Any arrow made out of a single piece of wood is called a self-arrow. Excellent self-arrows may be made of birch dowels. They can be purchased from dealers and manufacturers of millwork, cabinetwork, and upholsterers' supplies. They should be straight-grained and should be sanded very smooth. Straight-grained spruce, or pine, also makes good arrows. The best arrow shafts, however, are of Port Orford cedar which can be obtained at archery supply houses. If bought or cut in 3/8-in. squares, they must be rounded. To do this, lay the square in the groove of the V board (see A, Figure 69), and plane off as shown. Then, turn it and do likewise with the other corners as shown at B, C, D, Figure 69. The shaft is now octagonal in shape. By laying it in the V with one edge up as at E, and taking off a little of each edge, a fairly round shaft is produced. Then sandpaper is used to take off the little corners that are left, leaving the shaft in the V and turning while doing the sanding.
Shafts which are used for target work are tipped with parallel or bullet points (see Figure 70), the parallel being preferred, because they do not penetrate into the target so far. They cost about 3 cents each, and can be had in steel or brass. The shafts are whittled or filed down to a snug fit, as shown in Figure 71, after which the pile must be driven down carefully with a piece of wood. Be sure that the end of the shaft goes to the end of the pile and that the pile is on perfectly straight.