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How does one fletch?

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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How does one fletch?

Unread postAuthor: noob of noobs » Fri May 23, 2008 10:13 pm

I'm trying to develop a high power but higher accuracy "plinking ammo" for my upcoming 1/2" gun. Since rifling is a somewhat flawed art among us, I figure the next best way to ensure consistent accuracy is to use vaned projectiles.
However, fletching typically requires a jig (which I don't have) and glue, which I'd like to try to avoid. So my question here is how do you guys attatch vains? I realize that they have to be absolutely straight or accuracy will be compromised, but I just don't understand how to make this happen. Any ideas?

I brought some of my own ideas to the table here myself. This is a design that I tried on blowgun darts with little sucess, but I feel that I couldn't create accurate "mitre" cuts with my hacksaw and eye alone. Therefore, accuracy was compromised. I might get a drill press for my birthaday, and I could get a cutting bit for it in order to make these accurate cuts. Does this look good?
Thanks for your time. :D
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Fri May 23, 2008 11:49 pm

Feather fletch...glue and tie em down with string. Put a slight pitch on the fletchs (slight angle) so as to induce spin with your projectile. Here's some info... http://www.primitiveways.com/fletching_by_hand.html
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Sat May 24, 2008 12:06 am

Paper fins attached with Gorilla Glue or epoxy or ....? The water rocket folks use paper, cardboard, flatened soda bottles ... for the fin material.

Do the fins really need to be that precisely positioned?

Just run a scroll saw blade up the butt of the shaft twice at ~right angles to each other. Use a flatened soda bottle for the fin material, make a 90 degree bend down the center and install two of them in the shaft. Run a bead of glue down the joint and you're done?
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Unread postAuthor: ammosmoke » Sat May 24, 2008 12:23 am

You can use electrical tape to make vanes. To position them properly, do it estes style. Just make a ruler out of paper, and mark it for the fin spots. Easy.
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Unread postAuthor: hi » Mon May 26, 2008 6:18 pm

do you realy thnk that native americans used flething jigs?

didnt think so...

i have fletched my own arrows simply by splitting an feather and attaching them to a dowel with super glue and string. with a little practice, they are as accurate as store bought arrows. i coudnever get the shafts to last. normally the only lasted 2 or 3 shots before the broke, but thats not the fletchings falt.

i find that big feathers (off of big birds) work best. you can get tehm at art stores and i think at walmart.
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Unread postAuthor: VH_man » Mon May 26, 2008 6:28 pm

by the way.......

a little tirick

to make sure your fins stay straight, draw some lines down the dowel

to do so.... just put the dowel in a doorframe and draw away. this has helped me multiple times in doing things like installing scope rails or.... putting fins on rockets.

EDIT:

also, if you look at old-school arrows, the fletching is actually half-feathers tied down at both the front and the back of the arrow.

(there are no slits in arrows)
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Unread postAuthor: jr » Mon May 26, 2008 7:14 pm

I would think that the slits in the arrow might cause it to split on impact.
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