Fletch Arrows with Super Glue

Whether you use your bow as a hobby, for hunting or for sports knowing how to keep your equipment in the best shape is important. Not only does that mean taking care of your bow but also you arrows. A common way to personalize your arrows, and save money, is to fletch your arrows yourself instead of buying them pre-fletched. This allows the ability to customize your arrows, as well as repair a damaged set of fletching. Though you can buy fletching glue, also called archery glue, you can also use superglue. Super glue can be particularly useful if you are in an area where archery supplies are difficult to acquire. These instructions will give you the basic outline of how to apply new fletching as well as giving tips on ways to make sure your fletching application is the well done.

What is Arrow Fletching?

archery supplies

Arrow fetching is the attachments at the end of your arrows that help to stabilize its flight path. Originally made of feathers, goose feathers were particularly prized for this use, modern fletching can also include materials such as vanes, make of flexible plastic, and synthetic feathers.

It is important to make sure your chosen fletching is compatible with your arrow shaft. Certain shaft or fletching materials need specialized glue which can damage other components if you are not careful.

What Do You Need for Fletching?

At its most basic all you need to fletch your arrows is your arrow, fletching material and glue but there are many other items that can make your life easier. So here are the common items needed to fletch your arrows.

super glue

                                                                          

  • Glue- Glue used for fletching needs to be relatively fast drying and will need to bond well with the materials used in the shaft and fletching.
  • Starbond EM-2000 Thick viscosity super glue can reduce the chance of the glue shifting.
  • Starbond EM-150 Medium viscosity can also be used as the shaft should only have a small amount of glue applied and be held steady. reducing the benefits of the high viscosity while being easier to apply and will leave less fouling or excess glue. Just ensure it is thick enough to be easily applied.

Archery Supplies

  • Arrow Shaft/s- Arrow shafts can be made of many materials, from the classic wood to the more modern carbon or aluminum.
  • Fletching material- As mentioned above this can include numerous materials, but feathers or vanes are the most common. Fletching also comes in a range of lengths, you may need to work out what is best for you.
  • Fletching Jig- This is used to apply glue to the shaft.
  • Fletching Clamp-Used to hold the arrow firmly in place while attaching fletching. Incredibly useful for those trying off-set or helical patterns.

How to Fletch Your Arrows

1. Clean the arrow shaft. Using alcohol or other cleaning method that leaves no residue, ensure that your arrow shaft is clean and ready to attach your fletching. If you are reapplying fletching ensure to remove all glue, and/or wrap, residue before applying the new fletching.

2. Decide fletching and desire application orientation. Make sure you have the correct type of fletching for your desired use and that its length and shape works well with the arrow shaft you are using. At this point make sure you know how you want to place your fletching. There are many common arrow fletch set ups which include straight, off-set and helical among others.

3. Apply glue. This can be done by hand, and some fletching configurations may require that, but it is much easier to use a jig or other tool to help ensure correct placement. Just remember that fletching should be far enough down the arrow shaft to allow room to nock and hold easier. This will typically be 1-2 inches.

4. At this point apply your fletching. Some jigs will hold the fletching in place while it dries others will need hand application onto the glue. As with gluing specialized fletching configurations will commonly need hand application.

5. Wait for the glue to set. Once the glue has set, and cured depending on the glue you use, you should clean up excess glue and carefully check that the fletching is firmly attached to the arrow shaft.

Tip and Tricks

· For fletching reapplication or if you are having difficulties with adhesion, using a scrubber, such as a green dish washing scrubber, can make it easier for the glue to create a strong bond. This also removes excess glue or other substances from previous fletching applications.

· For extra strength placing a small bead of glue at both ends of your fletching, after application to the shaft and drying can greatly increase durability and reduce the chances of the fletching becoming unstuck from the arrow shaft.

· Certain glues work better for certain materials. Super glue is a good all-around adhesive but may not be suitable for aluminum shafts. It is always a good idea to check if your glue works on a particular surface. Even doing a trial application may be in order.

· Glue applicators can make applying a fine line of glue much easier and are worth trying to acquire.

· Keeping a rag nearby during application can allow you to quickly remove excess glue from your arrow shaft or tools.

· When using off-set fletching configuration there is no real different between which direction the off-set is. The arrow will not begin to spin until after it leaves the bow, making any orientation is fine. Do what you find the most convenient.

· When cleaning the shaft it is best to use denatured alcohol, as rubbing alcohol often has some oil content, which can make adhesives ineffective or behave strangely. Isopropyl alcohol may also be a good choice and its generally cheaper.

· Arrow wraps may make fletching easier to apply and add a splash of color which not only customizes your arrows but can make them easier to find if you overshoot or miss your target.

The convenience of being able to fletch your own arrows is worth any learning curve but hopefully with these instructions and tips you should be able to apply your own fletching and know the best way to do this with your preferred materials.