10 feb 2012

How to make a DIY arrow spine tester


In one of my previous posts I showed you how to make an arrow fletching jig, today I made a design for an arrow spine tester in Google Sketchup. This spining jig is a basic setup to measure the flexibility of your arrow shafts. . The arrow rests on two sides, at exactly 26 inches from each other. In the center a two LBS weight is placed and the deflection of the bending arrow is measured on a chart. You can find a detailed description and parts list here. A few pictures of the Sketchup model:

You see a needle that points the amount of deflection on the dial face at the back of the jig and also a AMO chart that shows the corresponding spine measured in LBS.
 Both elements are available below (original design by 2Jays):

To show you the total design I made a movie of this jig:

Any questions? Just let me know.

Kind regards, Mark Storm

4 nov 2011

How to make tradtional arrows for selfbows


After I finished a few flatbows from maple and hazel it's time for a new challenge, making some tradtional arrows . First I needed some wooden shafts, straight and approx. 30 inches long. My brother is a pigeon fancier and he uses these shafts to divide the pigeonhouse into sections for breeding.
I got a few nice and straight pieces and cut it to the exact length:

straight wooden arrow shafts 

There were also a few nice pigeon feathers that looked promising, so I took them as well. On my way home I realised that there is a poulterer in our town, so I went to his hangar. When I asked for some large feathers he got a box full of goose feathers, but they were a bit battered, so I could only use a few. Then he went to another room and came back with a complete swan wing! 
When asked how much for it, he said I could take it for free if I showed him the result of the arrow build. Thats a nice deal!

complete swan wing for arrow feathers

The wing was in a beautiful shape and there were 20 to 30 feathers perfect for arrow making. First I cut some arrows and split them in two halves. Then I used a sharp hobby knife and cut them in the final shape:

Before glueing the feathers to the wooden shafts I neede some kind of fletching jig like this:

I googled around and found some tutorials on how to build your own fletching jig with basic materials. First I made a 3d model in Google Sketchup to get the correct sizes of each piece.
The jig consists of two pieces of wood with a groove to hold the arrow horizontally. There's a groove on both inner sides, so you can slide in two pieces of plywood which holds the feather.

3d model of the arrow fletching jig
the plywood holds the feather and slides down on the shaft

It took me an hour to make this jig from some scrap pieces of wood. The lines you see on the jig are there to align the feathers at an angle of 120 degrees, so they are distributed evenly around the shaft.

the pencil lines show the correct angles of the feathers

the first arrow being fletched

After a few minutes the first few feathers were glued on the shaft with superglue:

I used some black thread to decorate the arrow in a medieval style:

fletched arrow with thread in a medieval style

diy medieval english arrow 

My neighbour is going to make some arrowheads, so I will show you the finished arrows soon.

Any questions? Just let me know

Kind regards, Mark

2 nov 2011

how to make a leather arm guard for shooting a bow


The last few days I have been quite busy with all kind of designs for my tattoo website and also some hobby art projects. I wanted to create a leather armguard, to match the handle wrap on my first maple flatbow. There were a few large pieces of leather left. First I made a did some measurements on my arm and created a full size template for the armguard. Here you see the high quality template, you can use it for cutting your own guard as well. I also added a finger tab outline, so you have a complete set for your bow:

 You can click the image and download the high quality picture. If you print it, make sure the line is 10 cm, then the arm guard and fingertab will be at the right size.

Simply trace the shape on leather and cut it with a knife or scissors. I punched some holes in the sides of the guard with this piece of equipment:

Then you can press some metal rings in the holes for a smooth finish. A piece of paracord is used to strap it around the arm. You can use a simple knot, or get the element/button from a raincoat that straps your jacket, not sure how you name it...

The final piece has some stitching done on the back of the leather and I added another strip on top for some extra strength.

If you want the template in an Adobe Illustrator .ai file, just send me a message and I will forward the file, so you can adjust it to your own wishes.

Kind regards, Mark

19 okt 2011

How to create an arrow rest and leather arm guard


In the last few days I tested my bows and made some changes. The first hazel bow didn't have an arrow rest cut into the handle. When I first shot the bow it felt really good. It's really satisfying to shoot your own handmade bow. Unfortunately it wasn't really accurate, the arrows didin't fly in a straigth line to the target. I was hesitating a bit to cut an arrowrest in the finished bow, worried about weakening the handle and breaking it.

But after a few more shots this was the best option, so I first drew the shape of the arrow rest on the handle and used my jigsaw and rasps to get the desired shape.

On my other maple bow the handle/grip was not really comfortable, so I wanted to make a leather grip. My neighbour had a leather jacket that he wanted to get rid of so I was really happy to help him out :)

First I made a paper template and traced this on the leather. After it was cut I wanted to decorate it with a pattern. For some other projects, like my Maori powerkite, I use a Pfaff 1221 sewing machine. It's a powerfull German machine, that works through 3 layers of leather without any problem.

The sewing machine has a lot of different patterns built in, for normal sewing, but also for decoration purposes.
Here's some  image of the variety of stitches:

The final wrapped handle looks like this:

Tomorrow I will work on a leather arm guard in the same style, so please check back soon!

Kind regards, Mark

14 okt 2011

Maori tribal flatbow finished design


Today I finished my selfbow from a maple stave. I made a Maori inspired design on the limbs with a black marker. The design is based on the Maori fern or koru, the national symbol used in many tribal tattoos. As a graphic artist I'm inspired by the Mauri Kirituhi style and I create tatoo designs and custom tattoos. You can find my tattoos and graphics on my website storm3d.com.
This bow is more of an arts and crafts project that I really enjoy when not drawing tatoo designs.

Once the designs were drawn on the bow, there was a really heavy contrast between the black marker and the white of the maple wood. To lower the contrast I decided to stain the wood with some brown shoeshine/polish. Finally I added 5 layers of clear varnish or lacquer and polished it for a smooth finish.

Here's a video of the final bow:

At my local bow I shot the bow for the first time and it was quite powerful, around 30 lbs at 28 inches. The draw starts really smooth, but at the end it has a sudden increase of drawweight. It feels a bit like a horsebow.
The handle has no arrow rest, so it's a bit tricky to position the arrow. I might add it later with a leather wrap around the handle section.

If you have any question on how to make a flatbow, selfbow or other projects I have been working on, just send me a message, or leave your comments below!