Saturday, December 25, 2010

Stolen Pictures!

Let me put forth a situation and see what you think of it…
Let’s say you took a picture of something around your home, you like the picture so you put it up on a photo site like PhotoBucket or Flickr.
While you don’t mind other people taking a look at this picture, it’s still your picture and you don’t want others to steal it from you.

And then one day you’re cruising the internet and see your picture being used on someone’s website.
“Hey,” you think, “that’s my picture, I didn’t give those guys permission to use it!”

That’s the situation we’ve recently run into.

Fayme takes pictures of me building arrows once in awhile and puts them up on her Flickr site where they may be enjoyed by interested parties.

I was doing a Google search recently to try to find a picture of a particular fletching jig when I ran across pictures of my fletching jig table on sites I’d never heard of. Whoever owns or writes for these sites apparently found Fayme’s pictures on Flickr and have stolen them for their own purposes. We’ve written to the administration of the sites and have had varied success in getting the pictures removed: one site did remove it, another site returned our email, apologized for the error, tried to justify it, and then said he’d take it down when he was able to since he’s recovering from cancer. Somehow I feel that excuse is a little lacking. He probably spent more time on the email than he would have just removing the picture. The other four sites have done nothing and have ignored our emails.

Because I think a bad dog should be called a bad dog, here are the sites continuing to use Fayme’s photos without her permission:
Update, December 28: The image was removed after the hosting company was contacted... Hurray!
(Said he'd remove it but hasn't yet)

You may notice that these sites give the appearance of trying to teach but really fall short of that goal, being rife with misspellings, poor sentences, and generally just pretty crappy, as well as chock full of ads.

Since the site administrators have been ignoring our emails, the next step is to notify their hosting companies that the sites are using copyrighted material without permission and are apparently refusing to remove these materials. Maybe that will work. If it doesn’t, I guess we’ll have to get a lawyer to write a nasty letter and go from there. I wonder what kind of damages can be collected?

For the record, because someone is bound to ask, every picture I have on any of my blogs were either taken by me or by Fayme, who has given me permission to use them. In the rare case that I have used a picture taken by someone else, I have received explicit permission to show that picture on the blog, and if anyone ever changes their mind, just let me know and it will be removed immediately, no hard feelings at all.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gluing Arrow Tips with Epoxy

You know what’s really frustrating with arrows?
It’s when you go to pull your arrow from the target and discover that the point has stayed in the target.
Dang, that just bugs the heck out of me!

People go to all sorts of measures to try to prevent this from happening. I’ve seen it suggested to use a tap to actually thread the inside of the field point. I’ve seen people drill the point after it’s on the arrow and pin it with a nail. I’ve also seen it recommended to rough up the inside of the point with sandpaper on a stick.

Now, these aren’t bad ideas and they can certainly help, but it may be possible to avoid these steps by faithfully following two points:
Clean the tips. Metal tips come from the manufacturer with a thin coat of oil or grease. This may be left over from the machining process and also helps keep the tip from rusting before we buy it. If that oil or grease isn’t completely cleaned out of the tip, there isn’t a glue we use that will keep that tip on the arrow.
Use an appropriate glue. Traditionally, the appropriate glue has been Ferr-L-Tite hot melt glue. It’s good stuff and properly used it’s going to work well.
Another possibility is a good quality epoxy glue.
Some folks have had reasonable success with other glues but these are the two most common glues being used.

I used to use hot melt glues but quickly got tired of juggling the hot tip, pliers, glue, the arrow, and the heat source. When the excess molten glue squeezed out of the tip I either had to (carefully!) wipe it off while it was still hot or try to chip it off once it had cooled. Neither of those was really a lot of fun.

I quickly began looking for another glue to use.

A number of years ago I built custom fishing rods. I remembered reading about guys building big game rods here on the west coast who were unhappy with using Ferr-L-Tite for rod tip guides and went to using epoxy. They maintained that the epoxy was easier to work with than the hot melt, it was more secure, and if a tip guide was broken they could easily remove it for replacement by a careful application of heat.

Dang, this sounded custom made for what I was experiencing in arrow making!
I’ll tell you what, once I tried using epoxy for arrow tips I never went back to the hot melt glues.

I recently got a little bug in my pants and decided to try my hand at video production. I chose epoxied arrow tips as my subject and I don’t think it came out too awful.

There was a brief bit of excitement when the arrow finish ignited but that was quickly snuffed. Let that be a lesson to you, some of the finishes we use are flammable so watch that flame!

Something I mentioned in the video but didn't get into detail on is cleaning the tip before gluing. I can't stress enough how important this step is. If the tip isn't squeeky, perfectly, immaculatly clean, the glue will be compromised.
I currently use denatured alcohol for cleaning the tips. This is a mild solvent that you can buy in any paint store or paint department of the home improvement store.  I soak the tips and then clean the inside with an inexpensive cotton swab. Keep a pair of tweezers or something handy because sometimes those cheap swabs leave a ball of cotton in the tip.

Happy Archery!