The Arrow-Fix folk have done it again. They have created another great accessory for this incredible tool, pretty soon no doubt they will have an accessory that will bake you a Victoria sponge and make a “nice cup of tea”. However, this accessory is for those who use or would like to use Bamboo arrows, it will prepare the shaft for the special Arrow-Fix point which has been designed with the traditional archer in mind.
Bamboo shafts of course are hollow with just a pithy centre, the first thing to do is to fill that void at the nock end and the front end – the special drill bit which will drill a 4mm hole up the middle fits in to the Arrow-Fix tool in the same way that all the various drill fit in, namely by the use of a securing Allen bolt.
Once securely inside the”tang” of the drill bit is inserted into a drill. The Arrow-fix tool comes with several sizes of insert which will accept the shaft – see the Arrow-Fix Tool review for a full explanation of all of the functions and how to use it.
Once the holes are drilled – it may pay you to use different sizes of insert depending on how tapered the Tonkin or Bamboo shafts are, as a natural grown product cane will taper, which is of course some of the advantage in using it, the Tonkin cane we used for this test was approx 11/32″ at the point down to almost 9/32″ at the nock. Both were drilled out to 4mm and to a depth of 42m. This hole was then filled using a 4mm dowel, these are easily obtainable from hobby or craft stores or from a wood yard. Using Titebond 3 the dowel is glued in place.
The nock can be tapered or ground to accept a nock, or a self nock can be cut, it is always advisable to bind cane shafts if using a self nock, the fibres have immense strength accross the grain or flow of fibers but can be split downwards with much less force.
Once again drill out the point end with the 4mm drill, this will ensure that the shaft has been properly drilled to accept the insert point, this time however we drilled only to a depth of 40.5mm. Probably the best adhesive to use is a 2 part epoxy although we did test these with amber hot melt and had no problems.
The points come in 2 sizes, either 7mm or 7.5mm upon weighing these we found that the 7.5mm came in at 100 grain and the 7mm at 85 grains – As it turned out the fit was very good between the shaft and the diameter of the shaft in most cases, having said that some of the shafts were a little over sized and it is easy enough to smooth the “ledge” for a seamless join.
The idea of a point being inserted up the shaft is more familiar to archers who use carbon or ally arrows than for those who regularly use wood shafting and although we were at first sceptical we tested this method with the Arrow-Fix T Tips which were designed for wood shafts and when we tested them we found them to be as reliable and robust as any other point.
The fibres in bamboo are very strong and the added support of the internal metal shaft should mean that a breakage just behind the point will be a very rare occurrence.
We tested these inserts with some fabulous Tonkin Cane shafts currently being imported in the UK by Mark from Mahill archery, you can read the full Tonkin Cane arrow shaft review here.
You don’t HAVE to fill the center with a dowel or plug for either the nock or the point but I have found it makes a far better job of it if you do.
The Arrow-Fix tool allows you to accurately center the point, as the natural hole in the Bamboo isn’t always in the middle.
Features & Design
It goes without saying that the Arrow-fix tool has had a great reception from archers, the ability to repair broken shafts is just one of the functions, this accessory will appeal to those who use bamboo shafting or would like to try it. It’s simple to use and the points are quality German engineering.
At present just the bullet point option is available in 85 and 100 grain, but they performed exactly as they should.
Value for Money
This additional accessory for the tool is no more expensive than any small drill bit and although the points are a little more expensive than standard glue on steel points you won’t find them rusting up next time it rains. If you want to shoot bamboo arrows this point option is simple and effective – the arrows look good too.
Arrow-fix are extending their range of points and accessories for the tool, the insert solution is an elegant one which far from weakening the shaft may actually add extra strength right where you need it – behind the point. For an arrow made from bamboo this makes the most sense given that your shaft is hollow to start with – you don’t see the Carbon boys glueing fit over points… do you ? …………and bamboo is natures carbon. The best bit is that if you already have the tool then this little accessory isn’t going to break the bank. Each time Arrow-Fix bring out a new accessory the value of this ingenious little tool is enhanced.