How golfers helped me make a better arrow

I’ve been constantly building, testing, redesigning, building, and retesting arrows for several years now. My arrows have come a long way in both durability and penetration, and my ability to tune them has been on a similar trajectory. Every once in a while, it’s good to be blindsided and amazed by something that has been an oversight. Recently I had a huge “ah ha!” moment and I thought it to be best to share.

In preparing my new arrows for my new heavy bow I found that what had been sufficient for bonding lighter arrows for a lighter bow is no longer sufficient. A few fellows I deeply respect urged me to venture into 24 hour epoxy. I must admit that my previous sucess with JB Weld and 5 minute epoxy from Gorilla had me hesitant to change. Once my failure threshold was beyond a excusable rounding error, it was time to rethink things.

The first major realization I had was that when comparing epoxies, they list the TENSILE strength of the bond. While I was using some of the highest rated stuff on the market, it was the wrong rating I was looking at. Kindof like the old saying “buy for horsepower and drive with torque.” While tensile strength is an excellent measure for many bonding needs, shear strength is what is really important when trying to reduce failure in a parallel/sliding bond.

The second thing I noticed was almost nothing available at the hardware store even listed carbon fiber as a surface. How does one know if a epoxy is optimized for bonding carbon fiber to carbon fiber or stainless steel with it just says “metal and plastic” on the wrapper?

Enter the golfing world! Guess what? They all have carbon fiber shafts that need to bond to steel heads and survive impact. Also, most golfers know they will keep their clubs in the trunks of their cars and frequent heating to over 120 degrees is a mandatory capability for them. Suddenly my arrow seem more applicable to the demands of golf club glue than the glues for arrows. Finally these guys are putting 1,000 grain heads on the end of their carbon shafts and hitting them sideways. I’m only putting 500-600 grains on my arrows and driving them forward.

Sometimes going back to the drawing board can have breakthrough gains, I’m glad my Buff arrows have pushed me to challenge my previously accepted norms.