Author Topic: Grouping arrows by spine weight?  (Read 689 times)

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Offline Mountain Man1

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Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« on: June 18, 2019, 04:09:03 am »
ok, so I've taken to building my first 2 bows. One is almost done, tiller is fighting me a bit around a few knots. The other is shaped and with a little more thinning will be ready for tiller. Knowing I would need arrows I cut some maple shoots last year but went way too small, now I'm back to square one. I have located a bunch of lilac shoots just screaming to be thinned out so before I get at it I have a few questions:

How thick should I cut them?

How do I test spine without any gear (max budget constraints)?

Can I group them by relative stiffness to avoid extensive, one-at-a-time tuning (ie: hang a fishing weight in the center and group based on amount of deflection)? 

Offline Pat B

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 04:19:27 am »
When I cut hardwood shoots for arrows I use a 3/8" open end wrench to measure the base of the shoots. Be sure they are long enough too. If you can get 36" it would allow you to find the right spine somewhere along the shoot.
 It you have an arrow that works well you can put 2 nails in the side of your work bench or other suitable location at 26" apart. Lay the test arrow across the nails, hand a 2# weight(mol) in the center of the shaft and mark it deflection. You can use this to check the spine of your shoots.
Trying to match groups of shoot arrows can get complicated unless you make dowel shafting from them. Generally in my experience shoot shafts of similar material and size will be close to each other.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Mountain Man1

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 05:44:11 am »
Thanks Pat, that is very helpful. A lot of what I see around tapers more than I would like, do you think I should cut more like 1/2" at the base if the taper looks steep? Just don't want to cut a whole bunch and toss half in the fire. I'm sure I'll get enough of that when it comes time to get them straight haha.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 06:12:00 am »
You can cut them thicker but you'll have to reduce the thickness. A small thumb plane works well for the reduction. Just be sure you have second year growth. First year growth seems to make a flimsy arrow.
 I have a few bundles of hill cane left over from what I harvested this spring. If you would like to try some send me your mailing address by PM. There is a lot of work that goes into cane arrows but the finished product makes them worthwhile.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Mountain Man1

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 07:04:57 am »
Thanks for the offer, I may hit you up later for that. For the time being I'm going to keep things simple and get good at the process first. I found a large stand of beautifully straight lilac shoots near the babysitter's place so I plan on grabbing a bunch next time I drop the kids off.

Offline Badger

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 09:06:00 am »
  Make sure they are dry before you check spine, it will change radically from when first cut.

Offline DC

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2019, 01:44:18 pm »
And I believe Lilac tends to check so watch for that.
Vancouver Island
If you don't have any questions you must not be paying attention.

Offline Mountain Man1

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 02:02:32 am »
I have heard they're bad for checking. I'll cut them extra long and seal the ends, that should minimize it and give me some to trim off in case they do split a bit.
A bit of a follow on question... I am making a bow for my daughter's birthday, what can I use for tips? I don't really want to give her anything overly pointy but feel the arrows won't fly well without a bit of weight on the tip.

Offline DC

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2019, 05:07:05 am »
It's a sticky problem. With the low draw weight arrows won't stick into the target unless they have a pretty aggressive point. Kids don't seem to be happy unless the arrow sticks into the target. I use nails in my grandsons arrows but I'm with him the whole time he's using it. I guess we have to face it, a bow and arrow is a dangerous toy. Even without a point they can do damage to themselves and friends. Part of growing up I guess. Maybe points when they're supervised and big rubber blunts when (if) they're not. Even then I can remember peeling the rubber tips off my arrows when I was a kid. Dad would make me blunts and I would sharpen them.
Vancouver Island
If you don't have any questions you must not be paying attention.

Offline Pat B

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2019, 05:11:12 am »
The pencil erasers that you add on should slip on an arrow to use for a head for kids.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Mountain Man1

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2019, 11:57:09 am »
Sorry for the slow reply, I've been offline for a while. The feedback here is outstanding gentlemen, many thanks.

 Got the birthday bow done- made of ash and pulls 10# @14", about 36" long. Performed outstanding with an old 30" aluminum arrow I use for testing (always use the same one to determine relative performance). Now, I just needed arrows...

Made a trip to the Dollar Store and what do I find? 4ft Bamboo stakes- $2.50/dozen (got 2). Next isle, super glue! Next isle, Crayola pencil toppers (40 pack, look like crayon tips, pretty cool)! I spent under ten bucks and got enough stuff to make all the arrows I will need for at least a year for both me and the girl.

I made 2 arrows (supposed to be 3, 1 broke during straightening). A little rough but really not bad considering they're my first and I was in a rush. Instead of spine testing, I put the natural bend outwards (if you're ever in a pinch, very fast/simple and seemed to be VERY effective) Then came the test fire...

Holy crap!!! Used Mum's basement for testing. This thing will drive those little arrows 50ft, with no drop, and SMACK THE ABSOLUTE CRAP out of the poor cupboards at the end, exactly where I'm looking.

I am absolutely amazed by this thing. I am confident that if I HAD to (hypothetically, of course) this would drop a midsize deer with a broad head, no problem. Is this normal for a kids sized bow? I was shocked by the speed of it!

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 07:16:48 pm »
I like to cut a bit over 3/8", and keep a fairly parallel shaft, but if the taper is close, don't panic!  Sounds like you did something right!  Mum may want new cabinet doors, though!  Before hunting with that bow, be sure it meets legal draw weight in your state!  Here in Colorado, it is 35#.  Got to work up some cane myself!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Mountain Man1

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Re: Grouping arrows by spine weight?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2019, 06:15:19 am »
Hunting weight here is 40 but I have no intention of hunting with my daughters bow Haha. I recently built a nice holmegard style out of maple but I came low on it. Its56" ntn 25# @ 26" draw. Shoots nice though so it will be my basement target bow i think. Got a sister stave to that which I plan to make a bit longer and get on the tiller sooner. I floor tillered the other one too far. Still trying to get a feel for that.