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Chapter VIII
Making Arrows
Part 5 of 5

fig. 17
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Across end of shaft, mark a line running with the flat of the grain, (A). From a point 5 inches upward, plane down the shaft flat, (B to A). Saw down the middle of footing 5¼ inches, (C to D). Leave 2¼ inches head, (D to E). Spread glue on tapered shaft, and into crotch of footing, then insert shaft, B-A, into footing, C-D, wrap with string and let glue dry. Next plane off edges of footing, F, to the proportions of shaft, G.

Now for the finishing. This can be done in various ways with the results equally good. But the best that I have been able to discover calls for the use of a lathe. Place a solid block of smooth wood on the lathe, level and of the proper thickness so that when the chuck grasps an arrow by the point and the lathe is set going the arrow will revolve flat on the block. Then take a hollow piece of wood about 12 inches long (if possible use an old hollow plane, such as a bead plane or a casement plane) and line the groove with No. 1 1/2 sandpaper, glued in. Spin the arrow and run the sander along it, and be glad if you have left about 3 pence or 21 grains for this additional reduction in the weight of the shaft. The block will afford the necessary foundation so the sander will produce a perfect round, eliminating the little hills and hollows. Last, take a fine piece of sandpaper or a piece of the coarser which has had its keenness worn down, and hand-rub the shaft the way of the grain until the finish is satisfactory, watching carefully not to go below the weight desired.

A good many of the experimenters in arrow making are great believers in a nock formed out of a tube of either aluminum or fiber, placed on the shaft in the manner of a cap ferrule. They claim that it is much stronger than the kind of nock I have given directions for making, and less easy to be damaged if hit when in the target. I am continually asked why I do not use them. I have in fact fitted many arrows with these nocks, but the preference of the archers, who are the real judges, was against them. As for my own opinion, I found in shooting with arrows having these ferrule nocks that when such a nock was hit, in the manner described, it amounted to the end of the arrow unless one was prepared to make a double joint. As that meant a new end to the arrow, with its new nock, feathers and paint, the cost of such a repair was nearly that of a new arrow. Then again, one could not use these nocks without trimming down the end of the shaft and making a shoulder. This weakened the shaft. The last and most important objection was, these nocks necessarily were of a set size, consequently in using them any reduction in order to obtain exact weight must come off either the shaft itself or the footing. No arrow maker with a reputation at stake could make weight in that way.