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antagonizer

traditional arrow making

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I make alot of my own arrows and usually just round the feathers on my arrows, but this time I thought I'd use a tapered, medieval style of flight. Unfortunately I can't find any info online about dimensions for these. On a rounded flight, I make them 3/4-1" high, x 5-5 1/2" long depending on the thickness of the shaft.  If I'm using 5/16" shafts how long would the flights have to be?  I've seen one site that says 7 1/2" but that seems a bit long to me.  Any ideas?

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I havnt seen any discussion about feathers on atlatl arrows. I cant remember there being any. If thats the case bow and arrow didnt come along until much later in American Native history.

 

American Indians did not always have the bow and arrow. It was not until about A.D. 500 that the bow and arrow was adopted in Iowa some 11,500 years after the first people came to the region. Primary benefits of the bow and arrow over the spear are more rapid missile velocity, higher degree of accuracy, and greater mobility. Arrowheads also required substantially less raw materials than spear heads. A flint knapper could produce a large number of small projectile points from a single piece of chert. Even with the gun's many advantages in the historic era, bows and arrows are much quieter than guns, allowing the hunter more chances to strike at the prey.

 

  Fletching of bird feathers was sewn to or inserted in the shaft. Feathers of wild turkey were preferred but many other birds, including eagle, crow, goose, hawk, and turkey, were often used. Sinew was generally used to attach the fletching by first stripping some of the feathers from the front and back of the vane and then tying the vane to the shaft in front of and behind the remaining feathers. Sometimes plant twine was used to sew through the quill. Hide glue was used with or instead of sinew ties. Animal products like sinew have the advantage of tightening as they dry.

 

Since history only dates native Americans occuping this country for 14,000 years (approx) the bow and arrow was a new weapon.

 

It would be interesting to see how soon the metal arrow points started.

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These are bow arrows. 5/16" shaft, 30" long cedar so I've decided to make the flights 7" long by 3/4" tall.  I can trim them later if needed.

 

If I'm not mistaken, Swede, Natives started using metal in the mid 1500's.  In europe, the bronze age started about 3500BCE and the iron age somewhere after 1100, so metal tips have been around for about 5500 years. 

 

The north american natives skipped this evolution entirely.  Call it quantum cultural evolution.

 

Interesting tidbit, the quality of knapped flint in Europe actually starts as sharp chips in the paleolithic, peaks in the mesolithic as rough knapped work, becomes refined in the neolithic where they learn to polish it, then nearly dissappears in the early bronze age and returns back to sharp chips.. The art form literally disappears within the time frame of a few hundred years. 

 

I watch alot of BBC documentaries. LOL!  Especially Time Team.  If you like archeology, I highly recommend it.

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Heres what I use and I highly reccomend it. Seven inch is what this one takes. This is a fletching tool that you put the feathers in and than glue and than it clamps onto your shaft (not that one) to let the glue dry. I use fletching glue (oddly enough).  :P

 

Split your feathers down the usually convenient dent in the center and I leave them as is till they dry and than trim with sicissors. I trim off some feathers on each end to leave just the bone of the feather (for lack of better term) about a half inch for the sinue wrapping useing "whip stitch"

I like waxed string better than sinue. Than I coat the string with fletching glue or model glue.

 

fletchingbe9.jpg

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That's a much better piece of equipment.  I made myself a little jig out of a couple of pieces of wood, but the feathers do slip sometimes.

 

Since I won't be accessing my equipment at work anytime soon, I picked up some broadheads from ebay to go with them.

 

Here's the finished product;

 

arrows1.jpg

 

And here's the broadheads that are going on them when they arrive;

 

ArrowHeadsno7.jpg

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Remember to allign the feathers and broadheads with the noch . On the fletching tool one guide is gray to show which feather is to be alligned 90 degrees with the noch. I like to allign the heads also even though the arrow will tumble somewhat in flight if I allign the broads the same it may make the arrows a little more consistant. I usuall allign the broadheads parallel with the string or straight up and down.

 

I put the arrow down on the point and spin the shaft before I glue them on to make sure they are straight. If it doesnt wobble its straight. Ive never done it but a pencil sharpener could be used to make a better point on the wood. I do the same wobble method on knapped heads before I wrap them and glue them.

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Remember to allign the feathers and broadheads with the noch .

 

I actually made that mistake once, where I glued the broadheads on first, then notched and fletched them after.  It was a real pain to remove the broadheads after the glue dried, so I ended up cutting them off and making shorter arrows. The draw on my bow is 28" so I initially started making my arrows at 29.5 inches not including the point.  Now I make them 30.5 to enncompass any errors or alterations.

 

How do you straighten your arrows Swede?  I used to tie all of the sticks together, but they never really got straight enough for me.  Now I tie them individually to a brass rod, then steam them over a pot of water.  I can get them 90% straight but there's always a little hitch that I can never get out.  Maybe I'm being to much of a perfectionist.

 

BTW, I paint those lines on by sticking one end of the arrow into a drill then spinning on low as I thouched the brush to the stick. I've tried alot of paints, but airbrush paint seems to go on the smoothest, and dry the fastest.

 

 

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Actully I use old woodens shaft arrows that Ive had since way back. When those run out ill have to see if I can find some new. Its pretty easy to remove the old paint I just scrape them. I havent made any for awhile. I usually trade them for stuff.  I use knapped heads.

 

I use a propane torch to burn or scorch the shafts and than lightly sand them with fine sand paper till I get the old fashioned look I want.

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Here are the ones I have left>

 

fletching002fv5.jpg

 

These are knapped except the second one from the top its an authentic osceola point>.Woops I mean Seneca point. Big difference.

 

fletching001bx1.jpg

 

A different way of trimming the feathers. More for looks.>

 

fletching007bu7.jpg

 

Bard owl feathers>

 

fletching009cc8.jpg

 

fletching012ai9.jpg

 

fletching015kp9.jpg

 

This one I colored with Polk Berry juice.>

 

fletching017yh2.jpg

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The north american natives skipped this evolution entirely.   Call it quantum cultural evolution.

 

Begging your pardon, but I don't think they actually "skipped it"......., I think they were sort of catapolted down a different path.

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Nice feathers Swede, I'm jealous.  All I can get around here are ugly brown canada goose feathers and white goose feathers from the farmer down the road.  The hunting stores only carry vanes.

I didn't realize you wrapped with hemp.  I don't glue my feathers so you'll see I wrap them all the way through, medieval style. I usually shoot them on an 81" longbow, so I'm trying to keep them traditional european neolitic for the stone tips, and medieval for the steel ones.  I've never really made them native american style before, except for my bush bows, but like I said before, I'm not much of a bowyer compared to most.

 

These are called frufru. Mainly for bird hunting, the larger frillier flight allows it to be shot straight up into the air.

 

frufru.jpg

 

frufru2.jpg

 

heads.jpg

 

These are english field points

 

arrows2.jpg

 

flightt.jpg

 

Reversed taper with stone points;

 

arrows3.jpg

 

flightt3.jpg

 

Everybody together LOL!

 

collection.jpg

 

My quiver;

 

quiver3.jpg

 

quiver4.jpg

 

My new bracer, Just finished;

 

bracer.jpg

 

Quiver knife

 

knifee.jpg

 

and my bow;

 

bow2.jpg

 

bow.jpg

 

bowcase.jpg

 

grip.jpg

 

grip3.jpg

 

knock.jpg

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Im afraid I take full advantage of modern man tools. Great looking stuff Ant. I havent seen the bow string hook on that last picture before.

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Im afraid I take full advantage of modern man tools. Great looking stuff Ant. I havent seen the bow string hook on that last picture before.

 

If it wasn't for your teaching me flint knapping, and broadhead tying, they wouldn't look half as good, thanks. 

 

I won't lie tho, I cheat quite a bit too.  Instead of cotton thread, I use upholstery thread since it's stronger, and I coat the strings in wood glue to stiffen them, and all the shafts are factory made.

 

The string nocks on the bow are made out of bull horn and the leather thong you see in the pic is just a string keeper.  I didn't make this bow, only the grip.  I don't have it in me to put out this quality. At least not yet.

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Leather thong  8|  Doesnt that part that goes through the butt crack chaff a little.  :scared:

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Leather thong   8|   Doesnt that part that goes through the butt crack chaff a little.   :scared:

 

Alright, I did an internet search and it's the right terminology, so I'm sticking to it  :smoke:, despite all the strange looks  8| and ackward gestures  wacky115.gif.

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Yup us Americans came to this country and caught the Indians trespassing.

All us "future" americans, lol, and gave the indigenous peoples the oportunity trade in their wimpy little bows for bang sticks...., and all has been improving ever since....., in case you can't tell I'm being sarcastic here.

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