Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Dowel arrows? Watch this->->->

Messages posted to thread:
monkeyball 12-Jan-21
MikeT 12-Jan-21
GF 12-Jan-21
fdp 12-Jan-21
M60gunner 12-Jan-21
M60gunner 12-Jan-21
Recurveaholic77 12-Jan-21
fdp 12-Jan-21
monkeyball 12-Jan-21
2 bears 12-Jan-21
Tim Cousineau 12-Jan-21
Juancho 12-Jan-21
Runner 12-Jan-21
Eric Krewson 13-Jan-21
monkeyball 13-Jan-21
Red Beastmaster 13-Jan-21
George Tsoukalas 13-Jan-21
Jim Davis 13-Jan-21
JamesV 13-Jan-21
NY Yankee 13-Jan-21
tradmt 13-Jan-21
BigOzzie 13-Jan-21
BATMAN 13-Jan-21
fdp 13-Jan-21
BigOzzie 13-Jan-21
Longcruise 13-Jan-21
fdp 13-Jan-21
Longcruise 13-Jan-21
RymanCat 13-Jan-21
fdp 13-Jan-21
Eric Krewson 13-Jan-21
Runner 13-Jan-21
bowhunt 13-Jan-21
grouchy62 14-Jan-21
Jim Davis 14-Jan-21
Zbone 14-Jan-21
GF 14-Jan-21
monkeyball 14-Jan-21
fdp 14-Jan-21
Runner 14-Jan-21
George Tsoukalas 14-Jan-21
SCATTERSHOT 14-Jan-21
Bud B. 14-Jan-21
grouchy62 14-Jan-21
Runner 14-Jan-21
oldhunter1942 14-Jan-21
GF 14-Jan-21
Bassman 14-Jan-21
Bowlim 14-Jan-21
shooter 14-Jan-21
GLF 14-Jan-21
Runner 14-Jan-21
Zbone 15-Jan-21
fdp 15-Jan-21
Jon Stewart 15-Jan-21
fdp 15-Jan-21
SCATTERSHOT 15-Jan-21
fdp 15-Jan-21
GF 15-Jan-21
SCATTERSHOT 16-Jan-21
From: monkeyball
Date: 12-Jan-21




Ever think of making your own woods out of dowels? I have already, but you really need to pay attention to the grain.

This is worth the watch if you have ever thought of trying to turn a dowel into an arrow.

Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: MikeT
Date: 12-Jan-21




wow, I dont know as how ive thought about using cheap dowels, but for sure I wont think about it now. There are better hardwood dowels thought.....ok nope

From: GF
Date: 12-Jan-21




It would be extraordinarily easy to carefully select a dowel that wouldn’t make his point anywhere near so clearly, but it does at least show that you do need to know what you’re doing!

From: fdp
Date: 12-Jan-21




You'd be amazed how good a set of arrows you can make from carefully selected dowels.

I started doing it years ago after reading a Monty Stark article.

From: M60gunner
Date: 12-Jan-21




I did back when Ramin was available at the home store. A few years ago I got the urge agian, the dowels were from China, some real soft wood. Back to the Ramin, tough stuff to straighten but even tougher to break. Most shafts spined out around 100#’s perfect for my 80# Widow. Yes, I used to get strange looks when I would be going through the box sighting down each dowel.

From: M60gunner
Date: 12-Jan-21




I did back when Ramin was available at the home store. A few years ago I got the urge agian, the dowels were from China, some real soft wood. Back to the Ramin, tough stuff to straighten but even tougher to break. Most shafts spined out around 100#’s perfect for my 80# Widow. Yes, I used to get strange looks when I would be going through the box sighting down each dowel.

From: Recurveaholic77
Date: 12-Jan-21




What is Ramin?

From: fdp
Date: 12-Jan-21




Ramin is a very heavy and dense tropical wood. It is no longer available for import into the U.S.

It has nearly indistinguishable grain patterns.

From: monkeyball
Date: 12-Jan-21




Recurve....this gives you all the info:

Common Name(s): Ramin Scientific Name: Gonystylus spp. Distribution: Southeast Asia Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 41 lbs/ft3 (655 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .66 Janka Hardness: 1,210 lbf (5,400 N) Modulus of Rupture: 18,180 lbf/in2 (120.9 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 2,255,000 lbf/in2 (15.55 GPa) Crushing Strength: 9,580 lbf/in2 (66.0 MPa) Shrinkage: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 8.9%, Volumetric: 13.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.9

Uh, not really GF....go to your local hardware store and start looking thru them, I am sure you probably have already done that.

If you get a 1/2 dozen that are straight, and with no grain run off out of 50, stop at the local Lottery store and buy a ticket because you are having a lucky day.

Now take them home and spine them. If you have some that fall in your spine range, get in your car quick and go buy another ticket cause your luck is really running good.

fdp, would not be amazed at all, I use to build them out of dowels but with those two specific words that you mentioned...."carefully selected".

Straight dowels with good grain are not easy to obtain, plain and simple.

The purpose of the video is to show folks that there is more to making a wood arrow than what they may know. Thanks for your input.

Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: 2 bears
Date: 12-Jan-21




Only if you make your own dowels and spine them. >>>>-----> Ken

From: Tim Cousineau
Date: 12-Jan-21




I have built many arrows from dowels. I use the 36", "Poplar" dowels that say Made in America. I check each one for run off and stiffness, even to the point of bringing a home made spine tester and scale with me. These will weigh around 600-700 grains. I get alot of strange looks. Ive never had the problem of an arrow breaking upon release.

From: Juancho
Date: 12-Jan-21




Ramin hands down for me. I haven't been able to find it for 15 years at least. It would only take going thru a good 300 shafts (ramin wood dowels) to find a suitable 20 or so. After which they would get spined and weighted to find a good 8 match shafts. Of those 3 or so were nearly impossible to get straight . Down to 5 give or take. Taper the last 1/3 of the shafts , sand them , stain , crest, seal... and voila ! 5 beautiful fine arrows! Test flight, and , oops! there is that one that flies all over the place, and this other one that's fine for as long as I draw just about 3/4" shorter. And then... 3 perfect arrows that fly exactly to the mark every time !!! Now those ones are pretty much indestructible, except for that one that skipped off the back of that 3D target and couldn't find after 2 hours looking for it. After winning two 3D tournaments with ONE of those arrows, I saved them for that special hunt ...... after 20+ years I still have them in my stash but I'm too afraid to take them out in the field. Cheap ? well ,... lets just say that they are beautiful!

From: Runner
Date: 12-Jan-21




Terrible selectively biased video designed to try to sell you their arrow shafts.

Pick your own dowels and sand them properly. Same end product.

From: Eric Krewson
Date: 13-Jan-21




I made a dozen or so poplar arrows using carefully selected 3/8" dowels from Lowe's. All were at least 90# spine starting out, I barrel tapered them and brought the spines down to 55-60 with sandpaper, very labor intensive.

I ended up with some really great matched arrows in the 600 gr range but it wasn't something I wanted to do on a regular basis. I would have an hour or so of sanding in each arrow, too much work, of course I stained the crown, crested then and fletched them with wild turkey feathers.

I still have one or two of these left at least ten years after I made them, the remnants are still great flying arrows.

From: monkeyball
Date: 13-Jan-21




Sorry you feel that way Runner, not surprised, just sorry.

As far as Ramin shafting goes Twig Archery was still dealing it the last I knew.

A very tough wood for sure but hard to discern any grain, although it is suppose to be interlocking.

Whatever wood shaft you choose, if you are just learning, pay attention to the video when he talks about grain run out.

Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: Red Beastmaster
Date: 13-Jan-21




My stumpers are 5/16 oak dowels from Lowes. I hand spine and pick the straightest ones in the store. If they don't break through the straightening process they are good to go. Heavy and extremely tough. Good enough for stumps.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 13-Jan-21




I hand planed my white pine shafts from board stock. See "pine shaft hints". http://traditionalarchery101.com Jawge

From: Jim Davis
Date: 13-Jan-21




Birch dowels were the choice for hunting arrows in Pope's opinion. Fewer options in those days.

My router setup easily spins out a shaft from any wood in much less time than it would take to pick one out of a rack in a hardware store.

Just occurred to me, has anyone ever seen a wooden shaft made to look like carbon or aluminum? 8-) Didn't think so!

From: JamesV
Date: 13-Jan-21




I have made hundreds of arrows from 5/16 poplar dowels from Lowes. Usually 9-10 out of a dozen fly good, with the culls I make flu flu's with them. The 1/4" dowels make good kid's arrows.

James

From: NY Yankee
Date: 13-Jan-21




It can be done, as has been talked about here for a long time. You just have to know what you are doing and select the right quality product. I think the video was talking more about just going to Home Depot and grabbing a handful of dowels and making arrows from them. Not good. Arrow shafts are nothing more than dowel rods, just well made to certain dimensions from select trees and correctly sorted. I don't have the time to invest in dowels so I buy them from arrow shaft makers.

From: tradmt
Date: 13-Jan-21




I wonder if that dude sells carbons?

From: BigOzzie
Date: 13-Jan-21




From my experience (as a hobbyist shaft maker)

If I mill 250 shafts,

throw out 50 for grain issues throw out 20 that are too hard to straighten

I spine them into 6 lb groups 50 -55 etc. etc which yields approximately 2 dozen arrows per weight grouping, then I weigh them and put them in order of mass. Trying for a 10 grain difference in groups, I am lucky to get a half dozen that fit into a 10 grain grouping.

So here you are 250 shafts into production and you are lucky to yield a half dozen well matched shafts in any spine group.

so 500 milled shafts to get a well matched dozen in any category.

Yeah I am not hanging out in Lowes or Home Depot spining and weighing 500 shafts to find the 12 I want.

oz

From: BATMAN
Date: 13-Jan-21




For aKLUTZ like me, easier to buy the shafts from some of the reputable shaft dealers that I know about!

From: fdp
Date: 13-Jan-21




It's a very simple matter to sand the center of the dowel/shaft to match spine and taper one or both ends to match weight. And it doesn't take long when the shaft is chucked in a drill.

My experience indicates that for the majority of purposes the shooting of different diameter arrows ranging from 5/16" to 23/64" makes little or no difference in achievable accuracy.

From: BigOzzie
Date: 13-Jan-21




fdp,

don't you find that sanding to spine and dealing with different diameters brings on it's own set of issues, that absorb about as much time as sorting them to find what you want to begin with.

if diameters are different, points do not fit the same, nocs do not fit the same, fletching jigs need adjusted to get similar wing rotations. not to mention Cresting them.

It would take lots of equipment and patience and parts to get a set of arrows out of shafts that have been sanded to random diameters to achieve spine.

"I think" hehe. Thanks for the dialogue

oz

From: Longcruise
Date: 13-Jan-21




From: fdp
Date: 13-Jan-21




No not really.

I have the 3 most popular sizes of points and nocks in the weight and colors I prefer.

I don't seem to have the nock/string fit issues that many do.

My fetching jig doesn't require any readjustment to fletch the different sizes.

And I'm probably not a good enough shot to blame a miss on the difference in diameter between 5/16 and 23/64.

But ultimately it's just all about what you want to do.

From: Longcruise
Date: 13-Jan-21

Longcruise's embedded Photo



Oops! :)

I dowel quite a few arrows with a Veritas rig and do pretty well on matching weight and spine. Runout is not a problem if the board is straight grained. I pick boards for arrows almost as carefully as picking for a self bow.

All the arrows in the picture came from the same pine board. They are made purely for stumping and close up small game. I used a lot of odd leftover full feathers and experimented with some homemade feather templates. The weights of these fell into a range as close as some of the "hunter" grade Rose City shafts I've had.

They suit their purpose just fine. If I spined them they would probably be all over the place but they don't have to shoot tens at 30 yards. They are ten yards and less arrows.

My big game arrows are made from premium Wapiti shafts.

From: RymanCat
Date: 13-Jan-21




What is Ramin?

Your shootin noodles.

I don't like them they are soft ones I used the dowels. I Shot them into excelsior bales and they bent.

From: fdp
Date: 13-Jan-21




Ramin is by no means soft Ryman.

From: Eric Krewson
Date: 13-Jan-21




I made a router shaft machine years ago, I didn't have access to any good wood but doug fir from Lowes, I found some amazing boards. Out of a $6 board would get 13 shafts, of these maybe two or three would match, the rest of the spines and weights would be all over the place.

I retired my shaft machine for this reason.

From: Runner
Date: 13-Jan-21




I never spine or weigh arrows. I buy perfect dowels and make arrows and then shoot them from any of a number of bows I have and match them up.

If I buy 30 dowels, I get 30 arrows.

From: bowhunt
Date: 13-Jan-21




I have made them.They were heavy for sure.Required some good straightning.Not grain matched or spine matched.But they work.

From: grouchy62
Date: 14-Jan-21




I have made ramin dowel arrows.I block planed the last 9 inches You still have to spine them. I use the old Howard hill method of spining by shooting them into groups. Doing this I have had some of the best arrows I have ever made.But as stated look for good straightness and grain. Also I use 3/8 inch size dowels.

From: Jim Davis
Date: 14-Jan-21




I pick spruce boards very carefully. The last 1x10 I bought had two match-sized knots total. I use a router setup and find my shafts match very close in spine and almost identical in weight.

From: Zbone
Date: 14-Jan-21




All my flu-flus are made from dowel rods...

From: GF
Date: 14-Jan-21




@Craig -

Seriously??

I have seen a lot of crappy-looking dowel rods, but I have NEVER seen one with the grain running at an angle like that where the growth rings cross the full width of the dowel over the course of just a few inches, nor do I recall ever seeing one with multiple knots in the wood.

Never seen dowels sold in 7’-8’ lengths, either.

JMO, you can spend your time sorting through a barrel full of dowels, made from you’re-not-entirely-certain what, looking for a dozen that appear to be suitable for making a satisfactory set of arrows, or you can spend your money on a dozen shafts made of wood selected expressly because it is a species that makes a fine arrow, and which have been graded, sorted and matched from among many thousands of shafts by someone who knows enough about shafting to be able to make a living selling the stuff.

And FWIW, I think the Howard Hill method of sorting arrows by where they land on a target sounds like a whole lot more fun (and a hell of a lot cheaper!) than buying a spine tester and a grain scale and spending a lot of time tediously sorting by spine and weight. Of course, his method only works to the extent that you can trust your own shooting.....

From: monkeyball
Date: 14-Jan-21




Matt, You have just not sorted thru enough dowels then. 7-8 foot lengths, me either, 4'- yes.

And as far as your opinion goes ....... you can spend your time sorting through a barrel full of dowels, made from you’re-not-entirely-certain what, looking for a dozen that appear to be suitable for making a satisfactory set of arrows, or you can spend your money on a dozen shafts made of wood selected expressly because it is a species that makes a fine arrow, and which have been graded, sorted and matched from among many thousands of shafts by someone who knows enough about shafting to be able to make a living selling the stuff.

That is kind of what the whole video is about.

Take carpal and Good Shooting->->->->Craig

From: fdp
Date: 14-Jan-21




Things related to archery are so often portrayed as being way more complicated than they are.

From: Runner
Date: 14-Jan-21




Still, selecting your own is like looking for a perfect tree or board to make a bow.

You could also just pay someone to do that too. Heck, you might as well have them make it too.

It all depends on how self sufficient you want to be.

If we all just had experts do everything for us we wouldn't do a thing.

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 14-Jan-21




Like I said above I hand lane my own shafts. I just enjoy it. Relaxing. While dealing with a router is not to me. I do have 2 routers. LOL>

If you check the link I provided you'll see that they are barrel chested shafts.

In other words, spine can be controlled by sanding the middle while weight can be controlled by sand the ends.

Jawge

From: SCATTERSHOT
Date: 14-Jan-21




Long time ago, I bought some 3/8” dowels and spined them. Here’s what I came up with:

Well, I was curious, too, so I ordered 50 3/8" birch dowels from American Woodcrafters. They are all straight, 36" long, and look like they would make decent arrows. Some grain runout, and a few knots here and there, but for the most part they appear to be serviceable. Out of the 50, here's how they spined out: 68-1 70-1 73-2 75-3 76-2 79-1 81-1 84-1 87-7 90-2 93-4 96-7 98-1 100-5 104-8 108-3 130-1

As far as the 15/16” dowels, most of them spine in the mid 40s.

If you decide to try making your own from dowels, remember these are dowels, not arrow shafts, and keep your wits about you. Good shooting!

From: Bud B.
Date: 14-Jan-21




Never a problem here with 5/16 poplar dowels from Lowe's. I hand select based on straightness first, then cull that pile based on grain and being knot free. I might get 6-8 dowels out of 100. If you're picky, and know what to look for, you can do well with hardware store dowels. Takes me less than ten minutes to sort through a hundred or so. I use them for stumping with my lighter weight bows.

Yes, the video is slanted based on the maker's opinion.

From: grouchy62
Date: 14-Jan-21




If it was good enough for Pope and Young it is good enough for me. I'm not looking for scientific certainty but serviceable arrows. By grouping them by how how they shoot you will suprised by what spines shoot well out of your bow,

From: Runner
Date: 14-Jan-21




Jay Massey made his own arrows from raw stock and he was a dowel guy too.

From: oldhunter1942
Date: 14-Jan-21




Poplar makes a good shaft

From: GF
Date: 14-Jan-21




Hey, JMO....

If this time that you spend turning dowel rods into good arrows is something you enjoy, then you should be willing to pay extra for the privilege. If you just want good, cheap arrows, you are better off buying used aluminum, right?

I know that Bud does a really nice job of turning 1/4” dowels into good arrows for kids, because my younger son shot them for a couple of years and we have passed the survivors along to his cousins.

So call me a Middle Grounder on this one: I am not going to lay odds, but it certainly appeared to me that the guy in the video might well have gone out of his way to find a particularly awful example of a dowel rod to compare to a Proper Shaft. And sometimes, it IS permissible to exaggerate a bit in order to make a point, especially when it pertains to safety.

I don’t imagine for one second that his video was intended to address people who know what they’re doing and are willing to put in the time and effort to get it right. I think he was just putting out a warning that it’s not worth a buck or two per shaft to dive right in willy-nilly and make arrows out of something that could end up sticking out of the back of your bow-hand.

Fair enough.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 14-Jan-21




I made quarter inch dowel arrows, and used multi colored duct tape for fletching for my grand kids to make arrows when they were smaller. cheap,and functional.

From: Bowlim
Date: 14-Jan-21




The thing about actual Tropical hardwoods is that at the equator, there is no winter, so there are not growth rings. There can be figure which is pores or designs in the wood. The result is you can have a piece of wood that look great but the grain runs out in the dowel in 2 inches. In Fir etc... you would easily be able to spot the grain run out. That is why I never use tropical dowels, and I don't use tropical wood for structure when I can avoid it. There is no aircraft certification for tropical wood, it is basically only Sitka spruce that is reliable enough. And arrows are far more highly graded than aircraft wood, so if they won't use it... Aircraft wood is 1-20 I don't want light arrows (like if you had elm arrows it would be different) worse than 1-100. Often with POC you could get dead straight and perfect wood.

From: shooter
Date: 14-Jan-21




I have a few really nice ones I made from 1/4 inch & 3/8 inch oak dowels. They are strong & look really nice but finding one dozen dowels that are straight, have good grain and are closely spined is really difficult. Also the price of oak dowels where I can buy them (Home Depot) is not much cheaper than good grade cedar shafts we can buy online.

From: GLF
Date: 14-Jan-21




In the 80's Dinks feathers in W.Virginia used to sell ramin arrow shafts. They're so dense all it took was 5/16 shafts for most any weight.

From: Runner
Date: 14-Jan-21




Tropical wood still tends to have rather visible rings. You just have to look.

Ramin growth is pretty easy to see if you know what to look for. It's also not that dense. Surprised that's being mentioned so much. I do wish it was still available.

From: Zbone
Date: 15-Jan-21




fdp - "Things related to archery are so often portrayed as being way more complicated than they are"

Now that is classic, and so true... Am gonna use it at times if you don't mind...

From: fdp
Date: 15-Jan-21




Feel free to use as you see appropriate Zbone. :)

From: Jon Stewart
Date: 15-Jan-21




I use the 4' dowels for Atlatl darts.

From: fdp
Date: 15-Jan-21




So do I Jon. They work quite well.

From: SCATTERSHOT
Date: 15-Jan-21




FWIW, current price at American Woodcrafters Supply for 100 5/16” birch dowels is $35.75.. may be worth it for a few culls.

From: fdp
Date: 15-Jan-21




There are sources for dowels that provide better products at a more reasonable price than American Woodvrafters.

From: GF
Date: 15-Jan-21




Ok, so spill already!

LOL

From: SCATTERSHOT
Date: 16-Jan-21




Yes, please let us know.





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