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Old 03-26-2009, 11:43 AM
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Default Preparing fletching from feathers

I have come into possession of a signficant number of Peacock wing feathers. They are about the size of turkey wing feathers (just alittle smaller and abit softer) so I would like to try making some fletchings from them.

If anyone has some pictures of homemade jigs and burners they use to make fletchings, they would be willing to post or know where some are already posted, I would appreciate seeing them.

Thanks!!
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:00 PM
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Never messed with any peacock feathers but have made bunches out of turkey.....Instead of splitting & grinding I just strip them back from the quill leaving the thin membrane still attached, then I use a little chopper to cut them into my preferred shape.....works like a charm.Here's a pix from some I just finished,5 1/2" parabolic little chopper is what I cut the feathers with.....

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Old 03-26-2009, 12:08 PM
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Man those are pretty !
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:17 PM
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what BGBH said ....

except I use sizzors to cut em .....

BGBH those look nice .....
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:25 PM
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Those look good! Did you make the chopper or is it one you purchased? And is a chopper and a burner the same thing?
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:01 PM
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Thanks for the compliments....the chopper I have is one I purchased...you just lay your feather in it & hit it with a rubber mallet & it cuts the feather....I think you can get one for around 20.00 or so,it's different than a burner.......It's raining here so maybe I'll go to the shop & take some pictures for ya & how it works....RogerB,not trying to highjack your thread.....
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:03 PM
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BGBH - Thanks! the more info the better.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:39 PM
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Here's a few pictures...I fletch right wing so I bought a right wing chopper...here I have the chopper & a rubber mallet with some primary right wing feathers....


Start out peeling the feather away from the quill, should look alittle like this when ya start out....


After you get it peeled back it should like this & ready for the chopper...


Lay the section of feather against the little guide on the chopper,make sure you get it nice & straight...then you can close the top of the chopper over on the section of feather...should look like this...


Then with a nice swift smack with the mallet against the top of the chopper you will have your fletching chopped out....


Some feathers can be stubborn & break while stripping,just go slow....sometimes the base of the stripped feather will come out fairly wide,if this happens just trim along the edge with a pair of scissors....

I only use primaries for fletching hunting arrows....I use the secondaries for making spiral flu-flus & I strip them the same way.....
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:44 PM
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Roger, I made a feather grinder jig but don't have photos. Just take two 1x2" lumber pieces maybe a foot long, lay them parrallel.
Lay three 4" door hinges on top of them, screw the hinges to the boards.
Basically, you put a feather in between the boards and clamp them down on it. Leave the quill section out, and pinch it all togather. Then you can hold it to belt sander and sand it such that the quill is flat.
After that, use a feather chopper or burner, or scissors.
Dan
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:27 PM
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Roger, you can find "Little Choppers" on eBay. They are not that expensive.

Fletching with Peacock feathers, wow! I can only imagine what that would look like!
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:41 AM
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Primary vs Secondary
Primaries, the 4 feathers on the end of the wing or by the joint?
How many secondaries?
Thanks for the illustrations of the chopper and details.
Dan, what's wrong with your camera? I would like
to see the grinding fixture.

Great thread folks, thanks for the info!
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Allen View Post
Primary vs Secondary
Primaries, the 4 feathers on the end of the wing or by the joint?
How many secondaries?
There are 10 primaries in each wing and about the same number for the secondaries. I never knew there were choppers for left and right, I just thought one did both. I have cut both on mine and have never noticed any problems.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:29 PM
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Al,they sold right & left so I thought it might make a difference..guess as long as your doing both then it doesn't matter.....

here's a link to the one at 3rivers....
http://www.3riversarchery.com/product.asp?i=4398X
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Last edited by BGBH; 03-27-2009 at 12:32 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:44 PM
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Now I see ..... Thanks for postin' .....
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGBH View Post
Al,they sold right & left so I thought it might make a difference..guess as long as your doing both then it doesn't matter.....

here's a link to the one at 3rivers....
http://www.3riversarchery.com/product.asp?i=4398X
I may be doing something wrong with cutting both from the same cutter.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:02 PM
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Roger,

Here's a "grind-along" I did for turkey feathers....maybe will help you with some ideas. Stripping the feathers is an option, but I kind of like a ground base for using fletch tape.

http://leatherwall.bowsite.com/TF/lw...ory=88#1878097


I was hand cutting them then, but have since picked up a used feather burner. You can make a burner as well if so inclined.

Steve
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:34 PM
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If you click on SOS's post, you'll see good photos of the grinding "jig". Mine is similar but I think his is better. Dan
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:21 PM
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Steve, how would you make a burner?
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:12 AM
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Train set transformer, some wood, nuts and bolts and some piano wire. I bought all the stuff then bought Melvin's old Youngs for $35.

Here the plans I was going to use:

http://www.shomeoutdoors.com/forums/...d.php?tid=2633
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:40 PM
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So that I don't continue guessing at what might be the reason, is there a reason to prefer one method over the other?
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:17 PM
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Rocket,

Not sure about your question - are you asking burning versus chopping?

If so...I would say chopping gives you a bunch of very even, accurate fletches of one size.

With burning, once you get the burner, you can get several different wires for two bucks each and be set up for different fletch lengths and shapes. Once the fletches are glued/taped to the shaft - when you burn them, all the fletch are the same shape and same position.

If you want to play, burning is great. If you are happy with one or two fletch lengths and shapes, chopping is great.

One example of the flexibility of burning. Right before the TBG shoot in 2008, folks were talking about the benefits of low profile fletch. The weather forecast showed very high winds for the shoot weekend, so for grins, I adjusted my burner and quickly cut all my high fletch feathers down by at least a third and they shot great in the wind with heavy points.

Plus with burning, you get to enjoy one of the most "unique" scents of the craft. LOL.

Steve
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:21 AM
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Thanks, Steve.

You answered my question in depth.
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