Hickory Creek
Traditional Arrow Shafts
Dennis Han
1211 S. 30th Street
McCune, Kansas  66753
Dennis@hickorycreekarrows.com
© 2007  Dennis Han
Update 5/15/09
                      Characteristics of Wood Shafts

     Years ago the wood of choice for arrow manufacturing was Port Orford Cedar and it is still preferred by many archers.  Other wood varieties have come on the scene as an alternative to cedar for archers seeking a heavier, tougher shaft for hunting.  Each wood variety has its advantages and disadvantages and we will look at the differences here.
                                                   Port Orford Cedar
     Port Orford Cedar is probably the standard by which all other shaft woods are judged so we will start here.

Light to medium in weight
Straight grained
Easy to straighten
Takes a stain well
Not a very durable wood
Hickory

One of the main uses of Hickory is for tool handles because of its durability.  It is fairly heavy wood with an open grain.

Moderately heavy
Very durable shaft
Will not readily take a stain
May need heat to straighten
Maple

Hard Maple has a very smooth and uniform grain and is a good choice for the archer who is looking for a durable, heavy hunting arrow.

Heavy weight
Very durable
Straight grained
Will not readily take stain
Need heat to straighten
Ash

Another very tough wood choice for a hunting arrow.  Ash is a strong, tough wood they make baseball bats out of.

Heavy in weight
Very durable wood
Need heat to straighten
Hard to stain
Poplar

I believe this wood is often overlooked as an arrow material.  It is slightly heavier than Port Orford Cedar and a lot more durable.

Medium weight
Takes stain fairly well
Can straighten without heat
Moderately durable
Lodge Pole Pine

Some also call this Chundoo and it is also slightly heavier than Port Orford Cedar.  It is fairly straight grained throughout.

Moderately heavy weight
Fairly durable
Will readily take stain
Easy to straighten
     All wood shafts will have a natural tendency to return to its original shape before it was straightened.  Using a good sealer after straightening will help the shaft hold its position but all may need to be 'tweaked' a small amount from time to time to maintain straightness.

     Shafts that I have heat straightened have a tendency to stay straight over those that I have straightened using the rub or pressure method.  I use a heat gun for my heat source but a burner of a kitchen stove will work just as well.  Just be careful not to scorch the wood or burn your hands.
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NOTICE:
Due to a recent transfer to a different department in my 'real' job I am subject to call-outs and overtime.  Not being able to keep up with running a small business I have made the decision to sell my machinery and stock and return to just hobby status.

If you have a passion for archery and would be interested in starting a small home business this would be a great opportunity.  I have a complete inventory of tools and stock that I will send to any interested parties.

Thank you to everyone who has ordered shafts from me, it has been a fun and interesting venture.

Dennis Han