When Port Orford cedar, spruce, or pine shafts are used with a bow pulling 40 pounds or more, it is sometimes well to put a fiber spline into the nock end of the arrow to prevent splitting. For this purpose black or red fiber about 1/32 in. thick is used. With a fine saw, cut a slot about 1 in. long, this cut going in the same direction as the annual rings, as shown in Figure 72. Try out the saw cut first to see that the fiber fits in snugly. Then put fish glue or casein glue into the cut and on the spline and drive the latter in place. Wrap string around the end as shown in Figure 73 and set aside. After the glue has dried thoroughly, cut away surplus fiber, and cut the nock at right angles to the fiber. The arrow is then ready to be finished. See Figure 74.
Before cutting the nock, examine each shaft to determine the direction in which the annual rings run. Then cut out the nock at right angles to these rings. See Figure 75.
The procedure to be followed for fletching target arrows is the same as that already described. Turkey pinion feathers are commonly used for target arrows, although goose feathers are preferable as they possess more oil than do turkey feathers, and therefore can withstand dew and rain better. The wing feathers of hawks and large owls also make excellent arrow feathers, but are quite scarce.
After the glue on the vanes has dried thoroughly, the arrows are ready for the final finish. Most archers have their own private crest on each arrow. These are put on just forward of the feathers. They may be any combination of colors that appeals to the individual. The colors should be chosen carefully, because certain colors are easier to find in the grass than others.
There are several ways that may be used for finishing arrows:
a) The crest may be painted on the raw wood with water color, enamel, or colored lacquer, and the entire arrow then finished with white shellac.
b) The crest may he put on the raw wood with water colors and the entire arrow finished with clear lacquer.
c) The shaft may be shellacked first and the crest painted on with enamel or colored lacquer.
d) The shaft may be first lacquered with clear lacquer and a crest then painted on with colored lacquer.
No matter which method is chosen, no finish should be allowed to get into the nock.
Very fine black lines where two colors meet make the crest look more finished. See Figure 76. The archer who desires to have his name on his arrows may letter it between the vanes before the final coat of shellac or colorless lacquer is applied.
Be sure to get this final coat over the glued parts on the vanes in order to prevent future damage due to moisture.