The purpose of a footing is to strengthen the tip of an arrow shaft. Typically, a contrasting wood is used. Usually, a stronger hardwood is used with a weaker softwood.


You will need a hacksaw, crosscut saw, a 4 way file, a small 1 inch plane and at least 3 clamps. A bench type belt sander, band saw, table saw and radial arm saw may speed the process for you but they are optional.

To begin, rip or otherwise cut a 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch x 7.25 inch footing. Normally, the length of a footing is 7.25 inches long. This wood is fir.

Measure down 5.25 inches and draw a line all around the material. Next draw a line down the center as pictured.

Using the hacksaw make a pilot cut of 3 or 4 inches. I cut at right angles to the end grain. That way the footing is less likely to split when the shaft is inserted.

Finish the cut with a crosscut saw. Cut to the bottom line. If the cut is not down the center the footing may appear crooked after gluing so plane as needed to make the cut in the center.

Prepare the shaft by measuring down 5 inches and drawing a line around it. With the rasp remove wood from one side. Flip it over and remove wood from the opposite side. This is to guide the shaping of the wedge on the sander. With the belt sander form the wedge shape. You may use the rasp if no sander is available.

Note the clamp in the picture. This keeps the footing from splitting. Keep checking for fit. Easy does it. Remove wood as needed or you will split the footing.

It's ready for glue up.

Glue and clamp. I use Titebond 3

After it dries, shape the footing.

I remove the bulk of the wood with my sander. The plane and rasp may also be used.

You should end up with this.

The wings have been removed.

Finish rounding the footing with the small plane and rasp. I also use sandpaper to round out the footing. Wrap the paper around it and turn the shaft as you sand. Drill a 11/32 inch whole in a piece of scrap and use it to gauge the diameter of the footing.

That's the finished footing.

In closing, fittings afford an excellent way to make the tip end of a shaft stronger.

Copyright by George C Tsoukalas

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