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Evaluations : Jason Balazs
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Arrow Building 101
By Jason Balazs
Apr 10, 2006, 05:36

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To Jason Balazs web site Blazin Arrows.

Part 1.

I have been bowhunting for over 20 years.  When I first started, I shot all the time.  Back then, when I lost a fletching the arrow went into a box for me to take to the local archery shop.  I spent countless amounts of money getting my arrows re-fletched.  So one day, I decided to look into doing it myself.  It had to be easy; it sure didn’t look hard for the guy at the archery shop.  After researching my favorite outdoors shopping catalog (We didn’t have the internet back then) I bought one of these multi-fletchers that could do six arrows at a time.  I thought, “Boy, now I am in business.”  I could not have been anymore wrong.  First, I was having problems with glue not adhering to the shafts. Second, some of the vanes would not be even on the arrow. Meaning, one would be forward on the shaft, while one would be set back by the nock.  After a few years and lots of fletching, I was able to get it right.  There were so many things to learn and unfortunately, I had to learn them the hard way. 

It was my pleasure to accept this assignment and pass on the information that I have learned.  I am going to do this in a three part series that will provided you with a step-by-step method to ensure your arrows are perfect, every time.  For this process I will be using Carbon Express Maxima arrow shafts, Easy Eye arrow wraps, Flex Fletch Vanes and bond adhesive and Gateway feathers. For attaching the vanes to the shafts, I will be using the innovative, easy to use Arizona E-Z Fletch.

Shaft preparation

Clean Shafts

First things first, you need to ensure that your arrows are free of any grease or dirt.  This is the most important step in arrow building.  We will be using arrow wraps to glue the vanes to, but you still need to ensure the arrow is free of oil.  I use acetone to clean my arrows and vanes for a couple of reasons.  First, acetone is inexpensive and second, it dries quickly.  Other lacquer thinners and things of that nature take a while to dry and are more expensive.  Now grab an old rag, wet it with some acetone and wipe the arrow where you plan on placing the wrap.  Once you are done, just set the arrows to the side and let them dry for about five minutes. 

Nock installation

 To insert the nocks, simply push the end into the back end of the arrow shaft. Then, utilizing a nock tool, push to ensure the nock is seated. Once seated, you can use the same tool to turn the nock in the shaft.  Keep the nock tool handy, because we will be using it in another chapter.


Applying Wraps

As I mentioned before, we are using the Easy Eye Arrow Wraps.  These waterproof wraps are made of a high performance vinyl with an exclusive 3M adhesive backing that works on Carbon, Wood, Aluminum and Fiberglass shafts. They improve adhesion by 10 times over gluing to any style of shaft and you can use any type of fletching adhesive that you want.

Position below nock on adhesive side of Wrap

First, peel the wrap off of the paper and lay the sticky side up on a mouse-pad or similar cushion type surface. Take your arrow and align the nock end with the wrap. Then slide the arrow until it makes contact with the wrap.  This should be right below your nock of your arrow.  Once contact is made, move the main body of the arrow up until it touches the wrap.

Center evenly on Wrap

Second, Press firmly and roll the arrow shaft across the wrap pushing away from you

Roll shaft onto Wrap

Third, rub the arrow to ensure it is adhered to the shaft completely and you are done.  Presto, in less than 30 seconds you have a nice looking wrapped arrow.

All Wrapped up and ready for step 2.

Like I said before, this is going to be a three part series.  It is imperative that you clean the arrow with something.  Even if you are not using wraps, it only takes a drop of oil to keep a vane from adhering to the shaft.  In the next installment we will cover Vane/feather preparation and attachment to the shaft using the Arizona E-Z Fletch.

 NEXT: Part 2...


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