Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: dying natural turkey feathers for fletching

  1. #1
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    363

    Default dying natural turkey feathers for fletching

    I enjoy making my own arrows. Ive been making them for about 35 years. While I enjoy compounds and recurves,, I also make my own longbows and my own broadheads to hunt with. Likewise I make my own cedar arrows. I took a few pictures of the last batch I am working on. This not the ONLY way to make arrows. Its just one way. There is more than one way to skin a cat and while I love cats, I canít eat a whole one by myself but I digress.

    We save the wings from the birds we kill so we can make them fly again.



    I like to use the primary feathers but I also use the secondary feathers if they seem fitting for the purpose.



    I trim away both ends that are less than useful.



    Turkeys are dirty, smelly, oily birds so the feathers need a bath in warm soapy water



    Even though this turkey died once, Its gonna get dyed again. This time red but sometimes green or yellow, etc. I use RIT dye, really hot water and a little vinegar.



    After a rinse and air drying.



    Lots of folks use a razor knife to split their feathers and I have done it that way for years but I find a 14 tooth very thin bandsaw blade offers more control and is a bit easier/safer.





    I fabricated a holder that allows me to grind/sand the base and sides of the feathers. Nothing fancy but it works.









    Then a trip on the drill press against a sanding drum with a wood spacer slightly larger in Diameter than the drum to allow for consistent spacing.









    I donít chop my feather although that is a perfectly fine method to employ. I tend to burn my feathers either in advance of fletching using a simple clamp I made from office supplies and a red hot wire.



    Or I burn them after fletching (also using a hot wire)





    I like to dip and crest my cedars in colors that match the feathers.



    I have a few fletching jigs that date back pretty far but for a bit more helical I use this newer Bohning jig.





    Here is another batch.



    Couple that with a homemade broadhead and it makes for one very satisfying way to pass the time and a way to increase the level of satisfaction and accomplishment when you take game with a homemade bow and homemade arrows.

  2. #2
    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chugiak, Alaska
    Posts
    682

    Default

    Okay RC, there must be something that you've worked on recently that didn't turn out perfect. Right?

    Seriously, those are beautiful arrows.

  3. #3
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    Okay RC, there must be something that you've worked on recently that didn't turn out perfect. Right?

    Seriously, those are beautiful arrows.
    Ha...!!! If he doesn't mess up at least once in awhile, then he's not from this planet...!!!

    I know what you mean though......he does incredible work for sure.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  4. #4
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    363

    Default

    I mess up all the time. In fact, Thats when I learn the most. There is little to be learned from instant sucess. Hardship and failure is what teaches us. Above all, never live in fear of failing because that leads to fear of trying.

  5. #5
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
    Posts
    9,748

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rancid Crabtree View Post
    I mess up all the time. In fact, Thats when I learn the most. There is little to be learned from instant sucess. Hardship and failure is what teaches us. Above all, never live in fear of failing because that leads to fear of trying.
    No truer words......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  6. #6
    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Those are absolutely beautiful arrows. Makes my arrows built with modern components look ugly when conpared to the craftsmanship of yours. Well done and thanks for sharing!

  7. #7
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,986

    Default

    Rancid is most crafty...he excels in his workmanship.
    "Grin and Bear It"

  8. #8
    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Beautiful work. Rancid, do you have a blog or a website? I'd love to see more of your work.
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •