Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Perfect taper tool

Messages posted to thread:
David Hill 13-May-22
Thumper 14-May-22
Eric Krewson 14-May-22
fdp 14-May-22
Jim 14-May-22
Nemah 14-May-22
JusPassin 14-May-22
Boker 14-May-22
M60gunner 14-May-22
Andy Man 14-May-22
Dan In MI 14-May-22
David Hill 14-May-22
dnovo 14-May-22
Kisatchie 15-May-22
nocking point 15-May-22
aromakr 15-May-22
From: David Hill
Date: 13-May-22

Anyone have a review for Gary Renfros taper tool? Specifically for Doug firs. I’ve debated on buying a disc sander and making a jig but if the drill operated taper tool does a good job might be a better option?

From: Thumper Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-May-22

Anything that grinds/sands vs cuts is going to do a better and smoother job. Especially on Douglas Fir as it tends to gouge a little easier when tapering.

I've used a Woodchuck taper tool (PITA to use but gave a really clean taper) and now use a Tru-Center "pencil sharpener type" from 3Rivers but keep the blades honed SHARP to get good results.

If you have the means to go the disc sander route, it will probably give a better finished taper.

Just my opinion.

From: Eric Krewson
Date: 14-May-22

Eric Krewson's embedded Photo

I have used them all over the last 40 years or so except a woodchuck which I thought was vastly over priced, I did have one similar that used the same motor and had bushings that lined your shaft up with the sanding disc.

The only taper tool I have used that gives me perfect tapers every time is the jig on my belt sander. I built it with an arrow stop but found that was unnecessary, after tapering thousands of arrows on it I can eyeball the depth of the taper just fine.

You don't have to buy an expensive belt disc sander to make one of these, there are small disc sanders with 1" belts that sell for between $50 and $75.

The one in the picture fits in the miter slot of my disc sanding table so I can take it off and on have it properly adjusted from the get go.

From: fdp
Date: 14-May-22

What Eric Krewson said.

From: Jim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-May-22

If you can find a used Woodchuck Taper Machine, that's the way to go.

From: Nemah
Date: 14-May-22

Disc sander for me! I had a Woodchuck machine, but there was noticeable play in the motor shaft which allowed the disc to move in and out slightly. Not good if you’re a perfectionist. The disc sander makes perfect tapers if your jig is accurate. Plus, the sweet aroma of Port Orford Cedar brings back fond memories of archery past, something carbon shaft shooters will never experience. Richard

From: JusPassin
Date: 14-May-22

I have a similar jig I use on my 10 inch table saw. Just put a 10 inch sanding disk in and away you go. PERFECT tapers every time.

From: Boker
Date: 14-May-22

I have a woodchuck , disc sander and pencil style all work just depends on how many shafts you plan on doing in a years time.

For me I’d been fine with the pencil because I don’t do many but I had to try them all lol.

From: M60gunner
Date: 14-May-22

I have the older taper tool set up from Gary. I have tapered cedar, fir, and hardwood shafts using it. I believe it’s the speed of the drill that helps get fine tapers. Besides it takes seconds to do a taper.

From: Andy Man
Date: 14-May-22

the play on the woodchuck can be eliminated by loosening the set screws and moving sand head inwards towart the motor

/inserting a thin washer

From: Dan In MI
Date: 14-May-22

I have been toying with ideas in this area, so what are you looking for in a “perfect” taper tool?

I have questions, but before I taint the pool of what you want, I’ll keep them to myself.

From: David Hill
Date: 14-May-22

That’s the name of the tool “Perfect taper”. What I’m looking for is a review of the tool. I work on the road months at a time living in my camper. While a disc sander would be ideal ,and I’ll probably get one eventually for the shop back home, it’s not really practical to drag one around the country. If the taper tools work reasonably well as in centered tapers then that would probably be sufficient. The small pencil sharpener ones look like they’d be hard to keep centered. Looking at the Bear Paw and also the one by Gary Renfro they have a longer body and seem like they would keep the shaft centered better.

While I love Surewood shafts and think they have about the best shafts available, for some reason every dozen I buy is cut and tapered 1/8”-1/4” different. I bought 3 dozen recently and each dozen is different by 1/4”. Probably not gonna effect arrow flight but I use the back of the point as a draw check and want all the arrows the same exact length.

From: dnovo Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 14-May-22

I've had a Woodchuck for many years now and it works perfect for me as long as I do my part. Don't slip. I don't have any play in mine even after many years.

From: Kisatchie
Date: 15-May-22

I have used Gary’s taper tool, a friend has one. The drill motor and speed along with a sharp blade cut Doug firs no problem. I’ve also used the Tru-center and Bear Paw hand turned taper tools. The Bear Paw seemed to work better. The issue with all 3 is the tolerances are tight. If your shaft is already finished or the shaft is a tiny bit to big your gonna have to sand the Tip end down some to fit the tool. Not really a big deal but it’s still there.

My advice if your only needing to fix a few point tapers get the Bear Paw. Save the money and get a disk sanding setup for the main arrow building work.

From: nocking point Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 15-May-22

I use one on Doug Fir,not as smooth as grinding but I like a textured taper over sanded one so the glue can bite in better.

From: aromakr Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 15-May-22

The primary problem with most taper tools is the shaft guide. Shafts today are not as UNIFORM in diameter as they were back in the day, that can affect how the final taper is in regard to the taper being in line with the axis of the shaft, the shaft MUST fit the guide snugly. Picture the nocks taper alignment in regard to being straight; the arrow flight begins with the nock, if its crooked it will send the arrow off in a different direction than one that is straight.

It is in my opinion the MOST important part of making arrows. They can be the most beautiful arrows you have ever seen, with crooked nocks there great for starting a fire and nothing else. One of the reasons the Woodchuck is such a great tool is the shaft guide, its "V" shaped it doesn't matter what the shafts diameter is it will always be guided into the disc perfectly straight which results in straight tapers. It is impossible to put nocks on straight with a crooked taper.

Compact is nice, but if it doesn't result in straight tapers its worthless regardless of cost.

How do you know if a taper is straight? If where the taper meets the shaft (that ring around the shaft) isn't a perfect circle (it has a dip in it) the taper is crooked or the shaft is not round.


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