Homemade Bow And Arrow

1481606167-6162-Shafting

1481606167-6162-ShaftingThe crafting of your fine,  handmade traditional cedar arrows, begins with premium Port Orford cedar shafting
All of the shafts are matched +/- 10 grains and spined in 5 pound increments.

These shafts are then cut to your custom length using a precise shaft cutter. The nock and head end is tapered using a Woodchuck, a power taper tool that provides a nicely centered taper.

Each handmade arrow is carefully steel wooled throughout the arrow crafting process, to ensure a smooth finish. If you selected a stain, it is now applied to the raw shaft and allowed to dry.1481606169-3314-woodchuckUsing Bohning Super Coat, a fine and durable arrow finish, your arrows are dipped three times to cover the stain with the proper amount of clear lacquer. Next, if you prefer a crown dip, the arrows are dipped in your choice of colored Bohning paint. After thorough drying, the shafts are crested using Bohning’s Pro crester, a motorized machine designed to rotate the arrow while each crest is applied to ensure a nice, well aligned crest.
Each crest however, is hand applied with cresting brushes and Bohning cresting paints. In keeping with tradition, we do not use modern paint markers or pencils.

1481606169-2100-ProCresterThe nock you select, will be put on with a durable adhesive, virtually eliminating the lose of a nock. Using Bitzenburger’s Dial-O-Fletch fletching jigs, the arrows are left helical fletched in patterns of three or four, with True Flight dyed turkey feathers which are cut or burned to your desired shape.

1481606170-6242-Dial-O-FletchOnce again, a durable adhesive is used.

To finish the handmade arrows, all are tapered and heads are applied using Stik-Tite, a hot melt glue which does not become brittle in cold weather and provides a strong bond. Since the glue is hot melt style, you may change tips on your own! You are left with a beautiful, versatile matched set of handmade arrows, suited for either hunting or target use. We take personal pride in the fact that each individual custom arrow is hand made and hand painted to your specifications.

The arrow spine refers to the flexibility of the shaft. In other words, how stiff is the shaft. Commercial shafts are tested and sorted using a spine meter. This is important because generally, harder shooting bows, require a stiffer shaft then bows of lighter draw weights. Accurate spine meters typically measure in five pound increments and this is how arrows are spined and separated. Examples would be, 55-60 pounds, 60-65 pounds, 65-70 pounds, etc. If an arrow is too limber (too light of a spine), it may shoot to the right out of a right handed bow. It should be noted that if an arrow is much to limber, it will fly erratic, and therefore may fly high or low, left or right. Conversely, if it is too stiff (too heavy of a spine) it will tend to shoot to the left. Properly spined arrows should fly straight. We use premium shafting which has been professionally spine metered and sorted to 5 pound increments.

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Wooden Arrow Spine Chart


Bow Weight at

Draw Length


Arrow Length
24″ 25″ 26″ 27″ 28″ 29″ 30″ 31″ 32″
25 lbs. <30 <30 <30 <30 <30 <30 30-35 35-40 40-45
30 <30 <30 <30 <30 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50 50-55
35 <30 <30 <30 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60
40 <30 <30 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 60-65
45 <30 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70
50 30-35 35-40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 70-75
55 35-40 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 70-75 75-80
60 40-45 45-50 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 70-75 75-80 80-85
65 45-50 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 70-75 75-80 80-85 85-90
70 50-55 55-60 60-65 65-70 70-75 75-80 80-85 85-90 90-95

The proper selection of spine seems to be one of the most difficult decisions to make, however it is really quite simple. As a general guideline, start with your bow’s weight when drawn to 28 inches. That means when the bow is drawn such that it measures 28 inches from the string at the point where the arrow is nocked to the back of the handle (the part of the handle furthest away is referred to as the back). Add 5 pounds of spine weight for each inch of your draw length over 28 inches. If your draw length is less than 28 inches, subtract 5 pounds for each inch that you draw under 28 inches. Add 5 pounds of spine for broadheads over 125 grains. If you have an extra fast bow, such as one with a fast flight string, add an additional 5 pounds of spine.

As an example, assume you have a bow, longbow or recurve, which pulls 60 pounds at 28 inches. If your actual draw length is indeed 28 inches, then we recommend a spine weight of 60 pounds. If you draw this bow 27 inches, then we recommend a spine weight of 55 pounds. If you draw this bow 29 inches, then we recommend a spine weight of 65 pounds. Now, if you use a head which is greater than 125 grains, then add an additional 5 pounds to these spines. If you use a fast flight string on these bows, then add an additional five pounds.

In actual shooting experience, it is better to have too much spine then not enough. Many old time bowyers have made the comment that “spine really doesn’t matter as long as you have enough of it.” If you are not sure of your spine, or it falls between recommendations, we recommend going to the higher number. Fortunately, we have found that most bows will actually shoot well with a range of different arrow spines.

Special consideration must be given to bows such as many selfbows (and some longbows and recurves) that are not shot off a deep arrow rest (centershot). These bows sometimes are shot off the hand or on a small arrow rest added to the side of the bow rather than a deep “cut in” arrow rest. In these bows, we generally subtract 5 pounds of spine weight from the above recommendations. As an example, assume you have a non centershot selfbow, that pulls 60 pounds at 28 inches. If you actually draw this bow 28 inches, then a spine weight of 55 pounds would be recommended. For more information please see archer’s paradox.

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