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Hi im new to the arrow building scene as i have always got a pro shop to do it but i have found labor costs a pain in the a** and i want to build my own arrows from bare shafts. Can someone tell me the entire process from cutting the shaft to fletching, installing nocks and putting in points.
Thanks in advance
-Matt
 

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The basics:

1) Cut the shafts to length, I like to do this first so that the fletching doesn't interfere with placing the arrow in the saw.
2) Wipe the portion of the shaft that will accept the fletching down vigorously with denatured alcohol. This removes and filth and residue that may adversely affect the glues adhesion. Avoid touching the shaft after you have wiped it down since your hands contain oils that will also cause loss of adhesion.
3) If you are going to use a wrap now is the time to apply that. Wraps add aesthetic value and also make it easier to remove all the glue and fletchings when it comes time to re-fletch. However they are hardly necessary you can apply the vanes directly to the shaft.
3) If you used wraps then redo step 2 for the same reasons.
4) When you place the vane in the fletching Jig clean the area that you will apply the glue to with a clean cloth and denatured alcohol. This is the step most often overlooked but it is critical!!! The vanes have a release agent on them so they can be removed from the mold and this release agent prohibits vanes from sticking. Also you need to make sure you put the vane in the exact same position in the clamp every time. I place a little mark on the clamp to expedite that process. (I use the bitzenburger as a fletching jig)
4) Applying vanes I like to do the index vane first just because. I use Bohning's fletch-tite glue because I find it to flex rather than break and if everything is clean it adheres really well. When applying glue "less is more" it's really difficult not to over-glue. You get the best visual result if the glue doesn't squish out the sides of the vane but this requires a very small continuous bead be applied. Lots of people use super glue based glues and swear by them so keep an open mind in the glue selection.
5) Follow the glue makes recommendations on set times, I leave each fletch on the arrow for about 10 min when using the Bohning fletch-tite.
6) let set overnight and shoot'em in the morning

*** Note ***
Some manufactures are introducing an enzyme into the release agent where if you use their glue their vanes and start with a clean shaft you theoretically could eliminate the process of cleaning off the vane before gluing. I've found this nu-reliable and well it's not that big of an inquisition to clean the vane so I always do that anyway. Cleaning will not hurt anything just takes a bit more time.

Video Instruction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gr9sd8VPwN0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmKwWSEZ4y4&feature=related
 

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do yourself a favor and try some wraps, makes it custom looking, with bright colors easier to find arrows, and its easier to refletch as you dont have to scrape old glue off the shaft, i love custom wraps, i use arrowrap.com myself
 

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do yourself a favor and try some wraps, makes it custom looking, with bright colors easier to find arrows, and its easier to refletch as you dont have to scrape old glue off the shaft, i love custom wraps, i use arrowrap.com myself
I am not sure if I am missing something but I have tried wraps and the only way they came of was to scrape them as you would a fletching. Can you explain how this is easier please?
 

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To remove wraps use heat, when you heat them up with say a hair drier the adhesive becomes weaker and you can typically peal them off a lot easier.
 

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b0w bender has excellent advice.
Some other things to think about are...
When cutting your shafts, I've learned that when cutting shafts, cut off from BOTH ends. Since arrow manufacturers test the spine of the shaft at the center, this is the truest measurement. And after you cut the shafts to the desired length, square BOTH ends off with a squaring device (g5 makes an excellnt one). This allows you to have a truly squared end to place your nocks and more importantly, your inserts.

When glueing your inserts, it can be very helpful to firts prep the inside surface of the shaft. This allows for a stronger bond between the insert and the shaft. A .22 or .25 caliber cleaning brush works perfect. After preping, slide the insert into the shaft to check that it will be easily seated all the way down as needed. Although rare, there have been times when you find a shaft and insert don't marry up perfectly. This step will keep you from ending up with an insert being "stuck" only partially into a shaft before the glue dries. Once you're ready to glue the inserts into the shaft, apply small dabs of glue to the "bottom" portion of the insert, and slide it into the shaft. As the insert goes into the shaft, slightly rotate it (about a quarter turn is enought). This evenly spreads the glue, and if you put too much glue, or apply glue to the very tip of the insert, you end up with glue overflowing out the shaft.

And, consider scrubing the portion of the shaft where the fletchings/vanes will be placed. Scouring powder (clorox) and a green scratch pad are perfect. This preps the surface for a stronger hold. After you rinse off the scouring powder, wipe clean and dry, and THEN wipe down with denatured alcohol.

Also, the type of glue used can make a world of difference. There many great glues specialy for arrow making, and there are other really good ones designed for general purpose. Some of these are light and can easily cause "runs" if not applied carefully. Others take several hours (even overnight) before the arrows can be used. Some glues are thicker and offer great control, and dry very quickly. This however may be tricky for a novice, and may lead to slight mishaps that can only be fixed by starting completely over.
In the end, I have discovered that the Locktite Gel Control is the strongest holding and easiest to apply for what I do.
But not matter what, anyone who makes enough arrows, will eventually learn their own tricks and develop their own preferences.
GOOD LUCK.
 
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