Home Forums Bows and Equipment Fletching tips

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    • Jafjap
      Post count: 5

      Hello everyone,

      Does anyone have like an SOP (standard operating procedures) for how to fletch an arrow? Like what needs to be done first how to make sure the knocks and points I buy match the shaft. Just any thing. Tips and tricks learned would help to. Thanks!


    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      Hmm, not sure on the second question and what you are asking. But for Aluminum/Carbons to flecth I like to fist get them cut to length for my draw. I then clean the shafts with denatured alcohol to prep and then put in the Jo-jan jig and get ready for flecthing. I then put the feather I want in the feather clamp and do a test fit to make sure everything lines up. i then apply my glue to the feather and put the clamp in place to mount the feather. Then when the glue dries take the clamp off and then put a little drop of glue on the front of the feather to help prevent from coming off when in use. Repeat on all arrows until you have the shafts all fletched. I have done wood before but since I got raw shafts that had been grouped at the store I did not do matching checks since already completed , I then put them in a dip tube to stain and the applied the feathers.

      There are when it comes to wood so many creative ways to prep for before flecthing that i could not write it all here.

    • bruc
      Post count: 476

      Mr. Asbell had a complete chapter dedicated to building wood arrows in one of his books. The same article was also in TBM. Sorry I can’t provide more info ,except it was about 15-20 years ago. If you can get your hands on the article you will have all the information you need.


    • SteveMcD
      Post count: 870

      I work only with wood. First I cut and taper for nock and point end first. Then I stain, and let the stain dry over night. Then I crest – usually a simple crest design at the crown – nock end (stripes underneath where the feathers will be), then I crest out at the end of the crown (normally I want this to be relative to the brace height of a given bow that I have). Cresting paint depending on brand may need to be thinned, but I always crest lightly and assume I will let dry overnight, and then apply a second coat of cresting where needed. I let the cresting dry for 24 hours, then I use wipe on poly gloss -one coat, let dry over night, then wipe down with 0000 steel wool, apply another coat – let dry overnight again – I repeat this process usually up to four coats of wipe on poly. Next you have to pay close attention to the wood grain and insure that your nock is veritical and the grain is horizontal – meaning nock is set perpendicular to the shaft. Once the nocks are set ( I use Lock Tite), you are ready to fletch. I use fletch tape any more and really like it.

      As far as wood stain goes, most soft woods except Lodge Pole Pine take stain really well. Lodgepole pine and hardwoods are better to use Dyes like Fiebing Leather Dye or RIT Dye with De-Natured Alcohol works very well.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Also worth getting The Traditional Bowhunters Handbook, TJ Conrads.

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Any recommendations on adhesives for fletching aluminums? I currently use Fletch Tite, but find that after a few weeks of shooting, at least one feather of six arrows decides it needs to pop off, leaving no residue behind. Like skifrk, I add a drop at the notch of all of my feathers to keep them from snagging on anything.

    • skifrk
      Post count: 387

      How are you prepping, I usually clean the arrow first with the denatured alcohol and then use Bohings Fletch Tite glue and have had no pop offs myself on aluminum.

    • rwbowman
      Post count: 119

      Maybe this is what separates the good fletchers from the rookies. I’ve been using rubbing alcohol. Better get myself to the hardware store.:idea:

    • Jeremy Holden
      Post count: 59


      In regards toy our alluminum fletching glue, I use Duco Cement. I picked it up at my local Ace Hardware. Some say WalMart carrie it but I have yet to find it there. I’ve never had problems with it. Works better for me than CA glue. Duco claims that the finish wont matter, it will work. So far no problems for me. Good luck with your adventure.


    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Lightly sand the area of the shaft with a fine grit.

      Clean it with denatured alcohol.

      Or, if you use cap wraps on your arrows, you don’t need to worry about the steps above. Personally, particularly for target/stumping arrows, I’m a big fan of cap wraps (or visible cresting of some sort). I think they’ve saved me from losing many an arrow…

      Trim the leading edge of the feather. Many pre-cut feathers I find have an uneven, jagged cut on the leading edge, which will tend to ‘lift up’ after a while.

      You can use glue or tape. Personally, I much prefer tape, with a dot of Gold Tip glue at either end. Never had a problem with it when applied to a properly-prepped shaft.

      Hope that helps. 😉

    • tombow
      Post count: 103

      My fletching has all been on 10% aluminum, 90% carbon shafts. I like to roughen up the end of the arrow to be fletched with light sandpaper, then clean with Acetone. I use a Bitzenburger jig to fletch my arrows and have had excellent luck. I use Lock-tite super-glue type gel, purchased a local hardware stores and have had excellent luck with adhesion and durability. The gel allows me to place the glue on the feather with precision, which I then smooth out a bit to create an even layer for the full length. I am a “thrifty shopper” and have found no need in spending more money on other fletching-specific glues. I have found that cap-wraps generally provide a bit more adhesion as referenced by previous posters, and they allow much easier removal in case of the need to refletch.

      G.Fred Asbells’s book “Instinctive Shooting” contains the chapter (Chapter 10) “Handcrafting Wood Arrows” which will give you detail on wood.

      “Shooting the Stickbow” by Anthony Camera also has a chapter 10 which is about fletching and is highly detailed. Both books are worth the money so I would suggest adding them to your collection.

      I, too, like to cut down the leading tip of the arrow at an angle, and when I fletch I add a spot of insurance glue on the tip to add a bit more durability at that point.

      I have not YET attempted wood arrows but I can’t say I won’t (see my wife rolling her eyes as I buy more “crap” to feed my traditional addiction).

      Good Luck, YOU CAN DO IT!


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