Author Topic: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?  (Read 5898 times)

Offline surfivor

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how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« on: September 26, 2009, 01:48:01 AM »

 How did the indians make the fletchings straight on arrows ? They didn't have any of those modern tools, though I heard that some of them claimed they could hit a tennis ball sized target at 100 yards.

Offline wyomiles

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Re: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 02:01:02 PM »
surfivor, Can you acquire  a copy of "The Mystic Warriors Of The Plains" by Thomas E. Mails?  I think you would find it very interesting. He has a very nice section explaining the making of Bows and arrows. The tools and supplies used.

I am not sure I understand your question. The fletching was not straight it was spiralled around the shaft.

Offline surfivor

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Re: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 02:12:37 PM »

 ok, I guess it is, but a fletching tool is used that I have seen .. did the indians use a tool ?

 Thanks for the book reference

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 06:25:45 PM »
On many of the "native" arrows the fletching wouldn't be attached entirely to the shaft of the arrow. 

Some were tied down only at the leading edge & the back edge of the fletching.  Some fletching was tied down in a spiral fashion from front to rear with the tying material slipped between the feathers so as to attach the fletching.

I'm not sure if it was normal for fletchings to be attached with some type of glue material such as hide glue or pitch.  I haven't done that much research on the subject.  The glues of that period wouldn't have been waterproof, aside from pine pitch I believe, so I doubt that it was widely used.  Most waterproofing of the era was done with various types of fat or grease rendered from animals & then worked in by hand to attain the waterproofing.
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Offline ubergeek

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Re: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 06:28:42 PM »
Maybe they had a jig of some type? I don't have any skill to do it any other way than to use my jig that I got from Bass Pro.
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Offline surfivor

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Re: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 06:34:51 PM »

 After wondering about this a bit, I looked it up in my book. I was surprised to read in the book by Douglass Spotted Eagle that he says many indian arrows where flechted straight. He really only says that you should not use fletching from a left and right feather together or from the opposite side of the same feather. He says you can put a spiral on the arrow to add stability, but doesn't really give the impression that you got to do it. This is from an indian who won many archery contests ..

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2009, 12:24:31 PM »
Yes--fletching was usually tied on, and often only two feathers were used.

Putting them on is easy. Just tie them on lightly, and position them by eye. Then add the apiral wrap of sinew or plant thread, or just tighten up the front & rear wraps.

Primitive bows and arrows were well made, usually, but nobody obsessed about perfection. Good enough was what mattered.

Even arrow straighteners were operated by hand and judged by eye.
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Son_of_the_Republic

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Re: how did the indians fletch arrows to be straight ?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 01:38:21 PM »
Ray Mears has a video on making Bow n arrows here on youtube somewhere....