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Discussion in 'General Archery Forum' started by diamond-vic., Aug 8, 2006.
hey guys, i want to start fletching my own arrows. any suggestions on a good fletcher?
Welcome to the forum diamond-vic. :welcome: I too am going to start fletching some arrows and have heard that Bitzenberger and Jo Jan are both excellent. Now if I can just decide on straight,offset,helical:doh: its so confusing. But thats what makes it so much fun. eace:
I am using a Grayling fletcher, which looks like a Bitzenburger however it's made of a tough fiber filled plastic and costs half as much as the Bitzenburger. You can also get clamps separately in either left or right helical or straight so in case you change your mind you don't have to buy the whole thing again. I have used it on Carbon Express as well as Easton Axis arrows with a lot of success. I probably fletched 5 dozen arrows with it so far and it works very well. The only thing I had to do was mount it to a board for stability. There are 2 slotted holes in the base to be able to do that. I think it works great and is very economical. I think I paid about $36 for it.
As good as the Grayling but about $10 cheaper is the new Bohning fletching jig.
If you can afford it, get a Bitzenberger, but both the Grayling and Bohning are good copies of it and are about equal in quality and ease of use.
The Bitzenberger is easier to set up and the magnet seems a little stronger that the others. But the others are a good value for home fletching.
Well howdy there Ron and welcome to the forum. :welcome:
Thanks for the info on the fletcher is'nt it great first post and he has already helped a few of us out.:rockon: I love this place.eace:
The bitzenburger is top notch. I would strongly suggest buying one. If your going to buy one, why buy one that your going to hae to replace in a few years? buy the best and never have to worry about it :rockon:
Thanks for the nice comments. This is a really nice site and having read a lot of the forum over the past 4 months I decided to toss my hat in the ring this morning. I'm not new to the sport. I'm also not an expert but I'm learning through help from friends that have been in this sport for a very long time. I'm having a blast with it...
Chris, if you see this, it looks like you are doing a heck of a job.
I was testing the water on the home fletching deal so I went with the less expensive 'clone' to save some money. Yes the magnet does appear to be stronger on the Bitzenburger. You can tell when you try and pull the clamp off of it vs. the Grayling. My local shop advised me to try the Grayling since they have had a lot of satisfied customers using it. These guys are pretty good and very experienced so I went with that recommendation. It's not often that a shop actually tries to save you money instead of removing it from your wallet.
One thing to note, you CAN use acetone and other solvents on the Grayling to clean off excess adhesive. This might be fiber filled plastic but it's some really tough stuff.
I personally use Blazer vanes on an Easton ST-Axis shaft and even with the Blazer's being on the stiff side and the Axis shaft being so narrow the Grayling fletcher did an excellent job of holding those vanes against the shaft for the gue to dry so I don't think the magnet strength difference is an issue. The wood base I had to make was an issue before I made it but I think you would have the same issue with the Bitzenburger. You could also mount those things to a work bench but I chose to make mine 'portable'.
Having said that, if I knew I would be fletching some of my friend's shafts (lazy slobs), I would have bought the Bitzenburger. That thing is a quality made tool. It would last a lifetime in your shop unless one of your friends got ahold of it.
I did try (borrow) an Arizona fletching jig for carbon shafts and I could not get a good bond between the Blazer and an ST Axis shaft because the profile of the Axis would not allow the 'petals' of the jig to press the vanes hard enough against the shaft, creating a gap. I don't know if any of you have had that experience. The Grayling is better than the Arizona in my opinion and it's adjustable for offset to boot and I believe it's less expensive.
I've seen the Bohning jig in a current Cabelas catalog but I'm the kind of person who needs to see it in the 'flesh'. Looks OK but I have no clue about it, especially of it's quality.
And, I enjoy having a beer or two, watching a video or outdoor show on TV and fletching shafts in my living room on a crummy day or evening and just kind of soaking it all in... If that makes any sense...
Around here they charge $3 minimum to fletch a shaft. Kiss our B*tts, we should do it ourselves.
I've just started doing my own... don't get discouraged if you screw up the fletching... I've put them on backward, upside down, overglued, underglued... you name it! Its fun though and it saves a bunch of money.
Invest in some good arrow wraps, they'll save you from chopping up your arrows when taking off the old fletchings.
I agree the Bitzenburger is the way to go. I love mine use a straight clamp with it offset right. I have done some for my friends and kinda got sick of them asking so I told one of them to come over and I would show them how to do it. I figured that way I would be teaching them something they could use. I showed him how to do one and came down to the basement to check on him from time to time and all he did was complain about how time consuming it was.:doh: Come on man he was even using fast set glue, I told him it is alot faster than the glue I had used in the past and alot faster than waiting for the shop to finish them, I think that he thought he was just gonna come over and have me do them for him:crazy: I honestly can say that I like doing it sit down on the couch watch a movie and put some vanes on. You kill two birds with one stone, your watching a movie with your wife and your getting your badboys ready for the course or hunting. Shes happy your happy is'nt life great!
Yeah, I agree with Dredly, just roll up your sleeves and try it out.
If you screw one up you can easily slice them off and try again.
Vanes are relatively cheap.
You can also dig out an old shaft that has a broken tip (tree) and practive on that. It just needs to have a nock installed.
I agree, do it right the first time, not only is the Bitzenburger a top notch tool but it may just be the most versital also........I have three right know and another three on order.....that way I can do a half dozen at a time.....I usally sit and type on 3-dshoots, while I am fletching shafts......I must be one of those dumb butts that will still fletch my buddies arrows for nothing...
At the bow shop I used to work in we had a set up that had twelve of the Bitzenburgers on a round piece of plywood, mounted to a swivle for a boat seat.....works great, just like a lazy susan.....when your done w/one you just give her a turn and the next one is in front of you....:rockon:
Hey Adam that swivel setup is the same as at my shop. Those guys can get some arrows fletched up pretty quick. I have a chance to buy a JO-JAN for $60 but really like the Bitz.:decision: :doh: I'm so torn.
The local gander mountain here sells the bitzenburger for $69 complete, jig-receiver-clamp.....
The JO-JAN is the multi-fletcher that will do 6 arrows at a time. So I can get them done a little quicker. But then again its only time and I will be doing something I love.eace: