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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: Maine
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
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Posts: 613

PostPosted: Thu 22 Jan, 2015 3:07 pm    Post subject: Fixative on Arrow Fletching?         Reply with quote

Hello all,
I'm currently researching traditional fletching as I'm trading some forged work for a traditional bow, and am planning on making arrows to go with it. I've found that verdigris was mixed with the rabbit hide glue to stop it from being eaten by insects, and I was wondering if there's something that could be done for the feathers as well (for the same reason), traditionally or otherwise? I am considering a spray fixative, like what they use for pastels, to seal the feathers. Any suggestions are appreciated, and many thanks in advance!

www.addisondelisle.com


Last edited by Addison C. de Lisle on Fri 23 Jan, 2015 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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R. Kolick





Joined: 04 Feb 2012

Posts: 111

PostPosted: Thu 22 Jan, 2015 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been making my own arrows for the last few years and I've never had any problems with the feathers the most damage that they've taken has been from shooting them a lot not insect issues i think that the reason that they used something to keep bug s from eating the arrows was because at least in England the king would keep a very large stash of arrows to equip his archers with on demand and the bugs could do real damage while the arrows where in storage thats just my thought though
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 23 Jan, 2015 12:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of the problems is once you start applying anything to the feathers they loose some of the natural ability to be smoothed/preened back into shape. I have a bundle of arrows here that have been in a shed for about 20 years and have no signs of damage. They are kept in a replica Mary Rose arrow chest and seem to be perfectly happy despite being in not ideal temperatures and humidity.

If you do get signs of insect damage put them in a chest freezer for a few days and treat the storage area.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Terry Thompson




Location: Suburbs of Wash D.C.
Joined: 17 Sep 2010

Posts: 137

PostPosted: Fri 23 Jan, 2015 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Mark has suggested, you're probably better off just protecting the arrows as a whole (put them in a cedar box?), if you're actually having insect issues. Anything you apply to the fletches will interfere with the way the 'zipper-like' barbules latch together.

-Terry
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 23 Jan, 2015 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good suggestion Terry,

mine are in oak or pine but well oiled, maybe critters aren't keen on linseed fumes. If I had a problem putting a cedar block in would be sensible, or even a few spots of cedar oil.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Robert MacPherson
Industry Professional



Location: Jeffersonville USA
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Fri 23 Jan, 2015 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The thing most likely to eat you feathers are dermestid beetles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermestidae They'll eat dried hair, wool, skin, rawhide, feathers, horn, baleen, and tortoise shell. They prefer dark corners and closed spaces, so if you have your arrows sitting out on display, they are unlikely to bother them. If, on the other hand, you have them in a loosely closed box or other closed secluded but non hermetic place, there is a better chance of trouble. The smell of ceder will keep them out, as will naphthalene "moth balls". If you already have an infestation, however, those things will not kill them.

Now, permethrin .... that will kill them outright. If you put your arrows in a tightly sealed space with one of those plastic flea collars for dogs you can be pretty sure you will have no further trouble with insects. The tighter the air seal, the longer the collar will last and the less you will be exposed to the pesticide.

Here is a pic of what dermestids did to my horn nocks while I was not looking.



They did the same thing to my horn framed medieval spectacles. Mad


Mac (a former entomologist)

Robert MacPherson
http://www.lightlink.com/armory/
http://billyandcharlie.com/
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 23 Jan, 2015 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

but remember you cant shoot pesticide tainted arrows at the french, its not Christian. The Turks a different matter of course..

Wink Surprised

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: Maine
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Likes: 27 pages

Posts: 613

PostPosted: Sun 25 Jan, 2015 2:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the information everyone, proper storage sounds like a much better option.

I won't be getting my bow until sometime this summer after I leave France, so temptation averted, hahaha!

www.addisondelisle.com
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