When you start shooting archery, it’s all about having fun and flinging arrows. As you progress you’ll learn more about fine-tuning your form and equipment to improve your accuracy.
Then you might compete in a tournament and join an archery club. Soon, your new hobby is all you think about. It consumes more of your free time as you learn details and explore options for your archery gear.
Building your own arrows further engages your fascination with archery. It’s a fun, productive way to spend an evening while watching an archery tournament or favorite movie. Your efforts will be rewarded when you show off your custom arrows at the range and discuss the colors and components you chose for your self-built arrows.
The process starts at the archery shop, where the staff will help you choose the right arrow shaft and components for your bow. Then they’ll cut the shafts to your draw length and install the points. The rest of the work is up to you. Let’s discuss how it’s done.
What You Need:
Choose Your Fletching
While you’re at the archery store, you must pick out your fletching, which stabilize your arrows in flight. You can choose feathers or plastic vanes in different sizes, shapes and colors. Archers who shoot compound bows usually choose vanes, while those who shoot traditional bows usually choose feathers.
Setting Up Your Jig
To attach your fletching to the arrow shaft you’ll need a jig that aligns each fletching in a precise, consistent location. Fletching jigs have a base that holds the arrow shaft and a clamp that holds the fletching against the shaft.
Read the fletching jig’s instructions to learn how to set up the jig for your arrows. If you have questions, ask the pros at your archery shop to walk you through the process. They’ll even help you set up the jig.
You’ll glue the fletching to the arrow shafts. For the best adhesion, prepare your arrow shafts by cleaning them with rubbing alcohol or special shaft-prep products sold by the archery shop. These cleaners remove dirt, oils and films that hinder bonding or prevent glue from setting.
Stick it and Repeat
You’re now ready to fletch your arrows. Place an arrow shaft in the jig and a fletching in the clamp. Then run a thin glue bead down the length of the fletching. Place the clamp on the jig, applying slight pressure to seat the fletching against the shaft. Let the glue dry, and repeat the process with your next fletching.
Isn’t that easy? Your new arrows will look great, and every bull’s-eye you shoot will feel a little more satisfying. If you’re ready to start making arrows at home, visit an archery retailer to get the supplies and instruction you need.