source for arrow shafts ?

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Dec 9, 2016
North East
Hello All ,
I,m into my new hobby now , making bows . Well Ive only made one so far but it seemed to go not too bad . It is an American Flat Bow style , made out of Greenhart wood with a Hickory backing . I am now ready for my second bow , made from an Elm stave and I am going to attempt to make it into a recurve style ! Trying to do all this on a budget and money is getting tight , so without further adoo , does any member on this forum know of anyone who makes decent arrows shafts to make my own arrows at reasonable prices in the UK . I would be interested to know .
Thanks .M
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Full Member
Jan 23, 2017
Far NW Scoootland
Wooden arrows were always fairly priced in the shops. Otherwise post on Archery Interchange and ask as there are many bowyers and arrow makers there.


Jul 2, 2014
North West Somerset

Ideally before ordering you would need to have some idea of:
A. Your actual drawlength
B. your required arrow spine (how much the shaft bends on release, and generally related to the draw weight and speed of your bow)
C. Your required pile weight
D. Your required fletch length

These details should be known for your personal shooting style, and as no-one shoots the same bow the same way, some experimentation will be necessary. Then you can get onto colours, plastic or self nocked, etc etc. I am presuming, possibly incorrectly, that you are interested in wooden shafted arrows? I would suggest that if at all possible you shoot some arrows that are already made up, to see if they suit your bow. Then replicate the ones that match best.

Also if you're not on there already, I would strongly suggest looking at/joining the forum on Primitive Archer website. Its a USA based site, but chock full of good information and friendly support.

As has been said elsewhere about trad archery, "its supposed to be simple, not easy" :)

Cheers, Bob

Black Sheep

Maker Plus
Jun 28, 2007
North Yorkshire
Why not make your own?

You can buy all the bit fairly cheaply from somewhere like Merlin Archery. Only real expense is a fetching jig (to put the fletches on the right place) then your geared up to make as many arrows as you like.

I'd never made arrows before but followed a videos on YouTube and away I went and never looked back. There is something quite therapeutic about making arrows;)



Jul 2, 2014
North West Somerset
Rich is quite right. It is quite rewarding making your own, and not too daunting if you can follow instructions in a logical manner. If you have made a bow already, then you have the right mindset, so have a go !


Full Member
As others have said, making your own is great. I can vouch for Merlin Archery being a good source of components. They were recommended to me by the coach at our local archery range and he's a former European and World champion so I figured if he spoke well of them they must be alright and true enough they were very helpful.


Nov 16, 2012
Ive been making my own arrows on and off for nearly 27 years, need to make another lot soon I have sold them in the past over here and abroad amongst the re-enactment circuit.
I tend to use hardwood doweling from DIY shops 9mm(11/32ish) or 10mm(3/8ish), it used to be ramin dowel, makes a good stiff arrow, also used the pine dowelling as well. The ramin/hardwood quality did drop a few years ago so not sure what its like now.
Myself personally ive never worried about spining of the arrows just a much stiffer arrow for heavier draw weight bows.
My 90lb longbow deffienetly shoots better with the 3/8 ash arrows I knocked up a few years ago, medieval replicas. I keep on meaning to get some ash lengths 1/2x1/2'' and make my own on a planning/arrow block. Mainly used quicks archery for feathers etc all the prices seem to be around the same these days. For more fancy heads theres a mulitiple suppliers out there including hand forged one,s like the ones hector cole makes. Made a few bows in the past mainly hazel, and assisted in the making of my 90lb longbow I knew the bowyer very well(he passed away about 3 years ago) the bow is a thing of beauty and a beast to boot.

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
What have you got that's been coppiced and is now growing a thicket of long straight shoots?

Paleo arrows in western Canada have been identified using the characteristics of simple wood anatomy (my job).
Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia) was one, Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana varieties) was much more commonly used.
Fresh, they lend themselves easily to heat bending to straighten them. That much, I've watched.

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