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34378RE: Re: [SCA-Archery] Fletching article

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  • Groff, Garth (ggg9y)
    Sep 26, 2013



      It has been suggested in various books and articles that arrows were fletched with fish scale glue. I don’t know if fish glue was as strong as glue made from hides or hoofs and could have been used for an arrow rest, but it is one more thing to consider. It was probably made in a very similar way to hide glues – lots of stinky boiling stuff, and probably applied hot. (Yecch!).


      Yours Aye,


      Lord Mungo Napier, The Archer of Mallard Lodge

      Read “The Tale of Mungo Napier”:






      From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of cogworks@...
      Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 9:24 AM
      To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: Re: [SCA-Archery] Fletching article


      Here are a few thoughts to cross-pollinate the discussion about arrow rests on bows. 


      I subscribe to the idea that it is unlikely bows had cut out arrow shelves as modern traditional bows do.  However, having an arrow rest does increase the consistency of the shot as discussed here.  Therefore it is not unlikely that archers in Medieval times knew this and took advantage of this.  However, as their bows did not have cut out arrow shelves they could easily have wrapped something under the hand grip to serve in this manner.  It could have been a piece of antler or bone or a stack of leather.  I have used all of these on some of my bows and they work just fine.  However, all of these items do not survive the ages very well as they are tasty to critters and tend to dissolve faster in (sea) water than wood or metal.


      Now IF, big if, they used a glue it is totally reasonable to assume they used a glue similar to the glues used to create musical instruments of the era.  Having studied this are a bit I discovered that many of the musical instruments of this era have had to be repaired with modern glues.  It seems the hide glue used, best glue of the time, is also quite tasty to small critters including bacteria.  Thus the instruments fall apart as the glue gets eaten.  Would it not be reasonable to assume the same happened with arrow rests added to bows if done with glue?


      Just asking,


      ---In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, <sca-archery@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      The issue also has some very interesting pictures of bows with arrow rests that are attached to the bow with the hand grip binding.  This is very similar to a bow my father build in the early 1930's which I still have and have actually launched arrows from.  Such an arrow rest would pr obably not survived the test of time for very old bows.  My fathers bow arrow rest appears to made from some sort of horn which has been carved into an "L".

      Baron John Garr



      On 09/24/13, John R. Edgerton wrote:



      The current issue of "Primitive Archer" has a good article on fletching. It includes stripping the feathers and attaching and trimming them by hand without a fletching jig.


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