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 Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…

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Marty
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PostSubject: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 7:05 am

Why go through all that when you can just buy finished wooden arrows Question

Building your own wooden arrows for traditional bows allows you to create both a signature look to your arrow, as well as a complement to your particular style.  Unlike uniform man-made shaft materials, shafts of wood demand individual attention when selecting for proper spine and straightness.  Regardless of how much passion and effort(hunting for your turkey quills to burn, gathering your own sinew and shaft materials from nature, making your own broadheads from steel or flint, etc.) you may put into manufacturing each arrow component, taking game with a shaft of wood you designed and assembled yourself will surely be especially satisfying.  I am no master arrow builder by any stretch of the imagination… as I’ve seen wooden arrows by others that are simply way-too pretty to scuff-up.  Here I thought I’d just touch upon how little of equipment/materials are actually needed for start-up in making fully-functional, wooden arrows of hunting ability.  Aside from purchasing the raw wooden shafts (I don’t whittle my own) and preferred arrow dressings (feathers, nocks, paint, etc.), all you need to get started are a Tapering Tool

 
 for the Nock End and one for the Point End, a Fletching Jig for feathers,


and an Arrow Spine Tester.   The Spine Tester can be the most expensive item to purchase depending on how sophisticated it is… or how deep your wallet can be.   Alternatively, you can make your own Spine Tester

(Black arrow is where weight is placed). 
 
like frugal me (which actually turned-out to be a fun and satisfying project in itself) and many others have done if you understand the basic design principles behind it.  I’ll start with a typical Spine (stiffness) Tester for wooden arrows.   In general, a measurable degree of shaft deflection results from suspending a 2 pound weight in the center (red arrow) of a 26” span (yellow arrows) for a bare wooden shaft.  That deflection is then compared to other shafts in terms of stiffness.

You can find several designs on the internet to make a simple yet accurate Spine Tester.  My particular Tester followed basic design concepts.   I calibrated the arched incremental scale on my Tester by performing spine tests on several aluminum arrows of different stiffness (1816’s, 2016’s, 2115’s, 2018’s, 2117’s, etc.) that typically fly well in traditional bows,




(zeroed)


(readout after adding 2 lb. weight)

and noted the numerical degree of deflection on the scale.   I then used these numbers as standard references in determining the relative spine of any wooden arrow shaft.
 
 

(zeroed)


 (2 lb. weight added)

Other essential arrow making components include Fletching/nock Glue and tip Cement.

 
That’s basically it in a nutshell for starters.  

So if you’re still shooting aluminum arrows out of your traditional bow and looking for a related hobby, or ready to stack-on yet another elemental challenge to your bowhunting, give wooden arrow building a try.  Good luck, and…
 
 “May all your wooden arrows fly straight and true”.    Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 7:59 am

When I was twelve, my buddy and I would "build" our own arrows because we couldn't afford the store-bought ones. No aluminum or composite arrows then, just wood.
We'd go to the hardware store and go through his whole inventory of dowel rods to find straight ones. We had read that cedar shafts were the best but he only had pine.
We would glue a field point or a blunt (empty pistol case) on the end and saw a notch for a nock. Then we'd eyeball the feathers in place and use Scotch tape to hold the ends of the feathers down while the glue set.

The arrows worked good enough for practice but the spine wasn't correct so there was too much flex.

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 8:05 am

I'll have to ask my Lakota friend how he makes his. He makes his bows too. I'm sure he does it without any modern tools. He uses the old method passed down to him. I can't imagine doing it all by hand. What would he cut down for material? I know the bow is oak, but what would he use for arrows?

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 8:15 am

I cut a long thick piece of Osage orange several years ago with the intention of making a long bow out of it when I retired. I've been retired for 12 years now and it's still standing in a corner of the barn.

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 8:36 am

At least you had the thought of doing it. I wouldn't even try.

Maybe if someone showed us how to do it we might try it. Trying to figure out on our own seems impossible. I shouldn't speak for you though. You may know how to do it.

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 8:46 am

I've got an old book that describes it. In fact, I got the book when I was a boy scout so you know it's old.

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 9:28 am

Marty, I have an old Bitzenburger Fletchmaster fletching jig in great shape.  You can have it for the price of postage to get it to you if you want it.  I used to fletch a lot of arrows in my "younger" days.  I only have the Helical clamp.  I had a straight clamp at one time, not sure where that went.

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Last edited by Smokin' Joe on January 25th 2018, 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Marty
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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 4:18 pm

Nice Jig and appreciate the offer 'Joe, but I'm all set for a helical.   Wink

Perhaps there's a forum member who'll be able to put it to use.
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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   January 17th 2018, 4:35 pm

Wow that is one hell of a set up Marty!
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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   February 26th 2018, 1:49 pm

Wow, what an operation guys..... cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   February 27th 2018, 11:24 am

Great pictures and gear.

side note.....most of my archery shooting was at ground squirrels and jackrabbits. I bought full length dyed feathers (NOT white turkey feathers as they are not as tough) and used the part with the higher oil lines and used a Herter's burner. (which I still have) They took a lot of abuse and did the job.

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   February 27th 2018, 7:00 pm

Hey Joe, is your clamp a right wing or left wing, I might can use it. Pam and I have been making our own arrows for 35 years. We use mainly natural turkey barred feathers. We also use a feather burner, most folks don't know what that is but I bet you do.

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PostSubject: Re: Basic TOOLS for building Traditional Wooden Arrows…   February 27th 2018, 7:24 pm

I sure do Jerry 😀. I used to fletch all my arrows with turkey feathers. Once they were all glued up I would cut the feathers to shape with a feather burner. 
My jig set was left wing  Sorry, I don’t have it any more, sold it. 😩

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