Arrow making tips and advice

 

Okay so as many of you know I make a lot of arrows and if truith be known I quite like it. I find the process of making them relaxing a lot of the time. The thing is I tend to make wooden arrows and not many with aluminium or carbon shafts these days since Sharon swapped back from shooting barebow to shooting woods.

Well I’ve been making up some club training arrows in readiness for some new courses we are running in January. They are Mybow Cadets from Merlin Archery and I’ll be posting a review of the arrows in a few months, but in the meantime I thought I’d share this tip. It was one given to me by Steve a fellow Briar Rose club member who is very experienced in shooting barebow and making up such arrows.

When making them I noticed the nock tends to rotate in the shaft, making it a bit tricky at times when mounting them on the fletching jig. Now you could add a drop of glue to secure them, but Steve suggested using cling film. Yes, the stuff that normally covers your supermarket produce.

If you wrap the end of the nock that fits into the shaft with a little film and then insert the nock it provides a tighter fit whilst still allowing some movement for alignment purposes.

The amount required varies but with a little trial and error I found a length of 5 to 6 cm and about 12 mm wide worked best. Wrapped tightly round the end that fits in the shaft and it seems to work pretty well.

Well I hope this helps, let me know how it works for you or if you have any other advice or such fixes. My thanks to Steve for the tip.

Thanks for reading.

stream running through valley

Field archers are a lucky bunch of people

stream running through valley

Stream running through valley

I just want to share a quick thought with you. I have come to the conclusion that we field archers are in many ways a lucky bunch of people. Why?

Well we get to walk round some wonderful woodland across the country, whether this is at a local clubs ground or at a championships. Not only that we also get to shoot bows in woodland. How cool is that!
Okay so the latter makes us sound a bit like big kids, which granted some of us are. In fact one reader of this blog commented that to me at the Paget shoot a few weeks back. He said how if he was having a bad day he’d just remind himself he’s in a wood shooting a bow, like a big kid.
But to be serious for a moment, that connection to nature should not be forgotten as it is too easy to overlook in an era where the majority of use work 9-5 in offices, and have lives packed full of different stresses or when we are having a bad few shots.
A course - 3d deer panorama

A course – 3d deer panorama

To highlight this just think about this fact and you’ll realise how lucky we are.
Much of the woodland that is used for the NFAS championships over the years have been privately owned woodland, or parts of country estates which are out of bounds to the general public normally. Yet we’ve been lucky enough to see it and wonder round enjoying it. This is not half due to the hard work and considerable effort of the organising committee of the society who work long hours at finding suitable venues.
View of the field surrounding Y course

View of the field surrounding Y course

So when you have a bad day at a shoot, stop and have a look round. Try to enjoy the scenery, you might not get the chance to see it again. Taking that moment can really  help. I know at least one very capable archer, who when they are on the shooting peg, tries to tune into the sounds around them (no not the chatting of the group) but the sound of the birds or wind in the leaves. Its’ a way they use to calm themselves before making the shot.
It can be a bad shot, but not a bad life being a field archer.
Thanks for reading.

Removing broken wood tip from inside pile

Thought those of you, who like me shoot wooden arrows and sometimes have the misfortune to break the pile off might find this a useful tip. No pun intended.

Quite often I find my arrows break directly behind the pile, leaving a small piece of wood inside the pile which can be difficult to remove especially if you want to reuse the pile.
I know some people drill the wood out and others simply throw away the pile.
Well I thought I would show how I remove the broken piece of wood.

Tools required

Tools required

The tools required are
1 x long wood screw 2 1/2″ is ideal (cross head)
1 x screwdriver
1 x gas stove or gas ring
1-2 x pliers
1 x small pot or basin of water
Step 1
First stage is to carefully take the screw and screw it into the wood still in the pile.
Screw into wood

Screw into wood

Step 2 
Once the screw is secured in the wood, you need to heat the pile up as this breaks down the glue securing the wood to the pile.
Holding it by the screw you can heat the pile using the gas ring. It should only take 10-20 seconds.
Word of warning here. 
I usually use screw on piles, but if you have taper fit or parrell fit you can have the piles pop off as the glue and gases in the glue expand under the heat.
The reason I mention this is on one occasion when removing a pile I left it in the ring to heat up too long as I worked on another. I heard a loud pop and saw the pile shoot across the kitchen towards the window and the screw and wood went in another direction. Fortunately no one was  injured and nothing was broken (otherwise I think Sharon might have injured me)
Heating the pile

Heating the pile

The other thing to be careful of is to not let the wood burn as this will not only smoke the kitchen out possibly triggering a smoke detector but also make it harder to remove the wood.
It’s worth doing this in a well ventilated room as the glue can stinks, especially the two part epoxy I use. How long you keep it in the flame will vary depending on the glue. Hot melt, melts quickly whilst some epoxy ones might take 20 seconds. It’s a bit of trial and error here.

Step 3
Holding the now heated pile  in the pliers (don’t grab it with your hand as it will be hot) take the screw driver and continue to screw the screw into the wood.
You should find that because the glue has melted and lost adhesion to the pile the screw will force the wood free. Resulting in the wood remaining on the screw and free of the pile.

Wood remains on pile

Wood remains on pile

Step 4 
Drop the pile and screw into a pot of cold water to cool.  Once cool you can dry the pile.
You might need to clean out the inside of the pile of glue residue with a bit of wire wool or I find an old shaft tapered down and screwed in and out a couple of times works well to dislodge any residue.
The easiest way to remove the wood from the screw is to hold the wood in the pliers and then using the screw driver “unscrew” it.
Hope you find this useful.
Thanks for reading.