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Thread: Fletching My Own Arrows?

  1. #1
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    Fletching My Own Arrows?

    I bought my first bow in June of this year, and with it I purchased six arrows. Since then, I've shot the fletchings off of them, and replaced them with NAP Quik-Fletch shrink wraps. I've been seriously considering fletching my own arrows to add my own personal touch (custom vane colors, wraps, etc.) I don't know a whole lot about building my own arrows, I was just looking for some information on what I need to buy in order to do it correctly (jigs, adhesive, etc.). Or any advice as to get the best performance out of my bow. Thanks guys/gals.

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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    It's easy to do and fun. It looks complicated at first, but it really is not. You need to buy a jig, get a bitzenburger. Plenty of used ones on here or ebay. Get a right helical clamp with it if you are going to hunt. If just target then straight seems to be preferred. Use Loctite super glue to glue on the vanes and to glue in the inserts. Do it, you will be glad you did, just adds another dimension to an interesting sport/hobby.
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  4. #4
    If you shoot Blazers the blazer jig works pretty well. Fletching is easy and fun, and the jigs make it stupid easy.
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  5. #5
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    Jig, Glue, & Vanes...Thats it! The Blazer Jig & Gold Tip glue is what I use personally... SinceI shoot Blazers it puts a great helical on them for a 2" vane.

    First thing I did after getting into archery was learn how to fletch my own arrows...I always shake my head at the guys that come into a pro shop & ask the techs to fletch their arrows.

    Do yourself a favor & invest $50 & do it yourself...not only will you be able to customize your arrows in any color you like & replace vanes when needed but, you also will not have to pay anyone to do so.
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  6. #6
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    as stated above get a bitzenburger jig with right helical clamp get either somegoat tuff or loctite ultra control gel super glue, place the vane in the clamp apply glue not too much but not too little (as you start fletching you'll get it perfected) place the clamp in the jig for about a minute than off to the next vane.

    as for inserts use bohning insert iron or gorilla glue impact resistant super glue (light blue cap)

    its pretty simple.

    and i'm sure there are a TON of youtube videos about how to use the bitzenberger jig.

    hope this helps,

    Eric
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Thacker View Post
    First thing I did after getting into archery was learn how to fletch my own arrows...I always shake my head at the guys that come into a pro shop & ask the techs to fletch their arrows.

    Do yourself a favor & invest $50 & do it yourself...not only will you be able to customize your arrows in any color you like & replace vanes when needed but, you also will not have to pay anyone to do so.
    noooo kidding
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  8. #8
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    As mentioned a bitz is top of the line as far as jigs go. You may also want to consider an arizona ez-fletch. It will do all three fletches at the same time. Not real spendy
    compared to a bitz and clamps. If you want to really get fancy and switch things up a bitz or a bohning jig will allow more variations. I've had good luck with gorilla glue
    with the blue top as far as glues go. Arrow prep is the most important part of fletching, even if you are going to put wraps on them.
    You can do a search for "arrow fletching" and find alot of good advise on those also. Good luck
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MDJB12 View Post
    I bought my first bow in June of this year, and with it I purchased six arrows. Since then, I've shot the fletchings off of them, and replaced them with NAP Quik-Fletch shrink wraps. I've been seriously considering fletching my own arrows to add my own personal touch (custom vane colors, wraps, etc.) I don't know a whole lot about building my own arrows, I was just looking for some information on what I need to buy in order to do it correctly (jigs, adhesive, etc.). Or any advice as to get the best performance out of my bow. Thanks guys/gals.

    Buy a Jig. There is are a million threads in here on "what is the best jig" AZ Mini is a good starter and popular. Once you have a Jig, contact Steve. Info for him can be found in my signature. He can hook you up with VERY GOOD components. Everything from shafts to glues he has it all. AND you can call the dude and he will spend time with you on the phone while your working out any issue you may have. A Jig and SteveArcheryArrows.com is all you need and your set.
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  10. #10
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    If your going to use 2 inch Blazers, consider the Arizona EZ Fletch. IT's even easier that the Bitzenburger and does all 3 at once.
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  11. #11
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    There are lots of brands of fletching jigs and they all work, but buy a bitzenburger first and you wont have to buy one later after you have tried the others and ended up spending twice the money. No, I am not knocking the others, I just think a bitz is easier to use.
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  12. #12
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    Have used arizona ez fletch for years, this year upgraded to Jo Jan 6 arrow right helical, happy as can be, I am shooting the best I ever have and my arrows are looking and flying better than ever.

    its 109$ for the jo jan 6 arrow fletcher, 7$ for your first tube of glue and 20$ for a pack of vanes or feather, the rest is up to you.

    heres a couple I have done this year. I am brand new at cresting and painting, so these are a little rough, but I'm getting better
    img_0420.jpg
    img_0413.jpg
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by stanlh View Post
    It's easy to do and fun. It looks complicated at first, but it really is not. You need to buy a jig, get a bitzenburger. Plenty of used ones on here or ebay. Get a right helical clamp with it if you are going to hunt. If just target then straight seems to be preferred. Use Loctite super glue to glue on the vanes and to glue in the inserts. Do it, you will be glad you did, just adds another dimension to an interesting sport/hobby.
    Stan is right that it is a lot of fun. JoJan makes a good inexpensive fletcher as well and you do not need a helical clamp...a straight clamp is all I have every used offset at about 2 degrees...you move the rear part of the clamp to the left just about 1/8". A lot of folks use super glue but you need to remember it is brittle once is sets so get a glue that will "bend" a little. I use bohning platinum...probably one of the only ones that still does...but it has always worked for me. Need to put a mark on the clamp so you can put the vane in the same place every time. Take a q tip and dip it in acetone and wipe the bottom of the vane...I know it says not to but I clean all of the bases...and wipe the area on the shaft that the vane will be adhered to. keep the q tip to wipe away any excess glue. Hope this helps. Cheers!
    Fred

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDJB12 View Post
    I bought my first bow in June of this year, and with it I purchased six arrows. Since then, I've shot the fletchings off of them, and replaced them with NAP Quik-Fletch shrink wraps. I've been seriously considering fletching my own arrows to add my own personal touch (custom vane colors, wraps, etc.) I don't know a whole lot about building my own arrows, I was just looking for some information on what I need to buy in order to do it correctly (jigs, adhesive, etc.). Or any advice as to get the best performance out of my bow. Thanks guys/gals.
    Hands down the best jig on the market is the Firenock jig, but it comes at a premium you could pay upwards of a $1000. The only downfall to this jig besides the price is it only has one clamp which is straight, you can do straight and offset with it only. On a side note the clamp is excellent of doing NAP Quikspin vanes. You can however use Bitzenburger clamps on this jig giving it the ability to do offset and helical fletching. One issue in relation to 2 in vanes, this jig will not do a true helical on a 2 in vane

    Next is the Bitzenburger, an excellent jig just as good as the Firenock jig except the magnets arent quite as strong. You can do straight, RH offset and helical on 3, 4 and 5 in fletching. Again one issue is you cant do a true helical on a 2 in vane.

    Next is the JoJan, it comes in a single jig and a six jig model. Its ok but I am not very fond of it and stopped using them years ago. it will do feathers great, 3, 4 and 5 in vanes in straight, offset and helical but the clamps fit really loosely and if you want to use 2 in vanes you would really need to shim the top of the clamp with a piece of vane to allow the vanes to sit flat. With 2 in vanes the clamps want to nose dive pulling the rear of the vane up off the shaft. IMO all of the other jigs I am mentioning here are better and do a better job.

    Next is the Cartel jig, it is a nice not so expensive jig but it will only do straight and offset. Clamps from other jigs do not work on this jig.

    Next we have the Grayling & Martin Jig, I would not recommend this jig for anything other than 3, 4 and 5 in feathers, the magnets are extremely weak. if you decide to purchase this jig to do some feathers take a file and dress the face of the magnet flat so it will allow the clamp to stick a tat tighter. Also I would upgrade to a bitz clamp.

    Next Arizona EZ jig, it comes in a variety of styles that will allow you to fletch any vane and this is the first jig I have mentioned that (the mini) will allow you to put a true helical on a 2 in vane. Its downfall is that it is made of plastic you have to take care to keep the fingers clean and you cant see the vanes once closed to make sure they are in place. This is a great jig for the home archer giving you a ton of choices and they arent very expensive.

    Next is bohning jigs there is a number of jigs, the only one I have experience with is the Helix, it is a very nice little jig for the home archer. It will only do small vanes such as blazers, vanetec or duravanes. It doesnt work well on flex fletch though you can go slow and make it work on their 2 in vanes if you are very careful. It can also be used in a pro shop setting by mounting multiple jigs on turntables. You are limited to straight and RH Helix, bohning decided to not add a Left Hand clamp and it is made of plastic. On a side note it comes with a small piece of aluminum tape, I strongly urge you to use this as instructed, it will extend the life of the clamp. If you like when the aluminum take needs to be replaced you can use A.C. aluminum duct tape as a very good alternative to buying a bohning fletching plate kit.

    As for glue any of the higher end glues such as loctite, gorilla glue and most of the ones labeled by archery companies are excellent. Prep for the arrow shafts is simple, you can wash the end of the shaft in warm soapy water or wipe them with alcohol, no other prep for the shafts is needed. I do however recommend using a fletching primer on all vanes, it promotes a stonger bond and a faster set time for super glue.

    A note about arrow saws, there are a number of them on the market, in my opinion the most critical aspect is to find one with a vacuum hookup. Carbon fiber dust is bad news and you should take care to get it out of your environment. I use the apple pro saw with vac attachment it keeps our arrow cutting table fairly clean. I have considered the Easton saws but they are very pricey, there is a 120v and 220v version. if I were to choose one of these it would be the 220v version, its would be more cost effective to operate.

    If you would like some pointers on fletching feel free to give me a call in the shop. I would be more than happy to help get headed down the proper path. Fletching to me is as enjoyable as shooting. I have fletched 100s of thousands of arrows and today enjoy it as much if not more than the first arrows I tried to fletch. Even with as many arrows as I have fletching I still find little things that work better from time to time.
    Last edited by SouthShoreRat; October 15th, 2012 at 06:14 AM.
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