Contributors to this thread:
cut off Bitzenburg clamp
Is anyone cutting off the end of the Bitz clamp to better handle 3 to 4" Blazers? If so, can you send a photo and approximately how much you cut off...
A lot of thought went into designing a Bitz jig & clamp. You are going to improve?
Don't under stand what your trying to improve. And why full length is a problem.
Reinventing the perfect mouse trap?
I cut mine off. The front tip of the helical clamp interfered with the shaft when trying to get as much helical as I could with Blazers. Nothing magic, just cut some off. In my case I cut off as much as I could without interfering with the steel plate and hinge. I don't have a photo handy, will be a while until I could take one. Roughly like this sketch.
I used a Dremel cutoff tool and then a file to smooth the cut edges.
How about explaining what you are trying to accomplish. I don't see any issue you would run into with a shorter fletching. Maybe I am missing something.
It's hard to explain, but in my case the front tip of the clamp kept me from getting as much helical as I possibly could with a short fletch.
Even with the drawing, I am still not following. It's not changing the helical. Im not sure either how it interferes with the shaft.. Maybe you can teach me something. I am willing to learn
Like I said, I can't explain, all I can say is in my case no matter how I adjusted the angle dials, the very front tip of my clamp hit the shaft where I didn't want it to. I could care less what you think, but in my case cutting the clamp solved the problem I ran into and the jig now works better for me.
"I could care less what you think, "....that's a little uncalled for.
So did the clamp hitting the shaft cause the fletch not to sit correctly on the shaft? I mean LOTS of folks use 5" fletch on small diameter carbon shafts with maximum helical and don't have an issue.
Ok got mine out adjusted to the most helical possible with back part in center of shaft. Front of clamp was way out past arrow shaft but never hit. Not in the way
It kind of figures it is an adjustment problem.
And with as many folks as there are on here somebody could/can probably help him work.tjrpugh it.
What I'm wondering is how much less smarba could care... ;-)
I have used a bitz a long time I have heard of guys taking them to a belt sander to true up the contact points and once seen a snap shot of randy ulmer with his clamps cut down I just run mine stock and get what I can get and still maintain good adhesion. As for the question to all, why is this site becoming so negative the majority of comments aren’t positive in nature otherwise criticizing . .. if you don’t have a answer to the question don’t question it !!
Count me as someone who cut down my clamp to get as much helical as possible. My contact issue wasn't with hitting the shaft but the jig frame itself. I just took a guess on where to cut and did so with my dremmial. The modification has worked well.
Take a shot at it and if you cut too much you can always get another clamp.
" Take a shot at it and if you cut too much you can always get another clamp. "
Yeah, the Bitz clamps will handle what, 5 1/2 inches? Unless you're shooting 'traditional' with huge feathers for looks that's overkill. I've used 4" feathers in IBO and ASA shooting trad class and that's what I needed to be legal.
Haven't needed to cut clamps down but adjusting tools to work better is sometimes necessary. (Last few years of work some bozo in Personnel decided that all shop workers should use 'standard' hand tools. Never mind that I'd spent an hour getting my pliers 'just right' for the job...)
I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the helical come from the twist in the clamp? Cutting it doesn’t change that, just allows more offset.
Been usin bitzs for 40 yrs. Have fletched every conceivable feather and vane. Can't c the need to ruin a perfectly good jig.
I could care less what you do to your clamp
Let me try to shed some light on this.
The helical clamp has a twist to it. A "double curve" if you will. If you put a short vane in it at one end, it only has half of that curve. To get the maximum twist you need to be centered within the clamp. Or, use a clamp designed for a short vane. (The Bitz jigs were designed for a 5" vane.) To achieve the desired max twist, it's best to put the short vane in the center of the clamp, but then there is too much space between the nock and the vanes. This will get you the best base to shaft contact though and is what I do with my shafts. I just cut the shafts twice. Once an inch too long, fletch, cut another inch off and install the nock. In my opinion, a much better alternative to cutting a clamp.
Perhaps I came across too harsh, but dang, I'm an engineer, done plenty of construction, very handy, yet when I described a situation where cutting the clamp made it work better FOR ME (in response to the OP who had asked if anyone had done it) everyone chimed in "why in the world...it works great for everyone..."
X-man made a very informative suggestion, much appreciated. Although what I don't like about that option is it's hard to re-fletch an arrow since you don't have the ability to cut it off again. Unless I'm misunderstanding something?
I also did a little extra grinding on the clamp where it meets base of vane to help fit and shape the vane to twist around the shaft to work better FOR ME.
From what I've seen, no matter how you adjust/modify a Bitz, it doesn't seem to end up with as much helical on a short vane as some dedicated short-vane jigs from which I've seen arrows fletched (I'm not sure of brands). Still, the way I now have mine set up/modified, it works great for me and was fun to to do a little tinkering.
Regardless whether you choose to modify, the bitz clamps are WAY longer than they need to be for most modern vanes, so there is really no need for the long front end. Maybe it serves no purpose, maybe it gets in the way, maybe it just bugs you, maybe it's just fine, and maybe you like it extra long. It's all good.
If you absolutely need a bigger helical and can’t achieve it, you can always stagger your short vanes to get more airflow over your surface area. IE - you put one at 1” from the nock, one at 1.5” and so on. Sometimes a real aggressive helical doesn’t have any more benefits than a less aggressive twist. Good luck and have fun tinkering. :)
Interesting. I've seen people fletch staggered as you describe, but I can't help but think not being symmetrical is a bad thing (i.e. you never see rocket fins unsymmetrical), although I've never tried it. Can you tell any improvement when you fletch staggered?
I tried it with blazers a while back when they were all the rage. I saw a slight improvement in groups at longer distances past 40 yards. But not so much for a hunting scenario that it would warrant the offsets.
Oh boy!! The staggered vane debate!
I use a helical Bitz and get enough helical on four 2.1” vanes.
And I’m never a coward when it comes to modifying gear. An instructor told me once that “ Any product built for the masses is a series of compromises and never be afraid to make it better suit your needs”.
Great quote Ambush! I feel the same and tweak a lot of things.
I haven't cut mine off but I did file down the end of the clamp where it contacts the shaft- holding the clamp away from the shaft when you try to put pressure on the vane base during adhesion.
Don't see why cutting the clamp off would hurt, so long as you don't need to fletch any long vanes in the future.
I believe both Smarba and Ambush have advanced degrees from MacGyver University. If they have a “better mousetrap” idea or suggestion, I’m all ears.
Damn, All I asked... if anyone cut off the end of a bitz clamp. I appreciate the advise but common guys, is the sarcasm really necessary