Originally Posted by jon.henry755
Here is a copy of a thread I posted a few weeks back about arrow building for the TAC15 Crossbow. There's another article that was written by Dorge Huang recently which talks about how to properly prepare an arrow shaft and glue vanes, which is more up your alley, but I need to locate it on a different website.
This will give you a much deeper appreciation of some of what's involved in getting arrows tuned properly for perfect flight from one arrow to the next.
Let's start with the easiest stuff first. The "Firenock" products are also known as Aerobolt II's and are produced by Firenock.com. They are a super high quality arrow that is made specifically to replace the factory PSE TAC15 arrows.
The only down side is that they are expensive, but you do get what you pay for. Every aspect of the Aerobolt II's are made with precision. Their Inserts and their points are machined to very exacting tolerances that nobody else in the industry even comes close to. The shafts are a specially produced version of an Easton Carbon Shaft that is a multi-spined shaft. You must let "Dorge" know that the arrows need to be fletched for the TAC15 crossbow. This way he will produce them in a 4 fletch, 60 x 120 fletching pattern.
To your question about Spine Matching? It requires the use of a Carbon Spine Tester in order to test and match your arrow spines. As each arrow is tested on the spine meter you will record the high and lower range readings on a piece of paper. If they were PSE TAC shafts for example, you might have readings such as .0159 - .0170 for one shaft. Then .0160 - .0168 for another and .0163 - .0170 for a third. All of these shafts are closely related enough to be in the same spine grouping. As long as the deviation in spine readings are within a few points of one another they will perform similarly. If they are more than a few points off from the main readings, they need to placed into a separate spine grouping.
The particular spine tester that use is by RAM Products and it's the RAM QC Carbon Spine Tester. Their number is 208-882-1396. On the RAM Spine Tester the highest number reading on the gauge indicates the stiff side of the arrow spine. It is this "Stiff Side" marking that is marked first in the center of the arrow spine and then transferred to the nock end of the shaft in order to orient the nocks to the stiff side of the spine.
RAM supplies some very good instructions with their product on the step by steps for each of these activities and they also have very good product support for their customers in the event one has any questions.
When I have PSE Arrows that are different lengths, this is not very critical because there's an over abundance of extra length of arrow shaft that hangs over the front of the crossbow at full draw, so it's far more important to get all shafts weighing the same, than it is to be of exactly the same length.
I use an electric Horizon Arrow Cut-off Saw to cut and adjust my arrow shafts.
Start by weighing all bare shaft before any work is performed and before any vanes have been placed on them. In this case one must identify their lightest weight arrow shaft because it's far easier to take weight off all others than it would be to add weight to the lightest shafts. I start by shaving 1/16 or thinner slices off my heavier shafts and then weighing each until I get it close to the weight of my lightest shafts. When finished with this process your shafts should be fairly close in weight. They do not need to be anywhere near exact because vanes and nocks being added will change their weight before you are done.
Next, I complete all spine testing and also mark the stiff side of each arrow shaft.
Then I insert my new nocks. For this step I only use Firenock "D" nocks and insert them without any glue, so they can easily be removed when I'm ready. I'm only putting the nocks 3/4's of the way in and aligning them with the stiff side marking on the shaft such that the stiff side marking is in the 12:00 o'clock position when the arrow is on the string of the crossbow.
Once this alignment has been performed, you can now perform your vane fletching. As each arrow is completed, just set it aside and allow it to dry overnight.
Once all vanes have been completed the nocks can be removed and set aside. Each arrow now needs to be weighed and the weight needs to be written down next to what number arrow it is in the group you are producing. When finished you should have a list numbered 1 - 12 or how ever many you are making and next to each the weight of each shaft measured in tens or 100ths of a grain. one decimal place to the right of the decimal point is tens. two positions after it would be the 100ths column.
You will then begin with the heaviest shaft and add a bull dog nock collar (Carbon Express Bull Dog Nock Collar CXL250) is the correct size for PSE TAC15 Arrow Shafts). These are held on by using a very small amount of slow setting Epoxy Cement and then add one of the nocks you set aside from that earlier step. Use a very small amount of glue to the nock also and make sure you align the nock back in the correct position so the stiff side of the arrow shaft is in the 12:00 o'clock position when the arrow is on the string.
Once this has been done, you need to immediately weigh this arrow and record the weight on paper next to this arrow number. This weight is important because all other arrows will be brought to this weight by adding as much glue as necessary to achieve this exact weight. Therefore you must work with your arrow scale next to you at all times. If the weight comes out higher than this weight you will pull out the nock with a set o pliers and remove some glue. If the arrow weighs less than the weight of the first arrow, the you will use pliers and remove the nock to add another drop of glue. You can place glue on the inside hollow part of the nock if necessary to add more. Once you are within one or two tenths of a grain seat the nock permanently by pushing it all he way in as far as it will go. Remember to always double check the nocks alignment to the stiff side of the spine marking on your arrow shaft to insure each one is aligned with the stiff side at 12:00 o'clock when finished.
Repeat these steps until all arrows are fully finished and then allow 24 hours to completely dry.
When finished, you will have created a completely matched, tuned and weight balanced set off arrows that will perform as well and better than anything you can buy anywhere.
I can achieve consistent perfect arrow performance from my 4 fletch arrows and although I can also achieve this with a set of Dorges, Aerobolt II's, I can't get any better grouping from one over the other because the oscillation and timing on both are as good as it can be. If one is willing to put in this much work they can achieve outstanding performance from either arrow, so it's hard to advocate a 3 vane configuration over a 4 vane configuration.
Even Dorge's arrows are not nock aligned to the stiff side of is arrows spines, so if you want the best possible performance from his arrows, this step needs to be performed in order to achieve it.
There are no known manufacturers who routinely perform this function, so it's a custom tuning step that the shooter must perform if desired.