Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Uneven fletchings

Messages posted to thread:
OsageOrangutan 23-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 23-Jan-23
Orion 23-Jan-23
Jim Davis 23-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 23-Jan-23
longshot1959 23-Jan-23
B.T. 23-Jan-23
bentstick54 23-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 23-Jan-23
bodymanbowyer 23-Jan-23
Orion 23-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 23-Jan-23
Nrthernrebel05 23-Jan-23
Bigdog 21 23-Jan-23
Orion 23-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 23-Jan-23
Corax_latrans 23-Jan-23
bentstick54 23-Jan-23
Krag 23-Jan-23
Linecutter 24-Jan-23
Supernaut 24-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 24-Jan-23
Supernaut 24-Jan-23
Ken Williams 24-Jan-23
Bernie P. 24-Jan-23
bodork 24-Jan-23
Longcruise 24-Jan-23
hvac tech 24-Jan-23
hvac tech 24-Jan-23
Mike E 24-Jan-23
George D. Stout 24-Jan-23
hvac tech 24-Jan-23
Nemophilist 24-Jan-23
David McLendon 24-Jan-23
mountaineer 24-Jan-23
olddogrib 24-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 24-Jan-23
Bob Rowlands 24-Jan-23
Supernaut 24-Jan-23
Kisatchie 24-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 24-Jan-23
Linecutter 24-Jan-23
Murray Seratt 25-Jan-23
Mike E 25-Jan-23
Kisatchie 25-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 25-Jan-23
Mike E 25-Jan-23
Maynard 25-Jan-23
Bob Rowlands 25-Jan-23
Viper 25-Jan-23
Live2Hunt 25-Jan-23
Live2Hunt 25-Jan-23
Bob Rowlands 25-Jan-23
Live2Hunt 25-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 25-Jan-23
SBC 25-Jan-23
OsageOrangutan 26-Jan-23
Live2Hunt 26-Jan-23
Bob Rowlands 26-Jan-23
Corax_latrans 27-Jan-23
Corax_latrans 27-Jan-23
Bob Rowlands 27-Jan-23
From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 23-Jan-23




So I mentioned this in another thread, but being new to using fletching tape, I thought at first that I was doing something wrong with the BPE jig that I use. But after reflecting some arrows, double checking my angle stops etc and checking my arrows after fletching it appears that the feathers are moving around after being made. Perhaps being densely packed in a tube is leading to this? I don’t know but it is bumming me out. How much do you think arrows with fletching like this are adversely affected by flight.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 23-Jan-23

OsageOrangutan's embedded Photo



Here is an example.

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 23-Jan-23




I don't know what the pic is supposed to illustrate, but I'm pretty sure the fletching tape/feathers aren't moving after you affix them to the shaft. More than likely, you're not hitting the the fletcher rotational stop perfectly, or it's slipping.

From: Jim Davis
Date: 23-Jan-23




Not any amount that could be detected.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 23-Jan-23




There is no way I am that off.

From: longshot1959
Date: 23-Jan-23




That has to be an indexer problem in the jig. Something is slipping in there.

From: B.T.
Date: 23-Jan-23




Pull them off and re fletch them, after they are strait...apply a drop of glue on either end of each feather.

From: bentstick54
Date: 23-Jan-23




Is it the same feather every time? If it is then I would guess it’s the indexer is off in some way.

Have you tried gluing one arrow up to see if you get the same results?

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 23-Jan-23




Benstick, I have fletched up a bunch of arrows using glue, both 3 and 4 fletched, and my results are not any where near as variable with the tape. If there is error in the system it is not the indexer. I could be screwing it up some how but I have not identified the mistake. If I had to guess how I might be messing it up it would be at the stage where I mount the clamp on the jig.

From: bodymanbowyer
Date: 23-Jan-23




Something going on with your indexer. You are using a 3 fletch indexer?

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 23-Jan-23




Hmmmmm, if it 's not the indexer, it could be the way you're bringing the clamp into contact with the shaft. The fletch tape sticks immediately. If you don't have the clamp aligned correctly when it hits the shaft, the feather will not align correctly. It will stick tight to the shaft and slip in the clamp as you move the clamp around to the correct alignment. In short, the clamp moves, but the feather doesn't.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 23-Jan-23




It is an adjustable indexer. It can multiple types of fletching but it is currently set up as a 3-fletch jig placing feathers at 0, 120, and 240 degrees.

From: Nrthernrebel05
Date: 23-Jan-23




It looks like 3 feather in a 4 fletch 90 deg pattern to me

From: Bigdog 21
Date: 23-Jan-23




Fletch one without tape, how's it look.

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 23-Jan-23




I think Northern just hit it.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 23-Jan-23




I mean it might look like that Northern, but I assure you it is indexed at 0, 120, and 240 for 3 fletched.

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 23-Jan-23




I know exactly what you’re talking about OO…. I get flyers like that from time to time. Fewer, the more I do….

I think Orion is onto something with feathers slipping or twisting in the clamp after the tape has stuck. I’m about to start messing with Duco, which (I gather) takes a minute. Instant bonding may not be so much our friend as it seems….

From: bentstick54
Date: 23-Jan-23




I’m betting since you don’t have the problem with glue with the same set up, it just about has to be when your first touch the tape to the shaft. It almost looks like the red cockfeather is “ torque “ a little bit on the shaft. But that could be an optical illusion of the photo.

From: Krag
Date: 23-Jan-23




What was in the glass on the table?

Seriously...I started using tape about a year or so ago in JoJan jig I've been using with glue for more than 40 years and didn't notice any difference. Don't see how just changing to tape would change how feathers are positioned unless you are doing something different.

From: Linecutter
Date: 24-Jan-23




One thing to remember using Fletching Tape, unlike glue the is no slip when putting the fletch on. You have to make sure you are coming straight down/square on to the shaft with the fletching clamp against the magnet . Once that tape touches the shaft, it sticks to right where it touches. Because of this if your clamp is cocked out away from the magnet when applying the fletch, the tape sticks to the shaft where it touches, even when the magnet secures the clamp. This can/will cause misalignment of your feather on the shaft. Again there is no slip with tape. Where with glue if you weren't square coming down on the shaft, the magnet would pull the clamp and fletch in proper alignment, because the glue would allow it to slip into place. Also when you remove the clamp after putting the fletch on the shaft with Fletching Tape, pull the shaft out of the jig, run you thumb pressing down on the fletch from point end to nock end to make sure for good tape adherence, put it back into the jig and rotate it to the next position. When done put a drop of glue at the tip and nock end of the fletch. So my guess is (looking at your picture) you are not coming down square on the shaft with your clamp against the magnet. I have had that happen to me more than once, so I make sure I am coming down square with the clamp against the magnet when putting the fletch on. Pretty much what Orion was talking about in his second post. Hope this make sense to you and it helps. DANNY

From: Supernaut
Date: 24-Jan-23




Linecutter X2. Excellent explanation.

I've had the same thing happen as the OP when I first started using tape and it was caused by operator error as explained by Linecutter and others above.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 24-Jan-23




I tend to agree with with Linecutter too, that it is a user error with the new material. However I had a very good archer tell me that the feathers can get pushed “out of alingment” with tape if one jams them too tightly in a tube or let’s them lay on their fletching etc. has anyone observed this?

How badly will flight be affected, ya think, with the arrows that are not perfect?

From: Supernaut
Date: 24-Jan-23




I have not observed my fletching coming "out of alignment" if I properly installed them as Linecutter mentions above.

As far as how badly arrow flight will be affected I think that is a very subjective question. Depends on how badly they are out of alignment and more importantly in my opinion, if YOU think your arrow flight will be effected. In other words, if you think it will be a problem then it probably will be. If it were me I'd just re- fletch the arrows that I thought were sketchy.

Best of luck to you and happy shooting!

From: Ken Williams
Date: 24-Jan-23




I had the same thing happening to me when I first started using the tape. I finally figured out exactly what Linecutter said. Linecutter did a really good job explaining what the problem could be, hope you get it worked out.

From: Bernie P. Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 24-Jan-23




If you're jamming them together so tight that the feathers get pushed over they would be mashed to hell as well.Linecutter is right.

From: bodork
Date: 24-Jan-23




I I have the same fletching jig and experience the same problem with tape. I agree with Orion and Linecutter. I don’t always slide the feather down the magnet to the shaft but bring it in from an angle.

As far as fight problems, I don’t think it matters a whole lot but it has always bugged me too. My favorite arrows have big chunks of the feathers knocked off and they still fly fine.

From: Longcruise
Date: 24-Jan-23




Go fletch one up and check it immediately after applying the last feather. If it's not correctly aligned then it's the adjustment of the fletcher or the technique.

From: hvac tech
Date: 24-Jan-23




Maybe I missed it but what kind of fletching are you using ?I know the jojan can not always index as the springs get a little weak. That is most likely your problem or your nock is moving in the indexer

From: hvac tech
Date: 24-Jan-23




Maybe I missed it but what kind of fletching are you using ?I know the jojan can not always index as the springs get a little weak. That is most likely your problem or your nock is moving in the indexer

From: Mike E
Date: 24-Jan-23




Looks like 3 on a 4 fletch setting to me because I think another feather would fit squarely between the red and grey.

From: George D. Stout
Date: 24-Jan-23




Ian, I'm right there with you. I wouldn't give you twenty dollars for a barrel full of fletch tape. :) You have to be so fussy just getting it applied evenly, no messin once it hits the shaft.

From: hvac tech
Date: 24-Jan-23




I tried the tape its tricky once the fletch hits the shaft it sticks.If its not right you need to start over .

From: Nemophilist
Date: 24-Jan-23

Nemophilist's embedded Photo



May be a fletching jig problem.

I have used fletching tape many times and have never had a problem.

From: David McLendon
Date: 24-Jan-23




Could be something as simple as the wrong beer, try a 7.4 IPA.

From: mountaineer
Date: 24-Jan-23




If you didn't have those problems with glue, but you are having issues with tape, it seems to be an easy fix - use glue. I am one of the few that hate fletching tape...I've fletched 1000's of arrows as I worked in a bow shop all through college and now make all my own, my families and friends. I say that to let you know I'm very experienced when it comes to fletching arrows. For whatever reason(s) I simply don't have good results with fletch tape. That's the beauty of our sport...I've got dozens of other options to use thankfully.

If you had good results with the glue, I simply wouldn't change.

The feather alignment won't affect flight at all btw.

From: olddogrib
Date: 24-Jan-23




I think the tape contingent is on the right track, but I use glue. Not to drag the OP off in the bushes, but nobody's mentioned it I'll share an issue I've run into infrequently, just so those who might have experienced something similar can be on the lookout for it. I've never quite understood that when the proper nock is press fit into the shaft and clamped down on the indexer you can still get a bit of wobble when you turn the indexer. Must be a shaft diameter variable thing, but there shouldn't be enough misalignment to cause the shaft to wobble in the V-groove. I used to lay a finger on the shaft to hold it in the bottom of the groove. The type mocks I used were just a tight press-fit and could be rotated in the shaft to fine-tune fletch orientation. But I occasionally ran into a nock that was too loose in the shaft and would slip in the shaft when I rotated the indexer and caused a similar misalignment of 1 or more fletches. Drove me crazy until I lightened up the finger or replaced the nock. Something to check if your cock fletch orientation seems to be moving over time. When things are right, I can replace any single fletch with proper alignment without having to replace them all again.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 24-Jan-23




Good info.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 24-Jan-23




Glue and tape work great with my Bitz.

As for feathers off exact 120 orientation, I doubt I shoot anywhere near good enough to see a difference in flight. Olympic class archers can see group variance that might reveal an arrow to arrow variance. Beats me. Accuracy for me as all about me, not my arrows being less than perfect.

Off topic. My thinking is man has made less than perfect arrows from the gitgo and they have worked 'good enough'.

From: Supernaut
Date: 24-Jan-23

Supernaut's embedded Photo



Off topic. My thinking is man has made less than perfect arrows from the gitgo and they have worked 'good enough'.

X2

From: Kisatchie
Date: 24-Jan-23




I’ve never used tape but if the word Bitzenburger is not included in your fletching question I’d start there lol.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 24-Jan-23




The BPE is a good a fletcher.

From: Linecutter
Date: 24-Jan-23




OsageOrangutan,

The BPE Fletcher is a good one. As for your previous question, as long as you put the drop of glue on front and back end of the fletch, after running your thumb down the full length of the feather they won't move. You put the drops of glue on there for the same reasons you do when gluing them on. If they set in the heat I have had the tape slip a little or lift due to the tapes adhesive becoming soft, but with the glue at each end it doesn't move much, and I just rerun my thumb down the length of the feather to make sure they are stuck down tight. To tell you how well the tape holds. After you run your thumb down the feather, you can hold the shaft at the point end with one hand, then pinch the feather between your thumb an forefinger with the other, try and pull the feather off of the shaft. You will bend the shaft to the side, or pull the feather off of the quill first, before the tape lets go.

My buddy, that got me into using tape, actually broke a wood shaft doing it. He had made someone a dozen wood arrows, that paid for them. A week later the guy came back and told him the the feathers were coming off and wanted his money back. I think he had second thought at how much he paid for them and wanted to get cheaper ones. He used the feathers coming off as am excuse. Now mind you the shafts were premium cedar shafts, stained capped and crested, with about 11 coats of Epoxy finish, my buddy is a perfectionist when making wood arrows. He was pissed! Because he knew better. The guy had the arrows in his quiver my buddy made. He reached over and snatched one out of the guys quiver. He grabbed the shaft at the point end with one hand, grabbed a feather with the other, and pulled on that feather till the shaft broke in two pieces. He looked at the guy and said "Yeah, it looks like they were coming off. I don't think so.". The guy couldn't say anything and neither could his friends standing there. My buddy turned around and just walked away. DANNY

From: Murray Seratt Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 25-Jan-23




I have had this same thing happen to me over the years. Never in the same batch of arrows. Just crops up unannounced, with glue or tape, both. I've always used a Bitzenburger. I always figured I did something wrong, as it was not repeatable. I suspect the indexer is not moving correctly, but that's just a guess. I started running the indexer for a full turn, after mounting each feather, before affixing the next one. This has seemed to stop the problem, and may provide evidence that the indexer is at fault. Bottom line is I have no real idea what causes the issue, and will just continue to limp along, as always.

Murray

From: Mike E
Date: 25-Jan-23




I use a Bitz also and had some alignment problems. You have to take the indexer apart every once in awhile and clean it, remove the ball bearings and springs and blowout the dust. That will help the problem for a little bit but they wear out. I just replaced mine, it was loose fitting and became sloppy after 20+ years, should've done it way back when it started, $20 from LAS.

From: Kisatchie
Date: 25-Jan-23




Lol. I have a bitzenburger that was probably 40 years old when I got it and I’ve used it another 20. Never not one time have I had an alignment problem. Operator error would be the cause not the fletcher.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 25-Jan-23




Yep something that I very clearly admitted I could be doing.

From: Mike E
Date: 25-Jan-23




"bitz 40 yrs.old,,,,another 20",,,,, didn't say it was the jig, I said the indexer wore out which it did and does or they wouldn't sell replacements, according to the fella I talked to at Bitzenburger.

From: Maynard
Date: 25-Jan-23




I also had a problem with my Bitzenburger I put Teflon tape on both magnet clamp and holder feather clamp slid straight down on arrow shaft. Problem solved.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 25-Jan-23




I've used a Bitz since mid 90s. Way back when I thought I'd go to 75/105. After switching back and forth a couple times the indexer quit working properly. I can't remember exactly what the issue was. I'm thinking the spring got sheared off when I forced it. Maybe a piece of alumiunum sheared off and jambed it. Beats me. At any rate it was simple enough to fix. I might have used the spring from a ball point pen to repair. Whatever, it's a great fletcher.

From: Viper
Date: 25-Jan-23




Orange -

Ya screwed up some how, deal with it ;). Happens to me about 1 in 100 fletching jobs. When I pull an arrow out of the jig, the first thing(s) I do is check for complete fletch to shaft contact and proper spacing. At that point the glue has set, but not cured, so the repair is pretty easy.

Viper out.

From: Live2Hunt
Date: 25-Jan-23




Yes, I do the same thing, get done, look and WTF!!! At least with tape you can use dental floss and zip them off for redoing.

From: Live2Hunt
Date: 25-Jan-23




With tape that is, glue not so sure.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 25-Jan-23




I've tried a few times to remove glued on fletch with my pocketknife. No success. Seems like I have read some here have done it with dental floss. I tried that as well with no success. Breaking an arrow with brand new fletch totally sucks.

From: Live2Hunt
Date: 25-Jan-23




Bob, using tape they pop right off with floss.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 25-Jan-23




Agreed, the tape is easy to fix, at the very least.

From: SBC
Date: 25-Jan-23




I get that same problem, usually newly fletched arrows stuffed too tight into my back quiver. Causes the fresh tape to move. Usually a drop of super glue on front and back of quills will help keep them in place.

From: OsageOrangutan
Date: 26-Jan-23




See! This what I have also heard! Not necessarily user error at the jig level.

From: Live2Hunt
Date: 26-Jan-23




As others have stated, the issue comes when you are sliding the jig clamp down onto the shaft. But, I have shot the arrows with goofed fletching from this and have erratic arrow flight. Which for me my main concern is hunting and broadheads. So, if I see erratic flight with target, I change it.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 26-Jan-23




I've goofed up 3-120 fletch placement by accidently missing the detent. You'd think that couldn't happen but it can. Way more commonly I don't reposition the index on a new arrow and the cock feather is off. Also not had the magnetic clamp down flat on the rest. Pretty much every mistake, I've done it.

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 27-Jan-23




Well, for what it’s worth… This evening, I am experimenting with some Duco, and it’s going very well. It’s not nearly as fast as tape or super glue, but I’ve got a hockey game going, so I really can’t complain….

I’m 10 arrows (so 30 feathers) in, and so far, none look too bad…Setting up the jig properly for the arrow diameter is a pretty big deal ….

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 27-Jan-23




And now I’m going to mention something that I just realized last night, as I was culling some of my recently fletched arrows, so that I can redo the ones where I did not have good adhesion along the full length of the quill. I had noticed that on a good number of them, they were glued down tight at the ends, but creating a bit of an arch in the center where I can see daylight. Not surprisingly, the feathers that look like that don’t stay glued on for very many shots.

I suppose you could say that I have a “problem” in that I have a tendency to overdo things. So if the directions on the glue say “press firmly together”, me being me, I’m going to squeeze the hell out of it.

So I had been pressing the shaft up into the bottom of the clamp to make sure that everything was “good and tight” from end to end. Well… That was Dumb. Well intentioned, but yeah. Dumb.

A good shaft is Straight As An Arrow, right? And a helical clamp is curved. My son has seen me do this, and a large number of the arrows that he recently fletched have had this problem, as well as a few of mine…. I think that in our enthusiasm, we were actually flexing the arrow to match the clamp, so when that pressure was released, the clamp was pulling the midsection of the feather back up off of the shaft. And at that point there’s really nothing you can do but cut them off and try again….

You wouldn’t expect this to pose a problem with Superglue, but at least on top of the wipe-on poly, it doesn’t appear to end well.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 27-Jan-23




It takes weeks for me to fletch three dozen arrows with a Bitz and Duco. Tape is BAM SON fast. Tape now all gone back in December's gift arrows, and back to Duco. I just used up the last tube of Duco last night. Still have a couple dozen to fletch.





If you have already registered, please

sign in now

For new registrations

Click Here




Visit Bowsite.com A Traditional Archery Community Become a Sponsor
Stickbow.com © 2003. By using this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy