Clout arrows - wood

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Berk

New member
Hi there, just after some general guidance.

I'm looking to make up some clout arrows, and was wondering what the general guidance would be as to diameter, shaft weight, fletching size etc. I'll be making them up to 31" from nock to shoulder of the pile.

I have a few shafts to choose from:
Spruce 5/16 355-363gn
Spruce 11/32 310-313gn
Pine 11/32 320-342gn

All are spined to the same 40/45#. My instinct says to go for the 5/16, although they're heavier they have a bit less surface area and should therefore have a bit less wind resistance. If needs be I could pair them with 65gn piles to keep the weight down a bit.

Which shafts would you choose from those?
 

little-else

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
I would go with your suggested 5/16 and the 65gn piles. Now if you are very keen you could make arrows tapered down to 5/16 from the lighter spruce. It isnt difficult to make a jig to do the tapering, ideally you barrel the arrows but my own experience is that the advantages are not that great compared to a straight 5/16 shaft.
Where you can cut down ion wind resistance is in your choice of fletches. I use fletches that are about 1" long with about half their normal height removed and I cut off the excess quill from the feather so you end up with a more flexible fletch that has a narrower profile. You glue this as near to the nock as is practicable as this counters the lighter pile for stability.
Go easy on the varnish as well. I use Danish oil on my arrows, the first coat being a mix of danish oil and meths to soak in a little more into the wood and then 2 thin coats. Sand well before varnishing finishing with a fine grade paper.

You are right about the larger diameter shafts having more drag. Having a long draw length is a definite disadvantage for being a longbow shooter, the shorter bowmen can use bows that have a faster loose for the same draw weight and lighter arrows to boot so easier to get the distance
 

Berk

New member
Fantastic, thank you.

I'm going to be using some 2.5" fletchings, as I don't fancy trimming them down any further. I've been quite lucky in that a local farmer has let me have a play on his fields before he ploughs them, so have been practicing with my current arrows (30.5", 4" fletchings, 540gn average) and can hit 170-175 yards, so I'm mostly looking for those extra few yards and to not be at the limits of my elevation.

I do have some 29" arrows (the bowyer either didn't believe me or can't measure) and while they shoot better than I would expect for the bow (probably due to the shorter length) I don't feel safe using them.
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
You can lose a lot of weight, my regular field shooting arrows are about 400 grain.
You could easily go downs to 300 without stressing the bow.
If you are really after distance you can get closer to a flight arrow, severely taper the front end and go very light on the points as long as you keep the balance point about an inch forward of centre.
The main thing is a lighter point allows a lower spine arrow which is in turn thinner, but it's about having the stiffness in the right place.
This post from my blog gives some good info on flight arrows which were shot from a heavy bow. It shows how much taper etc
https://bowyersdiary.blogspot.com/2018/03/new-pb-for-distance.html
Some pics of the longer re-worked flight arrows here. A hardwood footing makes them pretty sturdy despite being v thin at the tip:-
https://bowyersdiary.blogspot.com/2018/06/long-rambling-post.html
Del
 

Berk

New member
Going by what you've both said, I might be able to go slightly lighter without modifying shafts.

I was aiming for roughly 10lbs below draw weight for the spine, I'll be pulling about 51-52lbs on the fingers with a 31" arrow length. I also have some 5/16 spruce shafts spined to 35/40lbs, that weigh between 301-305gn. Lighter than the other 5/16, skinnier than the lighter 11/32, paired with 65gn piles and 2.5" fletchings, could work quite nicely?
 

Del the Cat

Well-known member
That'll prob' do it, you can trim the fletchings a bit lower and grind the quill nice and low by holding the fletchings in the clamp and rubbing of sandpaper before gluing them on. Also use bullet piles and make sure they are a nice flush fit. Nocks can be trimmed/blended in too :)
The devil is in the detail.
120 grit abrasive paper can be stroked surprisingly aggressively over fletchings to blend the leading edge in without damaging the actual vanes. (Don't tell anyone else... it's one of my little secrets ;) )
Del
 
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