this is a simple instructable on how to make an excalibur quill out of a goose feather
the excalibur part is for a report for school

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Step 1: Pick Your Feather

if you live in an area with a load of geese like i do(Bend Oregon) then this will be easy for you. i do not know if this will work with other kinds of feathers since the only other feathers i can find are pheasant feathers in my dads fly tying kit. i will show you the basic steps on how to tie a free style fly (i hate following normal deschutes river fly patterns) in another instructable sooner or later.

enough about me so find your goose feather or other feather (please comment on whether the feather works or not and tell what kind of feather it is if it works). make sure the size feels right in your hand. also make sure it is pretty shiny and soak it in soapy water for about thirty minutes(this is just for cleaning purpose and it can be only like two minutes or two days, but i have no idea if it affects how good the quill will be)and let dry over night or dry with towels(this ruffles the feather though)

Step 2: Peeling the Feather

this is super easy just tke the feather fibers frow about one inch up the beginning and peel them off
if some of the feather "shell" comes off it is not a big deal unless it goes over a really thin area on the "shell" which are mostly found on thinner feathers

Step 3: Finding a Thick Area and Rough Sharpening

you will need scissors or some other kind of cutters with two edges(i have a handy little plier clipper thing)
so find a thick spot by gingerly squeezing areas on the feather "shell"
once you find a thick spot take the scissors/cutters/snippers/whatever cut at desired angle
by the way its okay if your quill splits from the tip down like a quarter inch just cut lower on the feather

Step 4: Fine Sharpening

just take the rough tip against knfe sharpener(fine sandpaper might work to) and grind till sharpened
the best sharpener is a knife sharpener with a groove in it(probably for sharpening fly hooks again me and my dad are big fly fishermen) so you can jus fit the tip in the groove and sharpen to a fine point


in this step just write the name of your quill on the shiny side of it in sharpie
you should probably find someting else to write it with because it is hard with sharpie
you don't even need to name it just helps you know which is yours
p.s. the writing is backwards because of the camera on the computer

Step 6: Finished

you are finally finished
if the feathers are in your way then just peel off a few more fibers until it is fine
i tried to make ink before but it did not work that well so until i find a good recipe just use an ink stone or maybe you can find and inkwell at Michaels Craft Store or something
any way please nice criticism this is my first instructable

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    10 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 6

    I wish I could find that parrot feather I had when I was smaller....What a beautiful quill pen it would make.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    to make ink, you need to get a piece of charcoal, rub it on sand paper, mix the powder with rubbing alcohol, mix, and you have a good ink


    9 years ago on Step 6

    you chold tape it. i am not talking about tv.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You'll want to take a knife and scrape off the waxy (waterproof) coating about an inch or so at the bottom, or the ink won't flow properly. I read a cool method of making ink with charcoal once, might have to make an instructable if I find it...

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    pease find it i have been trying to make ink for a week and either it will be too thin or too thick post a llink to the ibble once u find it


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I don't quite understand "so you can jus fit the tip in the groove and sharpen to a fine point" - is there a separate tip?

    But, for a classic pen, you should use a pen-knife (rather than a knife sharpener / fine sandpaper) this would make it more authentic.


    2 replies

    (I re-read this and I get the groove bit)
    Nothing wrong with doing it in this way, knife is just the traditional old method.