river cane

Posts, How-to's, videos, etc. on tips that you have to help us all fine tune our traditional hunting gear.
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eddie c
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river cane

Post by eddie c » Mon May 19, 2014 1:35 pm

I need someone to educate me. I know NOTHING about selecting river cane for arrow shafts.

I'm pretty sure that is an article or maybe a book some where to get me started, what do you guys suggest?

eddie
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Re: river cane

Post by TradRag » Mon May 19, 2014 7:38 pm

same here...I've been told but have forgotten.
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zeek from coon creek
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Re: river cane

Post by zeek from coon creek » Mon May 19, 2014 8:02 pm

I've got an old back issue of TBH here some place that has a very good article by Al Herrin on river cane arrows. I recall him "saying" something about there being a male and a female plant and one is good for arrows and the other isn't and he tells how to tell the difference but I forget how. I will see if I can find the article and condense the meat of it and post here later.
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zeek from coon creek
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Re: river cane

Post by zeek from coon creek » Mon May 19, 2014 10:14 pm

OK, I found the article in question. It is in the Feb/Mar 2000 issue of TBH, and it was written by Al Herrin. In the article he speaks of two types of cane shafts that grow together in the cane brakes. They are the same plant just different types of growth. One is what he calls "reproductive stems" and they are weak and unsuitable for arrow shafting. The other he calls "vegitative stems" these are the strong arrow shaft suitable stems. He describes the two as follows and I quote: "The weak, reproductive stems have fewer branches and green leaves on the stem and have tan, paper-like sheaths on the stem above each of the lower joints of the stem. The strong vegetative stems have more branches and green leaves and do not have tan sheaths above the lower joints". The author says that cane is surprisingly consistient for spine when comparing shafts of similar diameter; it is just a matter of trial and error to find out what diameter shafts have the spine you are looking for. He also says that while he prefers to harvest it in the winter one can harvest it anytime and it still makes a good shaft. He said that after cutting the cane he hangs it from one end to dry for several weeks before continuing to process it into arrows. Hope this bit of info helps.
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eddie c
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Re: river cane

Post by eddie c » Tue May 20, 2014 10:21 am

first, let me say Thanks for the time it took you to look it up.

second, does he mention anything about where to cut ( above joints? below? does it matter) and how long is best to cut?
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zeek from coon creek
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Re: river cane

Post by zeek from coon creek » Tue May 20, 2014 7:56 pm

eddie c wrote:first, let me say Thanks for the time it took you to look it up.

second, does he mention anything about where to cut ( above joints? below? does it matter) and how long is best to cut?
It was no problem to look it up. As for where to cut he was not too specific he did say that if you were going to cut a shallow "cherokee" style nock then you could just trim the shaft off leaving the complete solid node on the small end of the shaft then carve the nock directly into the cane, (this type nock requires the use of a forefinger / thumb pinch "indian style" draw) If you want a deeper nock to accomodate the split finger or three under type draw he says you will need to cut the shaft off above the node so it is hollow then insert a solid wood plug to cut the nock into. Either way he recommends wrapping the cane with sinew just in front of the nock to prevent the cane from splitting when the arrow is fired. As for how long to cut the shafts, he didn't say a word. I would suggest cutting them plenty long, maybe 36" or so to allow plenty to trim off and fine tune the spine of the arrow. He did say that it is best to also install a solid wood foreshaft into the hollow end of the arrow to mount the point on. This, according to him, could be anywhere from 2" to a foot in length depending on the makers whim. Here too he recommends wrapping the cane with sinew to prevent it from splitting. Maybe someone who has actually made cane arrows will come along and give us the benefit of first hand knowledge.
Zeek;

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campcook
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Re: river cane

Post by campcook » Fri May 23, 2014 11:43 pm

Eddie I cut my cane as long as possible as long as it is straight(no big kinks), six ft still fits in my avalanche. I bundle it together and wrap it tight with 550 cord the I put it in the room with my hot water tank the gas hot water heater keeps it warm and dry but not to hot and its out of my way while it drys. The cane with the sheaths on it is to weak for shafts but it maybe better for weaving quivers out of. You tube has several videos of the process its not hard once you see it. Alex

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eddie c
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Re: river cane

Post by eddie c » Sat May 24, 2014 3:28 pm

Thanks campcook.
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