Imitation feather fletching and method of making same
United States Patent 3895802

Arrow fletching is produced from an indefinite length of synthetic material and includes a plurality of longitudinally aligned vanes cut from a starting strip comprising a web having at least one base flange. Each resultant vane is provided with a blade portion cut from the strip web while the strip base flange provides a pair of diverging foot portions adapted to engage the periphery of an arrow shaft. The material of the vane foot portions may be compatible with the surface of the arrow shaft for attachment thereto by heat sealing means or may carry a suitable adhesive coating thereon for such attachment.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
83/33, 83/879
International Classes:
F42B6/06; (IPC1-7): F41B5/02
Field of Search:
273/16.5C 225
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3508458ROTARY CUTTER WITH HOLD DOWN MEANS1970-04-28Cunningham
3338199Scoring apparatus and method1967-08-29Taylor
3136349Machine for slicing food products1964-06-09Sold
2887319Arrow fletchings1959-05-19Lay
2609049Method of and apparatus for slitting articles1952-09-02Rayburn
2223828Cutting device1940-12-03Larson
2053375Bar making process1936-09-08Nicholas

Primary Examiner:
Shapiro, Paul E.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Groff Jr., Emory L.
Parent Case Data:

This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 248,019, filed Apr. 27, 1972, now abandoned.
What is claimed is

1. A strip of synthetic resinous material for manufacture of a plurality of vane members for an archery arrow comprising:

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 and wherein the directions of said score lines are reversed relative to one another to provide two rows of oppositely reversely positioned adjacent vane members in said strip.

3. The invention as defined in claim 2 and further comprising oppositely positioned longitudinally spaced notch means in the base flange portions to enable separation of said strip into individual vanes.

This invention relates generally to fletching for arrows and more particularly to an imitation feather constructed of a suitable synthetic material such as plastic.

Although the annexed drawing illustrates the concept of the present invention as applied to a feather particularly adapted for use on an arrow shaft, it will be appreciated that the invention may be practiced in connection with any type of projectile employing a vane or feather for the purpose of stabilizing the article trajectory during flight.

It is well known that for many years arrow feathers have been obtained from particular birds, such as turkeys. At the present time it is extremely difficult, especially for a large arrow manufacturer, to obtain an adequate quantity and, more importantly, the necessary quality of natural bird feathers as required for the fletching operation. Many of those feathers which are initially acceptable must later be rejected following the cleaning operation and an attempt to color them, due to the practice of turkey farmers spraying their birds with protective silicones, which measure renders the majority of feathers practically unsuitable for coloring as arrow fletching. In view of the limited supply of suitable natural feathers much experimentation has followed in an effort to provide an acceptable synthetic feather. By the present invention an improved imitation feather is produced from an indeterminant-length strip of extruded synthetic resinous material in a manner that yields an integral vane comprising a blade portion having a base flange including a pair of diverging foot portions.

The present feathers are produced according to a method which includes initially forming a starting strip of extruded plastic material from which are punched out or cut, one or more continuous vane strips each comprising a plurality of interconnected vanes or feathers. The thus produced strips may then be used in a manually operable fletching jig in a manner analogous to the present jigs utilized to fletch arrows with bird feathers, or these same strips may serve as a supply source of vanes to be fed in a continuous manner into an automatic fletching machine. The attachment to an arrow shaft of the foot portions of the instant vanes by either of the above-mentioned methods is facilitated by the very nature of the composition of material comprising the vane. This attachment may be achieved by the application of suitable heating means in order to heat seal the foot portions to the periphery of the arrow shaft, or, alternatively, a pressure sensitive adhesive coating may be applied to the bottom face of the vane foot portions during the formation thereof and protected by means of a suitable cover tape or slip sheet which, of course, would be stripped immediately prior to application to an arrow shaft periphery.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that the present invention proposes a method and article resulting in the formation of an improved synthetic feather or vane which is not subject to the shortcomings of a natural bird feather and additionally concerns an improved manner of attachment to an arrow shaft.

Accordingly, one of the primary objects of the present invention is to provide an improved method of making an imitation feather fletching for arrows.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of making an arrow vane of synthetic resinous material wherein a starting strip of the material is initially formed and from which is subsequently stamped one or more continuous strips each in turn comprising a plurality of completed vanes.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved imitation feather fletching for arrows comprising an integral body of thermoplastic synthetic resinous material.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved imitation fletching including a blade portion having a base flange comprising a pair of foot portions formed of a material compatible with the shaft of an arrow and adapted to be adhesively sealed thereto.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved imitation fletching for arrows comprising a vane strip of synthetic material including a plurality of longitudinally adjacent vanes each including a blade portion attached to a pair of foot portions the outer face of which is provided with a pressure sensitive adhesive for attachment to an arrow shaft.

With these and other objects in view which will more readily appear as the nature of the invention is better understood, the invention consists of the novel construction, combination, and arrangement of parts hereinafter more fully described, illustrated, and claimed.

A preferred and practical embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an extruded starting strip formed of synthetic material and from which a plurality of vanes will be produced.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a starting strip provided with a pressure sensitive adhesive layer, in turn protected by a cover tape.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevation of the starting strip as it appears following the stamping or cutting operation which produces one or more continuous score lines defining the outline of the blade portion of each ultimate vane.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view and illustrates the vane strip as it appears following separation of the waste strip.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side elevation of a vane strip as yielded by the step shown in FIG. 4 and which is about to be severed to provide a plurality of individual unitary vane elements.

FIG. 6 is an end elevation of an arrow shaft as provided with a plurality of vanes according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawing.

Referring now to the drawing, particularly FIG. 1, the base material from which the vane V of the present invention is produced will be seen to comprise a longitudinal starting strip 1 of synthetic resinous material and which includes a central web 2, preferably of constant thickness, bounded along its lateral edges by upper and lower base flanges 3--3. Any suitable synthetic resinous composition may be utilized in forming the starting strip 1. Preferably this composition will have thermoplastic properties and the strip will be produced by well-known extrusion apparatus. With the starting strip 1 at hand the next step in the production of the imitation feather fletching vane V consists of punching or stamping the web 2 of the strip to provide the continuous score lines 4 shown most clearly in FIG. 3 of the drawing. This figure sillustrates a pair of score lines 4 one each cooperating with each of the base flanges 3 of the strip 1 such that during a single pass of the starting strip through an appropriate punch or die press it will be seen that a pair of vane strips 5 will be produced concurrently. Quite obviously, a single score line 4 may be provided at any one time to a starting strip 1 and the balance of the starting strip may then be subsequently used at a later date to obtain a second vane strip 5 therefrom. Alternatively, a starting strip may be initially produced with only one base flange 3 such that but a single vane strip 5 may be formed therefrom. Such a starting strip could then have a T-cross section as opposed to the "H" section shown in the drawing.

Regardless of the configuration of the selected starting strip it is pointed out that prior to the provision of the score lines, the strip should be normalized, aged or heat treated by passing through an elevated temperature tunnel or box while under tension or on a track. This normalizing thereby precludes distortion of an installed vane as it is subjected to fluctuating elemental conditions.

The score line 4 is referred to as continuous in that the vane outline as produced thereby comprises a single line throughout the entire longitudinal extent of the starting strip. At points corresponding to the forward and rearward limits of each ultimate vane V the score line 4 is contiguous with the laterally diverging foot portions 6--6 comprising each base flange 3 adjacent the leading edge 7 and trailing edge 8 respectively of each vane.

The starting strip 1 as modified at this point may be conveniently shipped and stored by merely festooning an indefinite length of the strip in a suitable container or by winding it about itself or upon a reel. At any time prior to application of the vanes V to an arrow shaft 9 the score lines 4 are completely broken, as shown in FIG. 4 of the drawing. During this operation it will be seen that the intermediate or adjacent waste strip 10 will be severed from the laterally disposed vane strips 5--5 to provide, as shown in this figure, two separate independent vane strips. Quite obviously, if the suggested modified starting strip 1 is employed, wherein only a single score line 4 was applied to the starting strip, then only a single vane strip 5 would be produced. In either case the vane strip 5 is prepared for subsequent attachment to an arrow shaft 9 by the formation of oppositely disposed notches 11--11 cut through the pair of foot portions 6--6 intermediate each opposing trailing edge 8 and leading edge 7 thereby further defining the limits of each ultimate vane V.

If the vane strip 5 as thus formed is destined to be utilized in an automatic apparatus for application to an arrow shaft then it will be understood that the free end of the vane strip adjacent the leading edge 7 will be introduced into such an apparatus which would include automatic means for advancing the vane strip and sequentially completely severing the base flange 3 between each pair of opposed notches 11 in order to yield individual vanes V. On the other hand, the same vane strip 5 may be readily utilized in the application of vanes to an arrow shaft by means of a manually operated fletching jig in which case the jig may be either modified to include means for severing the base flange through each pair of opposed notches or the operator may merely manually sever each vane from its strip. Whatever the type of apparatus being used to apply the vanes to an arrow shaft, the actual affixing of the vane to the periphery of the shaft may be accomplished preferably by either of any two methods. The thermoplastic nature of the material comprising the vane lends itself to ready attachment upon the application of heat by any suitable well known means such that the plasticity of the foot portions 6--6 of the vane base flange 3 will be modified to an extent sufficient to bring about adhesion with the periphery of the arrow shaft 9. This adhesive action may be facilitated if the shaft periphery has been previously coated with a compatible thermoplastic material.

Alternatively, the vanes may be attached to the arrow shaft by means of a pressure sensitive adhesive coating 12 which may be applied to the outer face 13 of each base flange 3 at any time during the fabrication of the vane strips 5. In order to protect the applied adhesive layer 12 a suitable cover tape or slip sheet 13 overlies the same and will be understood to be stripped therefrom immediately before attachment to an arrow shaft 9.