Author Topic: Beginner arrow making questions  (Read 930 times)

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Offline _Hiller_

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Beginner arrow making questions
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:52:06 pm »
Hello all.
     
   I posted a similar thread on PaleoPlanet some time ago, but I left it up for a long time and never got any replies so I thought Iíd try my luck with you folks. Please keep in mind that my experience with archery is still very limited so if I say something incorrect or have a misconception please do correct me. Iíll try to be as concise as possible.
 
   I recently decided to get into archery with the goal of eventually hunting. To that end, I started exercising to make sure I could handle a heavy bow, and I acquired a really nice self bow. (Osage, 65# @29 inches)  I donít yet have any arrows though, hence my being here. I should also say that I will probably have to purchase most of the supplies online somehow, as I have a disability that prevents me from getting out as much by myself to gather shoots and feathers and whatnot. So if anyone has a good online source they could point me towards, Iíd appreciate it. With all that out of the way, hereís the actual questions.

   I think Iím going to purchase shafts from gills primitive archery, as he seems like an alright guy and I trust him to get the spine correct. Anyway, on his website it says the shafts come around 33 inches. Since my draw length is 29, is it necessary to even cut the shaft or can I just leave the extra 4 inches? The other issue I thought of is balancing the arrow correctly. Since I want to use stone points, which Iím assuming are around half the weight of an equivalent sized metal one, wouldnít it actually be better to leave the arrow longer in order to still get the lighter point to balance the arrow correctly? Also, Iíve gathered that with self bows you need around 10 pounds weaker spine than your bow to get the arrow to flex around the handle.(therefore Iíd need around 55#) Is this usually the case? 
   
My last two questions are in regards to fletching. I had originally planned to do 4 fletch so it wouldnít matter how I knock the arrow, but Iíve since learned that shafts have a stiff side that needs to be against the bow for correct flight. Does this make 4 fletch essentially pointless, as it still matters how you nock it? Lastly, if Iím using turkey feathers, and I wanna dye them(Iíve seen people use lichen and ammonia to get this crazy magenta color on wool, so I might try that) Iíve been told that if I do itíll strip the feathers of oils and make them way less water resistant. If this is the case, is there a way to restore the water resistance naturally?

Any help that can be offered is appreciated
Regards,
_Hiller_

Offline Pat B

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 05:19:01 pm »
What kind of shafts does Ryan sell? Some shoot shafts and some comes with a natural taper, some more than others. That natural taper give you a weight forward arrow which is an advantage with stone points. The standard for determining proper spine is for a 28" arrow with a 125gr point. For each inch over 28" you can subtract 5# or spine weight and for every 25gr less than 125gr you can add 5# of spine weight.
Especially with natural shafting you should place the stiff side against the bow. If you want to use 4 fletch you'll just have to have an indicator of some sort to show how the arrow should sit on the bow. With 3 fletch it's easier.
 You can dye turkey feathers with Rit cloth dye and alcohol. Lots of colors to choose from. For waterproofing there are commercial feather dry products or you can also spray with a silicon spray like Camp Dry.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline _Hiller_

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 06:02:10 pm »
What kind of shafts does Ryan sell? Some shoot shafts and some comes with a natural taper, some more than others. That natural taper give you a weight forward arrow which is an advantage with stone points. The standard for determining proper spine is for a 28" arrow with a 125gr point. For each inch over 28" you can subtract 5# or spine weight and for every 25gr less than 125gr you can add 5# of spine weight.
Especially with natural shafting you should place the stiff side against the bow. If you want to use 4 fletch you'll just have to have an indicator of some sort to show how the arrow should sit on the bow. With 3 fletch it's easier.
 You can dye turkey feathers with Rit cloth dye and alcohol. Lots of colors to choose from. For waterproofing there are commercial feather dry products or you can also spray with a silicon spray like Camp Dry.
I know  his shafts are bamboo of some kind. His site just says itís from china, so Iím not sure precisely which kind it is.
To clarify, youíre saying that spine is measured at 28 inches, so if I order a shaft that is marked at 55# but itís 33 inches it would effectively have an actual spine of 30#? And then the lighter the  point is the more that would add effective spine? If thatís the case, then how much do stone points typically weigh? I would guess less than 100 grains.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 05:05:32 am »
Ryan would be the person to ask. He is very familiar with the arrow shafts he sells and with making arrows from these shafts with stone points.
 A lot has to do with your style of shooting and how your bow is set up. With natural shafting experimentation is the best way to come to conclusions that work best for you.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 06:05:46 am »
I usually shoot a 125 grain target point and knap slightly less than that to replace it with. I figure my pitch glue or epoxy and sinew wrap will make up the difference. If you need to you can also add weight by putting the right amount of nail or wire inside tip end of shaft to keep your tip weight correct. One thing to remember if your new at this. Always wrap any place that the shaft could split. Wrap front of shaft and if your making self notches wrap rear of shaft to.
Bjrogg
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Offline JEB

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 04:08:49 pm »
Having never fletched an arrow.  I would pick up 6 modern wood shafts rather than start with primitive type shafts.  There is a good amount of work making primitive arrows with straightening, self nocking, back to straightening  and notching for your stone point. And really there is a little more work than what I wrote.  Starting with 6 nice wood shafts will give you an idea what to do  when you decide to go with primitive arrows.  Good primitive arrows are harder to find than store bought shafts. 

As far as dyeing your feathers. The easiest way is to use Rit clothing dye with a table spoon of vinegar to set the dye.  I use cake frosting dye as they have many more color selections and the process is the same using vinegar as your setting agent.

Again, Go to youtube and watch videos on arrow fletching, straighten techniques, dyeing feathers.

I know Ryan Gill . I brought him up to Michigan to give a talk at the Michigan Traditional Bow Hunters  spring banquet.  He did an outstanding job and is very knowledgeable.  He makes very good primitive equipment.

Do you have wild turkey feathers?  If not I have many full length  feathers already split and ground. You would have to shape them. BUT I only have left wing feathers.  If you can use left wing I will give you enough for 6 arrows plus some extras for mistakes.  One other tip.  Don't fool with 4 fletch. Stick to 5 inch three fletch.  Hope this helps a bit.

Offline _Hiller_

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2018, 02:45:19 pm »
     I had thought about picking up some modern wood shafts initially, but I feel like since Iím using a primitive bow itíd kinda defeat the point if that makes sense. Same thing with RIT dye. I figured  that if Iím gonna buy modern shafts and use synthetic dyes for fletching then why not just use a modern recurve as well? I mean, Iíve already put a foot in the proverbial rabbit hole at this point by getting a self bow. At this point why not just dive in and see how deep it goes? I

     suppose itís not exactly as authentic as going out and gathering up materials myself and working them into shafts, at least if I buy shafts from Mr Gill itíll be something closer (ish) to what would have been used when self bows and stone points were prevalent. Iím sure itís not necessarily authentic to have dyed fletching either, but I figure if I can do it with no modern materials then why not? Sure, Iíll have to do a bit of extra work, but thatís kinda the appeal of primitive archery for me. It does take a lot of effort, and I would love to shoot my bow as soon as possible, but I feel like if I put in the effort to make the arrow myself, point and all, without modern materials or tools then Iíve essentially earned the right to shoot the bow. That would make that first good shot all the more rewarding

     Regarding the feathers, I was under the impression that you could use either wing as long as you didnít mix the two does it actually matter which side I use?



Offline JEB

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 03:47:25 pm »
I only suggested the modern woods for practice in making arrows. Your fletching jig determines what wing you use unless you are not using a jig. No problem on the feathers as I can pass some on to others. Just thought I would throw the offer out. I will consider your response as a pass on the feathers.

Offline _Hiller_

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 04:15:18 pm »
I actually already got some. Working on getting the dye color right, currently. I appreciate the offer though, certainly!

Offline dieselcheese

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Re: Beginner arrow making questions
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 07:29:04 pm »
     I had thought about picking up some modern wood shafts initially, but I feel like since Iím using a primitive bow itíd kinda defeat the point if that makes sense.

It does make sense, but I console myself in the learning curve by the fact that if we were still primative we'd have started learning how to do these things from the time we can walk,  taught by our elders that have decades of experience.  Hard to condense 20 or 30 years experience in to just a few months prepping  for the next hunting season, without a mentor, and learning from books and forums. 
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-