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Wooden arrows... a build along.

If you like to tinker with big or small projects and make new gadgets, this forum is for you. From arrow building to making a new kind of rest to replacing the cables and strings off your compound, here's a place where you can find like-minded people to discuss your ideas.

Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby Stykshooter » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:32 pm

I built a simple wooden rack to hold my arrows while they are being crested.

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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby Stykshooter » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:34 pm

Once they have been dipped and crested it is time to install the nocks. Before I glue them on I clean up the nock taper. By now they have 3-5 coats of various stains and dips on them and it is hard to get a nock on straight. I run them through my Wood Chucker to grind off all of that paint and get it back to bare wood. This gives me a good, clean, true surface to install the nocks on. If I am shooting Florescent nocks, I will generally then just dip the nock cone in some white paint and let it dry. Then I will glue on the flo. nock. It makes the nocks glow 10 times brighter in the woods.

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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby Stykshooter » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:41 pm

Having the nock properly aligned with the grain of the arrow is one of the most important things to get right when making wooden arrows. You can't just glue your nock on any way you want. If you think of the layers of wood grain as pages in a book, you want them stacked on top of each other when the arrow is aligned on the string. It is pretty easy to figure out if you just look at the grain orientation of the arrow. The easiest way to do this is to have the "Vees" of the wood grain on the top of the arrow when it is on the string and rest. This is the only way to get your arrows to fly consistently. The toughest bend of the arrow is against the sight window of the bow. This is also the orientation that the shafts were originally spined at. If you don't pay attention to grain orientation and glue your nocks on dis-regarding this orientation, it is the same as shooting arrows which all have a different spine rating.

Like I said, you want the "Vees" of the grain on the top of the arrow like this...
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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby Stykshooter » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:07 pm

Once I get my nocks glued on, I generally go on and cut my shafts to length and put the point tapers on them. You can cut the shafts to length any number of ways. I have marked each shaft individually and cut them with a handsaw, scored them with a knife and then broke them off and I have even cut them with my arrow cut off saw. Now I just rubber band them together real tightly, mark where they need to be cut and then run the whole dozen through my bandsaw at once. Remember when cutting off wooden arrows that you have to allow an extra 3/4" to 1" for the point taper that you will be putting on them.

There are several tools on the market from Bear Paw and others to put a taper on your arrows. The simplest and cheapest is the simple pencil sharpener type of taper tool. They are manufactured by several companies and have two holes for you to insert the shaft into, one for the 11 degree point taper and the other for the 5 degree nock taper. This is one of the disadvantages of the Douglas Fir shafts. These pencil sharpener type of taper tools do not work too well with them. They tend to chew through the wood instead of making a smooth cut like they do on cedar. Here is one of the cheap taper tools.

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There are several tools out that are an upgrade to this type of tool. I have one made by Tru Taper that has a machined aluminum body and different diameter inserts for the various size shafts. Bear Paw makes a similar tool that has an adaptor for a power drill.

This is the best taper tool out there. It grinds on a perfect taper, regardless of wood type. This one is called the Wood Chuck and runs about $150.00. If you do more than a couple of dozen shafts each year, this tool is well worth the investment. I have bought two of them at swap meets in the last year or so for $50.00 bucks each.

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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby owlbait » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:09 pm

Thanks styk, I'm working on some tapered cedars myself. I'm using True North Arrow stain and dip. It is enviro friendly and doesn't have the odor that makes indoor use a problem. Thanks for the reminder on grain orientation.
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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby Yohon » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:12 pm

Awesome thread Randy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby Stykshooter » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:13 pm

I had a request for a better photo of my arrow drying rack. It is nothing more than a scrap piece of 2 X 4 that I have screwed 36 of the metal arrow clips into. You can get them from 3 Rovers, Kustom King, Lost Nation, etc. I just use a "C" clamp and mount it somewhere near where I am dipping the arrows. When I am finished, it goes back up on the shelf.

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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby MOUNTER » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:22 pm

Is that ammo on the shelfs??? I know where I'm heading if the zombie apocolypes ever happens! :D

Cool build and explains why about 1/2 my woodies don't shoot worth a darn! I've never payed attention to the grain... I will from now on! Thanks!!!
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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby lostaro » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:49 pm

A fine show as usual sir! I have been shooting Kustom King cedars and Surewood doug firs the last few years. Both shafts are excellent. The firs do seem to be tougher...I've yet to break one!
I usually shoot plain-jane arrows. If you ever see some way-cool decked-out painted-up arrows in my quiver....I didn't make them. :oops: Most of you can guess who did. ;) Seen a lot of nice arrows in my days, none any better than what your putting out. Wish I had the skills.
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Re: Wooden arrows... a build along.

Postby Stykshooter » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:31 pm

One of the things I do before I glue the points on is to take a fine point sharpie marker and write the spine on the taper. Then I hot melt the point on. The hot melt seals the end of the arrow but I can still read the spine under the glue when I heat the point and pull it off. I have dozens of arrows in my basement, some of which were made 12-15 years ago. When I find one that shoots great off of one of my bows, it is nice to be able to see what the spine was on it when I made it. Makes it a lot easier to go back and replicate that set of arrows.

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