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Hey Dburris Dont Look

Discussion in 'Indiana Bowhunting' started by trdtnlbwhntr, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Yeah thats right its another build along fellas. DBURRIS you can sit this one out until you get your wifes permission to join in the festivities (or the doctors which ever it has come down too).

    Per the requests of some ive decided to do a build along on building custom arrows. Ive decided to incorporate the feather splicing into this one as well. Ive selected an arrow and the colors i want to use and decided i might as well go for it. So the idea is to create a custom spruce shaft with spliced feathers and hopefully we can get this done by the end of the weekend.

    The materials youll need are :
    *arrow shafts
    *feathers FULL LENGTH (trust me you are better off doing it this way than trying to line things up with precut feathers left wing feathers come in a wider variety of colors)
    *feather cutter
    *bohning fletch tape (the arrow making supply sent from the heavens)
    *crown dip or arrow wraps
    *duco cement (if using glue on nocks)
    *fletching jig either (right wing or left wing clamp to match you feathers)
    optional if using wooden shafts
    *sealer (i use the gasket lacquer from 3-Rivers with the dip tubes to match the lacquer)
    *taper tool

    I am using a Sitka Spruce shaft in the 55-60 spine category. Spine is simply just a measurement of the deflection that an arrow will make when force is exerted on one end of it (i.e. the bow string being released) There are a million variables that will effect spine so a good rule of thumb is to remember a center cut bow will be able to shoot arrows in the spine weight above your draw. IF you draw weight is 68 pounds you can shoot 70-75 or even 75-80 pound spine weight depending on the broadhead you plan on using. The shorter you cut a shaft the stiffer the spine gets and the more weight you add up front (broadhead) the weaker your spine weight will get. Thats about as short and sweet as I can make it without getting into too many details. My bow is a 59# center cut recurve so this spine weight will work out well with a 145 grain broadhead and the arrow cut to 29.75 inches. I know that because ive been doing this for way too long and made way too many arrows trying to figure that out.
    Alright so the shafting material. You can use whatever you want to really. Aluminum, carbon, cedar, spruce, birch, silverwood, ramin wood (dowels), basically anything you can turn into a dowel shape you can use.

    I selected spruce because its a little lighther in weight than cedar but its easier to keep straight and a little more durable than cedar. (That and i had it laying around to use) Once you have it selected you need to make sure the shaft is straight. The old pool cue trick by laying it on the table and rolling it will work great. Once you have identified the problem area you can simply correct the direction of the bend with a bend of your own using your palm against the high side and your other hand to flex the shaft around your palm. Dont get all hercules on us or youll snap it in half. A little bit at a time please. Alright its straight. Now its time to lay the plan into action..
  2. Will you be including a list of sources for your supplies? I have assembled aluminum arrows, but building wooden shafts from the stick out intrigues me. I'll be checking back.

  3. I will include the list of where i purchase my supplies at the end. But for now lets get this show back on the road
  4. The shaft is straightened or if its carbon or aluminum its already perfect so we can move on. I then take a square and mark a line at 10 inches if im painting the crown dip. [​IMG]

    For you guys that enjoy using the arrow wraps the application directions on the package have at it. At that line i then mask off the bottom portion of the shaft. I use the wide masking tape and only go around the arrow once. If it is not masked off straight you are going to get an uneven crown dip and it will look goofey so make sure its straight. [​IMG]

    Once ive got it masked off. I then taper the nock. I use a cheapo whiffen taper tool.. I think they are about 4 bucks and it has one taper for the nock and one for the point end (the smaller is for the nock the 5 degree taper is for the point). Its tapered now its time to dip the crown dip in a gasket lacquer. [​IMG]

    I like yellow so i bought a quart of the yellow gasket lacquer for just this purpose. I use the little dipper speed coat gasket system. Some people swear by them others dont like them. I personally think they are the shizznit. I have made exactly one dozen arrows the old way. Dip in a straight tube of lacquer let it run off the end and drip on the floor. Once its dry you dip the other end of the shaft and let it drip dry. Its messy it takes forever and sometimes its uneven as heck. So i use this system i can have a dozen shafts sealed and ready for cresting in under 30 minutes with 3-5 coats of sealer on the shaft. Try that with the drip dry method and youll be there all week. So i have the shaft masked off the gasket is in place on top the dip tube simply just run the shaft down into the tube until you get the edge of the tape just barely past the top of the gasket then back it out slowly. The system squeegies the excess of and leaves a very fine layer that dries super fast and is ready to go in no time. Repeat this step once more after about 3-5 minutes and you are ready for the next step. [​IMG]

    If you are using spray paint as a crown dip. DO NOT CROWN DIP TILL AFTER THE SHAFT IS SEALED!!!!!
    I peel the tape off and make sure the crown dip is dry and then stain the shaft up to the crown dip. IF you use a dark stain sometimes you have to add a couple layers of the lacquer to cover it up so i do it after i dip them. Once your stain is dry its time to seal the shaft. [​IMG]

    I use the same system as before just a longer tube with the same sealer product only in clear this time. Normally when i am doing a dozen shafts i seal one then do the the next and by the time i get back to the beginning i have just enough to get a quick drink of wholesome fermented barley and hopps and its back to sealing the next layer around. With only doing six shafts you can enjoy half the brew and its time for the next one. If you are working in cold temps the stuff takes a lot longer to dry hot summer days its no time flat.. In the house its about average. Youll get a feel for it as you do a couple. Just take the shaft (same dipping system with the gasket and everything) nock end first dip it into the tube through the hole in the gasket and pull slowly and evenly back out of the sealer. This will give you a nice even thin layer. Move onto the next shaft and repeat. So and so forth for about 4 layers. If you dip it before the previous layer has dried youll run into some serious problems and be pissed off as you throw your arrows away because the sealer smudged and gummed up a ton. Its easier to give it more time than you think neccessary. Alright the shaft is stained, crowned, and sealed. Its time to move on. If you are using spray paint use KRYLON its the best i have found so far. It dries nicely and doesnt run or smudge as far as i can tell. If you are using spray paint then now is the time you mask off and then spray the crown on there. Use as little as possible to get the shaft covered and dont hold the can too close to the shaft or youll get drips off the bottom side of the arrow and it will look like crap trust me.. I know. Here are a few that i have done using Krylon [​IMG]

    This set is with the gasket lacquer. These turned out really nicely after i crested them and one of them killed a coyote during bow season.

    Alright so everyone has their stuff stained sealed and crowned. The arrow is almost finished. Clean up the nock taper. This means remove the sealer so you have room to glue a nock on there. I use the back side of a butter knife to scrape that extra stuff of there till im down to the wood on just the taper. I then use the DUCO cement and a nock and glue it on. Duco sets up pretty quick so whipe the excess away and let it dry.
  5. Now its time for the FEATHER SPLICING BUILD ALONG pay attention this is easy if you have seen it done and easy once you get the hang of it.
    Supplies. It is important to note that when selecting your feathers that you want to splice together that they have the same general filament type(what i call the filament is the part of the feather that sticks off the top of the quill.) By type i mean some are thicker than others some are more ridgid than others. Youll know what i mean when you open a pack of them and compare them. Youll also note that some of them have harder angles coming off the quill then others match up the angles.. thats important.

    Start with a full length feather. This will be your base color (yellow). I use left wing because im a right handed shooter and there a bunch more colors to work with than right wing. (Im not sure why but there are) Set out a design you want on a cutting board and mark the full length of the finished feather. I have mine marked at 5.5 inches with the splice going into place at about the 2.5 inch mark. From there i have various other lengths marked out on this cutting board for accent strips and various other feathers i have made but this particular set up is the one i use the most and find to be the most durable. Lay the feather out and mark with a pen on the quil where your splice will start and then mark the back of the feather.

    Now that its marked this is the second trickiest part of the whole process. Take your razor blade and carefully cut through the quill behind the back of your feather line. Give yourself some room to work use a quarter inch extra if you have too. By cutting the quill i mean you can only cut the white section. DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Maybe i should say score it with the razor blade. Then bend it in half breaking the quill but not ripping it apart into two seperate pieces. YOu want to take care not to damage teh quill section as it is the quill for your spliced feather if its damaged you have ruined it and need to start over. Unfortunately i cant show you how to cut it youll have to learn through trial and error on that one.

    Now place your thumb nail right against that break and gently roll the filament away from the quil youll be using as your feather. Its really hard to explain how this works but the quill of the feather will actually go above your thumb nail and the filament will be rolling under your thumb. I use my left hand to push the feather into my thumb as i grab the filament and roll it away from the quill. Maybe the pictures can do a better job of showing how i do it.
    Getting it started.
    Showing the thumb position
    Showing the grip to roll it away from the quill.

    Those are the most important pics i can give you on this splice along deal. If you have any questions on that section right there then you better ask now or your gonna be kicking yourself later when you are trying to muddle through it. Ive been there done that. Youll get the hang of it and eventually it will be easy i promise.

    Alright continue to work the filament away from the quill till you get to your second line you marked. Be precise on this stopping point. Once you have it there lay the feather down on the cutting board and pull the filament towards the front of the feather and put your razor with its side flat on the quil. Now just drag your razor above the attached filaments not touching them or youll shave them off just nicking the unwanted peeled off section. [​IMG]
    Once its nicked you can pretty much just tear it off the feather and you should have half the thing done.

    Alright we have the base of our feather finished up. Now repeat the stripping process for your accent pieces and cut them to your desired length. For this part you only want the filament and not the quill because we are going to transplant them on the base quill. Clean up the front edge of your accent pieces we want as close a fit as possible to the piece in front of it so keep them cleaned up and as close to the first filament as possible. Now get your feather tape and run a section along the quill of our base feather and press it down using your thumbnail so its on there good. [​IMG]
    Now remove the backing on the tape and slide your accent pieces into place. I like to start by sliding the piece im attaching down the back of the piece thats already attached. You want to get them close as possible but not crowding the one in front. If you smash them together youll get a wavy feather and it wont hold up. Once you get it set run your finger up the filament preening it in to the piece in front of it. IF you have a good fit they will go together with no problem and there wont be any gaps or light shining through. Maintain the same process till you have your feather spliced. Sounds hard doesnt it.. its not so bad once you get the first one down. This is what it should look like. Notice how the pieces are not smashed up against each other and there arent any gaps they all fit nicely together.. thats a combination of picking the right feathers from the start and keeping all your cuts clean and as close to the leading filament as possible. [​IMG]
    It takes three to make an arrow so here are the other two we will need.
  6. Alright we are on the home stretch now. Get out your die cutter.. and mark a spot where you want your splice to line up with. This keeps all the feathers in uniform length and makes the splices appear in the same spot in every feather. IT makes things even. [​IMG]
    Keeping the quill up against the rail in your cutter move the top down on it and give it a whack with a rubber mallet. This is what pops out of the cutter for you. [​IMG]
    VOILA a feather that looks pretty damn nice if you ask me. Repeat for the others. and we are ready to move back to finishing this arrow off.
  7. Lets finish this bad boy up shall we....
    You have your arrow shaft complete with nock.. You can do one of two things.. Put your ring on and guess where it goes or measure it out. I like to put the arrow in the fletching jig put a feather in the clamp and set it in the jig to mark where the splice is on the feather.. THis way i can mark the arrow and put an accurate cresting line on the arrow to match where the splice will be once i get finished. Youll see what i mean when you see the finished produce. Just use a pen and put a little dash on the arrow itself where the splice starts and stops then you can crest that line in and it will match up perfectly with the splice. Trust me it works.
    Alright thats marked now its time to crest the shaft. I have a bohning junior crester it works great does what i need it to do. You can build them using all sorts of things from remote controlled car motors to variable speed drills in a vice. I paid for one and am glad i did after I put my engineering skills to work trying to make one from an old sewing machine motor complete with dimmer switch to control the speed. It worked but making sure the grommet that holds the arrow was in dead alignment with the motor was a pain but thats another story for another day or BUILD ALONG PERHAPS.
    [​IMG] (this picture shows the shaft with the feathers already on it because i forgot to take a picture of it while i was cresting it sorry but you get the idea) Remember the closer you move your V- block to the spot you are cresting the smoother the arrow will spin for you and the more control youll have while cresting.)
    Alright I use whispering wind cresting paint. It doesnt smear it doesnt come off once its dry its good stuff. It will run you about 3-5 bucks a jar and will last you forever. You can use pretty much anything as long as you seal it with something. Ive used testors paints with that hard as nails stuff for fingernails as a clear coat. sometimes it smudges sometimes it doesnt. Youll have to mess around with combinations unless you just get the whispering wind paints then its simple. Crest it up how you like it. I keep it simple.. Too much stuff makes it look cluttered to me and I cant make super fine lines so i keep it looking generally simple enough with wide lines and accent stripes and edges.
    Once youve got it crested and youve let the paint dry its time to finish this bad boy up. Since all of our feathers are the same we wont have to worry about which is the coch (have to spell it that way or it bleeps it out) feather. Generally cock feather is always out for trad guys. You other fellas with all the different rests and what not youll know more about that than i will so fletch how it fits your bow. I use a hard helical i like the way they look and the way they stear a broadhead. It makes your arrow a little slower but chit im only working with 160 FPS anyways so whats a few extra fps here or there. I love the bohning fletch tape. You apply it like a double sided stick tape to the quil once the feather is in the clamp then remove the backing and stick your feather down on your arrow shaft. Its applied on contact so there is no drying time. Move on to the second feather and the third after that. It beats waiting on glue to dry and smudging your cresting with it and all that junk so i use this. Once it sets its the strongest stuff on the market hands down.. Ive tested it against most of the fletching cements out there and this is the strongest stuff out there. [​IMG]

    Alright youve got your fletching stuck on your arrows take your duco (or whatever you used to put your nock on with)and put a small drop of glue on the leading edge of the feather. This takes that edge away from the feather and wont allow it to catch on anything like the foam in a block target or something. Then do the same thing to the tail of feather. Once thats done your arrow is done. This is what this build along produced for us..
  8. You do some beautiful work. I cant wait to try that for my own.
  9. brew i dont know what else to post on this topic. Ill tell you what though.. if someone wants to give me suggestions on colors they want to see spliced up together.. i might be able to take some suggestions and show the finished product Ive got exactly 5 shafts left so if someone wants to make some suggestions let me know ill see what i can get around too doing.
  10. Make us an American pride arrow. Red, white and blue.
  11. Alright ill see what i can scare together.. how do you want it.. white blue red... red blue white, red white blue... let me know.. im gonna go look now and see if i have any blue feathers.. it might have to be red white and blue barred ill have to do some digging.

    Side note i dont have any blue but i do have grey barred which should look pretty decent.. another arra is on its way.. Stay tuned.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2007
  12. i looked

    Are You A Tred Barta Wanna Be?
  13. Yup since i shoot a recurve, he shoots a longbow, I make my own arrows, he claims too but he really buys them from Three Rivers Archery, I've caught fewer big eye tuna than any man alive, he has caught more big eye tuna than any man alive, he does things the hard way the barta way, I do things the smart way the Waters way, I have zero world records, he has a few, Ive killed fewer than 70 big game animals with my recurve, he has killed over 70 with his longbow. Ive never killed a pig with a knife.. hell ive never killed a pig, he killed three with a knife in one show.

    So yeah i guess you are right Im a TRED BARTA wanna be... you hit the nail on the head.

    Now tell your wife to let you out of the straight jacket so you can type a response.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2007