by Barry O’Regan, Bohning® Pro Field Staff
You’ve asked for it, and now its here – a Bohning Tower® Jig designed specifically for feathers! The Feather Tower® reduces your fletching time to a third, increasing arrow production and providing the easiest and most precise 3-feather placement 120° apart. The Feather Tower® accommodates all size arrows from small carbon X10s up to Fat Boys.
The Feather Tower® also includes 2 sets of arms for Right or Left Wing applications, both at a 1 degree helical and will fletch feathers up to 5″ in length. Posts included are Standard, F Nock and Swedged. Every Tower® includes clamp release tape and 2 collar rings: red for use with small carbon up to aluminum shafts, and green for use with fat boy shafts. All Tower® System arms are compatible with the Tower® Jig base, replacement or additional arm sets are sold separately
The Bohning® Company has come up with a feather jig Traditional Archers will appreciate, including those who prefer to build their wood arrows au natural.
The Bohning® Feather Tower also works for Flu Flu feathers as well, taking out the fuss and bother ensuring your Flu Flu feathered arrows are ready to shoot and consistent arrow to arrow.
Whether you shoot wood, carbon or aluminum arrows, the Bohning® Feather Tower can handle them all, from fat to the skinnier arrow shaft diameters.
Bohning® Feather Tower® Jig (Photo A)
Bohning® Feather Tower® jigs like all Bohning Jigs come with an assortment of shaft adapters and will work with virtually any arrow. The difference with the Bohning® Feather Tower® jig is it also comes with a swedge post for wood arrows. In addition the Bohning® Feather Tower® jig comes with specially designed arms to hold feathers, with the green arms for right wing angled feathers, and blue for left wing angled feathers. The locking collars, green for large diameter shafts, and red locking collars for smaller to medium diameter shafts are also included.
The unique feature of the Bohning ® Feather Tower® jig is the ability to take feathers, including large Flu Flu Feathers and ensure uniformity for all three feathers.
For this review we will feature the swedge post included in the Bohning ® Feather Tower® jig, designed for wood arrows, as feathers and wood arrows are the preferred medium for Traditional shooters. Traditional shooters will love this feature, especially those who prefer self nocks or need to ensure the wood grain runs laterally across the nock end of the shaft in order to maintain uniform stiffness.
Now to begin the fletching process
The swedge post installs into the centre of the jig with a screw, once secure, seat your arrow shaft firmly into the swedge post. Changing arrow shaft adapters for each diameter of arrow shaft is a snap, find your adapter to your particular arrow shaft and screw in the adapter from the bottom of the Bohning® Feather Tower® Jig. At this point make sure the lever on the base is pushed all the way to the right. Refer to (Photo B, C, and D)
Take your feathers and slide them into the arm slots. (Photo E)
With all three feathers in their slots, apply Bohning Platinum ® Glue to the base of the feathers. (Photo F)
Fold up the fletching arms carefully; noting the position of freshly glued feathers ensuring they are all aligned equally and then slip the Red Locking Collar (for standard or skinny diameter shafts) or Green Locking Collar (for large diameter shafts) over the top of the arrow shaft down to the locking arms and with equal pressure ensure the locking collar is pressed down snugly only, do not slide the locking collar down too tightly or you will crush or distort your feathers. (Photo G)
Note: Exact height of the locking collar ring will vary depending on the diameter of the shafts used. Push the lever on the base of the jig to the right moves the fletching arms away from the arrow shaft, releasing the lever allows the fletching arms to close around the arrow shaft. Check the position of the Red locking collar when seating it down the fletching arms to ensure the feathers are aligned and pressed snugly against the arrow shaft and the feathers are not distorted.
Wait 3-5 minutes, and lift off the locking collar completely, then pull away the fletching arms one by one slowly away from the arrow. Pull out your arrow, check for the fletch alignment consistency. Place the arrow nock side up and let cure and dry for 4 hours or overnight before installing the nock. (Photo H)
Nock installation can now be completed.
Note the location of the wood grain at the very start and make a marking line where the cock feather should be. When closing the jig arms after applying glue to the feather spine, this line should be aligned with the cock feather.
There are two places the cock feather can be placed and still be perpendicular to the wood grain lines. The better and safer is the side where if you hold the arrow as though you are about to lose it, the chevrons made by the wood grain point forwards on the top side of the shaft.
Note the grain of the wood at the nock end, ensuring the grain of the wood (wetting the end of the wood may reveal grain orientation) is lateral across the nock end of the arrow, noting (using a Black Marker) that the Cock Fletch is in the 12 O’clock position. If wetting the end of the arrow shaft won’t reveal the grain, use 180 grit sandpaper to remove the rough end grain. Once smooth, wet the end and the grain will be clear. This will ensure proper spine stiffness and consistency from arrow to arrow. (Photo I)
Take your sharpener and proceed to sharpen your nock end, apply glue to the nock end and insert your Bohning nock, with a twist motion to remove any air and seat the Bohning nock into the end of the shaft. (Photo J)
You now have a perfectly 1 degree helical fletched arrow with using the Bohning® Feather Tower® Jig. (Photo J)
Installing Flu Flu Feathers using the Bohning® Feather Tower® Jig.
Clean your wood shaft, prep with arrow cleaner, use the dull end of the Bohning Vane Stripper blade to remove all glue residue, dip a scotch pad in alcohol and scrub the shaft. Install your Flu Flu Feathers as you would regular feathers in the Bohning® Feather Tower® Jig. Add a drop of glue at the leading and trailing edges of the feather quill. If using full width feathers like flu-flus, it is helpful to run a bead of glue along the quill ridge to reduce the chance of the feather peeling off. (See Photos 1-7 attached)
Whether you shoot Carbon, Wood or Aluminum arrows or are a FITA Tournament Archer, Bow hunter, 3D Shooter, or Traditionalist, Bohning® has a jig to meet the needs of everyone who is serious about getting the best performance out of their equipment, something Bohning® has proven to do time and time again, clearly better than anyone in the market since.
BOHNING ARCHERY THE WORLD’S ARCHERY EQUIPMENT SOURCE SINCE 1946.