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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently, my club has been having alot of trouble with fletching our club arrows. No matter what precaution we take, the fletchings always seem to fall off within a couple of days.

We are currently trying to fletch aluminum arrows with:
3.0" Duravanes:
http://www.duravanes.com/products/duravanes.aspx

and

Fletch-tite Platinum fletching glue:
http://www.bohning.com/store/fletch-tite-platinum.html

I don't know whether the fletchings, glue, or method is the issue. Typically we'll clean the shafts with rubbing alcohol and just left the fletching glue and jig do it's work.

I've tried applying pressure to the fletching as it is drying, but all that seems to do is drive glue away from contact points resulting in a lousy bond.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
 

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My 1.8" Duravanes lasted forever on aluminum shafts with the same glue.

Do you wait for all of the alcohol to evaporate before applying glue and vanes?
How long do you leave each vane in the jig for the bond to develop?
Do you add a drop of glue at the base and tip of each vane?

Is the vane that's falling off random, or is it the same positioned vane each time?
 

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forget the alcohol, use acetone. clean the shaft until it absolutely squeaks. wipe the base of the vane with acetone prior to applying adhesive. make sure you're not using old/heat affected fletchtite, if it's not very fluid or shows any signs of viscosity, toss it.

apply light pressure to the clamped vane, do NOT stick your thumbs below - onto the nice clean shaft - to give it a good squeeze. you need to see a small bead of glue being extruded out from underneath the vane root or you're not using enough glue.

make sure the vane root is sitting squarely on top of the shaft, ie it's getting contact across the full width of the root, not just one edge.

leave for at least 10 minutes after clamping, and even then don't shoot for 24 hours.

don't forget the dot on the ends to stop the bond tearing upon pressure.

some people recommend cleaning the shaft with a light abrasive (kitchen cleaner) before the initial clean, but to be honest with the procedures above I have never lost a vane that wasn't physically ripped off.
 

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I shoot Duravanes all the time with aluminum and carbon shafts.
I clean the shafts and vane bases with denatured alcohol, rubbing the shafts until they squeak.
Using Platinum Plus, maintaining pressure for 30 seconds when applying and let set in the jig for at least 10 minutes.
When ths last arrow is removed from the jig, I dot the vane ends fore and aft.
The only time they have ever come off was when I forgot to clean the base of the vane. :sad:
 

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Assuming you do all the above is the humidity in the area high?

I fletch my own arrows and follow the above procedures and have never had a problem EXCEPT with the Kurly Vanes that MUST be cleaned before applying.

Regards,
 

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My archery shop is in teh basement. Duravanes base is cleaned with 91% Isopropyl and a Q-tip to remove and absorbed moisture. Don't think that it is not possible to have a NG batch of fletching cement.
Don't know much about the binders shelf life in them from a techincal standpoint but have found with a clean aluminum shaft (Acetone, 91% Isopropyl or plain old soap and water) on more than one occassion pitching the current tube of glue seems to solve all of my fletching problems.
Suggest trying another tube of glue, hopefullt y not from the same batch or lot.
 

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I use flex fletch vanes, which are tough. I've switched to Gel super glue on carbons and aluminum. Wash fletch area with Bar keeper's friend and water. Clean vane and shaft with 91% alcohol. I allow two minutes in the Jig. Re-fletching is the only way they come off.
 

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Another thing to pay attention to is where is the seperation. Glue adheres OK to vane but NG to shaft or NG to vane OK on shaft. If you are sure no moisture or contaminant Don't use other that 91% Isopropyl if you use alchohol. A NG tube of glue can drive you, well just say it can be a real source of irritation.
 

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I've never had success with Fletch-Tite....I use Gorilla Super Glue Impact-Tough Formula that I get at Wal-Mart. I clean the shaft with denatured alcohol and I can fletch up an arrow in about two minutes....
 

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I haven't used Duravanes, but the current AAE vanes have a notice not to use acetone on the vane base since they have coated it with a conditioner which works well and should not be removed with acetone, etc. See if the Duravane package has any similar instructions.
The original reason for cleaning the base is that the vanes are molded and the mold has a release agent so they don't stick in the mold - but keeps them from adhering well to the arrow, so it needs to be removed. I guess AAE has its own system for dealing with this.
 

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I'm old school, don't kno' about cleaning with solvents or using any super glue, but instead using a 100 grit sand paper on the alu shaft and on the vane groove before gluing, will make the vanes stay on the shaft until you cut them away with a switchblade :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the advice. The last fletching session I did, I fletched over 50 arrows over the course of three days, so you can imagine my frustration when they all started falling off.

I've never really payed attention to "cleaning until it squeaks" or watching if the alcohol is fully dried. We do however use 91% isopropyl.

I don't think I'm allowed to use sandpaper as my boss says no.

Current procedures call for leaving the arrow in the jig for three minutes, and I've added putting a dab of glue on the ends of the vane roots as separation typically occurs in these places.

Our club is located in the Bay area (Berkeley/SF) so humidity might be an issue.

I plan on having another refletching session this Friday and I will try to put all your advice to good use.

Thanks!
 

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I haven't used Duravanes, but the current AAE vanes have a notice not to use acetone on the vane base since they have coated it with a conditioner which works well and should not be removed with acetone, etc. See if the Duravane package has any similar instructions.
The original reason for cleaning the base is that the vanes are molded and the mold has a release agent so they don't stick in the mold - but keeps them from adhering well to the arrow, so it needs to be removed. I guess AAE has its own system for dealing with this.

Keep acetone away from any kind of fletching.
 

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I don't clean the base of my vanes either. You seem to follow all the steps I use with the exception of alcohol v. acetone (I use acetone), so I would suspect the glue as others have mentioned. I use the flex-tite (regular and platinum) with great success, so it may just be an old tube.
 

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Don't use rubbing alcohol, use denatured. Rubbing alcohol is 75% alcohol, which means that 25% is other stuff, like some sort of scent to make it smell "better."

The other advice is sound, make sure you have good, full contact between vane and shaft, and adjust the position of the arrow jigs accordingly. Gaps mean poor adhesion.

Do your fletching at room temperature. If it's much colder than 65 degrees, the adhesive may not cure properly. Plus, if you store your arrows in very cold temperatures, the bond will be weakened, and vanes may be more prone to coming off.

Good luck.
 
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