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Author Topic: Gluing fletching  (Read 1675 times)

Offline Vroomvroom

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Gluing fletching
« on: February 21, 2024, 07:56:54 PM »
I have the bitzenburger jig gluing fletching.  Every odd feather, despite squeezing the clamp and arrow, I can see the slightest, almost indiscernible air gap.  How much trouble will this cause me I’m wondering. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2024, 08:19:58 PM by Vroomvroom »

Offline Vroomvroom

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2024, 08:01:17 PM »
Here’s a picture

Online McDave

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2024, 08:16:06 PM »
You may not be putting enough glue on the quill.  I put enough on the quill that it squeezes out on the sides.  With platinum anyway, it pretty much disappears as it drys.
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Offline Vroomvroom

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2024, 08:18:30 PM »
Possible. I honestly don’t remember the brand now. “Fletch it “ or something. No label on the bottle.  It does squeeze out a little. This for the most part will disappear  as well. At least the majority. 

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2024, 08:24:03 PM »
You don't want to have any air gaps.  They start out looking fine, but get some moisture in there and they swell up and look awful.

The brand I use is Fletchtite Platinum.  Not sayin it's the best, but a lot of people use it.
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Offline Vroomvroom

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2024, 09:20:25 PM »
I will get a picture of the bottle tomorrow.  Not sure why some lay flat, good contact with the arrow shaft. Other feathers leave slight gap.  Pressing pretty good. Must be how I got the clamp on them.

Online Archie

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2024, 09:54:41 PM »
I put my feathers in the clamp and then pull them out just enough, so that when I push the clamp into place, it pushes the feather slightly back into the clamp.  I'm not the fanciest arrow fletcher in the world, but that gets my feathers completely and cleanly attached to the shaft.
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Online Walt Francis

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2024, 12:16:58 AM »
I run my thumb nail between the quill and the clamp, it creates a little gap adjusts to the arrows shaft as I place the feather.  Basically the Same thing Archie is doing. 
Also, always check how you nock is seated when using a Bitzenberger, they can shift some when turning the nock holder to the next position.  The nocks with big indicators do not fit well and push the arrow slightly off center making the feathers seat differently. You need to file the indicator down oecut a grove in the Bitz nock holder so it allows the nock to seat properly.
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Online Hud

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2024, 12:27:01 AM »
I found the problem and the solution. This applies to a LH Jig.  Do the reverse for a RH jig.  If you look down the HELICAL clamp you will see that it is concaved. It is made this way so the clamp will follow the curvature of the shaft, for full contact. It has one position in the jig that is best for any given size shaft.  A thin graphite will differ from any larger diameter shaft.  The solution is to reset the adjustments, both top and bottom for the shaft to be fletched. First set a shaft in with flat thumb index facing up. Assuming you are going to install LW feathers do the following: loosen the bottom adjustment and move it all the way to the right, then tighten it with the allen wrench, but not too tight.  Next go the the upper adjustment, with the clamp in the jig, slide the clamp to the left until the clamp is in full contact without a feather and then tighten, but not over-tight.  If you hold the Jig up to a light and you see a gap, then repeat these instructions, because you want the clamp contact to be along the full length. That means both edges of the clamp, so the feather will be flat on the shaft. 

I found it is easier to get the adjustments needed then to adjust each feather in the jig or on the shaft with or without glue applied.

If you have a number of LH or RH jigs, the manufacturer has a gauge for each that can be set in the JIG after loosening the adjustment screws.  I has a strong magnet that pulls it into the correct setting. Assuming the gauge was inserted in the jig correctly.

If you need to set the adjustment for a STRAIGHT clamp which is flat, the offset is very small, or the quill contact will only be in contact along one EDGE of the feather. 

If you have an old model Bitz the two adjustments knobs and set screws are smaller, and easily stripped with a small Allen wrench. Over-tightening will eventually wear out the adjustment screw.  You can buy newer knobs and screws for most Jigs.

Think of the problem and solution with Helical jig/clamp as to maximize the adjustment and with straight clamps to minimize the adjustment. 

Warning:  do not use a LH jig with a right-hand clamp or the reverse. The jigs are not identical. The adjustment slots in the jig are sized for either LH or RH adjustment knobs, not both.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2024, 12:44:14 AM by Hud »
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Online LoneRanger

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2024, 12:36:10 AM »
Once I discovered Fletch Tape I have never considered gluing fletching again. I have never had a taped joint fail. The tape and fletching are also removable without damaging the fletching or cresting. And, it is faster to fletch with tape. No more waiting for glue to dry. The bond is instant. I was initially skeptical, but trusted a friend’s recommendation. It is a fantastic product.

Online PrimitivePete

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2024, 07:57:29 AM »
X2 on Fletching tape, easy to use and when I remove the clamp, running my finger over the feather ensures a solid fit.

Offline Vroomvroom

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2024, 08:02:54 AM »
Must be strong bond with the tape as the glue for these seems really strong. I also use to bow the middle of the fletching out from the clamp so when I press it onto the shaft it squeezes on it. But I didn’t last night.   I also think some of the issue it the ends of the fletching/clamp squeezes tighter than the center. So that bit ends will be solid in the clamp where as the center can move a little

Online BAK

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2024, 09:20:55 AM »
After applying the fletch I run the back of an exacto knife along the quill to ensure it is seated on the shaft.  Works every time.
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Offline NY Yankee

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2024, 09:33:14 AM »
Once I discovered Fletch Tape I have never considered gluing fletching again. I have never had a taped joint fail. The tape and fletching are also removable without damaging the fletching or cresting. And, it is faster to fletch with tape. No more waiting for glue to dry. The bond is instant. I was initially skeptical, but trusted a friend’s recommendation. It is a fantastic product.
Really didnt answer his question though.
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Online Orion

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2024, 10:43:56 AM »
VR, what you're describing is a less than optimally adjusted clamp.  Follow Hud's directions to adjust it correctly.  Also good suggestions from Archie and Walt. Leave some feather out of the clamp so it will be pushed into the camp as it's seated.  I leave about an eighth inch feather protruding along the quill.  I also squeeze the clamp so it's tighter on the feather as I mount it and push it down onto the shaft.  After clamping, I examine the fletch to make sure it's tight along the shaft.  If not, I open the clamp slightly, back it off a quarter inch or so and reseat the feather.  Another way of doing it is to insert a stick pin point between the quill and clamp, forcing the feather to contact the shaft.

Online trad_bowhunter1965

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2024, 10:54:05 AM »
Great advice by all I would put my arrow in the jig and place the clamp in it to make sure the clamp sets flush on the shaft . If the clamp doesn't you can file the high spots down to set flush. Your fletch base might be ground level. 
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Online Archie

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Re: Gluing fletching
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2024, 12:40:18 PM »
I found the problem and the solution. This applies to a LH Jig.  Do the reverse for a RH jig.  If you look down the HELICAL clamp you will see that it is concaved. It is made this way so the clamp will follow the curvature of the shaft, for full contact. It has one position in the jig that is best for any given size shaft.  A thin graphite will differ from any larger diameter shaft.  The solution is to reset the adjustments, both top and bottom for the shaft to be fletched. First set a shaft in with flat thumb index facing up. Assuming you are going to install LW feathers do the following: loosen the bottom adjustment and move it all the way to the right, then tighten it with the allen wrench, but not too tight.  Next go the the upper adjustment, with the clamp in the jig, slide the clamp to the left until the clamp is in full contact without a feather and then tighten, but not over-tight.  If you hold the Jig up to a light and you see a gap, then repeat these instructions, because you want the clamp contact to be along the full length. That means both edges of the clamp, so the feather will be flat on the shaft. 

I found it is easier to get the adjustments needed then to adjust each feather in the jig or on the shaft with or without glue applied.

If you have a number of LH or RH jigs, the manufacturer has a gauge for each that can be set in the JIG after loosening the adjustment screws.  I has a strong magnet that pulls it into the correct setting. Assuming the gauge was inserted in the jig correctly.

If you need to set the adjustment for a STRAIGHT clamp which is flat, the offset is very small, or the quill contact will only be in contact along one EDGE of the feather. 

If you have an old model Bitz the two adjustments knobs and set screws are smaller, and easily stripped with a small Allen wrench. Over-tightening will eventually wear out the adjustment screw.  You can buy newer knobs and screws for most Jigs.

Think of the problem and solution with Helical jig/clamp as to maximize the adjustment and with straight clamps to minimize the adjustment. 

Warning:  do not use a LH jig with a right-hand clamp or the reverse. The jigs are not identical. The adjustment slots in the jig are sized for either LH or RH adjustment knobs, not both.

Wow, this is helpful!  Thank you very much for taking the time to share this information.
Life is a whole lot easier when you just plow around the stump.

2009  66" Black Widow PLX
2006  64" Black Widow PMA
2023  56" Cascade Archery Whitetail Hawk

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