|To get to this point of a dozen finished arrows you just have to have some time and the proper tools. It’s fun, it’s easy and it can save you some cash.|
You’ve seen several articles and videos on Bowhunting.net about arrow making and I’ve even contributed to them. I’d like to go into a little more detail with this session with a couple of things that haven’t been mentioned before.
First let’s start with some Gold Tip Pro Hunter shafts. I’ve used them for over a year now and like the consistency of their spine, something that isn’t mentioned very often. Much is made of straightness which is important but so is spine. The Gold Tips have proven to very reliable when spine is measured and you don’t get a dozen arrows with a wide variance of spine which can affect arrow flight.
|Making one’s own arrows is a pride involved, simple process anyone can do. You just have to have the right tools.|
The first thing I do is clean the shaft of any residue from manufacturing. You can do it with denatured alcohol or simply scrub them with water and a good lint free cloth or paper towel. There are some excellent arrow cleaning products on the market and Goat Tuff Products carries a lot of them. If you don’t want to take any chances use the cleaning products.
Next I add arrow crest wraps. I do this to increase their visibility in flight and once they hit an animal I can see my shot placement. You can buy the wraps by the dozen and there are several manufacturers with a wide variety of colors and designs. I’m kind of cheap so I do something different. I bought a roll of sign vinyl from a sign company. They have many colors and thicknesses to choose from. I prefer the thin stuff. One roll will do hundreds, if not thousands, of wraps. I simply measured out the length and width I want and cut them with scissors. It’s a little time consuming but very cheap.
|Using the AZ E-Z Mini Fletch makes installing vanes or feathers 3 at a time, fast, easy and precise.|
Next I add the vanes. I have used the Arizona E-Z Fletch Mini fletching tool for some time and really like it. It allows you to apply three vanes at once. Any glue you get on it comes off easily with your finger nail. The fletcher is made of a synthetic material that is very strong and stands up to a lot of use. Their website has a great tutorial that will take you through the steps of fletching an arrow.
A lot of vanes are on the market and many of them are well made. You will have to see what’s right for you. Personally I like the small 2″ low profile vanes. Two I have used are the Goat Tuff Opti-Vanes and the Vane Tec Max vanes. No matter how much I abuse them in the field, they stand up to it. My broadheads also fly well with both.
|Goat Tuff Glues include Impact Glue and Thread Lock in addition to their regular line of Premium and High Performance glues.|
There are also two glues I have used with good results. The Goat Tuff Products company has many products for cleaning and gluing vanes. Pine Ridge also sells instant arrow glue and I have used it with no problems. Both of these glues set up quickly and hold the vanes securely. Use the glue sparingly and one tube will do a lot of arrows. You don’t need to apply as much glue as you may with some of the older types of arrow glue.
Now that I have the wraps and vanes attached, I saw the shafts to the desired length. I use a small electric arrow saw for this process.
|The G5 Arrow Squaring tool and Fastool Arrow Squaring device by Burt Coyote is an important part of the arrow making process.|
The next step is probably the most important in the process. I use the G5 Arrow Squaring Device and the Burt Coyote Fastool Arrow Squaring device (you can buy them at Cabela’s or Bass Pro) to square off the end of the carbon shaft. It takes a little time but it’s worth the effort. Once it’s done, I glue in the inserts, attach the broadhead and spin it on the Pine Ridge Arrow Inspector. The Inspector is a great tool. It allows shafts to spin effortlessly while you’re checking them for straightness. You can check both ends of the shaft to see if the nocks and broadheads are both spinning true.
I put a cardboard box or piece of wood with a mark on it where the broadhead touches when lying on the inspector. This gives me a good reference when spinning the arrow. Wobble is easier to see if you have a mark you’re watching. If the arrow doesn’t spin true then it’s on to the next step.
|To ensure accurate flight author highly recommend using the Pine Ridge Arrow Inspector for broadhead and nock alignment.|
If needed I use the squaring device made for aluminum arrows and square off the insert. To do this, coat the end of the insert with a black permanent marker and spin the shaft on the squaring device until all of the black has disappeared. Reinstall the broadhead and check the spin. If you still have a problem try a different broadhead, unfortunately some of them aren’t made perfectly straight. I’ll bet the last step will take care of most of your problems.
Now it’s off to the range to see how the arrows fly. I think you’ll like the results.
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