Bohning Platium glue
Saw this review of glues the other day. I am no lab technician that can analyze glue characteristics or break downs of glue. I just know what works and to me, prepping the arrow shaft is paramount.
Bohning glue was said to be on the bottom end of things, low grade for carbon and lower for that of fletching aluminum arrows. Said was Bohning acknowledging a weakness due to resins no longer available. I don't know this for fact and the only way Fact can be accepted is speaking with Bohning, not some write up they had no hand in.
I fletch arrows...carbon arrows. Aluminum is almost a thing of the past when hunting or 3D is the need. Yes, aluminum is good and I've thought of buying some, but still, carbon arrows are the leaders now.
I use Bohning Platinum Fletch-Tite glue for virtually 100% of the shop's and my needs. For the better part of 3 years I fletched something of 1 dozen arrows per week at the shop. No one has chewed my butt. No one has beat me about the head and shoulders. I have not heard complaints coming from other people or shops. If nothing else there are a couple shops and people that are my "best customers." Yep, I've re-done quite a few arrows because of them.
Holding qualities. Now, glue is to hold the fletching on for a good period of time, not fail through normal use. It also should have qualities that go towards the next fletching of. Yep, it has to come off reasonably well, not like steel welded to steel. And I have had some arrows that were a royal pain to scrap glue from. Some glue removal even took off the outter coating of arrows. This is not good.
Along with qualities is what type glue is recommended by vane makers. Most don't claim a certain glue, but qualities desired, if you can understand the technical stuff they have in print. I use Platinum with every brand of vanes, Bohning, AAE, Duravane, Fusions and whatever. Read some complaints of different brands not sticking and Fusions stood out for a while, but I never had any issues other than the base rippling. "They'll fall off!" Well, I've have some that haven't fell off and this going on over a year.
I am not sponsored by Bohning. I'm not cutting down other glues or people who wish to use other glues. What works for you, works.
I may have stated it in some other post, but will give again; I've tested vanes and several in one day and usually real quick. 5 to 7 minutes is enough time to turn for the next vane. I also have been known to shoot arrows right out of the jig, give maybe five minutes through taking the arrow and my bow to the indoor range and selecting what target I want to use. BUT! I don't shoot through targets or cardboard and when pulling the arrow I make sure my hand won't slip to run over freshly glued vanes.
Sudden jars dislodging vanes glued with Platinum? I don't think so.
I've used a multitude of glues over the decades for feathers or vanes on different types of arrows. I used Fletch Tite Platinum for a while now but just recently went back to one of my favorites from back in the 70's----ArrowMate NPV. Surprisingly it works as well on carbon arrows as it did on aluminum way back when. You are so right about one thing, Sonny. Shaft cleaning and preparation is the real secret.
One type of glue I have really gotten away from is any type of Superglue. They set up quicker for sure, but most become brittle and are a real PITA to remove from the shaft when preparing for refletching.
Being mostly a feather guy I used some of the first generation of fletching tape. It worked as advertised with the only problem being that feathers want to curl and the tape didn't completely stop this. I always spot glue both ends, but even during this process the feathers curled. I might have to get some newer tape and see if it has improved since those early days some 35 years ago.
I tried the bohning glue, but wasnt very convinced. i use regular super glue, its easy to get and works good enough.
how do you prepare your shafts? i just clean them with alcoholic cleaner/ benzine and thats it..
Bohning Platium glue
First, I've ran into some new in the box arrows that were flat stubborn. I don't know the cause, but the shafts virtually refused to be fletched with any glue I have on hand, super glues, fast sets and all. Something in the coating I believe. Some serious scuffing and good soaking was performed to get them to take vanes.
Arrow prep usually goes like this;
I use a Saunders fletching stripper which has a double ended blade. Angled, guide legs aligns to the shaft and follows through without damaging the shaft. Blades are easily sharpened with a dremel tool. You can get them too sharp. When the shop had another employee I had to tell him not to press.
Vane and glue removed (as in totally) I use a pad of Scotch Brite to further clean and scuff the shaft. If a line is there where the fletching was it gets scuffed until gone. Okay, you don't want to glue on top of glue.
I then clean the shaft with a area of a folded paper towel soaked with denatured alcohol. Not rubbing alcohol as it has a oil base, some more than others. I don't use acetone either. Denatured alcohol cleans and then dries in seconds (like super fast). I may do this twice depending upon the carbon black left on the paper towel. How do you know you have it clean? Cause you'll hear a squeak when rubbing the shaft. The shaft where the fletching goes is not touched in any manner, no fingers, no table tops, just set so the shaft is in the air.
Same procedure, but you can use hot tap water. Not well water as it may contain minerals, may leave residue. Let air dry or use paper towel.
Scotch Brite; After a dozen arrows I wash out the pad to get rid of the carbon dust.
The above works the vast majority of time, but stubborn shafts may get light emery cloth to scuff a bit more.
I never clean the base of the vane. Some brands even note this. And if they do they recommend what to use. Follow it.
Glue is kept out of direct sunlight. Some I even keep the refrigerator to prolong life. Shelf life; New, some dry up and some good for years.
Jigs must be set up correctly. The base has to seat properly to the shaft. In some instances the clamp must be made to seat the vane properly and this usually with short vanes. I think I posted a picture of my procedure of clamping short vanes, but will give again. Shown is a Jo-Jan clamp, but works with other clamps.
Jigs are jigs and no one seems to be better than the next. If not watched all will give fletchings unequally spaced. Even the much acclaimed Bitzenberger is no better. What will make the Bitz better is the Zenith kit which will center the shaft perfectly...if set up right. Bitz will make clamps to suit individual desires or needs. Must contact Bitz information of what is needed - may have to send arrow and vanes.
Jigs I have on-hand; Bitzenberger (2, 1 still new in box), Martin (straight and a nameless 5 degree clamp), Jo-Jan (straight and full helical clamps), and two Jo-Jan multi-Fletchers (1 with straight clamps and 1 with full helical clamps). I use the Jo-Jan multi fletchers for all my fletcing needs.
I use the E-Z fletch and I have to say that after trying a few clamp based fletching tools.... Never again. This one is simple, works great and is super fast.
Bohning Platium glue
I've used more fletching jigs than I have noted above. The Arizona and Bohning Towers, Bohning Helix, and Grayling (same as Martin) and a couple of more I can't remember.
The Arizona Tower works and I won't deny it, but I haven't seen it for mass producing arrows at any shop. It has the same issues as the Bohning Tower, excess glue getting where you don't want it (more a human fault).
I like Bohning products, but the Bohning Tower is one that I don't care for. The newest version is probably the best version with the fitted collar, but far from full proof. It's plastic and plastic gives and vanes being glued move. Bohning comes with aluminum strips to cover the clamps (can use scotch tape).
We had one new in the box Bohning Tower that no one wanted and even updated no one wanted it. I finally reduced the cost to $25.00 and out the door, no tax, and it was finally gone. Updated with; Newer version fitted collar and extensions for the clamps that gave nearer fletching placement of factory arrows (still too close to the nock). This could have been corrected by placing/gluing guage material on the inside of the clamp, but I didn't.
The Bohning Helix I gave away to just get rid of it. Forcing the fletching holder to the body wasn't my idea of being right and the holder did bend to made to go in place.
The Jo-Jans are completely adjustable to take virtually any arrow diameter. I have not tried the smaller diameter Nanos. I know of one shop that has a Lazy Susan (turn table) set up with I believe 24 Jo-Jans.
All my clamps for any of my jigs are marked for fletching placement as per factory arrows, 1 inch from the end of the shaft. Check if you wish, but virtually all factory placement is 1 1/2" from the bottom of the nock. And I total dislike feathers or vanes to touch my face.
Said is feathers and vanes factory set are to allow for finger shooters. And just how many finger shooters do we have today? 1 in 150? Less, more? How many different makers of arrows have come about in the last few years and all after finger shooters became a thing of the past? PSE followed in the foot steps of Carbon Express. Victory. Black Eagle. Harvest Time Archery. Muddy Outdoors. And quite a few smaller companies.
Said is the farther feathers or vanes set back the better guidance. Someone would have to prove to me 1/4" to 1/2" over a arrow length would give that much better guidance gain.