Arrow Making

Home Up


Arrow making goes back to pre-historic man and one half of the "tools" needed to harvest game or just shoot targets for fun.  Most of us that grew up where we could wander out the back yard into the woods and play Cowboys and Indians with family members and kids in the neighborhood at some point in time has made that ole self bow called a stick n string if nothing more than a small sapling bent into an arch with a good string tied on each end and you had the makings of a bow.  The arrows were small straight reeds or what ever material was readily at hand with a notch cut into the rear of the shaft to accept the string.  The arrow head could be anything such as a heavy gauge wire or nail with the head cut off and the end flattened to a point.  Getting a little more refined down the road, we  would cut the back and belly from a good piece of ash or hickory with either pocket knives or a draw knife and air dry or help the process along by sneaking each end of the bow into the cook oven but the finished product would still not be equal to a "store bought" bow but the seed was already planted for "messing" with archery gear! 

Now getting back to my story, arrow making doesn't take a lot of tools and supplies and not really that expensive once you obtain a small arrow cut-off saw, fletching jig, glue and an assortment of either feathers or plastic vanes.  If you dip or crest your arrows, dipping tanks will be needed.  Most raw arrow shafts come with a nock and insert and you only have to cut the shaft to length and apply the fletching.  I enjoy making the arrows and it does save a few bucks especially the re-fletching of shafts since about every practice session a fletch or two will be damaged needing the arrow to be fletched again.  Inserted a few pixs:

I am using a Bitzenburger Fletchmaster fletching jig and you can see the small cut-off saw to the right.  I have a couple Bitzenburger jigs set for different applications such as hunting and target arrows that have different degrees of taper/offset to the fletch.


A few of the supplies needed:  I clean the arrow shafts with Acetone however you can get a more aggressive product like MEK (METHYL ETHYL KETONE) which is highly flammable and getting harder to obtain because of it's nature.  The majority of my hunting shafts are dipped with a base coat of white and rocket red applied and a clear sealer over that, however I sometimes leave the clear coat off....all three products made by Bohning Company.  I obtain my archery supplies from long time friend Jim Skipper at Skip's Archery Shop,  7608 Circle Dr., .Indian Trail, NC  28079 Telephone:  704-882-1844.  Jim has a full-time Archery Pro Shop and knows his business!   Sometime in the future I will see if he will let me do a short story on himself and his shop. 

Jim Skipper moved his archery shop a few years ago to Mineral Springs, NC which housed a small indoor archery range.

NOTE:  Jim aka Skip Skipper passed to the next life on 11-02-17.  He was first class in all that he did!

No, Bill Porter is not hanging his laundry out to dry, but dipping several dozen Easton XX78 raw shafts that are receiving the Rocket Red color on top of some previously dipped white shafts.  At this stage of arrow making, I believe the arrow maker might have lost a few of his marbles.  If you have ever dipped arrows inside without proper ventilation. you would easily understand why I am outside with this part of the arrow making process.  Besides, I don't have to worry about the shop floor getting repainted either.  Take note of the clothes pins and you can't see the nail that goes down inside the clothes pin spring hole to keep the arrows onto the line. 


Another view of the drying operation.  The light between the deck flooring is giving some optical illusions for sure and nearly matches the angle of the arrow orientation!


The dipped arrows with some fletching without any type of cresting applied......I not longer apply or have applied any cresting to my arrow shafts since I do not shoot tournament archery anymore and the cresting is for "show" anyway.   The bright dipped arrow does have its advantage such as following the arrow flight, whereby you can see the point of impact on your animal or target, however it can be a disadvantage at times too, if you move around with that bright arrow and fletch spooking game.

Above arrow was dipped and crested by Bobby "cheese" Winfree of Wadesboro, NC.  Bobby shoots recurve archery equipment only and one of the fastest shots with a recurve bow I have ever seen.   I had Bobby to crest my tournament arrows when I shot traditional equipment and he is one of the best at cresting arrows around these parts.  I don't think Bobby does any serious arrow making at the present time.  His job with the US Postal Service keeps him on the go.  The above shield pattern on the feather is still in use by traditional archers but has given way to the parabolic design because the parabolic shape is much quieter, but the ole shield pattern still has the looks of a traditional arrow. 

Pix of Bobby Winfree mid 1980's:

Web published by Bill Porter aka Mickey Porter on 08-31-08 and updated on 11-13-17.


If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be attained.   

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”


Home Up