      I recently just bought my first 2 dozen raw wooden shafts at ETAR this weekend – made from ash by Allegheny Mountain Arrowwoods.

      I’ve never made arrows from start to finish before, and am wondering how I would go about straightening out the few warped arrows.

      Thanks a bunch! 😀


    • Alexandre Bugnon
      Post count: 681

      I heat up the warped part of the arrow with friction, then sight down the shaft close to my dominant eye, and straighten the shaft by hand.


      Also a great book to own is “the traditional bowhunter’s handbook” by T.J Conrads.

    • David Petersen
      Post count: 2749

      What Alex said. To create that friction lay the shaft on a flat surface with the bend up, then rub something round and hard, like a screwdriver shaft, back and forth on it while pressing down. Unless it’s a really bad bend that alone should straighten it. I always buy premium shafts and can’t recall having a bent one.

    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      I’ve bought shafts from Bill at Allegheny too, and have had great results. Made quite a bit of meat with them, matter-o-fact. Soft shafts like cedar and sitka spruce can be straightened without heat, but harder shafts like ash and (especially) hickory will quickly revert to their original shape if cold-straightened. I use an alcohol burning lamp or an electric heat gun, as friction heat on hardwood shafts has never worked for me.

      Imagine the warped area as an arch. Heat it evenly, set one end on a stable surface (like a workbench), hold the other end in one hand. Set the crown of the arch up (like a bridge) and rub it with a rounded tool (I use a brass hook). This will crush the wood on the top side and pull the wood on the bottom side, resulting in a straight shaft. Sight & resight until the whole thing is straight.

      It can be a struggle at first but once a guy gets the hang of it, straightening isn’t hard work. Post pics of your progress, and enjoy!

    • Ed Ashby
      Post count: 816

      I found a straightening trick when I was testing a lot with the hickory shafts, which can be the devil to straighten, and didn’t stay straight as well as they should. I took a 3” diameter, nylon wheel and filed a groove in the middle of the wheel, all the way around, using a 3/8” round file. The wheel came with the mounting already attached. I mounted that on a short piece of 2X4 board, then mounted that on a slightly longer piece of 2×4, and mounted that on a third piece of 2×4. I clamped that third board into a bench vice, wheel up. Heat the shaft in the area of the bend and roll the high side back and forth across the wheel while flexing the shaft downward. Works slick and fast, and gave better ‘retention’ than hand straightening.


    • shreffler
      Post count: 69

      Thanks for all of the responses guys. Dr. Ashby, that definitely sounds like the best and easiest option, but I think I’ll give all of your suggestions a try and see which works best 😀

    • Forresterwoods
      Post count: 104

      I find hardwood shafts with an interlocking grain like red balau or leopard wood are not so prone to warping like ash and hickory. That being said, I find the best and quickest way is over the gas stove. Slightly heat up the side with downward bend then hold in oposite direction past straight while holding against cold counter. If stubborn bend, rub the heated side on the smooth counter edge. (The heated side expands which helps to straighten). Hold opposite bend until cool gives a new shape to the wood.


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