It is the little things that count so much…
If you don’t know, you soon will learn that the tiniest things make a difference in archery. This is particularly true in arrow making.
THOSE WONDERFUL ARROWS THAT JUST MATCH YOU AND YOUR BOW ARE NOT A RESULT OF ACCIDENT.
Finding the “sweet spot” where everything about a set of arrows match and the arrows fly predictably into tight groups can be found if the arrow maker goes looking for it. There are four priorities in arrow making, and sometimes they compete against each other. Khan’s arrows will send you all the specifications for your arrows so you can perfect the arrows you want so you can confidently reorder them. Better still, we can start them for you and let you fletch them yourself, or just sell you the parts and teach you how to make your own perfect arrows.
First Things First…Let’s get started with the basics
If your nocks aren’t put on straight, and they aren’t lined up with the proper spot on each arrow, this will affect how closely those arrows will group.
Getting a proper arrow measurement is very important because arrow length and arrow balance point are two sides of the same coin. They come together. BOTH of these measurements go a VERY long way to adjusting dynamic spines of arrows to group as a set.
We can easily change the balance point of an arrow by increasing or decreasing the FOC of the arrow so that it will group with the others in the set.
Static spine may be how they measure when they are a stick, but that won’t be how they fly when they are all grown up into an arrow! How an arrow flies is known as “DYNAMIC SPINE”. This is an important concept because anyone can make an arrow and eventually find the bulls eye. Making a set of 12 arrows which will group into a teacup at 20 yards is another matter entirely.
An excellent early skill to learn is to fletch your own arrows. It is highly rewarding and worth the effort. Here is how you can successfully begin. The rest is up to you.
As an arrow maker, I will tell you that this is a very basic skill which has bedeviled me for years. Here is how I go about it, but there are others who do it differently and are successful as well.
Minor bends and curves are one thing. Poor quality bamboo with bent nodes is an entirely different problem. Since you won’t get a bamboo shaft from me that is poor quality, learn to keep them straight without breaking them.
You will want to know if your bamboo is high quality bamboo. It should be free from the nearly unseen flaws which can make a big difference. This gorgeous bamboo shaft has uneven wall growth. This is heartbreaking because it will never flex and fly like the others. So, this one will NOT group reliably. We weed these out before we sell them.
Choosing bamboo which is strong and straight is likely to last for years. High quality bamboo is dense, and straight from end to end…is including the nodes. When it hits, the “whip” is tolerated well. Wood which is uneven, will not flex and fly like the others. This arrow will not group tightly with the others because it ISN’T LIKE the others. It is impossible to reliably measure the static spine too. This isn’t an arrow. It might make a good garden stake though.
When we know the exact length of the functional part of the arrow, we can plug this number into the formula for balance point (FOC calculation). We can insure that a set of arrows will group tightly by not only matching the BALANCE POINTS, but by bearing in mind that ARROW LENGTH ALSO AFFECTS the DYNAMIC SPINE of an arrow. SO, ARROW LENGTH IS A SIMPLE BUT HIGHLY IMPORTANT SPECIFICATION FOR MANY REASONS!
Accurately placing the cock feather and nock on an arrow is very simple, UNLESS YOU WANT THEM TO GROUP TIGHTLY. Then this simple skill becomes important. “It is the little things that count so much…”. When you order a matched set of high quality bamboo shafts from me, they will come marked for this. This is important for you to know as a basic skill so that you can know how to make OR REPAIR your own excellent bamboo arrows.
Once you match static spines across an entire set, you will know how to align the nock and glue it on. Once the nock is glued on, the arrow can be placed into the fletching jig and the cock feather can then be glued to align with the nock. Now we are beginning to make an outstanding set of matched arrows!
By placing the head on straight, and spinning the shafts in a broadhead aligner or spin tester you can check for straightness of the shaft, point, and nock. You can get everything lined up straight and true. Once this is accomplished, you have made ONE good arrows. Now go make another 11 arrows to match this one across the set. Match doesn’t have to be EXACT in all specifications, but they do need to match closely across four important specifications. STATIC SPINE, LENGTH, WEIGHT, AND BALANCE POINT.
There are two reasons I take this much trouble in making an arrow:
The first reason is that I claim to make the very best bamboo arrows you will find on the internet. They are exceptionally tough, and they will group into a teacup if your form is good. This is my business.
The second reason goes back to the virtuous cycle mentioned previously. If I KNOW the arrows will all group tightly, and I find that they are scattering…well, it isn’t my arrows. IT IS MY FORM! Now I know what I need to work on. Success breeds success. It is just THAT simple.
As an old fashioned arrow maker, few things give me as much pleasure as hearing from an archer who is using my arrows, and suddenly is “in the medals”. THAT is the virtuous cycle.
Few things impress me more than an archer who knows their arrows well, who knows exactly what they want, and knows EXACTLY how to make them. Sooner or later, this archer is going to be a force to reckon with. Knowledge is power.
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Nothing succeeds like success!
When Marcus knows his arrows will group like this, his archery now becomes ALL ABOUT HIS FORM, which is critical. Consider the outcome of perfect practice over the next 6 months shooting arrows which are reliable and tough?
I had almost given up on trying to shoot with a horse bow using a split finger technique. My arrows if they hit the target were usually all over the place. You took the time to measure the poundage of my bow and advised me on the brace height (manufacturer didn’t list a recommended brace height). The results in practice have been phenomenal. Over the past few months I have shot better with my horse bow using your arrows better than I ever thought I could. Even at 50 yards I am happy with the groupings I have put together. I want to thank you for the time, effort and craftsmanship you have put in to your arrows. I will recommend them to anyone trying to improve their traditional archery shooting game.
We each have our reasons for coming to archery. For many years, my favorite shooting buddy was Nipper. If Archery isn’t fun for you, what is the point doing it?
As far as an activity goes, few are more rewarding than Archery. There has certainly been an upsurge in traditional archery lately, and with that comes new archers. Consider how expensive it is when you buy what you DON’T really need, or equipment which is not particularly good. It is a fair bet that you will not be having as much fun as you had hoped, and it will get more expensive when you have to buy the equipment a second time…or third time…and hope it is an improvement.
Eventually, you will decide one way or another; “Why are you here? What kind of archer do you want to be? What will your archery goals be?”
All the mythology and magical thinking in the world will not replace practice and knowledge.