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Short Cuts
Part 3 of 4

If there are many arrows to be fletched, it may pay to make the feather-trimming jig shown in Figure 120. This jig is easily made and requires the purchase of but a few inexpensive electrical parts.

After the nichrome trimming wire has been shaped to the desired contour of the feather, place the fletched arrow into the jig with the nock end pressed firmly against the left-hand support. By twirling the arrow, the hot wire will singe off the feathers, producing smooth, uniform vanes in a twinkling.

Some archers delight in using brightly colored cock leathers on their arrows. It is difficult, however, to find dyes that can be used successfully for coloring these feathers. It is for this reason that attention is here called to the very good feather dye manufactured by the Sluyter Chemical Co., Old Masonic Temple, Davenport, Iowa.

When sanding arrows on the lathe, it is best to put the piles on first. The pile may then be clamped into the chuck without danger of spoiling the shaft. If the shaft is perfectly true, the loose end may be steadied with the hand. A little experimenting will acquaint the archer with the action of an arrow shaft on the lathe. If the free end of the shaft whips about very much, a hollow dead center also may be used to steady the shaft.

The sandpaper book shown in Figure 121 may be anywhere from 6 to 12 in. long. When in use, it must be moved from end to end over the arrow, and never held in one place for any length of time. Coarse sandpaper is used for roughing, and fine sandpaper for finishing. The sandpaper, or better still, garnet cloth, should be glued into the grooves of the sandpaper book.


More and more archers are beginning to put arrow rests on their bows. The reasons for this are twofold. A feather will sometimes be a little rough or sharp at the end and will give the archer a nasty cut. This may, of course, be overcome by wrapping the forward part of the feather with fine silk and applying shellac over it. An arrow rest will obviate this trouble from the start. Figures 122 and 123 show how the arrow rest may be made and fastened to the bow. Another reason for the arrow rest is that it places the arrow at exactly the same place on the bow each time. To fix the placing of the arrow still more definitely on the bow, a piece of colored silk may be wrapped about the string at the nocking point. Some archers wrap the bowstring so as to produce a slight bulge above the nocking point. The arrow is then set snugly against this bulge, thus definitely nocking it at the same point for each shot.