Fletching arrows is one of the first steps that arrow-builders can take in learning how to build their own arrows. Vanes provide the needed stability for shooting any distance over a few feet and fletching arrows is not a difficult task to learn. All that is needed are a few simple tools (all available at any outdoor store) and some time and patience. The most basic, three vane helical fletch, is outlined below.
Place a nocked arrow shaft in the fletching tool stand. Attach the "nock feather" first (which is simply a different color vane that is used to indicate which way the arrow is to be nocked on the bowstring).
Place the vane in the fletching tool, put fletching tape on the vane, and then spread a thin layer of fletching glue on top of the tape.
Place the vane into the fletching tool stand and press the freshly glued vane onto the arrow shaft. Wait approximately 3 minutes to let the glue and tape set.
Remove the fletching tool from the stand (be careful not to pull off the newly glued vane) and turn the arrow shaft to accomodate the next arrow.
Repeat Steps 1 through 4--two more times--to complete the three vane, helical fletch on your arrow. Remove the arrow and move onto the next shaft.
- Fletching glue and tape sticks best to unpainted surfaces. Avoid painting your arrows unless a full clear coat is also applied to the cresting prior to fletching the arrows.
- Once you have completed 6 to 12 arrows, you will have become pretty proficient at this particular technique and can begin exploring other fletching patterns and types.