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I posted this in the arrow section as well, but considering more trad wood arrow shooters probably hang out here, I thought I would run it by you guys also.

Getting set to build my first set of woodies. I've seen a number of YouTube vids that offer conflicting advice on what steps to do when, so considering that, what do you experienced arrow builders do for your build sequence?
I will be using Bohning Fletch Tape and possibly cap-dipping, and the shafts are not pre-cut nor tapered.
 

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There are "How To" tutorials on the TradGang site which walk you through the whole process. 'The Traditional Bowhunter's Handbook" by T.J. Conrads has an excellent chapter on building your wood arrows, also.
I build my own woods, but do not cap dip, so I hesitate to explain the process.
 

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Here is my process.

Visual on all the shafts for cracks. Straighten if need be. Fine steel wool. Wipe clean of dirt and dust. Coat of minwax stain. Let dry over night . Then dip in Minwax waterbased polyurethane.
I do 3 dips allowing for drying between each dip. After the second dip I lightly steel wool with extra fine and again wipe clean. Third dip and hang to dry.

I glue nocks and feathers with Duco glue and us a really good hot melt for point. The hot melt I use comes from Trout Outdoors and is the best I have found in 35 years of building arrows.

One thing that I do with the poly is to ad 1 part water to 3 parts poly. It seems to coat and drain off real well.

You must also orient the nock properly on the shaft.
 

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I posted this in the arrow section as well, but considering more trad wood arrow shooters probably hang out here, I thought I would run it by you guys also.

Getting set to build my first set of woodies. I've seen a number of YouTube vids that offer conflicting advice on what steps to do when, so considering that, what do you experienced arrow builders do for your build sequence?
I will be using Bohning Fletch Tape and possibly cap-dipping, and the shafts are not pre-cut nor tapered.
As far as sequence goes, it should be to spine your arrows first. Spine testers are easy to make and you should invest the time or money to make sure you have one.

If you're cutting tapers for nocks, do that next. If you're using an inexpensive nock taper tool, you may have to sand your shaft first for personal comfort. If you're cutting nocks, do that next.
Learn that arrows need to be oriented to the grain on the string and that your notch in the arrow or nock need to ideally be perpendicular to the string... in other words, the nock should be cut across the grain.

You're too young to be thinking about tapering at this point get into learning about wood arrows. I do something else first, but not necessary for you at this point and that is I bareshaft shoot my arrows with the bow I'm planning on using them with... and is only to find compatible arrows because I use dowels for shafting. Commercial shafts are generally much more stable at this point so I'd move on to waterproofing and fletching my arrows.

Sealing at this point can be as simple as spraying varathane, urethane, clear coat, or paint even. If you use paint, I'd suggest that where you line your clamp on the shaft, to sand down to where you can see the bare arrow before applying the "sticky" whatever you use. I'd never use tape, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Decide on the fletch pattern and I'd stay away from anything too fancy and I'd stay away from short fletch. In my opinion, MINIMUM should be 4, but at this stage I'd tell you to go to 5 or 5 1/2. Cock feathers? Probably doesn't matter if you have a good release.

I've probably forgotten something, but others will remind.

Much Aloha,

:cool::beer:
 

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0000 steel wool
Straighten and inspect.
Spine check and take average
Straighten and inspect
Spine check and index to average spine
Straighten and inspect
Nock taper, check taper fit
Straighten and inspect
10" nock end taper
Straighten and inspect
Number them
Weigh and record
Dip, 2 maybe 3 coats, this is where I work on getting closer weight matching.
Straighten and inspect
Attach nocks, check nocks for being fitted squarely.
Straighten and inspect
Point end taper
Attach points and check for being fitted squarely
Begin fletching while also shooting. Beginning the process of bareshaft tuning and proofing.
I don't cap dip or crest
Did I leave anything out?
Oh yeah!
Straighten and inspect
 

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Very good advice above, but I'll give you the lazy man's point of view.

I put my nocks on first, after I make sure the shaft is straight, so that I can measure and cut the shaft exactly from the nock in the nock.
Then I apply a sealer-stain with a small piece of rag, maybe give it two coats, and let it sit over night. I'm using "Varathane" wood stain right now. Also use minwax polyurethane.
Then I put on the field tip or broadhead.
Then I fletch it. I like 5" to 5.5" parabolic cut feathers, but also use shield cut.

I use RCA flight glue for the feathers and nocks, which has worked good for, feathers and nocks. But...it does not seem to hold the field tips on very well over the long run.

You can orient the nock either with, or against the grain, depending if you want the arrow to be stiff or weak. Normally across the grain, as mentioned, but if your arrows prove to be too stiff you can re-orient the nock with the grain and it might save you from re-tuning the bow or having to go to a heavier tip. I don't worry about spine for each individual arrow. Once I find the spine or stiffness that works in the bow, I just go ahead and make the arrows, and then weed out any that consistently don't fly right. It's usually pretty obvious, and I rarely get a "flyer".

I have always got great cedar shafts from Rose City. I've tried other woods but Cedar really does seem to work best, all things considered, for me at least. I also tried Poplar, I think it was, and found that it really took a beating, could hit stuff that would bust up a cedar arrow easy, but they seemed to warp easy and often, and would be hard to straighten.

Well good luck, it seems that so many people shoot carbon and aluminum these days, (compound shooter wannabees?) but I would never shoot anything but wood.

ken.
 

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Very good advice above, but I'll give you the lazy man's point of view.

I put my nocks on first, after I make sure the shaft is straight, so that I can measure and cut the shaft exactly from the nock in the nock.
Then I apply a sealer-stain with a small piece of rag, maybe give it two coats, and let it sit over night. I'm using "Varathane" wood stain right now. Also use minwax polyurethane.
Then I put on the field tip or broadhead.
Then I fletch it. I like 5" to 5.5" parabolic cut feathers, but also use shield cut.

I use RCA flight glue for the feathers and nocks, which has worked good for, feathers and nocks. But...it does not seem to hold the field tips on very well over the long run.

You can orient the nock either with, or against the grain, depending if you want the arrow to be stiff or weak. Normally across the grain, as mentioned, but if your arrows prove to be too stiff you can re-orient the nock with the grain and it might save you from re-tuning the bow or having to go to a heavier tip. I don't worry about spine for each individual arrow. Once I find the spine or stiffness that works in the bow, I just go ahead and make the arrows, and then weed out any that consistently don't fly right. It's usually pretty obvious, and I rarely get a "flyer".

I have always got great cedar shafts from Rose City. I've tried other woods but Cedar really does seem to work best, all things considered, for me at least. I also tried Poplar, I think it was, and found that it really took a beating, could hit stuff that would bust up a cedar arrow easy, but they seemed to warp easy and often, and would be hard to straighten.

Well good luck, it seems that so many people shoot carbon and aluminum these days, (compound shooter wannabees?) but I would never shoot anything but wood.

ken.
Only one admonition to the above advise you gave him... I wouldn't orient with the grain unless you absolutely knew what the spine was there. Personally, though I agree with you about rose city, there are occasions where the spine between with the grain and cross the grain can be significant, I'd never orient a shaft with the nock aligned with the grain. Changing out point weight would in MY OPINION, always be safest.
 

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Excellent descriptions offered. Straightening after each step is something I also do, and recommend. Back to the crown dip/cresting question - i do a simple freehand crest, after my first (or second if I forget), coat of sealer, then a coat or two to protect the crest. I'm assuming the same if you crown dip.
 

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I will defer to your correction. !!!

ken.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
0000 steel wool
Straighten and inspect.
Spine check and take average
Straighten and inspect
Spine check and index to average spine
Straighten and inspect
Nock taper, check taper fit
Straighten and inspect
10" nock end taper
Straighten and inspect
Number them
Weigh and record
Dip, 2 maybe 3 coats, this is where I work on getting closer weight matching.
Straighten and inspect
Attach nocks, check nocks for being fitted squarely.
Straighten and inspect
Point end taper
Attach points and check for being fitted squarely
Begin fletching while also shooting. Beginning the process of bareshaft tuning and proofing.
I don't cap dip or crest
Did I leave anything out?
Oh yeah!
Straighten and inspect
It appears I may have missed a few...
That's why I asked.
I may save the cap-dipping for the next batch. I just want to learn how to build the darn things before I get all hyped on fancy stuff.:wink:
 
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