This instructable will guide you through fletching your own medieval-ish style arrow. Once completed, you will be able to use these with your favorite bow! Enjoy!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
-Hobby file set
-Choice of wood finish
-Sandpaper (not shown)
-Arrowheads/points (I got these )
-Feather fletches (I got these from E-Bay)
-Blank shafts with appropriate spine for your bow. (I got these from E-Bay)
Step 2: Adding the Knock
To do this you will need to utilize your hack saw and file set. Clamp your arrow to your workbench. With your file (I used the triangular file) file a starting groove for your hack saw. Make sure that this is perpendicular to the direction of the grain of your arrow. (A) After that, cut down approximately half an inch with your hack saw. (B) Use your hobby files to widen the cut until it looks like image C . Ignore the string at the base of the nock, that is from a later step. Use your sandpaper to smooth out the nock, remove any splinters or rough edges, and slightly taper the entrance to make nocking easier.
If you're like me and do not have access to a workbench, I was able to cut my nocks by holding the shaft between my knees, stabilize it with my left hand, and cut the nock with my right. You will have to turn the shaft 180 degrees every few strokes in order too make sure the cut does not angle to one side of the shaft or the other.
At this point you can stain your shafts whatever color you like and add whatever finish you like. I used Tung Oil to make my arrows more resistant to the elements.
Step 3: Attaching the Point
Step 4: Preparing the Feathers
Step 5: Prepare the Arrow for Fletching
I found that when looking at the shaft straight down, if you mark your shaft at the "horizon" of the shaft at each end, that will be approximately 120 degrees. Do that twice, from either end of the cock feather mark, and you should have split the shaft into thirds, each mark 120 degrees from the next.
Step 6: Fletching Step 1
The first thing I do is glue the tip of the feathers to the marks. (A) . There are fletching jigs available that will allow you to completely glue the feather to the shaft making the fletching infinitely easier. I did not use one. I wound some thread around the shaft while the glue was drying to hold the feathers in place.
After the glue dries we are going to whip the ends of the feathers to the shaft. Whipping is commonly used to prevent the ends of rope from unravelling, here, we will be using it to protect the ends of the feathers. We will be using the common whip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_whipping ) to do this.
Pull off approximately 2 feet of of waxed thread and cut it from the spool, set it aside, we will be using it later. Pull off another 2 feet of threat, but do not cut it, instead tie the common whipping over the tips of the feathers that we trimmed earlier. Try to do this as close as possible to the actual vanes of the feathers. (C) Refer to the pictures and the wikipedia link above for a more detailed explanation of how to tie the common whip. (Pictures C-F )
You didn't cut the thread, right? We'll be pulling more off (NO CUTTING) and using it to bind the feathers to the shaft in the next step.
Step 7: Fletching Step 2
Step 8: Fletching Step 3
Once you get to the end of the feathers you'll need to whip them as well. We'll be doing this slightly differently, though. Remember the extra two feet of thread we cut off earlier? We'll be using that, and we'll be calling it thread B. Wrap a couple of turns of thread A around the ends of the feathers, then lay Thread B across it as in picture A . We'll basically be using Thread B as a handle to pull thread A under itself. Wrap thread A around thread B until the ends of the feathers plus another quarter inch of the shaft are covered, then cut thread A, tuck the end into the loop of thread B, then use thread B to pull thread A completely through and out the other side of the wrap. Save thread B, we'll be using it for the final step.
Step 9: Reinforcing the Nock
Step 10: Finished! +Resources
Here are a few resources for you, including youtube videos, diagrams, etc. These are not made by me.
Sinew Wrapping Arrows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KC4D09_Xu8
Fletching Medieval Arrows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pffhKIuuQX8
Building Medieval Arrows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxeFvDgXE54
Binding a Medieval Arrow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GHZ_lf-CVI