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March 2014  
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A Stain on the Escutcheon
large product photo   22nd March 2014

Time to apply some finish to the shafts. Most people use varnishes for a more traditional look, in a wide combination of layers. I use Cuprinol woodstain, one layer then very lightly rubbed down (as the first layer can pick up sanding dust and make roughnesses), another layer, then 50/50 sanding sealant and thinners for a shiny and less windresistant finish.

My daughter's arrows are painted in Ronseal, plain and simple, and she likes them. Experiment with different finishes and talk to fletchers or look on their websites for hints. Little John is a great place to start. Just don't be depressed by how gorgeous his arrows are! With practice, yours will become something you can be proud of.

Wayne Howman has made a really cool trick dipping tube with a combined rack to hang the arrows next to a radiator to dry, which I'd love to make one day. For the moment, though, I'm old skool with the brush.

If your nocks are different colours to the shafts, try not to paint onto them. It's less important with the piles - a couple of trips into the boss will smooth any stain off them just fine.

Leave each coat to dry overnight for best results.

I love working with the garage door open when it's raining. Very relaxing, the air is crisp and refreshing somehow, and there's that satisfying feeling of shelter enhanced by the wet that can't quite reach you.