Introduction: Making Arrow Heads From Old Keys

Picture of Making Arrow Heads From Old Keys

 I have read in several different post-apocalypse novels of the survivors using old house keys for arrow head blanks. So I decided to give it a try and see what the results would be.

Step 1: Tools to Use

Picture of Tools to Use

 To mark, cut and shape the keys into arrow heads, I used a black Sharpie marker, jeweler's saw, double cut file, jeweler's bench pin and two C-clamps. Clamp the bench pin to your work table with the keyhole shape facing you.

Step 2: Mark Your Planned Cuts

Picture of Mark Your Planned Cuts

 I drew a line from the outermost edge of the key to just below the key ring hole. Be sure when you start to cut that you cut to the INSIDE of the marked line. This will save you a lot of file work later.

Step 3: Making the Cuts

Picture of Making the Cuts

Make each cut along your lines. Done properly as noted in Step 2, this will leave you a fairly sharp point. Cut on the down stroke.  This gives you the most control. The waste metal should come off in one piece.

Step 4: Filing the Edges

Picture of Filing the Edges

Start filing a sharp edge. Do both sides of each edge, starting on one side, then flipping the new arrow head over to do the opposite side of the opposite edge. Repeat for the second edge and second side. Be sure to keep the edges even, and all edges meeting at the tip.  

Step 5: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

 You're finished!
 Now all you have to do is mount the new arrow head to a shaft and see how well they fly.
 Think about basic safety, as these WILL easily penetrate skin and animal hide. Only test on suitable NON-LIVINGtargets.


Attmos (author)2014-03-24

Sorry I'm so late to find this, great idea and perfect use of an unnecessary item after the s**t hits the fan.

king of awesome (author)2013-08-21

good instructable i will definitely use this

blblbl (author)2012-12-31

Isn't it easier to just draw the outline on the key and then sharpen it to look like an arrow head?

jwallis-1 (author)2011-03-16

Hey just wondering which novels you read about this in? I'm looking for a post-apocalyptic book to read. Thanks

galen066 (author)jwallis-12012-12-07

Look for Robert Adams 'Horseclans' series in your local used bookstore. You might want to give S.M. Stirling's 'Dies The Fire' a try too.

jedics (author)2011-10-05

hmm, I would have made the head of the arrow in the opposite direction at least if it was for shooting animals etc. The narrower head would pierce much easier and the key cut edge could be further filed to make the barbs, not to mention you still have the hole in the other end to attach it to something :)

my 2 cents :)

cant wait for the Apocalypse to try this wait ! ! !

galen066 (author)jedics2012-12-07

Look for Robert Adam's 'Horseclans' series in your local used bookstore. Also have a go with S.M. Stirlings 'Dies The Fire'.

galen066 (author)jedics2012-12-07

That would be a great idea if you can lay your hands on some uncut blanks.

MarrKr425 (author)2012-07-20

I know that there are several things that go into the balance of an arrow. How do you balance these, or has anyone tried?

galen066 (author)MarrKr4252012-12-07

Easiest way that I remember is do your fletching first, then find the mid-point, and then attach your head.

dashjg (author)2012-12-04

How do you attach the arrow heads to the arrows

galen066 (author)dashjg2012-12-07

I have used heavy-duty thread to whip/wrap the split shaft in the past. The inner cords from 550 para-cord would work wonderfully.

crlsh (author)2012-08-27

I love this idea. There will be a time when key's are useless for their original purpose. This is something I can really do with it.

Grimmy Grim (author)2012-01-01

Thank you, I got tired of making knives out of old keys and I still have a lot of old keys!

shieldsam (author)2011-09-30

that... isnt safe

padkel100 (author)2011-09-03

sweaty but penis

hossweightlifter (author)2011-07-08

Great idea but how do you mount them just tie them on or split the shaft put it in thentie the lower party of split??

Dumchicken (author)2011-04-25

ready aim unlock!

tukmol (author)2011-01-08

really cool idea!

psychostick (author)2010-07-29

Hey man this is very clever good job! 5 stars!!!!

LankyDuke (author)2010-07-14

What can possibly fire such small projectiles? Oh wait, arrow-HEADS :P silly me. Awesome instructable. What's so special about the jeweller's saw? It's hard to tell from your photo, but it looks like it has a very small blade. Is it diamond coated, or erhaps made form tungsten carbide?

galen066 (author)LankyDuke2010-07-15

The fine blade is the key to the easy cut. The saw blade I used was 0/8, which means very fine teeth. The trick is to install the blade with the teeth pointing *down* toward the handle. this way, the blade is under tension as you pull down and this makes more accurate cut.

Building Books (author)LankyDuke2010-07-14

jewellers saws do have a very thin wire like blade. They cut through metal very easily if you know how to use them.

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