Saturday, September 25, 2010

Arrow Making I

Today we spent about 7 hours making arrows.  Okay, we didn't finish, but we made a pretty big dent in the process.

I started sanding a dozen 5/16" diameter, Ramin wood arrows with two different kinds of fine sanding paper.  Not so much fun, but a necessary part of the process.  Once they were all smooth, I used a weight to straighten out the arrows.  Also, not so exciting, but good to do if you want your arrows to fly straight.  Then we got to the fun stuff!

I had to design the cresting for my arrows.  Cresting is the pretty colored pattern at the end of the arrow by the fletching (the feather part).  The only basic rules I got for this part, was that you want to pinstripe between colors with either silver, gold or black to make the colors pop.  You can use any color or colors you want.  Orange is apparently the least used color.  I don't like orange, so I didn't use it either.  Once you get your design drawn out (to scale) on paper, you can start to make it come together.

In my case, my very first color was blue.  The first thing you do is dip the arrow in that first color.  I'm sure there's a lot of good reasons for this, but typically, this is the biggest "section" of color in a cresting because you usually have it run the full length of the fletching (feather).  I chose blue because it's my favorite color.

Here's me dipping the end of one of my arrows. 

Then we hang them up on a make shift clothes line to dry.  The end is sharpened to fit the nock (the part that you put on the string of your bow), so don't mistake it for the arrow head end.

Then we add the nock with a little glue and then the rest of the painting begins.  We use a little motor that turns the arrows so that our lines are clean as we paint.

A steady hand is required here.  And patience.  I did all 12 arrows, doing two colors at a time.

Here's my finished arrow.  Remember that the big blue section on the right will have the fletching added.  The next color chunk is purple (hard to see in this shot - The Hubs took it, not me!), then a smaller section of red, then a small section of pink, and a small section of blue.  I took this opportunity to have my cresting represent the kids.  Purple is LW's favorite color, and she's the oldest by quite a bit.  She's 7 years older than GG so I made her section the biggest.  GG's favorite color is red, and her section is about half the size of LW's.  Then a much smaller section of pink for Bunny (of course) and blue for Bug.  I have no idea if blue is Bug's favorite color, but it's what I chose to represent him. 

I actually love how they came out.  I can't wait until tomorrow when I get to pinstripe between the colors with silver.  They should really stand out then!  I'm also hoping to put the fletching and arrow tips on them tomorrow as well.  I'll keep you posted.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

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