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35275Re: [SCA-Archery] On the subject of binding/whipping fletching

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  • wolfharley@verizon.net
    Feb 13, 2014

      Look me up at Crown,I have done a few sets of period arrows.

      Baron Sveinn

      Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

      From: magnetcoil@... <magnetcoil@...>;
      To: <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>;
      Subject: [SCA-Archery] On the subject of binding/whipping fletching
      Sent: Thu, Feb 13, 2014 10:33:51 PM


      I have a few sets of arrows that I've spiral wrapped/bound/whipped/whatever-you-wanna-call-it (Is there a generally accepted/common term for this? Please advise).  The binding has come undone (broken, really), where the cording passes over the hard, 90 degree angle caused by the modern processing of fletching on the quill - on all sets, regardless of what kind of thread or cording I've used. If I can figure out how to load a pic of what I'm trying to explain, I will.

      I've a video of a guy doing fletch binding using feathers he's cut himself. I'm starting to think that's where my trouble lies - when you split a feather with a knife, and do minimal processing, you don't have that hard, 90 degree edge; it is curved (the radius of the quill).  But before I start investing in bulk, uncut primary and secondary feathers, I was hoping some others who've been down this road could weigh in too.

      1) Does anyone even know what I'm trying to explain? ha ha ha  I realize that's a fairly odd set of sentences in the previous paragraphs, and for that I apologize...

      2) That is: Has anyone else experienced this damage to their binding where it runs over the sharp edge of the quill?  It doesn't happen right away, and not to all of the arrows in a given set, but over much repeated use it seems to invariably occur.

      3) What kind of cordage are people using to bind their fletch? Where do you get it? Annecdotes? I have tried waxed artificial sinew. My experience is that it comes unwound eventually, and because of the wax, if you want to coat it with anything like glue, or shellac it resists. So I went to heavy duty threads, like button hole, "jeans top stitching," carpet thread, 10lb hemp cord (like heavy thread), etc. I would like to investigate silk at some point, and of course, REAL linen - but without knowing sources, weights, "kinds," I'm at a bit of a loss. Real period linen is no better than cotton or cotton/poly thread if it's the WRONG linen thread, so...  There I am.

      I have started the process of making a little tool to take off the hard edge (so's not to have to begin the aforementioned investment in feathers), to make it more of a 45 degree - but quickly came to the conclusion, "well that's stupid, there's gotta be a better way of doing this."

      Interestingly, I really noticed this when I switched from primarily using my longbow (where the arrows pass by nothing but the hardwood of the bow), to my "horsebow," which has a little patch of suede over the leather grip where the arrow passes. The binding of the fletching creates, obviously, a "ribbed" effect on the arrow - could it be just a combination of the hard angle (as a fulcrum point for the thread) and repeated friction with suede?

      I can't imagine going back to un-bound arrows, so any thoughts or advice would be GREATLY appreciated.  Looking to make a new set soon, and would like to avoid this happening again.



      West K.

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