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Yodeller

Welcome to the Yodeller: my ongoing project to try and write something every day. You can read more about the background from here. If you are a new reader you might want to start from the beginning.

Practise piece

In mass production, especially in something still done in a hand craft scale even the experts sometimes produce pieces that are not up to their standards. Those products of lesser quality can be effortlessly discarded to maintain the standard of quality without the waste affecting much of the profitability of the production.

When you are doing something just for yourself there is no such luxury. Even when you are less experienced and skilled you usually need to produce a perfect results on a first try. Having to do it again can easily double the price when you need to acquire more materials. And you need to pay more for them anyway compared to those mass producers who can enjoy discounted prices when buying in bulk.

Considering you don't usually get to try out things it's amazing how much people still do diy things. Of course the satisfaction of having something self made is really worth it. And sometimes you can even actually save some money making things yourself. At least if you don't account for the price of all the tools. Or consider the not so perfect quality. Besides, if somebody sees what you habe done they might ask you to do one for themselves too. And then you've already had your practise piece.

Master of words

If you want to read something astonishing go read Robin Hobbs post the animal is tired instead of wasting your time on my feeble words. She is one of my favourite fantasy authors and not only because of all those interesting stories she writes. The way she writes is also something special as that post demonstrates.

It's easy to find well written text. Most of the time it's an inspiration as a writer to see such well written pieces: with enough practice perhaps some day I could write as well too.

But practise and experience only gets you so far. Sometimes you come across such masterpieces that you know you can never be that good. So why even waste the time trying?

Of course that's not the point. I don't intend to be a world class writer, not even an average one. I just write for my own delight. Getting better at writing had helped me at my work, but I wouldn't be getting my living out of it anytime soon. I could but more effort into writing, taking it as my goal to become a great writer. But that's not really something I want. That's not my passion. Being an ok writer is enough for me. Getting a bit better along the way is just a bonus.

Archery expert

While I still wouldn't call myself an expert, during the past two months I have spent a lot of time studying archery. If I'm not an expert yet, I believe I'm pretty sure I'm already at the top 1% of all the people.

Even if I know more than 99% of the people on one subject doesn't make me special. There are countless subjects that you could reach the 1% status almost overnight. For many things just knowing the thing exists could but you into that exclusive group. The real speciality comes from being in 1% of that 1% and even then, you would be in a group of around 80 000 other specialist. And the real world class experts are the 1% of that group.

I believe the first 1% can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time for any subject. The second one will take a lot longer. It might be the infamous 10 000 hours or something like that, but it definitely requires some effort. The final group, the true experts, are those who have dedicated their life to the topic.

While I might already know more than an average hobbyist archer about archery I still suck at the actual shooting. Knowledge doesn't equal skill.

Test flight

I took my new arrows for a test flight today. First impression was good, they fly nicely and even if I'm not shooting too consistently yet I could already say the arrows alone improved my results.

I don't either have the experience to judge the spine. One of the most important quality of the arrow. The stiffness defines how well the arrow compensates the archer's paradox. The spine needs to flex enough to address the paradox, but it can't be too flexible or it might break on the launch. My initial feel is that the arrows might be a bit too flexible and drive shots to right.

The arrows also didn't come out perfect the first time. After only a few shots one of the heads came out while I was drawing the arrow out of the target. Apparently I didn't use enough glue on that one. The rest hold their heads, but another arrow lost its nock. Those came pre attached so the fault wasn't mine. A little bit of glue there too should fix the issue.

Fletchery

There is no archery without arrows and fletchery is the craft of making them. I do am intrigued by such crafts but I don't think I'm that far just yet. However I did kinda fletch my new arrows already.

My first arrows weren't too good quality. I've already lost the tips of three of the half a dozen I initially got to get started. So I had to get some more. A bit better quality this time. I think it was still a good idea to get the cheap ones as my first arrows as it might have been I could have gotten those quality arrows broken as well with my first bad shots.

But back to the fletching. The arrows are usually sold uncut, long enough for most bows and draw lengths. The arrows I bought were 33 inches, way too long for my draw length at around 29 inches. The length should be a bit more than the draw length so 30 inches should be good for me and my bow. So first thing was to cut them into the desired length. Of course the better arrows these days are made out of carbon fiber. Not the easiest material to cut. So had to get some proper tools as well before getting started.

Dremel was suggested in many places as a suitable tool for the job. It's a tool I would have needed in many occasions before, but just didn't ever end up getting, until now. After some tinkering I had the Dremel fixed to the work table with two guides and an end piece made out of some leftover wood from my previous project. I don't trust myself to make the perfect straight cuts to the set length free handed.

My makeshift arrow cutter did the job and soon I had my arrows trimmed to the exact length with nice, clean cuts. Next step was to insert the tips. An easy step that just require heating the tips, applying the epoxy glue and inserting the head into the arrow tube. Now I just need to wait for the glue to dry for 24 hours before I can take my new arrows out for a test.

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