THL Robert Lanternsmith has experimented with 1/4" shafts with mixed success. He found that in order to get a spine weight that would work with his bow, the arrows would have be rather short (about 26"). He also found they were very fragile. Nobody in our local group shoots crossbow (and there aren't many in Caid in general due to a lot of ranges not allowing them). He has also experimented with double barrell tapering 5/16" shafts to 1/4" on each end and has had a lot of success with this, including high spine weights. Both he and his lady shoot the barrelled shafts.
I'm sure most that make their own arrows on this list know that there is an additional "arrow tax" of $0.40 per shaft placed on shafts specifically made for the purpose of becoming arrows. We have also found our ways around this.
About a year ago, the Barony of Lyondemere, Caid, held an arrow making workshop (which THL Robert taught). We ordered 1,000 36" dowels from a distributer somewhere in the mid-west for about $200. Using dowels takes a bit more effort than ordering a set of shafts that have already been weighed and spined. IIRC, the dowels are Cedar.
We started by inspecting the dowels and bumping them straight. We marked shafts with different colored markers (good, dry, bad grain/knots, etc). We had at least 100 break during initial inspection. Many of the shafts were still green when we received them, so we laid them out in THL Robert's rafters in his studio to let them dry. After bumping them we sanded them, starting with a fairly rough sand paper and working our way to very fine. Easiest way to sand - take a 3/4" drill, lock the shaft in the drill and let go! After sanding, we bumped them again. We then weighed them on grain scales, wrote the weight in pencil on the shaft, spine tested them, wrote that on the shaft and started grouping them. With this process, we were able to get groups of 18 arrows within 10 grains and very close spine. Our groups ranged from 18lb spine to 65lb spine with weights from about 250-380. Most were around 35-40lb.
It's a lot more work, but if you have enough people to go in on a huge number of dowels, everyone can get a good set of arrows for fairly cheap. Robert was the only experienced arrow maker going into this session, now almost everyone in the local group makes their own arrows. (As a side note, THL Robert received a Harp Argent for Arrow Making at Lyondemere Anniversary, that is the AoA level arts award in Caid).
Lady Christina O'Cleary
Captain of Archers, Barony of Lyondemere, Caid
Argent Track Regent, Collegium Caidis
----- Original Message ----
From: Lord Caedmon Wilson <caedmon.wilson@...
To: SCA Archery <email@example.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 2, 2006 10:47:12 AM
Subject: [SCA-Archery] 1/4" Shafts
With the rising cost of arrow shafts, does anyone find themselves
looking to the 1/4" shafts not just for their youths because of their
For example, has anyone made a light-poundage crossbow that shoots 1/4" shafts?
Lord Caedmon Wilson
Oaken Region Youth Combat Marshal
Oaken Region Thrown Weapon Champion
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum
saxum immane mittam.
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