Sunday, 29 May 2016

More Messing With Arrow Shafts

My mate JT brought over some 3/8" Ash shafts for making some Warbow flight arrows. They are rather coarse grained and don't machine very well... mind I hadn't perfected my travelling steady for turning arrow shafts at that point. The problem is the shafts aren't precision items, so the steady needs to hold the shaft firmly, but with a little 'give'.
I finally made the mk3 steady, which when waxed with beeswax/turps polish works nicely. It has a 3/8" hole with a slot cut right into it and two other slots allowing it to flex a tad. It works really nicely on some Maple shafts I had left over from ages ago, they were a whisker fatter than the Ash, but the steady took up the slack, mind it did squeak a bit!
It would be easy enough to make this sort of steady for different sized shafts and make a version with an adjustable blade (say a pencil sharper blade or a bit of hacksaw blade sharpened) behind the steady for use with an electric drill rather than a lathe.
In terms of spine the maple is very similar to the Ash. This got me to thinking what other woods would be good, Hazel seems like a possibility, so I strolled over to the woods and cut some shoots, I also cut a bit of Elder, which is very soft and green, maybe it will harden up as it seasons.
The Hazel may season quite quickly, I straightened the shoots by hand while they are green and soft, it turned out that one bit had been standing dead, it was much harder and it snapped as I tried to straighten it. I think some rot had set in as it was an odd colour inside. Yew would probably make a superb arrow, but there's a sad lack of decent clean straight Yew, although I'll bear it in mind for offcuts in future. A Yew Warbow flight arrow would surely be a thing of beauty, maybe with a tiny  brass point?

I s'pose I should mention, I'm turning shafts to overall size, they will then be tapered at each end with my arrow taper jig. The taper jig doesn't remove material as fast as the lathe, so it's best to use the lathe first.
Enough musing, here's a couple of pics

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