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From Shafts to Arrows

Rose City Archery's processing of POC shafts to completed arrows.

The most important part of the finishing process involves paying close attention to detail. 

The Port Orford Cedar Shafts are first graded to ensure quality then processed through a lacquer machine.

Shafts can be purchased bare or with 4 coats of stain: Clear, Mahogany or Walnut, so that you can apply your own finishing touches. 

Each coat is inspected to ensure proper coverage of lacquer, the shafts run through a drying conveyor after each coat. The drying conveyor is specially designed to prevent any rub on the shaft, allowing the lacquer to dry evenly. This can be done manually by using dip tubes and rubber gaskets with the correct diameter cut out. Dip nock end, pull the shafts out through the gasket, allow to dry, sand lightly with 0000 steel wool, then wipe off dust with clean lint free cloth, and apply the next coat. Apply 3 to 4 coats total.

The style of the arrow and colors for crown dip, nocks, cresting, highlighting and feathers are all chosen before any more work is done. 

The crown dipping comes next for the Hunter Elite Extreme and Elite Arrows. Specially designed 12 count holders are used, the nock end is dipped before attaching the nock, after dipping they are hung below the lacquer shelves for drying. For easier tapering, make sure the excess lacquer is removed from the tips of the shafts before completely dry. After dipping wait 2 to 4 minutes and gently tap the end of the shafts on some newspaper or other heavy duty paper to remove excess lacquer. If using a standard or Pro-crester it may be designed to hold the shaft without a nock attached or the taper being done. Make sure you know what your equipment requires before proceeding.

The next step is tapering the nock end. Both the cresting and fletching jigs require nock placement to hold and rotate the shaft properly. The shaft end is inserted by hand into a grinding wheel that is preset to the correct angle for the perfect nock taper. You can use a Whiffen taper tool (pencil sharpener type) at home. Then the correct color of Bohning Classic Nock is glued on using RCA Specialty Flight Glue. Lacquered, crested and nocked Premium shafts Duco Cement works well also. Make sure the nock is positioned 90 degrees to the grain (perpendicular to the grain). You only have 10 to 20 seconds to get the position right. This maximizes the strength of the shaft and reduces shaft splitting.


All cresting and highlighting is done by hand for the Hunter Elite Extremes, Elites and Hunter Premiums. For proper cresting follow your own machines instructions. 

Drying time between each color application is a necessity to prevent the colors from running together.

After the final cresting and highlights have dried the shafts are then moved to the fletching room.

RCA uses Martin J-8, left wing fletching jigs & RCA Specialty Flight Glue for feather application. Only one feather can be applied per shaft at a time. There are 24 jigs per table. The jigs are preset to the correct placement for 3 feathers per shaft, once the first feather is attached and set, the clamp is removed, the dial is turned, which turns the shaft, and the next feather is inserted into the clamp, the glue is added to the fletch, then the clamp is attached back to the jig until the glue is dry. There are lines located on the fletching clamp for consistent application, mark your line on your own personal jig to ensure that proper distance from the nock is the same on each feather and each arrow. The nock feather is usually positioned first and is placed in the same spot as the nock indicator, at a right angle to the nock. Try to apply the glue is an even thin line down the fletch.

Each fletching application is inspected to ensure proper placement of feathers, adhering of glue and final overall appearance and quality of the arrows. 


There are many different draw lengths and different measuring styles to determine draw length. RCA completed arrows have a point installation option available with your own personal draw length (options available in the shopping cart) or you can choose to receive full length arrows and install your own points, at full length they are ready to cut to your own personal draw length, they will then need to be tapered and your own Points or Broadheads can be attached

Steel Field Points & Broadheads, Ferr-L-Tite hot melt glue and Rose City taper tools are available (sold separately), if you choose the do-it-yourself option, so that your arrows can be flying shortly after receiving your order. For attaching your own field points make sure that the points are cleaned and free of oil, the glue will not adhere properly with oil residue on the points. Broadheads usually do not have an oil residue.

RCA keeps a complete inventory of finished arrows of Hunter Extreme Elites, Hunter Elites, Hunter Premiums and Hunter Selects. Finished arrows can be shipped out the same day 95% of the time. The longest possible wait would be 2 week to ship from the date of receiving the order (only when not in stock). Shipping is free on all finished arrow orders (excluding Spine Test Kits) and the FET is included in the price.

Rose City Archery, Inc. takes pride in producing great quality and fantastic looking Traditional Port Orford Cedar Wood Arrows.

We also have assembly kits that contain everything an archer needs to get started making your own arrows, Test Kits to help determine spine weight and consider gift certificates for birthday's and special occasions.