Primitive Archer

Main Discussion Area => Arrows => Topic started by: Pat B on October 20, 2021, 11:00:09 am

Title: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on October 20, 2021, 11:00:09 am
I took my dogs for a walk on this nice, cool autumn morning. I noticed an appropriate sourwood shoot, about the right size for an arrow so I cut it. As I walked home I used the back of my pruners blade(I carry them any time I walk in the woods) to scrape off the bark. Sourwood is the only hardwood shoot I remove the bark from when green because they have never checked on me. Most other hardwood shoots I've cut over the years do check if I remove the bark too soon. Results may vary with other's experiences.
 Anyway, now, through the winter is a great time to harvest hardwood shoots for arrows. Here are my tools for the job. I found a cheap 3/8" open end wrench I added a handle to(easier to find in my arrow tool box) that I use to gauge the diameter of the butt of the shoot and my Felco #2 pruning clippers I've had for years of landscape work. Shoots you collect now will be ready to make arrows with in a few months. I bundle the shoots using rubber bands to hold them together. The rubber bands allow the shoots to shrink as they dry, holding them straight until I get around to straightening them.
(https://i.imgur.com/ROut0zP.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/dP5n8fg.jpg)
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on October 20, 2021, 12:51:15 pm
The wrench is a hot tip, thanks for that Pat
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on October 20, 2021, 01:25:25 pm
You can find a 3/8" open end wrench for next to nothing at thrift shops, etc.  Making a lanyard to wear around your neck puts it right there when you need it.
 Once all the leaves are down sighting shoots is easier then when the leaves are out plus the moisture content of the shoots is lower making drying time less. If you have red osier or other bush type dogwoods, viburnum or other shoot bushes it's easier to see the appropriate size and shape shoots to collect. Try to find the straighter shoots for ease of straightening but even snaky shoots can be straightened with a little heat and elbow grease.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on October 20, 2021, 01:36:25 pm
Just yesterday I collected another 4 and two of those were so straight they looked like arrows already. It made me wonder whether it was worth it to cut crooked ones or if I should just get the rail straight ones. I've gathered prolly 30-40 shoots in the last couple weeks
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on October 20, 2021, 03:32:23 pm
The straighter the better. Save the crooked ones for when you run out.  :OK
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on October 20, 2021, 09:35:23 pm
Ah yeah start easy and see how it goes. I like it
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Jakesnyder on October 23, 2021, 01:31:23 pm
Will you be collecting some for trading?
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on October 23, 2021, 04:51:37 pm
I'm always collecting as I walk our woods. Finding enough sourwood shoots is getting harder and harder around here because I've done it for years. Once the leaves drop I'll check the road banks near my house and see what I can come up with. I will be collecting hill cane probably after Christmas.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Fox on October 23, 2021, 07:37:12 pm
I'm always collecting as I walk our woods. Finding enough sourwood shoots is getting harder and harder around here because I've done it for years. Once the leaves drop I'll check the road banks near my house and see what I can come up with. I will be collecting hill cane probably after Christmas.

I never seem to see enough sourwood shoots to make arrows out of, maybe I should just collect and see how many I get...

Think we could maybe come up with a trade for some cane Pat? i've always wanted to try it out
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on October 24, 2021, 08:53:33 am
Once I get the hill cane collected I'd be happy to trade with you, Fox.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on October 25, 2021, 10:39:28 am
Fox, if you live in sourwood country look along road bank cuts the Highway Dept. mows. The sourwood shoots will be sticking up and easy to identify. If they still have leaves now the leaves and sometimes the bark on the shoots will be red. One other thing that is important for all hardwood shoots...Only cut second year growth. The first year the shoot will grow to their ultimate height and will have leaves along the shoot. The second year small branches will be growing from the bud above the leaf scar from the previous year. These are the shoots you want to cut. First year growth is usually too limber to make good shafts plus if you cut first year growth you eliminate next years shoots.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Fox on October 27, 2021, 10:38:51 pm
Okay thanks for that good info Pat!
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on October 28, 2021, 11:33:52 am
These are amur honeysuckle I collected yesterday. I've started debarking them immediately.

(https://i.imgur.com/emyHmfn.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/REKp1pC.jpg)
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on October 28, 2021, 12:20:16 pm
I've never used honeysuckle but with most hardwood shoots I have used they will check if you remove the bark too soon. Some will take all but the last inch or 2 of the bark from each shoot and apparently they won't check. Except for sourwood I leave the bark on for a few months before removing it.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: GlisGlis on October 28, 2021, 12:41:11 pm
@Allyn T
 i'd start to straighten by hand while still green
if you straighten every other day and bundle afterward for a week or so you may end up with arrow shafts that do not need heating
At least that's what I do with wild rose and hazel

sorry just read the other topic on green straightening
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on October 28, 2021, 09:36:30 pm
This honeysuckle hasn't checked on me yet. I do hand straighten a little but I've found if I try to bend too much the split badly when green. So if it requires more I'm gonna wait and use heat. I've gotten about 75 shoots so far from this stuff and I'm only looking around work.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Kenneth on November 19, 2021, 10:11:05 pm
This honeysuckle hasn't checked on me yet. I do hand straighten a little but I've found if I try to bend too much the split badly when green. So if it requires more I'm gonna wait and use heat. I've gotten about 75 shoots so far from this stuff and I'm only looking around work.

I collected Amur honeysuckle here where it spreads invasively. I used two of them to make arrows, they came out nice. Iíll take a photo and post it.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on November 20, 2021, 02:33:36 pm
Thanks Kenneth
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Kenneth on November 24, 2021, 06:59:32 pm
Here's the amur honeysuckle arrows I made so far. It was much easier to work with than wild rose, both collecting and making. Also they're a non-native invasive here in PA so I'm happy to get rid of them and put them to use. They are heavy like wild rose and worked out perfectly for me.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on November 25, 2021, 08:05:15 am
Wow they look really nice!
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Kenneth on November 28, 2021, 12:56:57 am
Thanks Allyn Iíve been pretty happy with them
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Allyn T on November 28, 2021, 09:56:30 pm
What did they spine at? And what length are they
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Kenneth on November 28, 2021, 11:28:15 pm
I made the first one 29.5" and the second 30" since I had decided to start making my arrows a full thirty inches just to simplify things and I think the extra length makes them easier shooting. I don't spine test my arrows but I do have a 55-60# spined Surewood Shaft which I just use as a guide. I know how that flexes so I just make my shoot shafts flex similarly, I judge it by flexing it and seeing how it looks and feels.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: GlisGlis on December 13, 2021, 09:23:15 am
I really like the long dark lines along the shaft. Are these burned?
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Kenneth on December 13, 2021, 10:51:03 am
Yea I use a hot piece of metal to burn three or four straight lines on the idea was to create long stiff areas to act as stiffeners to keep the arrow straighter. I still have to check shoot arrows and straighten out small imperfections if theyíve not been used for awhile
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on December 13, 2021, 10:59:04 am
Kenneth, do you temper shafts after you straighten them? I know the using heat to straighten them somewhat tempers them but I go back over each one, starting at one end and rotate the shaft over heat while working down towards the other end then lay them flat to cool. I still sometimes have to do a simple hand straightening(cold) but the shafts usually stay straight for me after that.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: WhistlingBadger on December 13, 2021, 12:14:17 pm
You guys got me all inspired, so I went out and collected a bunch of red osier dogwood shoots last week.  What looked straight in the field looks more like pretzels on my bench, and they won't bend straight.  I kept about a half dozen that I think I might be able to do something with.  The rest went in the reject pile.  Oh well, always good to get out.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on December 13, 2021, 02:01:22 pm
When I collect hardwood shoots I bundle them using rubber bands until and even after straightening. The rubber bands will keep the bundle tight even after the shoots start to dry. They shrink as they dry.
 WB, did you try to straighten with heat the ones that were crooked? Did you harvest 2nd year shoots, the ones with small branches on them. First year growth only has leaf scars now and are too flimsy for arrows.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: WhistlingBadger on December 13, 2021, 02:37:48 pm
When I collect hardwood shoots I bundle them using rubber bands until and even after straightening. The rubber bands will keep the bundle tight even after the shoots start to dry. They shrink as they dry.
 WB, did you try to straighten with heat the ones that were crooked? Did you harvest 2nd year shoots, the ones with small branches on them. First year growth only has leaf scars now and are too flimsy for arrows.
OK, I didn't know that!  I thought the first year growth was what you wanted.  This wood all felt really spongy.  I tried to straighten them like I straighten wood shafts:  bend it a little past straight, hold it for a few seconds.  Most of them sprang right back.  Is that because they were too green, do you think?  Should I let them dry out a bit before straightening?
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Pat B on December 13, 2021, 05:25:59 pm
Yeah, bundle them for a month or two and they should be pretty dry. You can also unbundle every few days and hand straighten a little each time then bundle back up while they are still green. You can get them pretty straight this way while they are drying. Once dry use heat to make the final straightening and tempering.
 I would not remove the bark until they are dry but others have had different experiences.
Title: Re: Hardwood shoot collecting time
Post by: Kenneth on December 14, 2021, 11:07:03 pm
Kenneth, do you temper shafts after you straighten them? I know the using heat to straighten them somewhat tempers them but I go back over each one, starting at one end and rotate the shaft over heat while working down towards the other end then lay them flat to cool. I still sometimes have to do a simple hand straightening(cold) but the shafts usually stay straight for me after that.

I tried a more aggressive tempering and I remember I messed the shaft up by causing long splits in it, and this was one that had sat around for years so I know it was dry. I then tried a lesser heat tempering more like what you are probably talking about but I could probably go more aggressive still than what I have been.  Like you I usually bundle and straighten occasionally every few months that really leaves them straighter and more easy to work on