Sitka Gear
cut off Bitzenburg clamp
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
c5ken 17-Nov-22
Buffalo1 17-Nov-22
Bigdog 21 17-Nov-22
fdp 17-Nov-22
Bowfreak 17-Nov-22
ILbowhntr 17-Nov-22
c5ken 17-Nov-22
smarba 17-Nov-22
smarba 17-Nov-22
JohnMC 17-Nov-22
smarba 17-Nov-22
Fields 17-Nov-22
smarba 17-Nov-22
fdp 17-Nov-22
Bigdog 21 17-Nov-22
fdp 17-Nov-22
Cheesehead Mike 17-Nov-22
Murph 17-Nov-22
Grunt-N-Gobble 18-Nov-22
DanaC 18-Nov-22
ILbowhntr 18-Nov-22
Bent arrow 18-Nov-22
fuzzy 18-Nov-22
x-man 18-Nov-22
smarba 18-Nov-22
Blood 18-Nov-22
smarba 18-Nov-22
Blood 18-Nov-22
Ambush 18-Nov-22
smarba 18-Nov-22
SaddleReaper 18-Nov-22
t-roy 18-Nov-22
c5ken 20-Nov-22
From: c5ken
17-Nov-22
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...

From: Buffalo1
17-Nov-22
A lot of thought went into designing a Bitz jig & clamp. You are going to improve?

From: Bigdog 21
17-Nov-22
Don't under stand what your trying to improve. And why full length is a problem.

From: fdp
17-Nov-22
^^^^^What they said^^^^^

From: Bowfreak
17-Nov-22
What are 4” blazers?

From: ILbowhntr
17-Nov-22
Reinventing the perfect mouse trap?

From: c5ken
17-Nov-22
Wow Sorry I asked

From: smarba
17-Nov-22

smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
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.

From: smarba
17-Nov-22

From: JohnMC
17-Nov-22
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.

From: smarba
17-Nov-22
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.

From: Fields
17-Nov-22
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

From: smarba
17-Nov-22
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.

From: fdp
17-Nov-22
"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.

From: Bigdog 21
17-Nov-22
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

From: fdp
17-Nov-22
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.

17-Nov-22
What I'm wondering is how much less smarba could care... ;-)

From: Murph
17-Nov-22
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 !!

18-Nov-22
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.

From: DanaC
18-Nov-22
" 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...)

From: ILbowhntr
18-Nov-22
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.

From: Bent arrow
18-Nov-22
Been usin bitzs for 40 yrs. Have fletched every conceivable feather and vane. Can't c the need to ruin a perfectly good jig.

From: fuzzy
18-Nov-22
I could care less what you do to your clamp

From: x-man
18-Nov-22
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.

From: smarba
18-Nov-22
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.

From: Blood
18-Nov-22
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. :)

From: smarba
18-Nov-22
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?

From: Blood
18-Nov-22
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.

From: Ambush
18-Nov-22
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”.

From: smarba
18-Nov-22
Great quote Ambush! I feel the same and tweak a lot of things.

From: SaddleReaper
18-Nov-22
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.

From: t-roy
18-Nov-22
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.

From: c5ken
20-Nov-22
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

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