TreeBlaskted Oak

Arrow Making Tutorial

  1. Shafts
  2. Feathers
  3. Nocks & Points
  4. Tools
  5. Shaft Preperation
  6. Lacquering
  7. Nocking
  8. Fletching
  9. Tipping

Medieval Arrows


Shaft Preparation

The first thing you will need to do is straighten your shafts. This can be done at every point during the arrow making process, and I suggest you do it often.

Because I use a gasket lacquer system, the next step is to taper both ends of the shaft. I recommend tapering both ends using the tip angle as long as the full sized shaft is longer than you draw length and you will later be cutting the shaft down to size. I like to lacquer first and then cut down the shafts to leave room for mistakes. Using the tip angle for this initial tapering means that the area under the tip is covered before you put the tip on.

Now it is time to sand the arrow shafts. Use a fine grit sandpaper and sand them lightly and evenly. When you are finished you need to raise the grain of the wood by running a wet paper towel over the shafts and then allowing them to dry. Once the grain has been raised in this way you should sand again using a very fine grit sandpaper.

If you are interested in staining or cresting your shafts now is the time. Since I don’t stain my shafts I cannot recommend which stains are compatible with lacquer. One thing to keep in mind is you want to be able to find your arrows in the grass, so you may not want to stain your shafts a very dark color.

Cresting is a ring of paint along the circumference of your arrows. It is a great way to distinguish your arrows from other people’s, and a way to add some color and creativity to your arrows. You can either paint them on by hand, although it is very time consuming to ensure that they will be even or you can buy or make a jig that spins the arrow, allowing you to create a nice even ring. I currently do not crest any of my arrows, so I cannot tell you what cresting paints are compatible with the lacquer. Keep in mind how far the arrow will penetrate into the target when deciding where to crest, cresting near the tip will not be visible once the arrow is in the target.


Copyright © 2008-2010 Naomi Hampson.