Nidderdale Maple Shafts
Historically there were always a large number of woods used in arrow making, in recent times there was less choice and archers were using Port Orford Cedar or Pine. With the resurgence in traditional style shooting there as been an increase in the number of woods used in shaft making. I couldn't tell you if was archer demand that drove the availability or that more dealers and suppliers were prepared to push the boundaries and explore the properties of other woods.
Probably more Port Orford Cedar is used but, you can now add these woods to the list, Birch, Ramin, Douglas Fir, Spruce, Yellow Cedar, ash, Poplar, Tonkin Cane, Hazel .... Nidderdale have just started producing Maple shafting, which is a new wood to me. Whenever I see something new I can't resist it.. so I had to have dozen to see what they were like.
These are supplied as a shaft 35" long, which offer some options, not least that those with extreme draw lengths will find they can make an arrow without having to make a special order from a dealer. You also have the option to take your shaft length from the portion that either looks the best or is the straightest, those that I have are straight and required no work.
Having decided where to cut, the thing that strikes you is the density of the wood, the grain structure is such that it is very smooth and regular, this is reflected in the grains per inch which on this set of 5/16" 30/35# shafts averaged out at 16.3 grains per inch. Those that like a solid weighty shaft are going to love Maple. Working with it is a joy and you can see from the taper shavings how smooth, dense and regular the wood is....You won't find yourself having to spend an age sanding these shafts down to get a nice finish as they are super smooth to start with, a few passes with some fine paper and you are good to go.
Generally when making arrows I prep with a sanding sealer, 2 coats is usually enough, but, to be fair to these shafts they hardly needed it. I tend to not really get too involved with cresting and fancy paint jobs these days. I used to spend hours making sets of beautiful looking arrows, these days I put the time into matching the sets and getting them to fly as best I can, the pain of breaking an arrow that is virtually a work of art is just too much to bear. I say that because if you are an arrow maker who likes a bit of paint work or likes to use an air brush, these shafts will accept paint beautifully.
When Fletched up at 28" to BOP and with a 100grn point these arrows weighed in at around the 550 grains mark, enough to deliver a satisfying stripe, before you turn your nose up at a heavy arrow consider this.... the weight will be proportionate to the density and these are going to be tough arrows, so if you are looking for a robust arrow, or a shaft for hunting that will pass on all the energy to the target Maple could be just what you need. Shooing them from a bow that suits this spine I find they are very consistent, something that I have always liked about a heavy arrow, they feel good coming out of the bow and I have always found heavy arrows group well for me.
Features & Design
A good solid wood that is easy to work with and makes a strong arrow
Makes arrows that will perform as well as any, you will need to take care when building an arrow just as you would with any wood
Value for Money
£19.95 is a very keen price and adds an extra element to the value equation
A strong robust shaft at a very nice price, heavy arrow fans wll love how these will help with "shocky" bow.