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I'll put this in the traditional forum since I assume many of the traditional guys might be able to point me in the right direction. I'm looking to possibly fletch some arrows for this fall with the feathers of the gobbler I shot this spring? Does anyone have advice on where I might find the necessary template/jig to pull off such a feat? Secondly, is there anything that must be done to prepare the feathers? I don't shoot a traditional bow (yet), but I always thought it'd be cool to use arrows fletched with real feathers. Thanks for any insight.
Ryan
 

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Try 3Rivers Archery for some help.
 

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I use the feathers from the birds we harvest to make my own arrow fletchings. I make the c0ck feathers from the wings of turkeys that I harvest. I am a traditional archer and bowhunter and I make all my own equipment.



I like to use whole uncut white feathers for the two hen feathers and a homemade c0ck feather. I found 7 good looking specimens (one is a spare)



Next I split them to get rid of the side that I won’t need.



Then I find the best section in the middle of the length and cut off the ends. These are longer than I need but I will trim them later



Because the split base is way to thick I need to thin them down.



I use a belt sander with a fine grit belt because the bases are pretty soft. I finish them with a sanding block



The thined feather is a lot less beefy.



Next I cut them to their finished length.



After fletching, I use a feather burner to give them their shape.



 

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A few but I am not very talented at it. I need more practice.

I was asked by a friend to make a replica arrow for is den. I picked up some chert stone flakes that worked great for this project.



I used a nice, thin, white piece for the arrowhead.



I made some wood and cooper tools and an antler brow tine to flake away the stone. The leather is to protect my hand as I press the coper tool against the chert. The flakes are sharp.



I started by squaring off the bottom of the flake and then chipped the head to shape.





Lastly I added the grooves to each side that will be used to tie the head to the shaft. This is where I make the most mistakes and break the head.





Next, I used a knife to cut a groove in the end of a wood shaft to accept the stone head.



I will trim away the extra wood after I tie the head on.



]
 

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To tie the head to the shaft, I use the sinew I save from the loins/backstraps from my deer.



It separates into nice thin threads.



I soaked the sinew threads in cold water to soften and stretch them. While waiting, I stained the wood shaft. The sinew does not really get tied onto the shaft. It is more like wrapping a wet noodle around the shaft. After I put on a few layers, I dried it with a blow dryer (just like I'm sure the early people did). This makes it shrink tight. I then rub the sinew with a block of bees wax to waterproof it so it won't get wet and loosen up.







For the fletching, I went back to the turkey feathers and tied them on.

 

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Check out the little chopper for cutting feathers. Works great.....
 

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On the cheap you can just cut them with scissors. May not be perfect but I assure you the deer do not care. I have a burner but it Stinks so I do not always use it. Especially when I am trying out some new shafts. i just do a quick fletch and cut to see how they fly.

Bob Urban
 
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