Flightarrows are flightarrows are flightarrows………………..

Flightshooting has turned out to be a kind of drug to me.  If there is some spare time I go for making a new flightbow or trying some new ideas for flightarrows.

Maybe you remember my trials on that gliding- arrow- thing, coming up every now and then in traditional bowery- forums. I have really given it a chance and  against my expectations I had ended up 20% succesfully. Sorry, no post about now, but within the upcoming 2 weeks.

Trying gliding- arrows I got the idea that it is not only possible to laminate arrows or to build them up lengthwise( inserting a foreshaft and nocks, like  some Native American tribes have done it). It´s also possible to insert a tapered strip of very hard wood into a given common wooden shaft, for to get a relatively light, but anyway hard and barrelled  arrow. The following pic will make things very clear:

Flightarrow( cedar) enforced with a strip of hardwood, nock and tip enforced with hardwood too

That´s it! I swear, this is the best arrow I´ve ever shot. I admit not to have shot an Alan Case tonkin- hex- arrow. Cause of  the actually very cold winter, I will have to wait some weeks for making some flight- shots, but chronos I´ve done with this arrow are promising a real yards killer.

The building plan:

The making of is not to easy, but manageable and takes some time. First of all check out your wooden arrow shafts, I recommend cedar 5/16″ in diameter and 28″ in length, take the best you´ve in stock: very clear running through growthrings, no knots, physical weight about 150grs, for to end up with an about 180grs. arrow, that´s the best weight for a short flight bow with a drawweight of 45- 49lbs at  a 23″ drawlength. Don´t shorten the shaft, the extra length is a must for the making of.

Look for the hardest hardwood you´ve, the inserts should measure about 1/3 of the 23″  arrow length plus 2″ for the taper(1″ in length at each end), a bit more than 5/16″ in width and about  1/16″ in thickness. Make the insert very accurate, I use my small bandsaw and a real tiny Japanese plane for the tapers.

Splitting the shaft exactly along the centerline seems to be very delicious, cause it is round. I fix the shaft on a blank with screws(that´s why the shaft is still 28″ in length), an adhesive tape or glue is thinkable. The shaft has not to be splitted its whole length, I split it from the nock side towards the head, stopping at about 2/3 of its length.

The cedar- shaft is fixed on a blank with screws at the ends(extra length) for to assure a cut along the centerline

After the shaft is cut, the first insert could be glued in.

The usual way to glue laminated arrows, wrapped with a strong yarn(flax, silk, hemp) and clamped to a straight blank

When the glue is dry, the second insert has to be made, same procedure, but it has to be done exactly in a 90 angle to the first insert.

The inserts at the top and the nock should be calculated well for to get the right weight. I´ve checked out the arrows point of gravity and then cut the inserts: the point of gravity should be located a bit towards the tip. After having done some test- flights I added a second shorter insert at the top perpendicular to the first insert. Beginning with this kind of arrows, this is a try and error- game, but with some experience this will be a very calculable kind of flight arrow. It is even possible to make hollow arrows with this method, when inserting 4 strips of hardwood about a 1/4 in thickness of the shaft, so there is a gap within the arrow.

For to end up with a perfect round arrow I´ve made the jig I was thinking of since years. A kind of selfmade turning machine by using a common drilling machine, some wooden boards and screws.  It has turned out to be such helpful jig for every kind of arrow that I´ll post a making of soon. Anyway pics of it.

Turning jig for shaping and grinding arrows
The jig viewed from above

And the most perfect arrow I´ve ever shot:

That´s it: barreled and ultimately hard

Next BowXplosion will again be dealing with flightbows. Succesful flightbows need sharp recurves, so I´ll post a making of naturally grown recurves  and a post focused on steam- bent recurves, inclusive a how- to- v- splice recurves.