Bamboo composite arrows

Here are some arrows I’ve just finished working on, after what seems like an age. They’re not wrong when they say building a bow is easy compared with a crafting a bespoke arrow.

They are a composite of bamboo shafts with holly foreshafts and nocks, and bone arrowheads. Despite bamboo growing relatively straight, it invariably changes direction slightly at the nodes, so after thinning the shafts to spine them, they did need a little heat straightening. I selected holly for the nocks and foreshafts because it is dense and strong in compression; they used to use it for the hubs of cart wheels.

The arrowheads are fixed to the foreshafts using hide glue rather than pine pitch, as I wanted to keep the clean look. Therefore I carved the foreshafts in such a way as to not impede the entry of the arrow into its target.

To go with these arrows I also made a new crocheted quiver.

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4 comments so far

  1. robin on

    They are so beautiful and so much work I can never imagine shooting them for fear of damaging them.

  2. tangiblesanctity on

    Thanks Robin, that means a lot coming from you! Well originally they were meant to be shot only once, and, if you were fortunate enough to make a kill, in certain native cultures the arrow was then retired in honour of that animal’s life.

    I have to confess I haven’t shot any of my primitive arrows yet, though I might set up a soft target, e.g. a bale of hay, and have a go at some point. It would be good to see how they fly.

  3. Eric on

    Your website is very well put together, & your skills appear to be as sharp & straight as your arrows. Very impressive. You have obviously put a significant amount of time & passion into your skills. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I have a new standard to follow when practicing my own skills. I haven’t learned the atlatl yet.

  4. greg hanson on

    Beautiful work, perfect functionality. This is my ideal to strive for.


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