No announcement yet.

Flat Fan help

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Flat Fan help

    OK folks, as if I'm not busy enough trying to finish my vest, tighten up a pair of mocs and bead a bulltail for my roach, I've got the itch to try making a few flat fans. Now, the beading doesn't concern me-that's the easy part. What I'm trying to figure out is the handle. Now I've heard of everything from a pre cut/shaped one outta wood to a wooden spoon covered in bondo. So I need some help here in that how should I construct this handle and what is the best way to set the feathers in place once I've done the thread and feather work on them? Thanks for the help in advance

  • #2
    There is already a thread that has a lot of ideas going in it so look here:

    Flat Fan

    As to the handle, I used to cut mine out of pine or balsa and shape them myself, but the wooden spoon is less work and that's what I use now.

    I cut the top off of the spoon so that the upper part is as wide as I need it, which will vary depending on the number of feathers you are using. Then I use either my dremel or a table saw to cut away from the cupped side of the spoon so that I'm left with an open "L" shape if you look at the spoon from the side.

    To hold them in there, I usually use wood putty (though I have seen everything from bondo, to hot glue, to even melted crayons.) I fill the "L" groove so that its almost flush with the rest of the handle.

    When I lay my feathers in I start at the center and work my way out. I wrap the "L" section with thread to hold the feather in place. I add 3-4 wraps with the thread each time I place a feather. Once all the feathers are in I check them for twisiting, align the threadwork, etc then I lat it flat under a desktop lamp with the lightbulb about 1 inch over the putty. That speeds the drying of the putty and its usually ready to have the leather wrap in bout 45 minutes.

    That's my method, and only one way of many....


    • #3
      thanks randy


      • #4
        I have used a lot of different things to make fans. These days I use high temp hot glue. I set the feathers then attach a dowel rod and build the handle up to the shape I want. Attach fringe, cover the whole thing with leather and start beading (eventually start beading that is).

        When working with hot glue I start at the outside feathers on a side and attach one to the other working in pairs going from side to side until I reach the center. Then I go back and attach paired feathers together until the whole fan is put together. You can then use the tip of the glue gun to smooth out the glue and shape it. Once the feathers are all ready to be put together it take little more than an hour to have the whole thing ready to bead.

        "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

        "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda

        My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.


        • #5
          Great tip PWB49! I was thinking of trying that with the fan I made this past fall, but was afraid to try it!! I actually used duct tape to get my handle shaped, only because it was something I could easily tear apart if it didnt work out right! But it did hold everything together properly, and I was able to get the handle to conform to my handprint easily. But I will definately try the hot glue next time!!


          • #6
            This is how I make all my fans. I first wash and clean all the tail feathers I get. It gets the blood, waste, and little critters off them. The I blow dry them and steam them back to shape. Once clean I trim thim if they need it. The lay down a large piece of foil on a table. You then lay the feathers down into the fan shape you want. With frosted scotch tape, tape down the feathers cross wise to hold the shape. I typically run two pieces across, one at the top and then one near the base of the feathers. I then get a good size dowl rod to make the start of my handle. I notch the top of the hand half way so th end quills of the feather will sit in the wood. I the place the dowl under the end quills and start layering bondo auto body filler on the quills and the wood dowl. I begin to shape the bondo while still fluid alittle. I repeat the bondo on the back. Now comes the part where you really get the shape the nice "Y" shape we like to see. With a belt sander or a knife and sand paper you shape the handle to your needs. The great thing about this way, is if you mess up you can always take a screwdrive and hammer a crush the bondo to release the feathers and start again. You can set a fan in about 15 mins and finsh the sanding with a belt sander in about 5 mins.
            Tha-ke'-tha-pi Wa-kon-ta


            Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

            Related Topics


            • Traditional Rally
              Help With making a fan (contempory style)
              by Traditional Rally
              Hey there all who read. I'm confused on the new fans. with all of the featherwork and the small dowel handle. you see them in the "crafts" pictures section. I am all stoked on making one for myself know how to do the design but what is used to attach the base of the feather inserts into the...
              06-08-2009, 02:03 AM
            • aNishKwe
              Fan question
              by aNishKwe
              Okay, so I located a fan handle, not detacheable but whole, which is still fine :)

              However, I am wondering what do you use to attach the feathers to the fan. Is there a specific name for that material/piece that I can seek out, perhaps at a art store?
              I'd like to attempt threadwork...
              12-12-2014, 03:37 AM
            • sunktanka_sa77
              flat fans
              by sunktanka_sa77
              okay so im gonna buy loose feathers and thread wrapped extender sticks from walela 49 and i have buckskin and a handle so i jus want to kno if anyone knows where i can go to learn on how to construct one using the extender sticks

              so please anyone?
              05-31-2010, 08:50 PM
            • Rolling Thunder
              Loose or Drop fan
              by Rolling Thunder
              how do you make a drop fan? what would I need? I have feathers already, leather, beads, thread, etc..
              should I use a dowel/stick for the handle?

              Feather Fans by Nicholas Breeze Wood...
              08-11-2007, 09:03 PM
            • Haliwa-Saponi
              How To Make A Tail Feather Fan
              by Haliwa-Saponi
              Hey You Guys! So I Got My New Eagle Feathers For My Fan And Im Learning How To Make All OF My Regalia On My Own Now . ( Yay Me ) ! So I Was Wondering If I Could Get Some Help With The Size Of The Dowels And Feather Work And How To Secure The Dowels In The Fan Handle .
              12-29-2013, 10:19 PM



            There are no results that meet this criteria.

            Sidebar Ad