DIY – Hunting / Survival 3-Piece Take Down Arrows
For survival hunting it’s hard to beat a sling or take down bow, but there is one inherent problem with these tools: arrows!!! You see, full length arrows easily snag in brush and tree limbs on the trail, can be easily be bent or broken, and are hard to conceal. The solution? Yep, you guessed it… DIY 2- or 3-piece take-down arrows.
The cool thing is that you can custom build your own take down arrows easily and affordably at home.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Good Quality Aluminum or Carbon Arrows… I recommend arrows with larger fletching
- A Tape Measure
- A Fine Sharpie Marker
- Glue – I recommend 5 Minute Epoxy or Arrow Adhesive
- 1000-Grit Sand Paper
- One 32 Teeth-Per-Inch Hack Saw Blade
- A Plastic Miter Box
- Bow String Wax
- A Small Piece of Scrap Wood
- A Pair of Leather Gloves
- A Clean Dry Rag
- A Few Cotton Swabs and Toothpicks
- Denatured Alcohol (Optional)
And for the Most Special Part – A Few Sets of Male and Female Arrow Inserts
- To Start… Lets Cut the Arrow
First, remove the point from your arrow if it has one installed.
For two-piece take down arrows, simply measure the length of the arrow and mark the half- way point with your sharpie.
For three-piece arrows divide the total length (from tip to nock) by 3 and make your marks.
For my YouTube video I made a 3-piece carbon fiber take down arrow (since 3-piece carbon take down arrows are the trickiest to make … but these techniques apply to 2-piece and aluminum arrows as well.
HOW TO CUT YOUR ARROW SHAFT
To make the cuts square and precise without fraying the fibers of your carbon arrows, it’s best to take your shaft to a local bow shop to make the cuts for you.
If you choose to do it yourself, the most affordable way is to purchase a plastic miter box. I think I paid like 7 bucks for mine, and you’ll need a 32 teeth-per-inch hacksaw blade.
Now place the arrow in the miter box with your first mark lined up with the perpendicular cutting slots and tight up against the inside wall.
With a glove on your strong hand, grasp the end of the hacksaw blade with the arrow on the blade pointing toward you and with the teeth down.
Insert the hacksaw blade in the slot and start cutting back and forth with slow, even strokes and minimal pressure. Don’t press hard… let the blade do the work… slow and steady wins the day.
It’s important to get a clean straight cut. One cut may take 2 or 3 minutes so be patient. Be especially careful toward the end, since it’s easy to rush it and end up pulling some carbon fibers off your shaft.
If this happens DO NOT use your arrow. Either attempt a clean cut below the frayed area or discard your arrow.
SQUARE UP EDGES
Next grab your piece of 1000-grit automotive sand paper. With sand paper on a flat surface, square up any imperfections from your cuts and lightly sand the edges.
INSTALLING INSERTS AT EACH JOINT
To construct the safest possible take down arrows that you can, you will need 1 set of special aluminum inserts for each joint and the proper adhesive to hold them in place.
I have done extensive research and have only found one maker of the special male and female inserts that you need. They come in packs of 6 pairs for around $20 US at the time of this review. So you’ll get enough inserts for 6 two-piece or 3 three-piece take down arrows. Here is a link for those so you can grab some.
BEWARE BAD ONLINE INFO
Do NOT use standard arrow inserts with a threaded 8/32 rod as the connector – as some other YouTube videos and websites teach. The 8/32 rod doesn’t have the lateral support that’s needed near the joint, so arrows made this way may permanently bend in flight or during impact creating a dangerous situation.
Now to install your inserts you’ll need the right adhesive. I prefer a dab of 5-minute epoxy because it gives me some time to set the inserts and some grace if I make a mistake. I have also used arrow adhesive (it’s basically super glue for arrow inserts and nocks). Arrow adhesive is quick and convenient, you just have to work fast or your insert could set up before you seat it properly… and those puppies ain’t cheap.
Mix a small bit of 5-minute epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Now use a toothpick to carefully spread a generous dab of epoxy on the inside of each cut end of the arrow shaft and around each insert… about 1/8 inch or 3 millimeters below the cut and insert lip… (this should help keep your glue mess to a minimum).
Now carefully insert the butt end of male insert into feathered section and press it fully into place using a piece of scrap wood.
Make sure the insert ring is tight against the arrow cut.
Now take the female end and press it into one side of your center section of arrow.
Then press the next female end into the other side of the arrow’s center section followed by pressing the final male insert into the point end.
Your arrow sections should now look similar to this.
Add some bow string wax to your insert and point threads to help keep your arrow sections from coming loose.
WARNING: KNOW THE LIMITS OF YOUR ARROWS
To be on the safer side we recommend that 3 piece arrows only be used with up to about 40-pound bows and 2-piece arrows on bows only up to 50 pounds. NEVER use any take down arrow on a compound or crossbow.
Once your arrow is assembled, make sure that you flex it a few times to ensure that there are no weak spots.
If you construct multiple take down arrows, make sure you keep the sections of each arrow together… using rubber bands works great.
To store, protect, and carry your 2- or 3-piece take down arrows on your back or in a pack, you can use a document tube or make your own out of PVC – which we’ll cover in a future video.
Now get out and have some fun shooting your take down arrows with your sling, long or recurve bow!