Homemade Broadhead

Was hanging around my garage one day and looking for something to do. I decided it would be fun to try and make an arrow head out of some carbon steel I had laying around. I believe I was over all successful because it pierces great, does not break, and stays pretty darn sharp. So here is a little instructable. But first:

Tools and Materials:
16 gauge carbon steel (1" x 2")
C clamp or vise
scribe or nail
Hemp Rope (or other small strong rope for lashing)
Fletched Arrow Shaft to attach Arrowhead to
Metal Cutting Tool (Snips, hack saw, dremel, angle grinder, etc.)

So I guess as long as you have some kind of metal around (preferably steel) and your arrow and some rope this is pretty much free.

Step 1: Scribe Out Arrowhead

Scribe out the shape of your arrowhead on a piece of steel with a scribe or a nail. I made it 1" long by 1" wide with a 1" x 1" space at the back that I could clamp down so I could work on the head itself. Now that you have done that you will need to cut it out. You can use metal cutting shears if you have them, a hack saw, a jewelers saw (although this will take forever), an angle grinder, or a dremel metal cutting tool. Just make sure you take the appropriate safety precautions for whatever you are using and discard any scrap. If you are using a tool that causes sparks (dremel/angle grinder) make sure that there are no flammable materials in your workspace.

Step 2: Shaping

So I left a chunk on the back of the arrow so I had a space to clamp it down and file out the shape of the head itself. If you have a belt grinder/sander this will go much faster for you. I just used a bastard file and some tiny files and a lot of elbow grease! You can see the notches I started making so the head could be lashed onto the wooden arrow I would later use to test it.

Step 3: Finalizing

Now I have cut off the scrap end and did a little more shaping and sharpening of the arrowhead. At this point you could probably harden it if you wanted. I just left it as is because I don't intend to actually hunt or anything with this arrowhead. It was just a little for fun project. You can also see more clearly the notches I made for lashing the shaft of the arrow on in this picture.

Step 4: Lashing

Now I have cut a notch into the wooden shaft of an old field arrow my girlfriend had laying around and lashed my arrowhead on with some hemp rope.  This is the first time I have ever done this, so I'm sure there are some more hardcore survivalists out there who know a better technique than I for doing this. Basically I just make a couple grooves in the side of the shaft to catch the rope and lashed it as tight as possible with an even number of wraps on either side.

Step 5: Test Fire

Unfortunately we didn't have a target at the time I made this, now we do but need to buy more arrows, so I tested it on a tree in our back yard that had the thickest bark I could find. I should probably also mention that the arrows where 26" long and I was shooting out of a recurve bow with a 50 lb. draw weight.

First 2 test fires went fine. I didn't draw the bow all the way, fired, hit, and pulled the arrow out.

3rd test fire: Drew the bow all the way. Fired. Hit. Arrow snapped and fell off the arrowhead which is now buried in the tree. I had to use pliers to dig it out!

Even after digging it out the arrowhead was in great shape and rather sharp.



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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I was thinking....
    Once you scribed the shape of the head, you might want to drill holes with a drill-press or similar tool on the lines so to have a clear notch. It's not only to make it look "nicer", but would also help to preserve the rope that would not cut or erode on those notches

    1 reply