Sitka Spruce does not give up its hidden treasure easily. This is tough wood to split - she doesn't split easily like a Cedar or Douglas Fir log!
Sika Spruce has an incredibly high proportion of radial interconnective fibers. These small fibers run perpendicular to the grain. They are what hold the wood fibers together so well and prevent it from splitting too easily.
Along with the fact that it has the highest strength to weight ratio of any wood in the world, this makes Sitka Spruce the wood of choice for airframe construction, masts and spars for traditional sailing vessels, and premium arrow shafts.
Sometimes the selected log is deep in the forest, and in accordance with our strict self-imposed environmental philosophy, we refrain from building roads or tearing through the forest on tracked machinery. Instead, we lug it all out on packboards!
Dan, our local Haida tree faller spending an introspective, quiet moment with this behemoth! The native Haida still live very closely to the land nowadays, irrespective of the worlds modern advances.
Shafts are hand spined in 5# groups, and weighed and sorted into 10 grain groups. Additionally we will try and tighten those sort parameters, if the sort volume allows.
This is the greatest part of our job - we get to traipse about in the Coastal Rain Forest and look for windblown trees or other salvageable wood.
We never cut down a living, standing old growth tree!
Shafts are bundled into dozens and clearly marked.
Root wad of a massive, windblown Sitka Spruce tree.
Beautiful straight and tight Sitka!
Recycling and the use of recycled materials is a great start to taking some environmental responsibility.
However, we like to feel that we have taken it one step further.
We collect appropriate packaging from the commercial sector, break it down, then rebuild custom packaging.
This, not only allows us to rather "REPURPOSE" packaging but also allows us to build boxes that exactly match the contents in size. We obviate the need for plastic bubble wrap filler, and our customers pay only for real shipping weights and dimensions.
Yes, this is more labor-intensive, than simply buying packaging, but we believe its the only way that is fair to both the environment and to our valued customers!
Copyright © Tia Nicol
Only the straightest, tight ringed, high grade wood is selected to be processed into arrow shafts.
After splitting the rounds into bolts, they are stored under shelter to season. This will take anything from a minimum of 1 year to 5 or 6 years, dependant on the starting moisture content, how long the tree has been dead for, and the size of the bolts.
Raw bolts are transformed into "shaft blanks". The shaft blanks are then turned into rough dowels in the shaft shooter. They are then sanded through two stages of the sanding process to ensure a fine finish, then trimmed and graded again. Only then are they finally sent to the grading room to be graded, spined, weighed, packaged and stored in a humidity and temperature controlled environment.
Making the first cut. Seperating the blowdown from the rootwad.
Our seven-year-old "apprentice", taking a day off school, to help out in the shop!
Repurposed packaging in our "bending brake", being transformed into a custom box for an order.
What We Do