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Author Topic: Feather splice-along 2.0  (Read 1853 times)

Offline Bard1

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Feather splice-along 2.0
« on: February 26, 2008, 12:13:00 PM »
Hi gang!
As requested I am going to show how I do my feather splicing.  As we are going, please feel free to ask questions.  Just cause I think I am making sense doesn't always mean I am.    ;)  
oh and forgive my spelling mistakes.  
To get started, please gather up...

1 scrap 2x4
1 sharp xacto knife or similar
1 roll of fletch tape
1 feather clamp from a fletching jig
2 full length uncut feathers of different colors
1 emry board or dremel with sanding barrel
1 ruler
1 sharpening tool. (it's much easier if you keep your blade sharp, as cutting feathers dulls them quickly)

1 roll of fletch tape.  
...

got it? great.  

Place out your 2x4 and measure out 5 1/2" and mark.  (this is assuming you want to make a 5" feather)
 

then draw a vertical line accross the wood.
 

Next measure from the line 2 1/2" toward where the front of the feather will be, mark, and draw another vertical line accross the board.
 

your board should look something like this..
 

Now, take up the feather you will use as your "Base" or in this case what color do you want the front of the feather to be.
Place it on the board and cut it at the 5 1/2" line.
 

Our base feather is all set.  Place it on the wood as if you were going to cut it.  Starting at the 2 1/2 " line cut along the top of the spine of the feather toward the back end, but stop just shy of the 5 1/2" line.
 
 

The reasone for stopping is that you'll use the last few frills of the feather to pull up the membrain.
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2008, 12:19:00 PM »
pull out the feather "frills" you cut.  Your feather should look like...
 


Look at the diagram below.  The red "x"'s is where id like you to use the knife and "score" across the membrain, but don't cut the foam "base" of the feather.
   

Using the BACK side of your kife, trap the remaining frills between your thumb and knife.
 

Hold on to the very tip end of the feather base and PULL!!!  Pull all the way up to where you began your frill cut.  If you did your scoring right the membrain will come up off the foam but stop at the score and tear away.  use your knive or file to clean up any defiant frills.
It should now look like:
 

Set the base feather aside, and take up the feather you want to splice in.  Now at this point I want you to look at your feathers and notice the angle at which the frills come off the feather base.  See how as they move away from the front of the feather the angle changes?  Because of this it is important that you try to splice in the same area of feather from one to the other.  If you do this, it will make the splices go MUCH MUCH easier.  
Ok, lay your new feather on the 2x4 and cut it at 5 1/2".  
 

Then cut it again at the 2 1/2" line!The part between the lines is the part you want to use.
 

Now we get to one of the most critical points to getting great fitting splices.  The base ends of this piece need to be cleaned up.  Now I am talking really small cuts.  you want the base cut away as close to the "frills" as possible without cutting the frills off.  You allso want your cuts to be squar up and down and left to right.  
 
 
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 12:22:00 PM »
besides cutting to squar up the ends of the splice piece you can also use your file or sander.  I often use a commbination of both.

*well I have to go for a while.  Time to give a lecture on Massage therapy, it's history, styles, and benefits.
I'll continue late this afternoon.
Derek
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Offline doeboy

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2008, 12:36:00 PM »
This is sweet! I have wanted to try this!

Offline JC

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2008, 01:49:00 PM »
Already learning stuff...thanks Derek!
"Being there was good enough..." Charlie Lamb reflecting on a hunt
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2008, 05:09:00 PM »
hi back, lets continue...

once you have "squared" up the ends of the piece to be spliced in I like to give it a test fit with the base feather.
 

A very good fit already on this one.  If you look closely you'll see some how my splice ended up shorter then the base.  Not to worry, since we had and extra 1/2" on the back end of the feather any way I just cut to fit.

Once I think the fit is good, I take the splice piece (the brown one in my case) and I place it in the feather clamp from my fletching jig.
 

Next I use my dremmel sander and I sand away as much of the foam bottom as I can without damaging the membrain.  I usually leave a very very thin layer of foam, so don't sand ALL the way down.  (might want to wear something to cover the mouth and nose for this part)
 

I have found that if I take off all the foam it weakens the membrain and later the feather "frills" fall off after putting the arrow through a bow a few times.   "[dntthnk]"  

Once I am done sanding I simply blow the shavings off.
 
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2008, 05:13:00 PM »
Next I take the fletch tape and run a length of it on the entire bottom of the splice feather in the clamp.  
 

I cut the back end.
 

then I use the back of the knife to press the extra front tape down onto the clamp.
 

Then I use the blade of the knife to lift up the red part of the tape.
 

then I cut off the excess tape off the front.
 
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2008, 05:20:00 PM »
Remove the splice feather, and place it on the main feather base.  Be sure to fit the front of the splice feather snugly into the "v" of the base feather.  On the other hand don't over do it either.  
 

Congrats! you just completed your splice.  It should look something like...
 

Now all thats left to do is place it in your chopper of choice..
 

.. and !wham!!  
 

you now have your first spliced feather. WooHoo!
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2008, 05:22:00 PM »
It's important you get these "baisics" down because what we are going to do next builds off them.

Next will be what I call a double end splice.
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Offline Goose

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2008, 05:24:00 PM »
Nice job guy!  That took a lot of work to do this post.  The pictures, typing and down loading, not to mention the feather work.  It is appreciated!
Goose
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2008, 05:25:00 PM »
Thanks Goose,
just getting started really. muahahahahaha *evil laugh*
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2008, 05:42:00 PM »
The double end splice.

Look at your 2x4.  It's time to add another line. We are going to put a line in some where between the first two you made.  Where you put it is up to you, but the farther from the front line it is, the wider your your first color of the two color end splice is going to be.
As I recall, I made mine 2/16th of and inch back from the front line, but can't remember for certain.  It's really up to you.
 

I do the exact same procedure with the base feather as I did in the baisic end splice.  no difference at all. EXACTLY THE SAME, i.e. I cut the frill from stripped the base feather from the first line to the last line.

I decided that I wanted white as my base feather, a strip of read, then the brown.  

First I cut the red feather and mesured the length from between the first two lines.  
 

Then I measured and cut the brown feather from between the last two lines.  

Now comes the most important part.  I "squar" up the ends of both the brown and red splices.  I trim them as close to the front and back "frill" of the feater splice as I can without damaging them.  
 

Next I put the brown and red together getting the feather "frills" to do that zipper trick they do and get them to stick together.  I test the fit.  
 
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2008, 05:49:00 PM »
It's crucial that they fit just perfect.  I wasn't happy with the fit between the red and brown.  After looking at it, I decided the back of the red needed some more work.  So I did some sanding on it with the dremmel.  (I suggest using an emry board at first as the dremmel is more likely to destroy the feather "frill")
 

Once done, I retested the fit and it was lovely!
 

Look closely, can you see the difference between the two fit pictures?  the difference is sublte, but makes a world of difference on the quality of your splice at the end product.
When doing these double splices like this is why it's so importnat to use parts of feathers from the same general length along the quill.  You can use parts from differing lengths, but because of the different angles of the "frills" it will fight you, and I never seem to get as good a fit as I demand.
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2008, 05:57:00 PM »
Once happy wiht the fit, I take the red and brown out, keeping them "ziplocked" together and I place them in the flech clamp, just as I did with the single splice.  
 

again I use the dremmel to sand them down.  I do them together.  
 

Once done, I lay down 1 piece of fletch tape over BOTH of the splice colors in the jig, thus securing them together.  
 

I take them out and place them on the base feather snugly in the "V".
 

It should look like...
 

see..no gaps.

again place in chopper...WHAM!
 

instant doulbe end splice feather.
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2008, 06:04:00 PM »
Next we'll be doing a middle splice
and after that the dreaded tripple mid splice!!  
*play loud scary music*
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Offline ishiwannabe

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2008, 06:09:00 PM »
You make it look easy! Great tutorial.
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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2008, 06:10:00 PM »
Awesome!!!  Always wondered how that was done, had some ideas, but sure is nice to see it done step by step, Excellent!!!!!

Thanks Bard1!!
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2008, 06:42:00 PM »
Jamie,
   with practice it's not that hard really.  That being said, if the fit isn't right, even after you use fletch tape, rip it out and do it over. When I am having problems, it's usually do to trying to use parts of feathers that don't have quills at the same angle.  

Oh and one other thing while I am thinking of it...black..black "frills" are much stiffer then other colors and I have had difficulty at times getting them to "zip" up with the other splices.  I attribute this to how black feathers are dyed.
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2008, 07:12:00 PM »
The middle splice

To do a mid splice you need to determine at one point in the feather you want the splice to be.  Go ahead and on your board draw those lines in.  

Start by cutting your base feather at the baisic 5 1/2".  
Then cut the feather "frills" off just like you did in the last two splice alongs.  Again be sure to stop a little before the back line.
 

Use your knife to score the membrain where you see the 2 red x's on picture above.  These x's should coralate with the begginging and end of where you want your splice to be put in.

Use the left over "frills" with the back of your xacto and thumb to lift off the membrain.
When done your feather should look like..
 
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Offline Bard1

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Re: Feather splice-along 2.0
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2008, 07:18:00 PM »
Set aside the base feather and take up the color you want to splice in.  Cut it to the propper length.
 

Trim the ends like we have been doing, and test the fit.
 

what you don't want is...
 

or...
 

or some combination of both.  
what you DO want is..
 

 
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