Making a Quiver – Combat Archery

Hip Quiver Full of Bolts
Hip Quiver Full of Bolts

Greeting friends, a question often asked, ‘what is a good quiver to use’, or, ‘how can you make one’? As with anything this can be a very big subject, but let’s go into some basics of not only construction, but of some of the use cases related to quivers as well.

How many bolts do you have? What kind? In this case the head/APD type is more important. There are several shaft types. So when it comes to choosing the quiver to use and construction methods, it will partially depend on your ammo. If you have a sewing machine (and know how to use it) this will be fairly easy regardless of your method. I hand-stitched mine where necessary and used other simple means of assembly such as glue, and simply running1/4″ leather straps through punched holes. Crude but effective.

Your construction methods may also depend on the type of combatant you are. Are you explosive, running around dodging and weaving? Are you stationary like a turret and meticulously picking off the opposing teams? The type of archer you are can also dictate the type of ammo you use, but that’s another post.

One need not use canvas,  but use a material that is sturdy. Canvas and leather are great, but anything you have available or easily attainable should work. If all else fails, literally use a pillowcase (in your heraldic colors of course ;p). Material should be able to stand up to stepping, dragging, storing, and general wear and tear.

Bolts – Baldar and fiberglass:

Many people love the Harbor Freight canvas bags (fig.1). With a slight modification they can be used right out of the shipping box. Grab a few carabiner clips and some rope or tape. or grommets if you have them.

You can remove the handles so they are not in your way, or remove one and use the other as an attachment point. Or remove both handles, then you can punch holes just under the ring (optionally grommet) then run loops, or carabiners (fig.4).

Keep in mind the tubes will accept the bolts or arrows either end: APD, or Baldar. but the UMHW or padded heads.

Arrows – Baldar, UMHW, or Siloflex

Due to the larger size and bulk of these, something the size of the Harbor Freight bags work great. However they are too short. I have seen everything from pillow case style loose bags with a belt loop, to cutting a HF bag in half horizontally and inserting 12-16″ of fabric, canvas, etc (fig.2). For arrows I recommend making several quivers and not ‘over-crowding’ them. The bags are deep enough one needn’t worry about ammo spilling everywhere. Organization is less important. By not over-crowding, you will spend less time ‘untangling’ ammo as it comes out of the quiver.

If you wish to use the tubes for organization, you only need about 4″ at the bottom to put the ends into.

Make a hip and a back quiver? This greatly depends on your context, perhaps you sling a quiver over your back so you don’t have to go far away to reload. If you have a ‘pillow case’ quiver with a generous strap, this can be easily done. A good reason to have an optional strap with length is for flexibility.

General tips:

Make a few quivers! Either to share or make reloading easier. Also during the construction process you may find better ways of achieving the same goals. Plan your project!

I would really suggest carabiners as attach points (fig.4). Easy to take on and off. And if you have several quivers, and need to reload at a larger battle, you can do it quickly.

Leg straps work really well (fig.4). Aside from belt attach points, have a strap, leather cording or similar that attaches at the bottom of the bolt quiver and ties loosely around your leg to keep the quiver vertical. For arrows this is less important, but one could add an attach point midway so it ties around the thigh. If you run around a lot, this keeps the ammo from falling out

The tubes cut and honeycombed
The clear tubes

If using tubes (fig.3), you can attach them several ways or not at all. In my personal quiver they started off glued but separated over time. They all fit so snugly however that they don’t need to be glued, the tension of the bag holds them in place. There are several option for keeping them together.

  • Fill the quiver with tubes, retain the shape and lift them out, then run duct tape around the outside
  • Staple them together
  • Apply glue in the voids between the tubes while in bag
  • Apply glue to the bottom of the bag, then lower the tubes into place

If you are using a bag with no shape, you can use a plastic Ikea cutting board (or similar) (fig.5) that you trim into the shape of your quiver, and stitch, glue, or simply put into place.

Reference Links:

Northstar Archery

Canvas Bags

White – 4 count

Black – 2 count

Canvas Bag – Harbor Freight

Tubes for Baldar arrow or bolt

Standard clear tube guards

Tube guards in colors!
purpleredgreenlight blueblueyellowambercanarypink

Additional photos by Jonathan Lockwood

Insulate yourself from hassle – Making Target Backs

Greeting friends!

When it comes to making target backs, it can get complicated real fast, and there is a lot of good advice to be gleaned.

One quick and dirty way Ive discovered and worked on and it is dead simple to create, and deploy.

Use the pink insulation board you can get at any home improvement store. Cardboard you can get anywhere but you can also purchase these. The pink boards come in various shapes and sizes, so depending on your target size, you can get what you need. you can use a pocket knife to cut the boards. I don’t recommend trying to use the ‘score-and-break’ method you might use on drywall.

I like to get my targets printed out at the local print shop (Minuteman Press). They can print on thicker paper stock up to fairly large sizes, but the most cost effective are 11×17, and they usually refer to it as ‘card stock’.

Next you will need some adhesive. I recommend 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive.

target_layersLike ogres, these targets have layers. Sandwich the cardboard and the insulation using the adhesive. Spray the adhesive on both faces, wait 45 seconds, then laminate them (press together). I usually try to have two layers of cardboard on the side that gets penetrated. You can then apply the thick stock paper printed target on top.

Assembly can go pretty fast. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Use gloves if you can, because this stuff is pretty nasty if you get it on your hands. That said, I don’t usually use gloves, I’m just careful.

These targets will stand up for years of regular use, and the cardboard laminate helps keep them together. Especially in cold environments where the insulation may be more brittle.

When you have new faces printed up, you can spray a little adhesive, and reapply right over the top. Add a new layer of cardboard to keep the face fresh, or strip off the old and re-apply the new. In this way the targets become more modular.

target_placementHow do we stand them up? In the area where you find mailboxes and ‘For Sale’ signs, you can find Fiberglass Rods. You can easily cut them down to usable sizes. for smaller 6×6″ targets, you will only need 8-12″ rods, for something like 2×2′ I would use two full length rods. The most important thing is to always erect targets with a  pair of rods. This prevents spinning and helps keep the target in place. I try to work in thirds: On third in target, one showing, one in ground. OR you can press the target all the way down so it ‘sits’ on the ground, this method offers more stability, less ‘wobble’. You can usually force the rod into the insulation without much resistance.

Try to make sure you are parallel so the rod doesn’t protrude out the front or back. This will create a weak point that will shorten the life of the target.

There are other methods of quick and dirty backing, like plastic bags gull of plastic bags, spray foam, but perhaps we can go into that later!

Caveat for using these kinds of targets: Some ammo on entry, will heat this plastic up, and melt to the shaft. You can literally peel it off, but be aware. The more cardboard you use, I find, the more it mitigates this issue. YMMV but my crossbow is #76 and my recurve is #44. Don’t spray the adhesive too thick, you just need enough for adhesion. Too much and it will ‘gunk’ up your shafts as well.