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34388Re: [SCA-Archery] Anyone actually MAKE arrows?

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  • Doug Copley
    Sep 30, 2013
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      Most of the time that I am 'making" arrows, I guess you could argue that I was merely assembling them. However, part of the skill even in this is knowing how long to make them, what weight tip you use, how many feathers you use, what size feathers, the placement of the feathers, and the overall weight of the arrow.

      I have never started with the square sticks or forged the arrow heads or made the glue from scratch. . . but they are still on my list:-)

      However, from what I have read, the master fletchers of the day did not go and mine the ore, or catch the fish for making glue, or necessarily even kill the deer for reinforcing the nocks.


      On Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 11:23 AM, richard johnson <rikjohnson39@...> wrote:
      My kayak-camp plans fell through when my paddle-buddy hurt her back
      and as Jeff called to ask if he could borrow my woodworking shop, I
      figured, why not make those arrows I’ve been planning for months?

      I had purchased 2 dozen cedar shafts from 3-Rivers along with a half
      dozen medieval target-heads.  Looking through my fletching box I found
      a package of 4” white feathers and 2 packages of 4” black feathers (my
      arms are black red and white) and my sewing box netted some red cotton
      thread (I prefer cotton over polyester).  I also had some saffron flax
      thread that breaks too easily so left that alone.

      So I got to work and dug out my arrow-nock jig I had made last year,
      modified the saw to the right thickness and cut nocks into six shafts.
       Did the sanding and tied the shaft with thread, used my old
      hand-fletcher-jig to mount the arrows, tied the feathers to the shaft
      with more red cotton thread, and found some old clear nail polish my
      daughter left behind to coat the thread.

      Later I will measure and cut the shafts and mount the target points,
      then use the cresting-jig I made to paint my crest on the shaft.

      All the while, Jeff is happily making stuff for his wife’s shelfs (he
      is no carpenter so I spent a lot of time giving helpful hints) and
      while he was away measuring, I built myself a bow-string-jig and made
      my first bowstring from some Dacron I had in my sewing box.  I chose a
      20# bow in case the string snapped<g>.  After all, this is the first
      bowstring I ever made so am justifiably nervous about all that stress
      so close to my eyes.

      Now Maria and Liz are coming over tonight so I can repair a leak in
      Liz’s kayak and I have four bottles of that fruity-wine that women
      like and Maria is looking forward to seeing the arrows I made and….


      ... It occurred to me then that I did not MAKE arrows, I assembled
      arrows from pre-made parts.

      Yes, I cut and shaped the nocks myself.  BUT…
      I have a box full of pelican and goose feathers waiting to be
      converted into arrows and pens and instead I used store-bought
      feathers pre-cut.
      I bought that cotton thread.
      I bought the shafts pre-cut and pre-splined for my 45# longbow.
      I bought the target heads.

      Hell, I even bought the bare-bow (that I merely finished) and even
      bought the strings.

      So, can I actually claim to have “made”  those arrows?  Or am I a
      simple ‘assembler”?

      Opinions?  Thoughts?

      Rick Johnson
      "Those who give up a little freedom in return for a little imagined
      security will soon find that they have neither."



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