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Thread: homemade broadheads

  1. #1
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Default homemade broadheads

    This is the process I use to make the broadheads that I hunt with.

    I use 125 grain field points and reshape them to remove the shoulders. this step may not be necessary buy It looks nice.
    the blades are cut from a .039 thick bandsaw blade.



    the jig for slotting the field point is made of steel and clamps the point while the spacer (piece of hacksaw blade) Leaves room for the saw to pass between the two halves to cut the slot.







    I then polish the two pieces and make sure I have a good fit up.





    Next I braze the two parts together although I think solder or even J.B. Weld would suffice. I may try this on the next batch
    because brazing is messy and I have to quench afterward to make sure the heads are hard.



    After cleaning and polishing again, I use a cold bluing to protect the heads and then a light coat of oil.



    Finished weight, 165 grains. about 1 inch wide (15/16) and 1 1/4 long.





    After reading Dr. Ashby's report on single bevel broadheads.(right after I finished the last batch of double bevel heads)



    I just had to make some single bevel heads. It just makes so much sense. I will test both to see if I get his results.

    http://www.tradgang.com/ashby/single...broadheads.pdf





    After making the first set of single bevel heads, I made a new set with a longer profile.

    Then I fooled around with a longer version.



    This is the latest design and the one I hunt with now.





    As luck would have it, a neighbor brought me a fresh archery kill to process for him. I asked him if it would be ok to test my heads on his deer. He didn't mind since he wanted the whole deer ground into sausage and/or burger. So here she is.



    I made three shots from 10 yards with my 45 pound longbow that shoots an arrow at a blazing 142 FPS. the first two were through the ribs and the final one hit the shoulder blade at the point where the flat and the "T" meet, right near the ball joint. This is (in my opinion) the largest and thickest bone section in the upper shoulder. I admit that hitting this far forward is not a good place to aim on a live animal but things happen beyond our control. I of course hit this spot with pin point precision on purpose.



    The rib shots were complete pass throughs but the shoulder shot ended up with just the fletches sticking out entrance side. I know there were no lungs in the deer but they don't offer much in the way of resistance any way. Also consider that this deer was cold and stiff as rigor mortise had set in so I consider all things equal.



    Right off the bat, I noticed the "S" shaped cuts that Dr. Ashby had spoke about. This was the case on both the entrance and exit holes.



    *** Word of caution***

    When you pull the arrow back out of the deer (through a bone) and you have sharpened your broadheads on the trailing edge as well as the main edge. Make sure to keep your fingers clear even though you need to hold the deer steady while retrieving the arrow.



    After a brief bit of first aid, I began to skin the deer, I noticed that both of the rib shots had completely missed hitting ribs on both sides. My goal was to break a rib to see the results but I must have used up all my luck..... I mean skill on that shoulder shot.



    I then removed the shoulder and boned it out.



    Just as described by Dr. Ashby, the "S" shaped cut and the bone had split completely being held at the joint end by only some soft fibers.





    As expected, the single bevel head is a real bone breaker/splitter. Take from this what you will but I am even more pleased with the single bevel heads. This sort of thing is not necessary with todays super fast and powerful bows hunting whitetails but for those using traditional archery gear, or those going after large or dangerous game, we are looking for every advantage we can get

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    Very intersting

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    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    This is very interesting and innovative work. I just returned from Dallas Safari Club and spent considerable time talking to the guys from Alaska Bowhunting Supply http://www.alaskabowhunting.com about their products which I mention because of your own broad head design. I've never been, nor will I ever be a speed freak when it comes to arrows and bows simply because, I understand the physics of mass as it pertains to penetration. I know that doesn't sell equipment these days but to each his own. In that respect, I was extremely impressed with what I saw and learned in my discussions. Dr. Ashby's work crept up in our discussions and it's interesting that you were also enlighten and influenced by his work as you worked up your examples shown. You post a finished weight of 165gr., I assume that's your broad head weight. What is the gr. weight of your overall arrow set up? Nice job...!

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    For my longbow I am around 520 grain of total mass which amounts to about 10 grains of projectile mass per pound of draw weight. Most folks that only hunt with compounds shoot far less (perhaps around 6 or 7 grains of projectile weight per pound of draw weight)

    I set up lots of folks with broadheads and arrows and tune their gear for them to maximize performance. I helped one fellow looking to hunt American Bison in which I made him 700 grain arrows. He was pleased with the results.

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    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    So you are very much in the range of what Alaska Bowhunters Supply recommends for most if not all North American game animals, i.e., 650 gr. I agree with your principles.

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekberger View Post
    So you are very much in the range of what Alaska Bowhunters Supply recommends for most if not all North American game animals, i.e., 650 gr. I agree with your principles.
    As a tinkerer who hunts with both trad gear and a compound bow, I am always trying to maximize lethality with my gear and squeeze out every bit of energy from my setup. Todays trend is light and fast as if that is the proper goal to kill game. Its really the goal to sell bows since the bow makers have convinced people speed is the goal. Every bow has a sweet spot or point of demising returns in regards to projectile weight. I test my bows and arrows to find that sweet spot to find out the maximum KE and MO. I test a lot of people bows annually to set them up with the hardest hitting arrow they can shoot as opposed to the fastest and lightest arrow they can shoot.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    great post rancid, nothing like actual tests on the proper tissue to get some pretty nice results.

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    Those are slick! Where do I send my order? Are the green ones T-coated?
    Alpine is awesome...

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    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beauhunter View Post
    Those are slick! Where do I send my order? Are the green ones T-coated?
    Just plain old rattle can spray paint.

  10. #10

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    I agree that speed=bow sales! But at the same time today's speed bows helps hunters trying to launch a heavy arrow. Take a bow from 20 years ago and compare it to a modern speed bow. Not only will it it be faster and have more energy, it drops less than it did 20years ago. That's a win win!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rancid Crabtree View Post
    As a tinkerer who hunts with both trad gear and a compound bow, I am always trying to maximize lethality with my gear and squeeze out every bit of energy from my setup. Todays trend is light and fast as if that is the proper goal to kill game. Its really the goal to sell bows since the bow makers have convinced people speed is the goal. Every bow has a sweet spot or point of demising returns in regards to projectile weight. I test my bows and arrows to find that sweet spot to find out the maximum KE and MO. I test a lot of people bows annually to set them up with the hardest hitting arrow they can shoot as opposed to the fastest and lightest arrow they can shoot.
    Henry Bowman for President

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    Member Meanderthal's Avatar
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    Nice job!

    I know a guy who makes rediculously sharp and flexible fillet knives out of band saw blades. He gets the blades for free from a steel fab shop after the teeth go dull.


    Sent from my Obama phone while eating EBT lobster.

  12. #12
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    I have made a few fillet knives from these blades. They seem too hard (you wouldnt think that would be a problem but it is)

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    Cool post Rancid. Wish I had the time and skill (mostly skill, could make the time) to make broad heads like that. Now get back out there and shoot a rib and tell us what happens!

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    I'm going to go out on a limb here and recommend the hook, "Hunting the Hard " by Howard Hill. It's likely that he took more game of all sizes than any other bowhunter. His research and decisions as to broadhead design made sense to me. I've used the Hill broadhead design since 1960, and can honestly say that no arrow has ever stopped within the animal shot, including moose and Stellar sea lions. He insisted that his broadhead would go through 3" of green bone, and I think it will. All my hunting was with longbows in the 70# range, and with Port Orford Cedar tapered 11/32" shafts. Heads were 160-grain, absolutely could not windplane, and were made in a design that gave a broadhead three times as long as wide. The book is well worth the read, whether or not you take its advice.

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    I would like to here more about how you reshape the field points and just how you cut/grind the blades.
    Alpine is awesome...

  16. #16
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    I mount a field point on a conventional broadhead adapter with hot melt glue. I then thread that adapter into an arrow insert and mount that insert in a hand drill and turn the drill on and lock it in the on position. Using a file and then sandpaper I can remove the shoulders and make it into a bullet shape.

    The blades are cut to shape with a Dremmel tool and high speed cut-off wheels.

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