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Author Topic: Gonna try River cane arra's!  (Read 5008 times)

Offline Madpigslayer

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Gonna try River cane arra's!
« on: July 04, 2003, 12:48:00 AM »
Alright, I just got my shippment of a few dozen river cane...never even seen the stuff before, but figured I gotta try building me an arra or two.

Ferret's web page has sorta got me jazzed on the subject.

 http://groups.msn.com/ferretsarcherywebpage/rivercanearrows.msnw

that and I am starting to get busier and busier with work, the baby seems to want to stay awake a little longer with the longer days...Long story short, I aint getting much done on the building front lately. I figured if I posted a "stumble along build" maybe I would have to stick it out and get SOMETHING done at least!

plan is to start with 4 cane, if I end up with 3 arrows out of it, that would be good.

This and one small bow are all I have planned for the summer.

here is a shot of the stuff Murray Gaskins sent me...

  pisture of the first look and sort.  

here is the stack after it has been roughly matched and stacked again for drying.

  the four on top will be the first ones I try.  

These ones are still a little green, is that ok?

I am not waiting until I have everything, I am just going to make it up as I go along. I got goose feathers I think...will have to check to see if I have any turkey. got sinew, only one point. I might bash out some trade points if I get inspired!

Any pointers from you 'cane artists are welcome!

For some reason, this stuff dont grow around here LOL!!!

I will try and do something on the project tommorrow, time permitting.
...gosh this is hard.

Hailey (5) 3 minutes into a pilates workout

Offline Timo

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2003, 08:02:00 AM »
Calvin,Ferrets page will get ya through everything ok.

The cane looks dry to me!Looks like pretty good straight stuff!  :saywhat:  

Just wondering if you had a heat gun?They come in pretty handy for straightning. Good luck.

Nice little piggys!   :D
(Enny o yuns know ware thu heart o a stumpytail izz??)

Offline Rick Boyer

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2003, 08:30:00 AM »
looks good to me.. I have made arrows from it green and dried they both work fine.. It will look green and be dry!! it only takes a few days to get them completly dry after you cut them.. If you put them in a hot car or a drying box..

 good luck on them..gator
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Offline Killdeer

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2003, 08:34:00 AM »
Timo's right! Cute toes!

I'll be a-watchin' this too, as I am making my first cane arrows... very slowly!

Killdeer
Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.

~Longfellow

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Offline Douglas DuRant

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2003, 09:52:00 AM »
The first thing I do is to straigten them with heat. I use a propane torch. I move the area of cane i want to straigten back and fourth in front of the flame, when the surface of the cane starts to look shiney or wet it will be very pliable, and thats when I take it away from the heat and straighten, I let it cool then repeat at the next spot that needs work. You will be surpised at just how pliable the cane becomes when shiney. Just try not to scorch it.

Offline the Ferret

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2003, 11:23:00 AM »
Calvin, nice looking batch of rivercane. What state did it come out of?

You've got a good start by sorting and bundling.

I see you've selected 4 pieces to start with. First step is to plan where in the cane your arrow is gonna be. By that I mean where is the nock gonna be? How long is it going to be? How big in diameter is it going to be?

I try and pick mine so that the nock will be just above a node, that way I don't have to sinew wrap the nock for safety. After choosing where my nock goes (leaving approx 1" for the nock and 1" for the tip) I then measure off 29" total (for a 27" bop arrow)and cut them off. No sense straightening cane you won't be using. I use the gas stove for my heat source, turning on 1 burner on low and passing the cane thru the flame until I can't touch it (keep it moving)then I straighten just like an aluminum arrow, over the heel pad of my thumb. Straighten the nodes first and the area between the nodes last. I usually go through the straightening process 6 times on each shaft before I'm happy with them, but when I'm done they are as straight as any shaft I've seen.
I use a tile cutting blade for cutting in the self nocks and clean them up and shape the tips with sandpaper. If you want to make them solid, drill out the center of the cane with a 1/4" drill bit and epoxy in a piece of 1"x 1/4" dowel rod before cutting in the nocks. I've never had a problem with them "as is" and have taken deer, turkey and multiple hogs with cane shafts.

You will have to "plug" the point end especially if you want to taper for a modern head like a magnus or zwickey. If you are going to use a trade point or a flint head plugging the point end becomes an option again (but certainly recommended for strength..use a 1 1/2-2" x 1/4" plug). Be sure and sinew wrap your trade point or flint head, and taper the end of the shaft so that there is a slope where it meets the point (not an abrubt edge which could impede penetration).

As for the node I rasp mine down fairly close to shaft diameter with the smooth side of a 4 cornered rasp followed up by 100 grit sandpaper.

If you want to stain the shaft use 150 grit sandpaper on the whole shaft before staining. I also advise sanding the area where you want to glue feathers on. I have used both fletch tite and fletch tape with great success on cane and sinew wrap the fore end of the feathers.

Here are 3 cane arrow I am just finishing up as awards for Mojam. I still have to do the sinew wrapping on the flint tips and feathers, but they are basically done.

  http://community.webshots.com/photo/54404608/79653855EBTvVl  

  http://community.webshots.com/photo/54404608/79654045MtuEYd  

  http://community.webshots.com/photo/54404608/79654356FYlslk
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

Offline Timo

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2003, 12:38:00 PM »
Nice looking arrows Mickey.Can't wait to see them in person!... Something that "Calvin" won't get to do!HeHe  :bigsmyl:
(Enny o yuns know ware thu heart o a stumpytail izz??)

Offline Madpigslayer

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2003, 01:11:00 PM »
Timo, that hurts! I will be there FIRST next year. In the meantime, those are sweet looking arras Mickey. Do you use pitch or anything like that to seat the points? thank you for the advice as always.

you asked where they came from, I think Murray indicated he cut them...so I will guess they are from Georgia then...maybe Florida. I am not 100% sure.

I know that you guys get to see this stuff all the time, but remember that this all new to me, and as such last night as I was going through all of them...I was sorta blown away.

What an ideal arrow material?! I cant imagine anything more traditional looking.

tell ya what, I felt like Maurice and his brother were looking over my shoulder last night. and they approved.
...gosh this is hard.

Hailey (5) 3 minutes into a pilates workout

Offline Craig/FL

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2003, 02:11:00 PM »
Mickey, those are some mighty fine looking arrows you made. I feel another project coming on. Craig

Offline Dano

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2003, 03:01:00 PM »
Calvin, I recently cut some local cane, which is hard to find I might add, specially in large diameter shafts. It was fun playing around with them, I used a carbon arrow nock, I just don't trust my self nock's yet. I used a screw in brodhead, glued in. Fletching tape does a great job with the feathers. Have fun, I'll be watching trying to learn more.  :thumbsup:  
  Rivercane arrow  
  http://community.webshots.com/album/79682259XezDlT
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" Red Green

Offline the Ferret

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2003, 03:13:00 PM »
The most amazing thing about cane arrows are (1) how time consuming they are to make (2) how pretty they end up considering how ugly a cane stalk is to start with (dirty, crooked and knotty..hey it's a lot like osage   :bigsmyl:  ) (3) how indestructible they are...if you shoot one into a critter and it's sticking out one or both sides DO NOT expect it to break off on a sapling as they run past and DO NOT expect it to snap if they fall dead on the side a cane arrow is sticking out of and(4)how well they seem to shoot of of multiple weight bows.

Calvin, I usually use a dollop of 30 minute 2 part epoxy to seat the heads which gives you time to align the head with a good spin. On these I used CA glue to see how it would work because I aligned the heads so they spun perfectly and didn't want to take them apart again. (seems to work ok, but no gap filling properties). Jawge Tsoukalas uses pine pitch to seat his heads. I'm not all that primitive   :bigsmyl:  

Just finished wrapping the heads and feathers with ostrich sinew and hide glue, now I'll give them a week or so to dry.

 http://community.webshots.com/photo/54404608/79682472gbTDsI

 http://community.webshots.com/photo/54404608/79682577porsue
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

Offline Madpigslayer

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2003, 03:18:00 PM »
ferret that looks real good. I have emu sinew...the buffalo sinew order didn't show up yet.

You are getting some milage out of that Ostrich sinew hey? you know someone that farms em or sumpthing??

I really gotta get on the phone and talk to some of the exotic meat producers around here. I need all the trade good I can get.
...gosh this is hard.

Hailey (5) 3 minutes into a pilates workout

Offline the Ferret

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2003, 03:24:00 PM »
Nice looking arrows Dano but I might suggest you run her thru the flame a little faster next time...keep the arrow moving so as not to scorch the node.   ;)  

Try doing a self nock on a practice arrow and you'll see how durable they are. If it's not just above a node, you can plug it, or sinew wrap it to keep it from splitting.
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

Offline the Ferret

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2003, 03:29:00 PM »
Calvin a couple of years ago Chris Guenther from Germany sent me around 20 or so dried ostrich tendons (he lives close to an ostrich farm)
It's unbelievable stuff in that a typical deer leg tendon is maybe 8-9" long and the ostrich is like 18" long. You can do a whole lot of wrapping with just 1 strand of the stuff. Down side is pounding twenty 18" long leg tendons. I think I got carpel tunnel from it ha ha    :knothead:
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

Offline Dano

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2003, 03:35:00 PM »
Nobody appreciates an artist,   :knothead:   I burnt the nodes for looks, oh well Back to the drawing board.   :D   I will try self nocks, thanks for the suggestion about 1" behind a node.
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" Red Green

Offline the Ferret

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2003, 03:39:00 PM »
Ohhhh sorry about that Dano...in that case you did them just right.    :bigsmyl:    Have to be careful though too much heat makes the nodes brittle.

PS I went and edited my post above to read leaving 1" for the nock and 1" for the tip I cut them to 29" long total for a 27" bop arrow (just to be clear)
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

Offline Madpigslayer

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2003, 08:14:00 PM »
nice arrow Dano!

I don't think I will be able to do much tonight, seems it is "Calgary Stampede" party time, gotta git me downstairs for some BBQ and coolies with the fellow employees.

any of ya'll ever heard of the Calgary Stampede?

there is a million or so tourists in town right now...makes the already long drawn out rush hours last....ALL DAY.

Also, Happy Birthday America!
...gosh this is hard.

Hailey (5) 3 minutes into a pilates workout

Offline Douglas DuRant

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2003, 08:54:00 PM »
After I straighten I then put the extra long canes on my spine tester, and find the section of the cane that spines right for the bow i plan to shoot them from. I cut the section of cane that gives me an arrow with this spine, and do not worry aboput were the node is. I then use an 1/8 or 1/16 drill bit to drill out the hollow in the cane to take a section of 1/8 or 1/16 dowel which i glue in the nock end of the cane and flush it with the cut. I then form the nock and wrap below the nock with sinew or floss. I drill the hollow at the point end to take 1/4 or 1/8 dowel so i can get an all wood/cane taper for glue on points.

This is a different method than the Ferret's way. I offer it as an alternative, and not as a better way.

I have had an arrow split at the nock end useing the node without wrapping. I now always wrap at the nock even when I use a node. You can also glue in a longer or shorter length of dowel to help match weight between the arrows. Yes i am a bit anal when it comes to matching arrows, but like Mickey said cane seems to not care about spine and weight as much. Also at 20 yards or less the weight isn't as much of an issue

Offline Madpigslayer

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2003, 02:55:00 AM »
allright. I had a couple drinks, then decided that I would rather be at home working on my passion, than getting imbibed, and staying out all night. must be getting old. stayed long enough to be sociable...then busted it home to work on arras!

  not exactly straight!  

  here I have reduced the nodes  

and finally...

  here they are after a trip through the propane torch.  

already look like arrows! I guess I will run them through a few more times...then they will be as staight as...oh, say...arrows?

I gotta say, I am so far really enjoying this arrow shaft material.

...cant ya just feel the MoJo comin' offa them?!!!
...gosh this is hard.

Hailey (5) 3 minutes into a pilates workout

Offline the Ferret

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Re: Gonna try River cane arra's!
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2003, 10:14:00 AM »
Calvin I usually don't reduce the nodes until after they are straight. Not sure if it would make a difference or not. Guess I should have mentioned that. Sorry   :(  .

At any rate yours are looking pretty good so far.   :thumbsup:   Like said above it will take several passes but you can get them real straight. Don't be fooled by where the leaf came out of the node as being a crooked spot, you may have more node on one side of the shaft than the other, but the centerline thru the shaft will still be straight.

Someone on another forum had mentioned heating a tube of sand and then spinning the cane in the heated sand and that it would automatically straighten them, but I have yet to try that.

Doug makes a good point about being safe. I probably should sinew my nodes below the nock for safety sake. At the very least take some serving thread or artificial sinew and do a thread wrap there and soak it in glue. Could even be decorative. I am able to get away with a lot because I shoot pretty low poundage I guess. If I was shoot 60 or 70# I might think a little more about things breaking.

BTW I consider my cane arrows mediocre. If you were going to Mojam you'd see some cane arrows made by Johnbow and Mike Ok that would take your breath away. Flawless!

Making your own cane shafts just takes you one step deeper into the abyss of primitive archery.

Next step is making your own heads   :eek:
There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach

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