Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Wood spine and footing

Messages posted to thread:
GlassPowered Hoosier 08-Apr-20
blind squirrel 08-Apr-20
6bloodychunks 08-Apr-20
Orion 08-Apr-20
JusPassin 08-Apr-20
NY Yankee 08-Apr-20
aromakr 08-Apr-20
M60gunner 08-Apr-20
GlassPowered Hoosier 08-Apr-20
Slowbowjoe 08-Apr-20
Jim Davis 08-Apr-20
GlassPowered Hoosier 08-Apr-20
Jon Stewart 08-Apr-20
osr 144 14-Apr-20
From: GlassPowered Hoosier
Date: 08-Apr-20

I’m looking into building my first set of wood arrows. I’m considering between cedar or fir shafts with a 4 point footing in either black walnut or osage.

What I didn’t know was if footing is going to weaken spine because you’re adding weight to the front. Or stiffen it because you are increasing the rigidity of the first few inches of the point end. Or does it not change?

From: blind squirrel Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Apr-20

First set ever ? If so I wouldn’t jump right into footed unless you’re buying blank shafts already footed and if so they are pricey just my 2 cents

From: 6bloodychunks
Date: 08-Apr-20

yeah. keep it simple.

wapiti archery has incredible shafts for the money. i prefer the tapered.

cant beat it when they print the spine rating and weight on each individual shaft :)

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 08-Apr-20

The footings, if they're standard size, don't add that much weight up front, maybe 20-30 grains on a 11/32 diameter shaft. Remember that the footing is just replacing the cedar or fir that was already there so the increased weight is just the difference in weight between the cedar/fir and the osage/walnut.

They do stiffen the shaft a bit, but pretty much a wash, in my opinion. Of course, if you're buying the shafts already footed, you can specify the weight and spine you want because the vendor weight and spine groups them after footing.

If you're doing it yourself, you'll need a jig and router to cut the appropriate tapers on the shafts. Wouldn't hurt to have a band saw to cut the slots into the foots. Of course, can buy the foots already cut. Regardless, there's some planing and sanding to be done after the glue-up. Not the easiest to keep everything straight. If this is your first attempt with wood, I recommend you buy them already footed.

Keep in mind, too, that hardwood footings don't work very well with pencil sharpener taper tools. Very easy to get the taper crooked, which pretty much ruins the shaft. Might look into building taper jigs to use on a disk sander or table saw sanding disk.

Making wood arrows is simple, but making good wood arrows isn't easy. Good luck.

From: JusPassin
Date: 08-Apr-20

The heavier front end will of course weaken the dynamic spine a bit. It won't be a lot though.

From: NY Yankee
Date: 08-Apr-20

You could do a 2 foot splice a lot easier and still have a hardwood front end.

From: aromakr Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 08-Apr-20

After having footed 15-20 thousand shafts, I can say footing does not effect the spine; static or dynamic enough to make any difference, as long the solid part of the foot does not exceed 3"


From: M60gunner
Date: 08-Apr-20

And I would listen to Bob.

From: GlassPowered Hoosier
Date: 08-Apr-20

M60: no doubt.

I remember talking about arrow cresting with Bob and he pointed out my mistake on using a oil based cresting with a oil based clear on top causing running.

Once you know why exactly something happens you don’t make the mistake again.

Bob is one of the best. And not afraid to share that knowledge.

From: Slowbowjoe
Date: 08-Apr-20

Just curious, but why do you want footings on the arrows?

From: Jim Davis
Date: 08-Apr-20

From: GlassPowered Hoosier
Date: 08-Apr-20


Oh boy that’s a complicated question, but answers itself once you personally know me.

I like the reinforcement behind the point and I like to bulletproof things. It also makes a nicer looking arrow to me. I also love black walnut and have plenty access to it for no cost except labor. Additionally I have years of woodworking experience and access to all the power tools required. I just enjoy challenge and gaining the skills to make a end product that I am satisfied with.

If I’m going to build wood, I might as well go all in and make exactly what I want.

From: Jon Stewart
Date: 08-Apr-20

Hooser it is a labor of love as aromakr will tell you. It takes some tools to get started. A router and table, footing jig which I made myself . I use a table saw to cut the half inch sections and a band saw to cut them into 4's. After that its glue and dry. I use a thumb plane to get them down and then sand and sand. Aromakr sounds like a pro at after doing so many so maybe he will chime in on the process.

From: osr 144 Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-Apr-20

It's lots of fun and if you are good on the hand tools most of can be done by hand.You can machine shafts and cut foots but for just a few why bother.Unless you want 4 wing splice hand tools will get it done.I think poor folk archery video shows a good way.I been doing mine by hand since I was a ten year old in 1970.I have my own methods and am really fast at cutting fitting and glueing shafts up.yeah with this covid19 bullshit where I live we can't go out much so I do have well over 3000 cut and seasoned shaft blanks.Keep your block plane sharp


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