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Rose City Archery's wood cutting process is very involved and complicated. We process primarily Port Orford Cedar Wood. We start with logs which are cut into wood bolts with chain saws. Then the bolts are brought into the mill on racks with a forklift and the bolts are run through a series of saws. Creating big blocks,then small blocks, until they have been cut to thin slats.
The boards are inspected for quality and sorted at each saw. A considerable amount is discarded that will not make quality arrow shafts, rejected blocks, slats and dowels are sold locally as firewood, garden stakes, kindling or ground into sawdust for oil.
Smaller pieces that won't make standard blocks are processed through other saws to salvage any usable squares that might make an arrow shaft, these squares are run through a separate square machine set up specifically for individual squares.
The best quality slats and squares are then stacked on drying racks and put into kilns to eliminate moisture content. The sawdust is also collected into a vacuum system off each of the saws so that very little goes to waste, the sawdust is sold or distilled into oil and the oil is sold worldwide for it's insect repelling, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties.
After drying, the slats are processed through molders to form wooden dowels.
The dowels are sorted and separated by quality and straightness. A large percentage of dowels never make it to the next stage.
Dowel Finishing Process
The dowels run through a series of doweling machines which is the process that determines the diameter of the shafts.
They start at the biggest diameter doweling machine and are inspected, the best quality dowels go to the grading room for further assessment and to be spined. The low quality dowels are run through smaller diameter doweling machines and inspected again, and either approved or reprocessed through other smaller doweling machines. Good quality shafts with bad ends are cut down to shorter length shafts.
Split, broken and unacceptable shafts are discarded at every step, leaving only the best quality arrow stock.
The arrow shafts that make it past the doweling process are already sorted by diameter and go to the grading room where they are run through the spine machine. The spine machine uses a 2 pound weight with pressure in the center of the shaft to determine the strength, then separates the shafts into spine weights in increments of 5 pounds.
The shafts are then hand graded by spine weight to weed out the crooked shafts, split ends, bad grain, and knots that will weaken a shaft. At this point the dowels are sorted into 4 categories per diameter and spine weight: Premium shafts, garden stakes, a re-process bin, kindling, and trash.The premium arrow shafts are then stocked in bins for retail sales or boxed for shipment to our distributors through out the world.
Many of our shafts go to the finishing room to be completed arrows. Please read our Finishing Page for more information on RCA completed arrows.