Author Topic: Snakey shafts?  (Read 1474 times)

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Offline Mesophilic

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Snakey shafts?
« on: December 06, 2019, 05:07:50 pm »
Do you guys do anything special with snakey shoot shafts?  It's definitely beyond my skills to heat bend all the snakey out of this.

As long as the point and nock align will this be ok?

Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Pat B

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2019, 05:31:09 pm »
I've made good shooting arrows with a lot more snake than that. That one looks pretty straight to me.
 I like to mount the point first so I can do a good spin test on my finger tip. And, be sure to put the stiff side of the shaft against the bow.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 11:50:16 am »
Thanks for posting.  I'll go ahead and proceed.  I've got 7 shoots ready to go.  Figure if I can find and make 137 more I might start to figure this out..
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline bownarra

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2019, 12:47:11 pm »
Another option is to cut shoots that are oversized and then plane them down to spine and straightness. Obviously heat straighten them as good as possible before planing.

Offline NorthernArcher

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2020, 12:00:47 pm »
I've made many arrow shafts from natural shoots, and the vast majority of them were snakier than that one. You have a great looking shaft there. Those little irregularities add character, but they won't affect performance.
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

Offline bjrogg

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2020, 07:00:34 pm »
Yup, Iíd say thatís pretty straight compared to most of em.

Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Offline BowEd

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2020, 10:22:26 pm »
Love it.Nice looking shaft.It'll work as is.Looks like a pith in in it.What is it?
BowEd
You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
Ed

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2020, 09:25:18 am »
Completely unusable. definitely need to send them my way so I can dispose of them properly.  ;) (lol) 
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2020, 09:43:05 am »
Love it.Nice looking shaft.It'll work as is.Looks like a pith in in it.What is it?

Ed, these are Rosa Woodsii, our local wild rose.  I've found them growing around here but it's hard to find usable shafts as they tend to grow short and very scrubby here.

At a local park they had some growing and for landscaping.  They were beautiful, darn near perfectly straight and tall.  Then one day I walked through the park and found they had ripped them all out.  It was a sad day.  So I decided this spring I'm going to cut some shoots and see if I can get them growing in my yard

I did find some older growth that were pretty long and when I get to it I plan to make some atlatl darts.  I have one shoot shaft that's 6 1/2 feet long and another that's 5 1/2 feet long.  Straightened them over the winter while they were still green and they look great.

ETA: here's the finished arrows I'd posted in a different thread

« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 09:47:30 am by Mesophilic »
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline BowEd

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2020, 05:54:00 am »
Sweet looking arrows.How did they turn out length/mass weight and spine wise?They might be close to my local multi flora rose somewhat.I've been seeing some local black raspberry canes that are coming close to shaft worthy dimensions around here.Hav'nt tried them yet though.
I keep a close watch on my dogwood patches around here.Nobody should disturb them really.They are out of the way and not bothering anybody.
BowEd
You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
Ed

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2020, 09:55:11 am »
I cut these to 29 inches.   Three of them weigh 520 to 550 grains and spine in the 50-55# range.  The orher two are about 630 grains and spine 60-65#.  I still need to reduce the spine on those last two a bit so they'll group with the others
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline BowEd

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2020, 06:25:05 pm »
Cool....Some custom looking work.That's about the way the local multi flora rose end up here too.I'm assuming they have 125 grain field tips.I hav'nt shot mine enough to know how tough they are stump shooting but pretty sure they are as tough as dogwoods.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 06:26:15 am by BowEd »
BowEd
You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
Ed

Offline Tom Dulaney

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2020, 05:00:33 am »
I have been trying at this for years..

I know many people will disagree. But my way of thinking says it is not okay and the arrow you have shown is not good.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so a snakey arrow shaft is by definition wasteful. There's a lot of weight in those nodules that you're sacrificing cast and acceleration to. The nodules also create hinges which can negatively affect accuracy and increase the chances of a break, by hampering the total shaft flexibility. While I have no doubt a shact of this type can and has been made to fly over 170fps fo over 200 yards, it could be improved.


After years of agonizing trial and error, I found the way to get shafts like that one straight. It consists of looking down the spine, kind of like in your picture but towards a light source, and attacking each nodule, piece by piece. Cut each one down or scrape it down as best as you can, checking your work frequently by pointing the arrow toward a light source and looking closely down the spine, holding it the shaft almost as if it were a telescope and your eysight nearly level with the shaft.

Smoothing these shafts has to be done in a circular, lathe-like fashion. That's because cutting the nodules off creates ridges and bumps that you can't remove by running the shaft backwards and forwards along a sandstone, like I often see people doing. That doesn't remove ridges easily. In fact, it just creates new ridges.

One way to do this is to put a flat piece of sandstone on the floor, or your thigh, and pull the shaft towards your body while pressing down and rotating it in a circular fashion as you pull it along the surface. This requires only a bit of effort and practice; the most difficult part is keeping the sandstone still, as you have to FREQUENTLY wet the sandstone to have any hope at removing this much wood. Keep the bottom surface of the stone and your thigh as dry as possible, or devise some wsy to fix it to something.

Eventually, when pointing the shaft at a light source, after many runs of cutting the nodules snd sanding them down, these nodules cease to become like nodules become like little "shadows" in against the light. At that point, further attempts to smooth the shaft become a retentive preference.

The "cheater" way to do it is to get on your knees on a big concrete sidewalk or patio, and holding one half of the shaft flat on the concrete with one hand, push it along the surface while rotating it in a circular fashion with whatever hand is closes to your body. You do this back and forth, spanning a distance of three feet or more, rotating your entire body. This works very fast, requires almost no precision, and produces a perfect shaft, but you have to be careful because you can remove way too much material, which can lead to an exposed pith. Also, don't use rough concrete. Rough concrete destroys arrow shafts RAPIDLY.

You may also be able to use a lathe. All I can say with certainty is that getting shoots perfectly smooth and round is a Herculean task, which is addicting but also makes you hate shoots. The circular, lathe-like sanding motion, and looking closely at the wood pointed towards a light source to see where you're at, are critical to have any chance of success in less than an hour's time. You gotta work fast and carefully.

Be careful cutting or scraping. It's very easy to cut or scrape too deeply in to the nodules, creating a new problem. Hold the shaft towards a source of light and look nearly parallel very closely at the spine, while running your index finger and thumb up and down the shaft to feel for nodules, ridges, or dips --can't stress this enough.

And your shaft has to be DRY and SMOOTH when you look at it, otherwise the shaft is lying to you, because the grain rises when it is wet and/or roughly scraped. Take a pile of wood shavings in one hand and use it like a rag to burnish the bastard twig, pushing and pulling it through the shavings while saueezing them down firmly in one hand, to dry it off and rub off any fibers that are hanging loose on the shaft. You have to do this every time you look at the shaft, so be prepared to be doing it dozens of times in an hour.

Another thing that really helps is to compare two or three arrows side by side. Comparisons from one arrow to another really help you notice the imperfections, especially with white wood. It may also help to use calipers.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 06:22:16 am by Tom Dulaney »

Offline Tom Dulaney

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2020, 05:49:01 am »
Forgot to add: if you decide to try that "lathe-like" abrading method, you really do have to start at one place and gradually work your way, inch by inch, across the arrow shaft, while frequently wetting (and where it rests, drying) the stone. And before you start scraping or cutting off nodules, try to see if there's a "most smallest circumference" area anywhere on the shaft. All wood in front of or behind that location has to be scraped to parity with that area, unless it's near the distal end and you plan on making a tapered shaft.

Offline BowEd

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Re: Snakey shafts?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2020, 07:40:16 am »
I personally have made those wiggles and pin nodules disappear to make a perfectly straight shaft too with no ill affects at all to the shafts duability.Looking at the shaft at a low angle against a light source is best like Tom has said to get it right.
I used a V groove on my work bench for shaft to sit it and an 8" sanding block with 36 grit paper on it on many shafts before too.Shaft must be prestraightened before hand of course.The sanding block is stroked along the shafts length.This is to just rough it out leaving enough thickness to finalize smooth the shaft with finer sand paper to the spine a person wants.I finalize it inserting it into a drill and sanding with finer sand paper.
Because I don't have a lathe the tools used to finalize spine it are the drill,sand paper,sometimes sizing tool with holes from 9/32" to 3/8" at 1/32" intervals in between,grain scale,and the spine tester.

BowEd
You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.
Ed