Wow, this is Vol. 5 of my flightarrow- article, I guess there´ll be some more volumes.
Beside my flightarrow- experience I was doing a soapbox for my daughter Maja, who had her 11th birthday on the 9th of May: my wife and me asked her if Maja wants a cell phone or a soapbox. Surprise, she wants the soapbox doing with me. Should I be proud of my somehow succesful education or should I call my little one a bit old- fashioned? Whatever, kids of today should master a wrench , a screwdriver and a high- tech tool.
The soapbox was almost finished, but like always some screws where failing, no way, heading for the next DIY-store, I remembered a jig I´ve seen for making flyrods – http://hipwader.com/2004/building-custom-cane-fly-rods/1/ – I decided to buy all what I would need for to make the fly- rod- jig! I picked up the screws for the soapbox, when I came across so-called construction wood, I felt magically attracted by some slats of pine, 2″ in width, about 1″ in thickness, about 3 times the length of a flightarrow, nothing special about it, I had already bought construction wood for several purposes. But with the hexagonal strips for flightarrows in my mind I realized the first time that the cants of these slats are edged smoothly in a 60degree angle. That´s it!! Realizing it, I recognized what to do: cut 2 slats about 30″ in length, clamp them lengthwise together, make the marks at the tip, the center of gravity and the nock. Drill the holes for the screws, release the clamps, rescrew them again but now add a thin shim(about 1/64″) at the nock and a thicker( about 1/32″) one at the center of gravity between the 2 slats- that´s it, that´s a simple jig for to make the hexagonal- strips for the greatest fligtharrows ever. Don´t discuss DIY- stores, it´s all a matter of your tuning. You get what you need.
The principle of construction of this jig is the same as it is about the jigs flyrod- makers are using. To get a barreled shape just widen the triangular groove where it is necessary.
Another way to do the same jig is to groove a wooden slat (2″ x 2″) with a selfmade tool. Look for a triangular file, you need no more, cut the grip and glue it at a wooden block fitting your hand. Mark a centerline lengthwise with a gauge for to get the guiding line. It´s really hard to do it, it took me about an hour to file the groove. When the groove is done, cut the slat lengthwise right along the middle of the groove. Done so, go further as written above.
I prefer to buy the edged slats, the second way to do the jig is for real tough guys! It´s obvious, the jig made of metal will last for ever, take your choice.
Cut the strips roughly with a small band -saw, than barrel them in your jig, fixed with a clamp. I prefer to use a small plane for to work them down, keep care to work with an even pressure for to make sure that the strips will not pop out of the triangular groove, one strip is easy to break.
6 strips are ready, check them for evenness, remove some overlapping wood. Now the hollowing is to be done just by flattening one top of the triangle lengthwise. I do it with a small plane, checking the remaining thickness by having a look at the cutted wood. Again work with an even pressure!
Now the strips could be glued together, use less glue( I prefer hide- glue, a bit thinner than usual), maybe do a dry- glueing for get confident with the procedure, at the beginning the wrapping of the strips is very confusing, wrapp the strips around a nail, but once begun, it turns out to work of its own.
Done, my first hollow hexshaft, waiting time for 2 days, let´s have a look at tips and nocks.
Arrowmakers of the past made very light tips of bone and nocks of horn or hardwood for flightarrows, I prefer euonymus or spindlewood for the nocks. Tips of bone are looking great when heavily polished.
Still the fletching is to be done, so Vol.6 will be dealing with the how to choose and to prepare the feathers for a flightarrow, maybe there´ll be some results of first shots with the arrows, we are still longing for the summer of 2010, June has turned out to be rainy and unbelievable cold.