DIY Arrow Squaring Tool
Making your own arrow squaring tool is both fun and practical - you can create one for the fraction of the price you’d buy one! Still, the devil is in the details, after all the point of squaring your arrows is to make them fly more precisely! To sum it up, your DIY rig should produce shafts that are orderly and fly true, due to the proper alignment you can achieve this way.
Hope you enjoy your rig and happy shooting!
Getting the Tools for Your DIY Arrow Squaring Rig
Before anything, make sure you have the right tools or instruments ready. Doing so will save you not only time - it can be stressful having to think how to DIY this project of yours! Take note that you can choose to use alternative materials for your arrow squaring rig - the important thing is to stick to the main concept!
Some of the essentials you need to prepare beforehand for this archery DIY project of yours are:
- A sharpening stone or sandpaper – regardless which you'll choose, these two options should serve as the abrasive in your arrow squaring rig. Sandpaper glued to a piece of wood works great. Cyanoacrilate glue is good enough for the purpose.
- A level of some sort – this platform serves as the pedestal for you to orient the abrasive towards your arrow. Each end should have a surface to place your arrow on. If possible, have one that has a notch to place your arrow on.
- A bench – this is where your level should be placed upon.
- An arrow spinner – self-explanatory, you use a spinner in conjunction with your DIY rig to properly spin (and square) your arrow.
- Clamps – two, for a secure hold on your DIY rig! This or this can be good for the purpose.
Note: it's important that you spin the arrow and not the sandpaper/sharpening stone. If you spin the arrow the angle at the bottom of the arrow will surely become square, however if you spin the sandpaper you could end up with an asymmetrical arrow end.
Building Your Arrow Squaring Tool
Simplicity is key when assembling your equipment. Here's the basic flow you'd want to have in mind.
- Inspect your work area. You'd want to make sure that it's clean and no clutter is laying around.
- Place your rig platform down.
- Inspect each end of the platform for any defects that may drop or damage the arrow.
- After inspecting, position your level right on top of the bench.
- Make sure that both the level and bench is free from any defect or dirt.
- Using two clamps, attach these onto the level and the bench to keep both surfaces from moving.
- One end of the platform should be where the abrasive surface is placed.
- The other end has the arrow spinner.
- You now have a DIY arrow squaring rig!
Testing and Using Your DIY Arrow Squaring Tool
The main objective why you're using an arrow squaring rig is make sure your broadheads are in line with the shaft and the vanes. Here's what you can look out for to find out if your DIY rig is up to par with those in pro-shops:
- Using the rig is easy. Position your arrow on the level. Make sure that the pointed end (where you'll later install the broadhead) is facing towards the abrasive surface area.
- Using the arrow spinner, simply spin the arrow. The abrasive surface will gradually shave the end of the shaft to perfect square.
- Repeat as needed until you make the head side of the arrow square compared to the shaft.
- A simple way to see that you've spun an arrow enough times is to use a black marker. Use the sharpee to blacken the inserts of the arrows you plan to square. Go ahead and spin those arrows on your DIY rig. Spin until the black marker point on the arrow insert is gone! This makes sure you shaved off enough material to get the perfect 90 degrees angle.
Simple Flow on Making the Most Out of Your Arrow Squaring Rig
There's more to than simply squaring your arrows. To best use your DIY rig, here are the most important aspects of working on your arrows (of course, squaring is included!):
Checking and Cutting the Arrow Shafts
Making the most out of your arrows may mean cutting the shafts down to what's meant for your gear. Of course, it would be best to invest in an arrow saw to do this (if you don't have one, don't worry - we've got a simple guide to make your own saw!).
Why saw? Using a proper saw will improve your arrow's straightness. This is quite noticeable if you tend to use shorter arrows - cutting the end of the arrow will allow you get one that will work best for your shaft!
Additionally, you may simply buy arrow shafts with various straightness tolerances. This way, you get to experiment what would be a good match for your overall archery gear.
How to Square Your Arrow Shafts
This is where the above tips are done!
Additionally, a really nice shaft (after using the DIY rig) will give you the advantage (and ease) of having your nocks and inserts placed quite nicely on the shaft. That's one goal you'd want to look for to find out if your DIY project is a success!
An Easy and Nice Way to Clean Your Arrow Shafts
Keeping everything clean isn't only because you don't want anything to mess up your gear's aesthetics. In fact, it's a necessity especially right after squaring your arrow.
This is because the debris that is produced from having your arrow spun may result in adhesion problems. Simply avoid this hassle with a damp towel and some handy Q-tips. After a session from your rig, wipe your arrow with the cloth. Once done, grab a Q-tip and work on the shaft's interior. To make sure that everything will be in excellent working order, focus on each opening of the arrow shaft. Give it at least an inch for your Q-tip to scrub - you'd want to make sure that anything installed on your shaft wouldn't be damaged!
Selecting and Installing Various Components
The basic and essential parts that you've always want to have on your shafts (well - if you won't have these, you wouldn't be able to shoot anyway!) are the nocks and inserts.
Installing these parts are easy, but some simple checks before placing them in will make sure that you'll have an excellent arrow ready. And these checks just involve these three simple factors:
You'd want to make sure that everything is weighed - the shafts, inserts, and nocks and heads.
With your gear weighed, organize them from lightest to heaviest.
Combine the lightest parts with your lightest shafts. Work your way up to the heaviest on your gear.
Bonus: Miscellaneous Add-Ons When Using Your Arrow Squaring Rig
Below we have additional tips to truly make the most out of this DIY archery project of yours.
Using an Arrow Saw Will Help You Out
We've mentioned how an arrow saw will help you trim your arrows to the best fit for your gear. Don't have an arrow saw to do that? You can either get one or make your own! Here's the basic steps you'd want to know about:
Prep It Up
At its most basic form, you'd need to have these parts ready:
- A wood plank
- Some screws
- A router complete with router disks
The Quick Arrow Saw Construction Flow
Inspect your work area - remember, a clean place will save you from any pesky accidents!
- Cut a long (as long as your arrows plus your router) and narrowish (about 4") plank out of the material you have.
- Place the router on one end with the disk on.
- Inspect your router. You'll have to raise it up and fix it to the plank
- For this you'll have to cut a few pieces of square planks. One should be as wide as the base plank, you'll use this to raise your router.
- Now place your router on it's pedestal, you'll want to surround it with smaller pieces of wood plank to fix it in place and support it from the sides and the back.
- Next you'll have to build up the support for your arrows.
- Much as you did with the router you'll need to cut a few more pieces of plank and place them on each other until you reach the desired height.
- Strive to build a quick prototype without screwing the pieces together, then once you are satisfied with how things are going assemble what you've put together into it's final form.
- Once you are ready your router should sit on one end with the disk that will do the cutting, and you should have a few (at least two) arrow supports on the plank.
- As a bonus fix a measuring tape on the base plank such that the zero mark is at the router's disk. The measuring tape should extend along the base towards the other end longitudinally.
- This way you'll be able to use the measuring tape to measure the arrows when cutting them.
Note: it's a great idea to leave your arrows a bit longer than necessary: you can always shave off the excess, but never put back what you've already cut down.
Enjoy your DIY arrow saw!