Now take a 1-in. board about 30 in. long, and 2 1/2 or 3 in. wide and cut a V out of one edge. See Figure 51. Regardless of the kind of arrows to be made, this will be found to be an exceedingly handy jig. Drive a nail or a screw about 1/2 in. from the end, as shown in Figure 51 to act as a stop for the arrow to rest against while it is being worked upon.
Square up the shaft by cutting about 1/2 in. off the butt end, then cut them to a uniform length of 28 in. Place the V board in a vise and lay the shaft in the groove with the butt end against the nail, and dress it down with a small plane, turning the stick after every cut to keep it round. These arrows need not be of uniform diameter, that is, the butt may be slightly thicker than the nock or feathered end, but the shaft should be even and smooth and have an average diameter of about 5/16 in.
The next step is to sand each stick carefully. The butt ends may then be wrapped for 1/2 in. with what is known as stovepipe wire, and a nail or screw driven in as shown in Figure 52. This will make a fairly good arrow point, or pile, as the archer would say.
The shaft is then ready for the nock. Clamp the shaft into the vise. For this purpose the vise jaws should be equipped with wood faces into which depressions have been filed so that the shaft may be held without being defaced with vise marks. See Figure 53.
Cut the nocks with three hack-saw blades fastened or tied together. This gives them the correct width. The depth of the nocks should be 3/16 in. to 1/4 in. and the bottom should be rounded out with a rat-tail file. The end of the shaft should then be rounded off as shown in Figure 54 with a flat file or a piece of sandpaper. The shafts are then ready for the feathers. Putting on the feathers is called fletching the arrow.
For arrows to be used for roving or just shooting around where arrows are likely to be lost, almost any kind of large wing feathers will do. Very nice arrow> have t>een made with pigeon, chicken, and duck feathers.
Cutting feathers for arrows troubles many archery enthusiasts, but it really requires patience, rather than skill.
Make a feather clamp by soldering two pieces of iron or brass to a large paper clamp as shown in Figure 55. Strip off the narrow vane of the feather by grasping it as shown in Figure 56 and pulling it off. Then with a shears, cut away 1/2 of the stem, cutting along the indentation on the hollow side of the stem as indicated in Figure 57. Another way of handling the job is to cut the feather into 2 1/2-in. or 3-in sections. Then place one section into the clamp as shown in Figure 58, after which most of the stem may be cut off with a sharp knife.