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Picture of Making Bamboo Arrows
AnOldBow.jpg

INTRODUCTION

A Primitive Technology Disclaimer.

I firmly believe that in Preindustrial Societies, the onus of learning was on the pupil. Anyone who wants to succeed will find a way to learn.

Real learning is an active endevor. We learn best by carefully observing and doing. There will be failures. There will be frustration and tears. Not everything will be obvious nor will the reason for every step be readily apparent. It is not the duty of the teacher to drag every unwilling pupil along nor argue every point to their satisfaction every step of the way. Failure is not something to fear but is something to learn from. If you don't like the teacher or the methods, either suck it up or find another teacher.

This principle is one of the things that makes INSTRUCTABLES and the MAKE communities truly great. We are none of us teachers and we are all of us teachers. May you all find your way.

 
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Step 1: Making (quality) Bamboo Arrows

Picture of Making (quality) Bamboo Arrows
Finished arrows.jpg

I was surprised to not find a detailed tutorial on bamboo arrow making on Instructables. So, I stepped up and decided to document the process as I was making some new arrows anyway. I'm a fair arrow maker but there are plenty of fanatical archers with more patience than me who make even better arrows. Look around the 'net or check the bookstores for archery information.

Good arrows take time, effort, and attention to detail so if you don't have those things to spare, step out of the workshop and save yourself the bother. If you are willing to proceed, there are many skills required that will incorporate to create an arrow. Cutting, heating, trimming, smoothing, tying, drilling, and sawing; all will be needed to complete a set of arrows.

To begin: Having received some beautiful arrow bamboo from a friend (Pseudosasa japonica I think), I decided to use this to make some new arrows. I have never used this fine material before but have handled and examined arrows of this species. I should note that I have used our American cousin, river cane (Arundinaria gigantea). It could not be more perfect for the job.

Although bamboo and cane arrows can be a little on the delicate side, they make excellent and super fast hunting or target arrows if properly tuned.

grgbpm3 months ago

great instruct ! thank you

robolimbo4 months ago

Have you ever done a Southeastern Two Fletch on your arrows?

robolimbo4 months ago

Awesome.

robolimbo4 months ago

Osage nocks! Now I didn't see that in the original photo! Great work! That cane looks like hill cane. Do you know if the cane grew in the sun or in the shade?

robolimbo4 months ago

I love cane arrows. It's nature's carbon fiber! Great post and some great looking arrows. Did you stain the cresting? They look like you put a lot of time into them. Is that goose feather?

American Ruin8 months ago

This is an awesome project. My friend gave me a take-down bow for my wedding, and this is definately on my to-do list!

Eunix8 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to write this instructable. You deserve your win!

I love stuff like this, good job!

bergerab11 months ago

Wow impressive. The final result looks so professional!

paleotool (author)  bergerab11 months ago
Thanks!

Thank you for such an informative instructable. Have you ever tried winding the fletch binding through the fletching? I've seen arrows like this at re-enactment days in England where it spirals up through the feather gills.

paleotool (author)  happyluckyidiot11 months ago
Yes I have. It is a great system but is difficult to teach in person, much less on Instructables. Take some very fine thread (silk is finest) and wind it around so that the spirals are about 1/4" apart. Tie of and your feather is secure forever.
mbelew11 months ago

Very well written instructable.

wdsims6311 months ago

This is something I've always wanted to learn, but never really looked into. Thanks for this instructable.

BlueberryCrazy11 months ago

Your intro reminds me of this quote that I discovered recently,

"Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners." ~ John Holt

I've often thought about making a bow but never considered making arrows for some reason...this looks like something I could actualy do :)

BlueberryCrazy11 months ago

Your intro reminds me of this quote that I discovered recently,

"Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners." ~ John Holt

I've thought about making a bow before but never considered making arrows for some reason...this looks like something I could actualy do :)

relbatto11 months ago

Superlative teaching, and i am sending your preliminary comments to my grandson, but the look and heft of these seems truly wonderful. If you ever do the Japanese bows and their fitted arrows please email me...

relbatto11 months ago

Superlative teaching, and i am sending your preliminary comments to my grandson, but the look and heft of these seems truly wonderful. If you ever do the Japanese bows and their fitted arrows please email me...

spark master11 months ago

nice stuff to be sure. You make it look easy... I hope you do another on Fletching!

panzerfaust37911 months ago

Excellent tutorial.

jkimball11 months ago

Where do you get your points from?

paleotool (author)  jkimball11 months ago
I ordered those from Three Rivers Archery.
snoopindaweb11 months ago

Thank You.

nodcah11 months ago

Informative! I've never really thought about making an arrow before...

jjdebenedictis11 months ago

Very interesting! (And I say this as someone who hasn't touched a bow since she was eight years old at summer camp. :) )

theegghead11 months ago

cool!

gstopngo11 months ago

Wow, very succinct and highly informative instructable! Thanks so much for sharing. I definitely like your philosophy on learning as well. Something society needs to remember.

billbillt11 months ago

Thanks for this!..... Just what I was looking for...

Awesome :)

M.Ploeger11 months ago

Very nice :-)