Monday, June 1, 2015

Don't try it 'till you nock it

The subject of Classical arrow parts other than arrowheads seems to have received less than its fair share of study, probably at least in part because everything except the point is organic and tends to decay.  I'm reliably informed by Hippeis poster arminius that reed arrows made from Arundo or Phragmites sp. require an insert or full separate nock.

The famous Epiktetos cup shows a Scythian's arrows with large C-shaped nocks.  For comparison, later wooden arrows from Miran in the Tarim Basin had bulbous wooden self-nocks that must have taken a great deal of work to shape.  Neither of these are snap nocks.  I prefer snap nocks, but it wouldn't be possible to create a profile like that with them.

As an exercise in exploring possibilities, I'm using cheap wooden beads (about a dollar a dozen) combined with bamboo skewers.  Other possible and likely more durable materials include bone and horn, but the wood is easily shaped and I think it will hold up well enough.

A cashier told me that the wood was probably pine and might splinter.  This hasn't happened so far, perhaps because I'm using very fine-toothed files - one backed, one round, to get the complex snap shape, which I may later reduce to a simpler and more open shape as per the historical examples.  I'm going to test them "raw" and perhaps rub glue inside if they do splinter with use.

No comments:

Post a Comment