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Re: [SCA-Archery] Dowel arrows.

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  • Bruce R. Gordon
    Greetings I don t think this issue is extremely black-or-white. Certainly dowels CAN be used safely, and under proper circumstances provide a cheap alternative
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 6, 2006
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      Greetings

      I don't think this issue is extremely black-or-white. Certainly dowels CAN be used safely, and under proper circumstances provide a cheap alternative to professionally manufactured cedar shafts. That's one facet of this problem: the fact that the standard shafts we have all been using are slowly being priced out of availability - and Scadians are being confronted by the question of whether to continue to use wood, or compromise on non-period materials. If dowels can be utilized safely, many Scadian fletchers will gladly avail themselves of such a resource.

      Another facet, probably the biggest one, is safety. Many kingdom marshallates teach their MITs to avoid allowing dowels because, if they are not selected well or used proficiently, there is a chance they will split or shatter, because sometimes dowels are not manufactured with much attention paid to where the grain lies, etc. The SCA is extremely aware of legal liabilities, and generally teaches it's officials to err on the side of conservatism rather than otherwise, in order to avoid suits if possible.

      So, sure, if someone has been fletching all their adult life, regularly hunts, and has a good hardware store with quality dowels, then their arrows are quite likely to be entirely reasonable. On the other hand, if someone has had a gee-whiz experience with archery , decides to start building arrows with no background in the subject, and goes down to the nearest Wal-Mart and buys a heaping handful of cheap dowels, there may be a problem. And the inspecting marshal may not spot the difference between the two unless they are looking carefully at the set of the grain and so forth. And sometimes they don't.

      So, I guess the best that can be said is that if you are a fletcher, be aware of why dowels might prove hazardous, and take sufficient care to cull out problematic shafts; and know how to identify such. And if you are marshal, know what to look for in arrow shafts of whatever source that may have safety problems. And if you are an archer, take care that your arrows come from a reliable and knowledgeable source.

      Nigel

      Youth arrows for low-draw bows would be the only thing I would use store
      > dowels for. Other than that you will have major safety issues....William
      > Ross of Skye

      --
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      "Do these colors match?"
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