I had the honor to see Mr. Mike Townend at work on the bffi. As promised he made a full featherwing with the aim to make an SBS on one way to handle a full featherwing. The pattern tied is a don star, that means there a lot of JC to tie in. We go into deep on this, I even made a short movie to show the procedure for handle this.
1. the first step is tying in tag/but/tail. We don’t go into this as we assume that this is familiar for everyone.
SBS_01.jpg 6.23K 389 downloads
2. The whole body is made from silver oval tinsel, there will be 6 bodyparts, every part veiled with 2 jungle cock’s back to back. Make the first bodypart (or should I say the last) and then place the upper and lower JC’s.
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Above is the aimed result. Once the appropriate length of the JC is determined the hardest this is to determine and achieve the correct tying angle. To bring the JC in the correct angle, and also stay in this angle, Mike is using tweezers that’s heaten up shortly by a lightner. Keeping the JC for a few seconds on the right angle is the ‘trick’ to keep them like that. When the angle is like we want it to be we are gonna gently open both JC’s, this will make it possible to place the covert between the JC’s afterwards. Because a short movie tells more than thousands words I’ll added a movie of this process.
3. This way the whole bodypart is build. Every next tie-in of the JC must be shortly longer to create the aimed taper. When all JC’s are tied in and the whole body is finished the thread is changed to black thread.
front view of the fly.
SBS_03.jpg 6.47K 513 downloads
It’s hard to see on the picture but due to the space there’s created between the nails the feather fits between them.
4. The wing that will be used here is a macaw covert, the hardest thing when tying full featherwings is keep the profile low enough. Most of the time are the feathers to high what result in bulk on the hookshank when tied. For this reason a lot of tiers are cutting on the downpart of the wing to avoid that. It is very hard to accomplish that whitout leaving noticeable marks. Mike is using a method introduced by Steen Larson, to reduce the with of the wing he eliminates a few fibres sequential.
SBS_04.jpg 6.66K 506 downloads
Only on the last third of the feather Mike removes 2 fibers on equal distance on both side of the rachis. This way the overall with of the feather will be fairly reduced without cutting on the outer edges. Below the result, the upper feather is original, the lowest is after removing the fibers. the result is clearly visible.
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5. When satisfied with the width of the wing we go further by tying it in. first flatten the stems with pliers and tie the wing along the JC’s, don’t try to get it inside.
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6. Only when the wing is placed as preferred the first row of the nails are get from underneath the wing with a needle.
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7. When all done this is the result.
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8. Next steps are tying in woodduck, chatterer, topping and horns. With this as an end result.
SBS_09.jpg 12.57K 583 downloads
9. The final step is cutting the ends and make the head. Because Mike didn’t have enough time to do this on the bffi I had to do this last stage. I did my utmost best not to ruin this beauty.
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I also made a PDF-file available for download.
sbs donstar.pdf 13.03MB 134 downloads
I wanna say a big thanks to Mr. Mike Townend that was so friendly to make this stunning fly for me. Through the whole process he was very patient… I wasn’t there all the time. A lot of the time I was hunting on every stand to find some cool stuff, just like everyone I’m always searching for new and if possible some rare stuff. But I didn’t hear Mr. Mike complaining, not even once,… ever stage he was patiently waiting for me to come by for the shooting. For me it was a very pleasant experience to witness the making of this piece of art. The end-product is shining on my desk right in front of me and very soon I will do it justice by give it the frame it deserves.
Thank you Mike!