Saturday, 15 June 2013

Primitive arrow making

This is another post in my ongoing theme of minimal kit crafts for extended trips to the woods. I'm hoping to put some of these skills into practice during the Hunter Gather week at Wilderness Survival Skills in September this year.

Firstly, I hadn't gotten around to posting up the full making of the bush/survival bow that I made a while ago during a day trip to a nice mixed deciduous wood. I bought some wooden shafted arrows to get me going and it really packs a punch. It seems good and strong, with just the right amount of flex, so I'll post up about it next time, followed by another of primitive hunting weapons practice.

EDIT - here is the post on the Bush Bow - http://woodsmancrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/bush-bow.html

The Arrow was a project that's been on and off for a while. Firstly a couple of years ago, I started to knap arrow heads out of glass bottle bottoms and a couple of flint ones. There ok, but I've recently been given some nicer pieces of flint to play with and improve on. The Hazel for the shafts came from the coppice next to where I made the bow, which was gathered at the time and has been seasoning since.

The feathers for the fletchings, were from wood pigeon tail feathers that I shot a few months ago. Hopefully they will be ok, and to fix I used some artificial sinew that was kindly gifted to me at the food fair.

Having all these bits hanging around, it was time to get going

Hazel debarked, scraped and smoothed down. Notch cut ready for the head fitting. 
I used Pine pitch (pine resin, ground charcoal and beeswax) 

First fixing with a little pitch followed by a lashing of Elm bark.

Rest of the pitch goes on

Pulling off the thin side of the feathers

Three feathers lashed in place with the sinew, and trimmed.

Ready to rock!
Next time I'll make some better flint arrow heads, and make a couple more complete arrows. I really enjoyed this project, and the skills are transferable to making a spear for the Atlatl which I also plan to do soon. Looking forward to practice day in the woods : )