One of the joys of archery for me is the making of arrows, the satisfaction of having an arrow that not only is matched perfectly to your bow but looks good is hard to beat.
There are innumerable products on the market aimed at the home arrow maker who likes to paint or crest his arrows. I do get fed up with coloured cresting though, a seemingly endless precession of arrows with different coloured rings becomes boring in the end.
I also find that although certain crest and feather combinations look fantastic in the quiver they can actually be a handicap whilst shooting, any arrow with a dark cap dip and dark fletches are tricky to see once they have left the bow. Great if you are a hunter, red is a popular colour as the Deer can't see it. Not so great if you can't see where your arrow has gone and need to take a second. My favourite combination is a white cap, white nock and 3 white fletches, these babies zip through the wood like tracer. I am convinced that shooting "tracer" arrows or at least arrows where you can clearly follow the flight path will speed up the learning of instinctive archery, it's like the flight path gets burned in your mind.
So you go to all the trouble of Cap dipping, staining, putting on a stunning crest in 3 colours and lacquering your arrows - you then go to a shoot, lets say an NFAS shoot - to comply with all the rules you must have your name on the arrow and identification as to whether this arrow gets shot 1st 2nd or 3rd, so you grab an indelible pen and scrawl away ruining the beauty of a set of arrows.
There is another option, use the information you must provide as part of the art of the arrow.
From my point of view this is perfect, I like simple arrows, I like arrows I can see in the woods.
So to be in keeping with my simple is best philosophy I purchased a pyrography pen, this one was pretty cheap from Axminster, but there are many others out there all ofering on pretty much the same principal. A brass nib is screwed into a soldering Iron like device which can be used just like a pen.
As Standard this tool comes with 6 different shaped nibs, each can be used to burn a different thickness of line, it comes too with a small rest so that you don't burn down the workshop. At the same time I purchased an extra pack of patterned nibs which cost around a fiver, so for £20 I am in the pyrography business !!
It's dead simple to use, just plug it in, heat it up and get writing. It does take a bit of practice to get the pressure and speed right but it does produce a very simple and clean finish, some of my favourite arrows have just one barred cock and 2 white fletches, they are finished with a simple band, my name and the arrow number.
Sometimes I find it useful to put all the arrow information on it, the weight, the spine, the shaft ( it could be Rogue River, Hexshaft, Pine, POC or whatever), I can number the arrow or even name it - I once had a set of Roman Generals and have made sets for people with the names birds of prey. I have never seen others doing this but I guess someone must, perhaps I just don't get out much !
Features & Design
A heating Iron with nib attachments, it is well designed and easy to use
An excellent alternative to paint crests and if you shoot primitive arrows with this finish will make a simple and complimentary addition to your kit.
Value for Money
Cheaper than most models but with all the same features this offers excellent value
Fun to use, cheap and gives a nice finish