Intro: Building a Primitive Arrow
So finally, the much needed sequel to the bow making tutorial is done. For the longest time, I didnt know exactly what to use for an arrow. I wanted it to be pretty cheap and easily done and I finally figured that some kind of cane or bamboo would be perfect.
Step 1: Trim Down Arrow
Now, the first step in making the arrow from this cane was to trim down the joints. All of the knobby joints on this cane would slow down the arrow as it made its way out of the bow.
Then, I cut a nock on the back end. Really the only thing thats important here is that you cut the nock to end right on a joint. If you dont the force of the bow string could eventually split the cane. The joint kinda gives it something to push against. I arranged the arrow so that the thickest part of the cane was in front. I think this would put the weight up front more and just let the arrow fly better.. I may be wrong on this one.
The fletching presented quite a few problems. First of all, I needed to find feathers. I knew of a small cave in a nearby cliff that used to house some vultures, so I climbed over to it and got inside, but the vultures had been long gone and there were only a few unusable feathers left. After that, I figured I could go to the lake and get some from where all the geese hang out. Before I got there though, I had to go to walmart and I just picked up a bag of feathers for under a buck.
I thought of splitting the rear end of the arrow and sliding feathers or leaves through it but that didn't seem to be a very strong situation. So, after cutting the feathers to shape and splitting the spine, I glued them to the arrow. Starting with the bottom, I just kept gluing them up and straightening out the feathers as I went. If you have thread, you could wrap the front end of the feathers down around the shaft. This would just make it a little more durable.
Cut a similar nock in the front to hold the arrow head. I made my arrow heads out of glass this time since its really similar to flint or obsidian, and Ill add a tutorial on that here in a bit.
Fit the arrow head in the front nock and wrap it with bark or string. I tried several things here; first, I used a sliver of the cane to wrap it like I did on my bamboo bow. That worked alright, but it just didnt seem to be strong enough to hold up to abuse. After that I just wrapped it really tightly with a piece of bark and glued the whole thing together. Thats what is shown in the pictures and it worked pretty well.