Nock Jig For Self Nocked Arrows
Once someone discovers archery it isn't too long before they want to start making their own arrows, when you have been doing that with component parts for some time there will come the day when you want to make something a little bit special.
You don't have to be in to traditional bows or English longbows to want to make self nocked arrows, if you have ever seen someone using them you will no doubt have fancied a set of your own. The making and the care and effort put in are as important as the end result. I don't consider myself a "handy" fellow but when it comes to making archery stuff I constantly amaze myself at the patience I have - in other areas of life I have little and am know as an impatient person.
If you want to take a totally traditional route there are few tools about to enhance the enjoyment of making your own arrow. This little jig from Nidderdale archery however, will make life a little easier when cutting self nocks - if you intend to use the arrow with a lower poundage bow the nock can be cut and with a little binding at the base the arrow can be used as is. For stronger bows and to increase the strength of the nock a sliver of horn can be inserted, this was common practice in the middle ages, you could also use a slice of hardwood although horn is stronger.
Quite simply the jig is a block with a hole the correct size for the shaft with a pre-cut slot in exactly the right position. Using a rod saw ( also known as a tile saw ) you can quickly and easily cut the nock.
For simple unsupported nocks the jig sports another useful feature. The Jig should be placed in a vice. The shaft is first inserted into the jig and a small pilot hole is drilled, the guide hole is also pre-drilled through the jig, all you have to do is follow it - this will serve two purposes, the first is that using the small pin provided , you can push it through the hole and this helps to keep the shaft in place whilst you are cutting the slot. Secondly, the rounded bottom of the slot will not only enhance the look but allow you to tailor the slot to be just the right size to grip the shaft and the widened out area at the bottom of the slot will accept the string without pinching it.
When using the jig it is important to orientate the shaft with the grain running in the correct direction. for simple self nocks the slot should run against the grain to avoid the shaft splitting along the natural grain lines, it is prudent to always add some binding at the base of the nock as a little extra security. Simple nocks are fine for very low poundage bows but by far a better solution, both aesthetically and from a safety point of view is to support the nock with a horn slice. This time when the slot is cut do not use the drill hole and pin, just move the shaft up the jig when the first depth has been reached, you can continue this upward movement to cut the slot as deep as you wish or as long as the horn sliver you intend to use. You must also ensure that this first cut is made with the grain. Once the horn has been inserted and glued make the second cut against the grain for the actual nock.
With some prudent sanding and shaping you will have produced a beautiful self nock.
The jig is available in 3 common sizes and Richard Marsh the designer and maker is happy to produce specialist sizes for those who wish to make a truly custom arrow or for the guys that need larger sizes for War arrows.
Features & Design
Anone who has made self nocked arrows will have found out that cutting a perfect slot is not quite so easy as it looks if you try it freehand, this little jig has the slot pre cut, as it is made from metal you don't have to worry about going off line.
With patience and a little care you will be producing perfect nock cuts in seconds.
Value for Money
At £25 it isn't cheap, however it will last forever and should be regarded as an investment rather than a purchase.
Simple and intuitive to use it is important that when cutting the slot that the shaft is held firmly in place, I use my left hand underneath the jig to clamp the shaft to one side so it cannot move once I start the cut. Take your time with the first couple and you will have no problems. An essential little jig for traditional fletchers.