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Author Topic: Fletching  (Read 1690 times)

Offline MOSPARKY

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Fletching
« on: January 10, 2013, 09:00:36 AM »
 So I got the washer made for my bow and it will be going back together soon. Now I'm approaching the other probs with my bowhunting equipment i.e. refletching the arrows. My current arrows are aluminum with 5" vanes and the vanes are cracking off.
 At this point the choices seem endless. The 2" vanes are real popular right now. Somehow I can't see them as being better or even equal to 5" vanes. My mind seems stuck in a bigger is better mode.
 Fletching jigs are another issue. The Arizona rig will do all 3 vanes at once which will save alot of time, but in the future I will have need to replace just one vane and it don't really work that way. Most other jigs will do one vane at a time which will take frecking forever. All this is compounded by the drying times for various glues.
 Then we get into the right helix, left helix, straight fletch options. It don't look like any of the jigs will do all types. I may decide to do a couple flu-flu fletches and I'm told they need to be straight fletch. But the right helix makes sense for other arrows. Some jigs offer more offset than others on the helix. It ain't much but does it really make a differance how much ?
 I will most likely get another bow, if only to keep as a back-up. At that point I will likely get more arrows and be forced to go carbon. New arrows won't solve the problem in the long run. It just means even more arrows to be maintained later.
 So what are y'alls opinions, what do you use ?
 
2" vs 5" vanes ?
 Helix ?
Number degrees helix
 Make/model fletching jigs
glues and drying times
what jigs can be used nock on ?
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Offline John Andrews

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Re: Fletching
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2013, 10:18:23 AM »
It's been years since Y fletched arrows, MO. I used to fletch a lot of them when I worked part time at a sporting goods store.

I can't see the attraction for the shorter vanes. It would appear to me to be taking away from the use of the 5". Unless, the 2" does enough of the job without so much surface having to be maintained. That could explain the recent popularity of the short vanes.

We used a fast drying superglue type adhesive that held really good. I don't remember the brand.

I never fletched any fluflu arrows. We had 3 way jigs for nocs and fletching (again, don't know brand) that worked perfectly. It was pretty much my job to do all the fletching.

When I run across my ex boss from the store, I will ask him. He no longer owns the store. We share the same workplace installation.
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Offline Big58cal

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Re: Fletching
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 04:32:01 PM »
You're going to make me retype all this stuff again?  :o

 ;D

There's basically 3 main fletching jigs out now, the Arizona EZ Fletch, Blitzenberger, and JoJan.  There's some others, but they aren't as popular as those.  With any of these you can do either right helical, left helical, or straight fletch (need different arms/clamps for the different types).  Of the different types, it's recommended against using a LEFT helical, as it will loosen your points when you shoot (think of the direction your points screw in and then the direction a left helical would spin the arrow).

On the helical clamps, all offer pretty much the same degree of off-set.  You can attain a little more off-set by canting the arrow in the jig though.  Arizona EZ Fletch has come out with a jig specifically designed for the small Bohning Blazer vanes that gives more off-set than a standard helical fletch though.  If you're going to be shooting the Blazers, it's recommended to use this jig.

On the straight clamps, you can use it to fletch up standard target arrows and flu flu arrows.  With a helical fletch, the spin will rob the arrow of just a little bit of energy.  If you use a straight fletch and your bow is tuned, you'll get just a tad more speed.  Shooting broadheads though, you've basically got "fletching" on the front of the arrow with the blades of the broadhead.  You need the helical on the back end to help stabilize the arrow and counteract the effects of the broadhead.

When fletching up flu flu arrows, I bought full length, uncut, unburnt, feathers.  I then cut the feathers into 5" lengths.  Put 3 feathers on like normal, but then take the arrow out of the jig and turn in over 180 degrees and put 2 more feathers in between where the other ones are.  When you end up, you'll have 5 feathers on the arrow, but you'll still have a spot where 1 is missing.  This is the part that will contact the face of the bow.

As far as length of fletching, you should be able to get by with 4" at the very least.  You may be able to get by with using the Blazer vanes.  They've got a little more height to them than a standard vane, so it eliminates the need for some of the length.  Just remember, the longer the vane, the more surface area you'll have to contact the air and slow the arrow down.  Not all air contact is good and is needed to "steer" the arrow.  ;)

As for glue, I use the Goat Tuff glue and am really happy with it.  You can also use it to glue in the inserts.

Whether carbon or aluminum shafts, don't forget to prep the shafts before adding the wraps/fletching.  I've got some kind of arrow prep solution (can't remember the name) that I use, as well as a big can of acetone that I use to wipe the shafts down with.  If you put wraps on, don't forget to wipe the wraps down before adding the fletching.  ;)

Drying time is about 15-20 minutes before you can take the clamp loose or take the arrow out of the jig.  But after that, you need to let the glue cure overnight before shooting the arrow.
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In all seriousness, the Marlin is a great rifle, too. I own a Model 60, one of the best rifles ever made.
Brownings are nice, but in terms of quality AND accuarcy AND ruggedness, it's hard to beat the Marlin.
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Offline John Andrews

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Re: Fletching
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 07:52:36 AM »
 O0  O0 O0 Right on top of it AGAIN, BC!
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Offline MOSPARKY

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Re: Fletching
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 10:05:31 AM »
Dang, this makes my brain hurt. So much to consider. I really like the ariz. unit, but it won't do carbons and most alum shafts on the same unit. It appears they do have interchageable arms to convert from straight to helical, that helps a little.
 The mono fletchers like jo-jan, bitz and bohning will do pretty much any size shaft, but only one fletch at a time. Much more time consuming.
 Then we get to the issue of straight vs helical. Correct me if I'm wrong but the main differance here is how much off-set. Straight ain't exactly straight but has a couple degrees off-set. Helical has several more degrees off-set and because of the curvature of the shaft it requires a curved clamp to wrap around the shaft.
 Life might get simplier if I'd just commit to going all carbon, but for the moment I'm just too tight to abandon all these alum shafts.
 My current bow has a TM Hunter rest if that makes much differance. The bow I'm looking at I think has a drop-away of some sort.
John Andrews is my hero !

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Offline Big58cal

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Re: Fletching
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 11:13:50 AM »
A straight clamp will give you a straight fletch with no off-set.  You can "adjust" the shaft and cant it to one side or the other and get a little off-set if you like.  A helical clamp is curved to wrap the fletching around the shaft.

If I were you, I'd get either a Blitzenburger or a JoJan jig.  After you get the arrows fletched initially, you won't be using it that much and when you do it will be to replace 1 vane or to fletch up an odd arrow every here and there.  The amount of time that it's going to take to fletch the arrow isn't going to matter because you'll have others to shoot.  ;)
The only purpose of bread is to hold meat!

John Andrews Is My Hero!

In all seriousness, the Marlin is a great rifle, too. I own a Model 60, one of the best rifles ever made.
Brownings are nice, but in terms of quality AND accuarcy AND ruggedness, it's hard to beat the Marlin.
California sucks that's it.

Offline MOSPARKY

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Re: Fletching
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 12:14:13 PM »
Yeah, that's pretty much where my mind is headed. The off season is pretty long and I only have to invest the time once. After that, as you said, it's the odd repair here and there. If I venture into the carbon world, they'll be pre-fletched and it will still be the odd repair.
John Andrews is my hero !

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