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  1. disco stu's Avatar
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    #1

    DIY fletching jig

    To further my previous topic about DIY broadheads, which seems to be about as popular as scurvy, I had the thought of a DIY fletching jig. They always seemed overly expensive for what you get, even though they would pay themselves off fairly quickly.

    So, I had a search around for DIY fletching jig and I don't think nocking one of these up would be hard at all. Although its going to be a while till I have a need to make any new arrows, my mind is still mulling over all these diy projects.

    My thinking is I would like a bit of offset to my fletches for stability. Running a wisker biscuit I don't think I want much offset, maybe 1o, and I also think that too much offset would have an impact on arrow velocity (you don't get something for nothing in the physics world etc).

    My thinking was that I could make the jig with an adjustable offset at one end. Althought it would likely always be left the same, that leaves me the option of changing it for others etc

    One question I have is that the fletch would have to then follow a curved path along the arrow shaft, whereas it would be straight for non offset fletching. On commercial jigs with offset, is the clamp part curved to account for this or do you just stick the fletch a little further out and press a bit harder and it all works out in the end?

    I'll wack up some preliminary napkin plans when I get a chance, but I normally work this sort of thing out as I go along. I already have a good idea how I can do each bit, but keen to hear the opinion of others

    Cheers

    Stu
  2. GrumpyOldBloke's Avatar
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    #2
    Hey Disco,

    I just got my F kit and did my first arrow last night, as far as I can see the clamp is just ever slightly of centre from the shaft from one end to the other, and as the instructions on the package it is 1 degree off, and I don't think it will have any impact about the curved path, but then again I am only using 2'' vanes.

    I am more then willing to take some detailed pic's of the jig if that would help? just let me know. I bought mine via Ebay, here is the link.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/120963282703...84.m1439.l2649

    HI5 Grumps
    Quote Originally Posted by disco stu View Post
    To further my previous topic about DIY broadheads, which seems to be about as popular as scurvy, I had the thought of a DIY fletching jig. They always seemed overly expensive for what you get, even though they would pay themselves off fairly quickly.

    So, I had a search around for DIY fletching jig and I don't think nocking one of these up would be hard at all. Although its going to be a while till I have a need to make any new arrows, my mind is still mulling over all these diy projects.

    My thinking is I would like a bit of offset to my fletches for stability. Running a wisker biscuit I don't think I want much offset, maybe 1o, and I also think that too much offset would have an impact on arrow velocity (you don't get something for nothing in the physics world etc).

    My thinking was that I could make the jig with an adjustable offset at one end. Althought it would likely always be left the same, that leaves me the option of changing it for others etc

    One question I have is that the fletch would have to then follow a curved path along the arrow shaft, whereas it would be straight for non offset fletching. On commercial jigs with offset, is the clamp part curved to account for this or do you just stick the fletch a little further out and press a bit harder and it all works out in the end?

    I'll wack up some preliminary napkin plans when I get a chance, but I normally work this sort of thing out as I go along. I already have a good idea how I can do each bit, but keen to hear the opinion of others

    Cheers

    Stu
  3. disco stu's Avatar
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    #3
    Cheers. That price isn't too bad actually, all the ones I had seen were more than that, around double.

    To be honest, for that money I may as well buy one. But I might still have a go at making one purely for something to do, I just don't think I will put that much effort into as I would have.

    Thanks for the offer of photos, but I've seen plenty of jigs. I use to work in a shop that sold archery gear (along with shooting, and fishing where I was), and spent a fair bit of time at the archery counter helping with various things so got exposure to all this sort of thing, but in no way became proficient
  4. crusty's Avatar
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    #4
    There are too types of offset fletching
    standard offset - straight fletching but an angle.
    Or Helical Fletching - offset but with a curve.

    Some jigs come with 2 clamps one curved one straight. Others you need to specify the clamp you want.

    I don't really know which is better. Mine is just a straight offset.

    As far as home made broadheads - Those wing nut rabbit ones were a great bit of lateral thinking . I suppose if you mounted the wing nut around the other way and hit the front edges judiciously with a file you might get something semi-workable. I think the bought ones are worth the money - but don't tell anyone I said that - then I wouldn't be able to complain about the prices.

    Crusty
  5. disco stu's Avatar
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    #5
    Cheers Crusty. I've gone and had a bit of a read about offset fletching, with the results of some tests pretty much confirming my thoughts. Would be nice to know what offset they used though for comparison, but the drop in velocity wasn't that high to make it a real issue with what they were using.

    Thought this little link would get a laugh and show how simple a fletching jig really could be

    http://www.instructables.com/id/fletching-emplumadora/

    I'm thinking a stand with slides or a swing down fletch clamp make out of a big paper clip style thing, with jaws extended with some aluminium or similar, with either the hinge or the slider at one end being adjustable with a wing nut and markings so you can adjust it one way for a bit of offset, and back to 0o for straight. I'll go and have a play as soon as I get a chance, but I have a few busy days ahead over the weekend.
  6. disco stu's Avatar
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    #6
    Oooh, this one has some good ideas, but I reakon its a bit too much work in the making for it to be worthwhile

  7. disco stu's Avatar
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    #7
    After having some dramas with arrows this week, I've decided to order some shafts and get this fletching jig into action.

    I've been pondering the way to get the vanes around the shaft evenly spaced. I had the thought of using a nut with some flat sides to slip it into, that way I could turn it to 6 different angles, obviously skipping one each time for 3 evenly spaced vanes. Then I had the thought to mount some spring wire accross the nut so as you turn it will click onto each flat surface. I like this idea, as long as it works of course

    My thinking is that I can use a large nut with a bit of softer hose jammed in it so the plastic nock isn't jammed into the metal and damaged. I will solder or glue a bit of wire accross one side for the nock to click into, and screw the bit of spring wire to run accross the nut

    I'll whack up some photos when I make some progress
    eject, EJECT!!
  8. disco stu's Avatar
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    #8
    I'm starting to think of making the clamp part attach to the frame using magnets, and those magnets being mounted on an adjustable stand so I can move it accross for straight offset or dead straight, and also so I can adjust to be exactly in the centre of the shaft. I've got a fair selection of rare earth magnets. My thinking is the vane goes in clamp, apply glue, attach to magnet part and slide down so its firm on the shaft till glue sets

    Anyone think of any issues with doing things this way?

    Just mulling things over before I start attacking some materials. Got some shafts and vanes on the way, so I'm hoping to get this worked out by the end of the week

    The other thing I thought was that instead of having the clamp spring shut, I could use magnets to hold that together also. Not sure if that has any advantage or not though, putting that out there in case there is a particularly good reason to/not to do it that way
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  9. disco stu's Avatar
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    #9
    Okay. I've made the clamp, and figured out with how flexible it is i could have just taped the sides and used clamp to open the middle enough to fit vanes in, but will do that next time

    I've made the other bits for it, including the clicking bit to show how far to turn. I'll try and attach photo but I'm on my phone. The other end is really just a v in the mdf.

    The clamp is going to attach via magnets to an adjustable bit of steel with some rare earth magnets. Can move threes so you can add whatever offset you want, and i may make helical clamp later for it
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  10. disco stu's Avatar
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    #10
    Okay attach time again. Seems to work via mobile
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