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Helical Feathers Period?

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  • lespaulzoso86 <lespaulzoso86@yahoo.com>
    Can anyone tell me if Helical feathers are period for English Longbowmen. I have found several documents saying how feathers were placed on the shaft but non
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
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      Can anyone tell me if Helical feathers are period for English
      Longbowmen. I have found several documents saying how feathers were
      placed on the shaft but non to say their not period.
    • Godwin fitzGilbert <Godwin@rmci.net>
      ... Sorry, I don t have any specifics that state helically placed feathers were period, but I doubt it. I make that statement from the standpoint that in the
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 2, 2003
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        --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "lespaulzoso86
        <lespaulzoso86@y...>" <lespaulzoso86@y...> wrote:
        > Can anyone tell me if Helical feathers are period for English
        > Longbowmen. I have found several documents saying how feathers were
        > placed on the shaft but non to say their not period.

        Sorry, I don't have any specifics that state helically placed feathers
        were period, but I doubt it. I make that statement from the standpoint
        that in the pictures and descriptions, the feathers in period being
        generally larger than what we use in target shooting now. Having shot
        some Flu-Flu arrows with full left helical, I can say that our period
        brothers probably would not have wanted the reduced range. Out of my
        57# american longbow, I could only get about 100 yards out of that
        arrangement.

        I suspect that with the modernization of the equipment, the feathers
        got smaller, and further logic of mine says to me, that since most
        feathers shot today are turkey feathers, and they don't appear to have
        that small natural helical twist that a bird of flight would have. So
        that may be where the man-made helical twist came from.

        I do have a set of Flu-Flu,s that have straight placed feathers, but
        still give several rotations of spin before hitting the target. It
        would be logical for fletcher to observe that natural spin and think
        "maybe if I placed the feather at an angle, it would spin more"

        Semi-educated guess?

        Godwin
      • Carl West
        ... I ve lost track of the distinction between helical and angled . It s certainly easy to put fletching on at a slight angle so that it wraps around the
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 3, 2003
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          "lespaulzoso86 " wrote:
          >
          > Can anyone tell me if Helical feathers are period for English
          > Longbowmen.

          I've lost track of the distinction between 'helical' and 'angled'.
          It's certainly easy to put fletching on at a slight angle so that it 'wraps' around the shaft by a few degrees. Especially if you're using stripped feathers instead of split ones. Is that helical?

          - Fritz

          --
          Carl West eisen@... http://eisen.home.attbi.com

          I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be stolen out
          of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile.

          - Isabella, Measure for Measure, Act 3 Scene 1
        • jameswolfden <jim.welch@creo.com>
          ... feathers were ... Like the others who have replied to this thread, I have not seen any documentation to indicate whether helical fletching was used or not
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 3, 2003
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            --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "lespaulzoso86
            <lespaulzoso86@y...>" <lespaulzoso86@y...> wrote:
            > Can anyone tell me if Helical feathers are period for English
            > Longbowmen. I have found several documents saying how
            feathers were
            > placed on the shaft but non to say their not period.

            Like the others who have replied to this thread, I have not seen
            any documentation to indicate whether helical fletching was
            used or not but I have the following observation. When I made
            my period arrows earlier this year, I wanted to do some without
            using any jig to glue down the feathers. I didn't use glue either -
            just silk thread. Most of the arrows I did this way, had a small
            helical twist to them even though I was trying to put them on
            straight. So I can see it being done by accident even if it wasn't
            desirable. (Although, next year I will use probably use glue and
            jig.)

            James Wolfden
          • Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie <ka
            ... did this way, had a small ... Greetings to all on the list, and Happy new years...from Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie... I have fletched my own
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 3, 2003
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              >When I made
              > my period arrows earlier this year, I wanted to do some without
              > using any jig to glue down the feathers. ... Most of the arrows I
              did this way, had a small
              > helical twist to them ...

              Greetings to all on the list, and Happy new years...from Yama Kaminari
              no Date Saburou Yukiie...
              I have fletched my own makiwara ya using wild turkey feathers (yea...I
              know...)
              They work fine for close range makiwara use, and I will admit I use
              similarly fletched ya for 28 meters (see previous posts...)
              What I do is glue only the front end of the fletching to the
              shaft...then bind it. after they dry, I pull and straighten the back
              end...glue and bind that...
              The fletching comes out mostly straight, and I do my best to position
              them properly...but I admit that earlier pieces had a sort of helical
              twist to them...
              I am carefull to match the feathers as far as pattern and shape...and
              of course I make left and right ya from left and right feathers...
              Since my first efforts, I have made jigs, which help, and I even made
              a cutting jig...but I find I am better at eye-balling with a long pair
              of cutters as opposed to using the jig...( remember the fletching on
              ya is very long...)
              I have a number of hawks nested in the back fields by my house, and of
              course I would rather use feathers from the predatory birds...but they
              are hard to get...the wild turkey that live over the knoll are easier
              to work with...even though the feathers have a mean helical twist to
              them in general...
              I feal the helical pain...

              Date
              Shi wa hei to de aru...all are equal in the grave
              http://www.kabutographics.com
            • archer3@webtv.net
              Helical in the modern sense is with a specific degree of offset to each feather. Difficult to be that precise when fletching by hand with either split or
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 3, 2003
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                Helical in the modern sense is with a specific degree of offset to
                each feather. Difficult to be that precise when fletching by hand with
                either split or stripped fletchings.
                I tie only. What I have found through practical application is this:
                When using wild feathers I try to match the fletches to first cut from
                the primary, second cut and so on. When using secondary flight feathers
                from a turkey one may get as many as four fletches from one feather.
                This will yield for example a first and second cut right wing right and
                a first and second cut right wing left. Left wing left should not be
                mixed with right wing left and vice versa. No matter how you file or
                sand the quill there will still be a natural pitch to the feather. WIth
                like matched feathers, allowed to lay naturally, you will end up with
                incidental helical also resulting in varying speed of spin for each
                respective arrow. For as straight a natural fletch as I can get I use
                tail feathers, and still get some spin. Once in a great while using tail
                I'll actually get one that doesn't spin at all.
                In regards to mass production of war arrows I doubt they were
                concerned with getting more than one one fletch per feather and if they
                were all first cut primary right or left they would match near enough
                for War purposes. Think they really took the time to try and force the
                fletches straight when producing for war? Common sense says they were
                going for numbers and arrows that were acceptable, not high quality.
                Yeah, I know. Now I'm making assumptions on what the medieval fletcher
                was thinking.

                Damian >>~~~>
              • jrosswebb1@webtv.net
                Greetings, Why on earth would you even want to make an arrow that didn t spin?! You d be launching an inaccurate glider that was effected severely by even
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 3, 2003
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                  Greetings,
                  Why on earth would you even want to make an arrow that didn't
                  spin?! You'd be launching an inaccurate "glider" that was effected
                  severely by even the slightest change in wind current. Because of the
                  natural taper and bend to a feather, even a straight fletch will and
                  SHOULD spin.
                  I shoot only helical high profile fletched arrows. 23/64 shafts
                  spined at 80-85# with 160 grain field points. My arrows are all balanced
                  at about 15% front of center. All of my bows draw in excess of 70#. I
                  may lose some distance compared to a lower profile fletching, but even
                  my slowest bow is reaching speeds in excess of 180 fps(not half bad for
                  a self bow). I am shooting relatively flat at 100 yards. Unless I
                  suddenly feel the need to take game with a shot into the next county, I
                  think I'll stay with this formula. it works and it works well. BTW, my
                  slowest bow is also my heaviest draw weight bow.
                  It is a 6'4" tall D-sectioned horn nocked longbow that draws about
                  93#@28". It may not be my fastest bow, but it shoots my heaviest arrows
                  and packs a heckuva
                  wallop.
                  There is a very good and logical reason for helical fletching.
                  Spin is a good thing.
                  -Geoffrei (who also always wears a bracer. Not that I hit my arm, just
                  that I don't want to that one time while shooting the above^)


                  http://community.webtv.net/jrosswebb1/EASTWINDStribal
                • Talmon Parker
                  And after the first 50 sheafs do you thnk the fleacher realy cared? After all he wasn t going to shoot them. Parker DER BARON ...
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 3, 2003
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                    And after the first 50 sheafs do you thnk the fleacher realy cared?
                    After all he wasn't going to shoot them.


                    Parker


                    DER BARON





                    >From: Jonathan Harton <lespaulzoso86@...>
                    >Reply-To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                    >To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Helical Feathers Period?
                    >Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 09:35:42 -0800 (PST)
                    >
                    >Thanks for the input. I have also not seen any
                    >pictures or resources that state helical feathers were
                    >used, but whos to say someone diden't try it. I also
                    >had the notion that the drag of range would make it
                    >less appealing to someone whos life depens on if they
                    >can kill someone farther away than he can kill him. I
                    >was just getting ready to fletch a set of shafts and
                    >the notion just struck me.
                    >--- "Godwin fitzGilbert <Godwin@...>"
                    ><Godwin@...> wrote:
                    > > --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "lespaulzoso86
                    > > <lespaulzoso86@y...>" <lespaulzoso86@y...> wrote:
                    > > > Can anyone tell me if Helical feathers are period
                    > > for English
                    > > > Longbowmen. I have found several documents saying
                    > > how feathers were
                    > > > placed on the shaft but non to say their not
                    > > period.
                    > >
                    > > Sorry, I don't have any specifics that state
                    > > helically placed feathers
                    > > were period, but I doubt it. I make that statement
                    > > from the standpoint
                    > > that in the pictures and descriptions, the feathers
                    > > in period being
                    > > generally larger than what we use in target shooting
                    > > now. Having shot
                    > > some Flu-Flu arrows with full left helical, I can
                    > > say that our period
                    > > brothers probably would not have wanted the reduced
                    > > range. Out of my
                    > > 57# american longbow, I could only get about 100
                    > > yards out of that
                    > > arrangement.
                    > >
                    > > I suspect that with the modernization of the
                    > > equipment, the feathers
                    > > got smaller, and further logic of mine says to me,
                    > > that since most
                    > > feathers shot today are turkey feathers, and they
                    > > don't appear to have
                    > > that small natural helical twist that a bird of
                    > > flight would have. So
                    > > that may be where the man-made helical twist came
                    > > from.
                    > >
                    > > I do have a set of Flu-Flu,s that have straight
                    > > placed feathers, but
                    > > still give several rotations of spin before hitting
                    > > the target. It
                    > > would be logical for fletcher to observe that
                    > > natural spin and think
                    > > "maybe if I placed the feather at an angle, it would
                    > > spin more"
                    > >
                    > > Semi-educated guess?
                    > >
                    > > Godwin
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >---8<---------------------------------------------
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                    > > leave this list]
                    > >
                    > >
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                    > >
                    >
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                  • Chad and Erin Wilson
                    ... From: ... My arrows are straight fletched and they fly just fine. Even at 40 yards off of a slow 34# longbow. My crossbow bolts
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 3, 2003
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: <jrosswebb1@...>
                      > Greetings,
                      > Why on earth would you even want to make an arrow that didn't
                      > spin?! You'd be launching an inaccurate "glider" that was effected
                      > severely by even the slightest change in wind current. Because of the
                      > natural taper and bend to a feather, even a straight fletch will and
                      > SHOULD spin.

                      My arrows are straight fletched and they fly just fine. Even at 40 yards off of
                      a slow 34# longbow. My crossbow bolts are straight fletched, fly at 170 fps and
                      fly true everytime.

                      Even in high winds.

                      *shrug*

                      But like you said, there is going to be some natural spin anywho.

                      -Caedmon
                    • James W. Pratt, Jr.
                      Yes!! I have seen Geoffrei shoot his logs with leaves still attached. And he does shoot them well. Spin is good but you only need one turn in 100-200 yards
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 4, 2003
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                        Yes!! I have seen Geoffrei shoot his logs with leaves still attached. And
                        he does shoot them well. Spin is good but you only need one turn in 100-200
                        yards to be effective. On lighter bows 25-40 lb. any arrow will spend more
                        time gliding with big feathers. What you will find is a center shot modern
                        recurves will need a lot less feather to pull them strait. And anyone first
                        trying to get a longbow to shoot well should start with the full hight 3-5
                        inch feathers. I am not conviced that zero spin makes an "inaccurat glider"
                        severely effected by "change" in wind current. I do know that slow arrows
                        are effected more by wind drift. Big feathered, rapidly spinning arrows
                        slow down the quikest. Try every thing then use what works for you.

                        James Cunningham

                        > Greetings,
                        > Why on earth would you even want to make an arrow that didn't
                        > spin?! You'd be launching an inaccurate "glider" that was effected
                        > severely by even the slightest change in wind current. Because of the
                        > natural taper and bend to a feather, even a straight fletch will and
                        > SHOULD spin.
                        > I shoot only helical high profile fletched arrows. 23/64 shafts
                        > spined at 80-85# with 160 grain field points. My arrows are all balanced
                        > at about 15% front of center. All of my bows draw in excess of 70#. I
                        > may lose some distance compared to a lower profile fletching, but even
                        > my slowest bow is reaching speeds in excess of 180 fps(not half bad for
                        > a self bow). I am shooting relatively flat at 100 yards. Unless I
                        > suddenly feel the need to take game with a shot into the next county, I
                        > think I'll stay with this formula. it works and it works well. BTW, my
                        > slowest bow is also my heaviest draw weight bow.
                        > It is a 6'4" tall D-sectioned horn nocked longbow that draws about
                        > 93#@28". It may not be my fastest bow, but it shoots my heaviest arrows
                        > and packs a heckuva
                        > wallop.
                        > There is a very good and logical reason for helical fletching.
                        > Spin is a good thing.
                        > -(who also always wears a bracer. Not that I hit my arm, just
                        > that I don't want to that one time while shooting the above^)
                        >
                        >
                        > http://community.webtv.net/jrosswebb1/EASTWINDStribal
                        >
                        >
                        > ---8<---------------------------------------------
                        > Brought to you YahooGroups Ad Free in 2002 by Medieval Mart
                        > Get Medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.medievalmart.com/
                        >
                        > [Email to SCA-Archery-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com to leave this list]
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                      • hanhebin <hamberg@fiber.net>
                        ... Hoyt engineers disagree here. Under high speed video testing Hoyt has discovered that 5 turkey feathers are actually better than spin wings in 18 meter
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 4, 2003
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                          > On lighter bows 25-40 lb. any arrow will spend more time gliding
                          > with big feathers. What you will find is a center shot modern
                          > recurves will need a lot less feather to pull them strait.

                          Hoyt engineers disagree here. Under high speed video testing Hoyt
                          has discovered that 5" turkey feathers are actually better than spin
                          wings in 18 meter indoor shoots. Longer feather fletch stablizes the
                          arrow quicker and under high speed footage start spinning the arrow
                          within 3' from clearing the riser.

                          Michael
                        • banzhof
                          Caedmon said: My arrows are straight fletched and they fly just fine. Even at 40 yards off of ... I agree with this, on 21 inch crossbow bolts with 3 inch
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jan 6, 2003
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                            Caedmon said:


                            ">My arrows are straight fletched and they fly just fine. Even at 40 yards
                            off of
                            >a slow 34# longbow. My crossbow bolts are straight fletched, fly at 170 fps and
                            >fly true everytime.
                            >
                            >Even in high winds.
                            >
                            >*shrug*
                            >
                            >But like you said, there is going to be some natural spin anywho.
                            >
                            >-Caedmon"


                            I agree with this, on 21 inch crossbow bolts with 3 inch straight 3 fletch,
                            I have often watched them on long shots and noted that they are not spining,
                            but they fly true with every shot.

                            Alan of Caerlaverock, Forester of the Greenwood
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