Different day at work

Different day at work

Different day at work

Bit of a different day at work one day this week.

Every year an event is run at the university I work for, where staff members are encouraged to demonstrate or promote their hobbies and interests, whether this be cooking, painting etc.

Most of the stalls are housed in one large lecturing room, with a couple of other breakout rooms.

The session runs for a couple of hours over the lunch time and there were people with stands full of homemade cakes, another one on how you can get involved with girl guides organisation. One very popular stall was a sushi stand, where they were letting people have a go at making their own sushi. In other rooms there were sessions on BMI health checks and massages for those feeling stressed? The event is all about staff well being and what the institution can do to promote well being and what staff do themselves.

I had a stall on archery (surprise, surprise), and though I couldn’t bring in any of my bows, I was able to show a selection of arrows, along with fletching set ups and a variety of literature. In hindsight I think I should have printed off some large pictures but I didn’t know I would have had a display board.

Archery stall

Archery stall

I think there were nearly 200 people booked to attend and many more that were just passing by, or maybe they were just after the free lunch provided by the organisers if you booked in advance.  It did feel busy at times, though I think that might have been helped by being near the sushi stall.

What was interesting when talking with a few people were the number who said they’d tried archery at Centre parks or other such holiday camps and really enjoyed it. Makes you wonder if the archery community should try and promote the hobby more?

Thanks for reading.

 

Removing broken wood tip from inside pile

Thought those of you, who like me shoot wooden arrows and sometimes have the misfortune to break the pile off might find this a useful tip. No pun intended.

Quite often I find my arrows break directly behind the pile, leaving a small piece of wood inside the pile which can be difficult to remove especially if you want to reuse the pile.
I know some people drill the wood out and others simply throw away the pile.
Well I thought I would show how I remove the broken piece of wood.

Tools required

Tools required

The tools required are
1 x long wood screw 2 1/2″ is ideal (cross head)
1 x screwdriver
1 x gas stove or gas ring
1-2 x pliers
1 x small pot or basin of water
Step 1
First stage is to carefully take the screw and screw it into the wood still in the pile.
Screw into wood

Screw into wood

Step 2 
Once the screw is secured in the wood, you need to heat the pile up as this breaks down the glue securing the wood to the pile.
Holding it by the screw you can heat the pile using the gas ring. It should only take 10-20 seconds.
Word of warning here. 
I usually use screw on piles, but if you have taper fit or parrell fit you can have the piles pop off as the glue and gases in the glue expand under the heat.
The reason I mention this is on one occasion when removing a pile I left it in the ring to heat up too long as I worked on another. I heard a loud pop and saw the pile shoot across the kitchen towards the window and the screw and wood went in another direction. Fortunately no one was  injured and nothing was broken (otherwise I think Sharon might have injured me)
Heating the pile

Heating the pile

The other thing to be careful of is to not let the wood burn as this will not only smoke the kitchen out possibly triggering a smoke detector but also make it harder to remove the wood.
It’s worth doing this in a well ventilated room as the glue can stinks, especially the two part epoxy I use. How long you keep it in the flame will vary depending on the glue. Hot melt, melts quickly whilst some epoxy ones might take 20 seconds. It’s a bit of trial and error here.

Step 3
Holding the now heated pile  in the pliers (don’t grab it with your hand as it will be hot) take the screw driver and continue to screw the screw into the wood.
You should find that because the glue has melted and lost adhesion to the pile the screw will force the wood free. Resulting in the wood remaining on the screw and free of the pile.

Wood remains on pile

Wood remains on pile

Step 4 
Drop the pile and screw into a pot of cold water to cool.  Once cool you can dry the pile.
You might need to clean out the inside of the pile of glue residue with a bit of wire wool or I find an old shaft tapered down and screwed in and out a couple of times works well to dislodge any residue.
The easiest way to remove the wood from the screw is to hold the wood in the pliers and then using the screw driver “unscrew” it.
Hope you find this useful.
Thanks for reading.

Literature review – Wooden Arrow Making – a Presentation by John Marshall

Recently a friend of mine and fellow Severn Valley club member posted a link on our club private Facebook site to a hand-out for those interested in making wooden arrows. It was originally written in 2005 by John Marshall of Brixham Archers.

I’ve included the link he posted here http://savagearcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Arrow-Workshop.pdf

I’ve also managed to find the original site

http://www.brixhamarchers.co.uk/web/pages/info/setup_homepage.html

It is a really good beginners resource, with clear instructions and lots of useful information which is easy to read.

Well worth a look and good starting point.

Thanks for reading

Wooden Arrow survey

Calling all readers for some help with a bit of archery related research.

Fellow NFAS archer Andy is doing a project to find out what materials and options people use for wooden arrows. He has created a simple 10 question survey and is trying to get as many people as possible to complete it.

So if you shoot wooden arrows could help him out.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G7BNTQ5

For those of you concerned about storage of personal information Andy has stated

“It’s all anonymous, so no personal data is collected and there is no sign up or emails address needed.”

Thanks for reading.

Equipment Review – Bohning fletching tape

With the stormy weather hitting the UK at present, many archers are retreating to the indoor ranges or their making and doing rooms and sheds, fletching arrows and sorting gear for the new season. It’s been not so much of a white Christmas and New Year as a very, very wet one.

Here is hoping everyone is safe, warm and dry.

I thought I might take this opportunity to post my findings on using Bohning fletching tape. Been a while since I’ve written a review so here goes.

Just to make this clear from the outset. These are my views and opinions. I have no commercial interest in these products I review or the companies.

Double sided tape

Bohning Double sided tape

For years I have been using fletching glue to attach my feather fletching to the wood shafts. HMG has been my glue of choice. The only issue I’ve had is the time it takes for the adhesive to cure which is 15-20 minutes depending on air temperature.

For plastic vanes I’ve used simple bostic glue from local hardware shop which seems to work well on Sharon’s aluminium eclipse arrows.

At a shoot last year I was mentioning this and Bob one of our old club members from Black Arrow mentioned he used double sided fletching tape for all of his arrows and had never had any problems. Bob shoots longbow for both field and roving so his arrows can take some abuse. No offence Bob if you are reading this.

Initially I found applying the tape a little fiddly. Not so much when taking it off the roll and applying to the feather, but when trying to take the second covering layer off the tape when applying the fletching to the arrow shaft, but you get used to it.

Make sure you have aligned the fletching right as the tape adheres fast so you don’t have the time to re align if you make a mistake.

Quick tip. Ensure the shaft is dry and free from any dust which would cause poor adhesion. I don’t oil or varnish the shafts prior to fletching them.

Using the tape saves a lot of time as I found it quick and easy to use once you got the hang of it. I was able to fletch half dozen arrows in 15 minutes a significant time saving as it used to take 45-55 minutes using the glue to fletch one arrow.

Allow a little more at each end

Allow a little more at each end to make it easier to apply.

Leave a little extra at the front and rear of the fletching as it makes it easier to remove the second side of the tape and easier to apply the fletching to the shaft.

Extra length at front

Extra length at front

I was concerned the tape might come off in the rain but so far so good. I’ve been using the arrows for a little over six months and they seem okay.

My other concern was if the fletching might peel off the shaft, but this hasn’t happened either. I don’t know if this might be different if you varnished the wood first.

They have stood up to all the normal abuse I can throw at them, from being soaked in the rain, to encounters with trees and other vegetation. I’ve also used the tape for a new set of wooden arrows for Sharon and they seem to eb working well for her too.

Not sure how well it would work on plastic fletching but I am thinking of testing this shortly so it might be an update in near future.

The tape is available from most good archery shops, I got mine from Merlin in Loughborough. (http://www.merlinarchery.co.uk/bohning-feather-fletching-tape.html) I’ve used less than half the roll so far and produced a couple of dozen arrows so its pretty good value for money at just under £7 a roll.

So in short my verdict is thumbs up for Bohning tape, a good product that can save you a lot of time. 9/10 (could be higher if I had chance to try it on shafts other than wood)

Let me know if you have any experiences with this or anything else.

Happy New Year and as always thanks for reading.