Fletching in an authentic setting- a query

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batman89
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Fletching in an authentic setting- a query

Postby batman89 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:57 pm

Just asking for help regarding tools (if known) would have been used during the 15th century to cut the nock etc, and fletch an arrow? ( I know jigs have no evidence to being used) so any help would be greatly appreciated



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Fletching in an authentic setting .

Postby glyndwr 50 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:12 pm

The fletchings would have been knife cut ,This also depends on who is doing the fleching of cause .A type of sissor tool was around looking very much like a sheep shearing tool ,but not every body had these ,It was a case of work with what you had .There was no hardware shops you could go to.The nearest thing to it would be the local blacksmith .The nock slots were cut with a knife or file ,Files were in use at this time but were very crude and chisel cut immpression were made to make the rough fileing surface .Saws were about but not everyone had use of them.Flechings would have been glued ( a glue called Hide glue was used for sticking most things ),this was a long process to produce hide glue . Fletchings would be wrapped with linen thread .The Arrows recovered from the Mary Rose had no fletching left just a green looking stain where they were attached .This staining could have been from the actual fletching or a glue a staining from the glue used ?,experts can't be sure what caused the staining as yet .Nocks were cut to take horn inserts , but no horn inserts were present.The average Archer in the medieval period would have fletched his own arrows ,and would have all of the materials to do such a job.But there were tradesmen that did this for a living but this meant a payment of some kind would have to be made for his time ,and money was not that easy to come by unless you were prepaired to barter.It would make good sence to try and make your own if you were able to and were good with your hands ..We must remember that items such as tools today were not that easy to obtain in the medieval period and peasants made a great deal of every day objects themselves.The class divide was very prominent and times were very hard indeed .Its this understanding of how things actually were back then that the modern person would find very hard to understand.To imagine something and actually doing or living it are two very diffrent things.And If we could go back in time without our creature comforts we would find that the reenactment life and the real thing would be very diffrent indeed.


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:57 am

I have thought about some public arrow making while in camp. Tools and glues are not the problem - I recently acquired some mini-topiary shears which are forge blackened and rather look the part. and i use modern glues filled into a little cork-sealed clay put, with a homemade rough-bristled brush for application.
Not sure how authentic this is, but it looks good, at least.

My biggest problem is spacing the fletchings without a modern jig. Is there a trick to it?
And would there be anything against making a primitive wooden jig? I thought of a block of wood with a narrow horseshoe groove cut into it to take the arrow. Then i would carve markers into the back of the block to indicate where the fletchings should sit.

Would love to hear suggestions.


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:58 am

By the way - i think the hide of certain sea fish could be used for sanding and polishing. Not sure which fish but the hide feels rather like shark.


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Postby John Waller » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:23 am

Trading-Dragon wrote:By the way - i think the hide of certain sea fish could be used for sanding and polishing. Not sure which fish but the hide feels rather like shark.


Dog fish I think.


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Postby Langley » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:55 am

Yes there is a trick to it. Apply glue and apply all 3 fletchings together at the same time side by side then bind loosely with linen thread and shuffle them around until correctly spaced with the cock feather at right angles to the nock. Clean off any smears of glue. Once the glue has set remove the loose binding and do a final spiral binding with the bottom and top whipped - that is, with the tail of the thread pulled under the rest at the point where thee turns are close together. It is easy to do this at one end. Trim off the excess thread. Apply a blob of glue to lock the tight turns. At the other end use a separate loop of thread which you lay along the shaft under the tight turns. When you have enough you can then pull the two ends of the loop to drag the end of the binding thread back underneath itself. Blob of glue again. The green coulour probably came from an Iron salt such as Ferrous Sulphate which was added to the glue to stop bugs eating it and making your fletchings fall off. There is some evidence for blue - copper sulphate being used as well. If you are making arrows to look authentic buy prepared horn inserts. Your first "nock" is longer than the actual nock and cut paralell to the grain (the final nock should lie across the grain for stength or you split your arrow up the middle). (Modern cheat - a tile saw is just the right size!) and you insert and glue the horn. When dry, trim it off iwht sharp knife then cut your nock across botht the wood and horn. Taper the point where it finishes so you have the strig running over a curved surface not a right angle.



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Authentic fletchings

Postby glyndwr 50 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:36 am

Spot on Langley,Sound advice ,and thats exacly how it must of been done,without the aid of a jig .And probably doing it this way would be faster than waiting for the glue to dry in a jig before you can attach the next fletching . Attaching all the fletchings in one go although a bit fiddley will save time in the long run as all the flechings once bound with thread can be put to one side and another arrow can be started .No need for waiting till the glue drys on each fletching before you can carry on.Well said Langley ,could not have said it better myself ..


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Postby gregory23b » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:34 pm

The green is more likely to be copper sulphate as that is resistant against insects, they are killed by copper.

The Westminster arrow has glue remains and the marks of the thread, it suggests a blob of glue then the feathers bound pretty much as Langley says.

I tried this a few years back with animal glue ans as long as the glue is the right consistency ie, tacky enough to hold the feathers while they set.

The bindings hold the fletch in place, no need for a jig, you would need a number of them, so why bother?

As for not having access to files and hammers, how on earth do you come to that conclusion when the production of arrows was an industry regulated by statute. You cannot have such an operation without the requisite tools.

Files can be made very fine and were so, descriptions on how to make them predate our period by some hundreds of years, viz Theophilus.
Evidence of fine work in many trades suggest some excellent tool manufacture.

Animal glues are really easy to produce, eg:

gather the muzzles and ears of cows or goats and boil, skim, strain.

You get gelatine from the collagen.

Hide glue is merely the same acquired from hides.

Glue making can be seen as a home activity dependent on scale, recipes abound to that effect.


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Postby Ghost » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:56 pm

The bindings hold the fletch in place, no need for a jig, you would need a number of them, so why bother?


in the dark recesses of my mind i recall somewhere the use of leather discs with hole drilled in centre with leather slots cut in at the appropriate angles for the fletchings. The disc would be drawn backwards along the shaft ahead of the bindings to keep the orientation of the feathers correct - it sounds almost to sensible not to be true


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Re: Fletching in an authentic setting .

Postby John Waller » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:02 pm

glyndwr 50 wrote:The average Archer in the medieval period would have fletched his own arrows ..


Any evidence for this? Manufacture was regulated by the guilds. Given that every man of the 'archer class' had to practise and have a bow and arrows to do so, I don't think the guilds would be impressed if everyone was into diy.


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:34 pm

I think this thread wins an award - pure quality !!!
:D

I pulled out some old broken arrow shafts to experiment with. The leather 'jig' and loosely bindign the feathers on before spacing and glueing sounds like it might work.

Now my only concern is to find a glue that is tacky but not too quick-drying. The modern fletching glue i use sets pretty much instantly, it doesn't give you much time to space out your fletchings...


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Postby John Waller » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:21 pm

Ref the green colouration of the glue. Was it not shown to be verdigris which is copper carbonate/chloride. Ferrous Sulphate is known as copperas and is also green in colour.


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Postby batman89 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:52 pm

Thank you to everyone for your advice, this is aiding me in develop my living history as at the moment its just binding and doing eveything before hand at home.



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Fletching in an authentic setting

Postby glyndwr 50 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:29 pm

I bet I would kniow the reply ,if you went up to Glyndwr's archers just before the battle of pilleth 1402 and told the archers that they could not make there own arrows .No D I Y allowed ..


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Re: Fletching in an authentic setting

Postby John Waller » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:19 am

[quote="glyndwr 50"]I bet I would kniow the reply ,if you went up to Glyndwr's archers just before the battle of pilleth 1402 and told the archers that they could not make there own arrows .No D I Y allowed ..


quote]

Good point. I was thinking about the civilised world :wink:

Your supposition though, not evidence.


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Postby Langley » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:20 pm

Had not heard about the leather spacer. Sounds good. Will be trying it. You learn something new every day and I have been making my own arrows for about 15 years having been taught by a member of the Fletcher's guild. Jorge - you were wondering who Langley was. Last time you saw me make an arrow it was about 3" long and had a bodkin made out of a Heineken can for Lily's doll in Archeon. I made the little bow to go with it and the thing flew beautifully for much further than we expected.



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Postby gregory23b » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:04 pm

I made her spindle and distaff ;-)

I will be seeing Vicky in a few hours so will check up.


re verdigris, copper acetate etc. it is easy to produce, presumably easier than copperas which only occurs naturally in a few places and if produced alchemically needs sulphuric acid poured over iron.

Copper green needs brass/bronze or copper and p*ss and or vinegar, very easy to make at home for pigment as well as insect proofing.

IIRC EDIV or was it ED III had a load of tents painted green in the same colour, maybe for preservative reasons as well as decoration?


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Postby lucy the tudor » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:26 pm

Ok, I will admit to not knowing a lot about archery, my ex dealt with that part of our lives, and he made a jig from ash and brass, to use in authentic settings. He always said there was no provenance to jigs at all, and that it was just that it used authenty materials to a practical purpose, and that if people wanted to use them in Living History scenarios, they could pay their money and take their choice.
So I still make them occasionally, to order, and they apparently do the job nicely, I have adapted his design slightly, but generally they are how he made them.
Then I was talking to another Kentwellie at an event a few weeks ago, and he said he had had long conversations with the ex about jigs, in which they discussed in detail the jigs this gentleman made, based on a wood cut he had seen of medieval crafts, in which there was a fletching jig in use.
He couldn't remember just now where the woodcut reference was, but he's a lovely chap, and if he finds it again, he said he would let me know...
The detail of the woodcut was not totally clear, so each had interpreted it in their own way, so his jigs are different to ours.
I don't think this helps much, just thought I'd say :?


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Postby gregory23b » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:33 pm

In all honesty I do not think making up an item and 'authenticising' it with period materials adds to our quest, it muddies the waters more and is in danger of making more myths than we need. I had thought hose days were gone with hessian wrapped trainers etc.

If we are to make things that are conjectured then at least they should be based on some sort of provenance, not retro fitting modern ideas and dressing them down to suit. That smacks of using a quill with a biro in it.

'and that if people wanted to use them in Living History scenarios, they could pay their money and take their choice.'

That strikes me as capitalising on people's ignorance, bear in mind that the buyer is not always well informed and we as makers are beholden to be scrupulously honest when selling items that are either reproductions or conjectures. The poor customer buys on trust and then will use that item to explain things to the visitors, they then in some cases have to justify something that is not provable even in the loosest sense of the word.

I do feel strongly about that kind of thing because research is where it is at, not spurious guesswork based on our modern logic.


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:28 pm

I feel also very strongly about it but in a different way: i call it 'experimental research'. The point is that there may have been jigs such as Lucy's in use. we just don't know and we most likely never will know because our sources are finite. It is at the very least highly unlikely that new illustrated materials will turn up in some old vault though there is a chance that we might re-interpret existing ones.

Both the leather jig and Lucy's jig are PLAUSIBLE.
And we have to start somewhere because doing something wrong and later learning from it is in my opinion much better than never doing it at all.

And quote from Lucy's webshop: "Authentic, probably not, but not been called on it yet ... !"

Of course you have to draw the line somewhere. I think the slightly more sophisticated jig would not look out of place in Tudor and late Medival displays. The leather jig might be more suitable for early medieval.

Of course, as in any sort of display we always need to include the information that what the public sees is merely an interpretation.

Because, as I have often stressed, none of us are authentic. We may have a very good guess that we come close but we always need to be mindful that our sources and our evidence is flawed.
Of course, we could err on the side of caution and just take out whatever we are doubtful about but that is then your personal 'quest'.

The principal duty re-enactment has to the general public, however, is to educate and entertain. And as long as you educate correctly and tell your audience that you merely interpret, i think you get away with a lot of historical uncertainty.
As for entertainment value...we live in an age and place where we can buy almost anything for very little money and a human being does not have to possess any skills or qualifications, nor is even required to work for a living to reach a ripe old age surrounded by his or her grandchildren.
Under these circumstances, the portrayal of any sort of craft or art is a magical experience. It deserves to be explored to it's fullest extend.
What IF such a jig had existed...? How would it have worked? Would it have had any advantages over doing it all by hand or with a leather jig? Any disadvantages? Is it easy to make and build, do you need specialized tools? Would the tools have been available?
That, i think is the very soul and center of what is commonly called 'experimental archaeology'. And I don't mind if someone makes money on the side doing it. At least it gives more people the opportunity to experience it.


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Postby lucy the tudor » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:38 pm

gregory23b wrote:In all honesty I do not think making up an item and 'authenticising' it with period materials adds to our quest, it muddies the waters more and is in danger of making more myths than we need. I had thought hose days were gone with hessian wrapped trainers etc.

or conjectures. The poor customer buys on trust and then will use that item to explain things to the visitors, they then in some cases have to justify something that is not provable even in the loosest sense of the word.

I do feel strongly about that kind of thing because research is where it is at, not spurious guesswork based on our modern logic.


Ouch!
Thank you Trading Dragon, the website makes it clear, in Rob's style, that we are not claiming authenticity.
I also tell anyone who orders one that I don't claim any provenance. If my customers buy on trust, they do so in the knowledge of what they are buying. ie I am not trying to dupe anyone.

I was surprised to be told by the other chap that he may have some provenance for jigs, and I did ask him to please tell me if he could find the reference again.
I don't have these on my stall as standard, I make them when folk want them, and I tell the truth about what they are.
I have seen another well known archery trader with a very similar item on his stand, after we sold our first ones, (my ex did used to have them available on the stand). I don't know what provenance he would claim for the design, as it was very similar to ours.

I don't want to perpetuate myths, let alone initiate them, and research as much as I can. I confess to selling trollen wheels, as do a lot of others, and I do try to remember to explain to reenactors that they are as far as we know a reenactorism, with no known historical provenance.

I think I've squealed enough now...


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Postby gregory23b » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:08 pm

TD

"Both the leather jig and Lucy's jig are PLAUSIBLE. "

so are many things, but mere plausibility without some form of research is weak at best.

We could plausibly offer many things, but that is not good research nor is it helpful.

Good plausibility is the remaking of known items that we know little about, eg the Tudor printing press made by the St Brides printing library for the 'What the Tudors did for us', they had a firm basis for their conjecture, not merely 'they may have had a press because it makes sense'.

As for jigs, show us the money or a reasoned argument why they had them, I can think of a really practical reason why they might not, ie they would be waste of space if you are hand binding which you would have to do even with a jig then why have jig? Modern jigs are used because the fletchings do not need binding, and the glues are less bulky for their adhesive qualities, plus the tolerances needed for modern target archery are so tight that the slightest errors are significant. Ask yourself the same questions of arrows that are being mass produced for area of effect, then those tolerances are not needed. Read Toxophilus, he goes to great pains to discuss arrow make up, nary a jig alluded to.

I mentioned the Westminster arrow, have a look at it, look at how the glue sits, look at the thread spaces, ask yourself if that works within a jig setting or not. Then you have made at least a single step to looking at the question rather that waving 'plausibility'.

''experimental research'. The point is that there may have been jigs such as Lucy's in use. we just don't know and we most likely never will know because our sources are finite. It is at the very least highly unlikely that new illustrated materials will turn up in some old vault though there is a chance that we might re-interpret existing ones. '


So whose research are you using to support this? merely making something and waiting for big red bus of validation to appear is not research. Research is looking and making the effort not simply expecting it to arrive on a plate or giving up without even starting.


'I think the slightly more sophisticated jig would not look out of place in Tudor and late Medival displays. The leather jig might be more suitable for early medieval. '

how do you support those very stereotypical assumptions of medieval technological prowess? why is technology suddenly more sophisticated because a fat ginger bloke with a penchant for wife murder and oppression is on the throne?

You may like to consider water powered ore grinding mills, automata, some extremely fine metal work, all well before the murderer was even conceived.

Leather? why that when metal or any other material would do the job? or do you mean that leather makes it look more rustic and ergo more 'likely', maybe cover all sins in hessian for pre-Tudor stuff.


'The principal duty re-enactment has to the general public, however, is to educate and entertain.'

What has selling an item got to with any of that? the item does not know the intentions of the buyer, it is (usually) an inanimate object. You make and sell an item and you as the seller are responsible for its veracity as you are selling in good faith. And since when have those two precepts been universal? are all the audiences of the items in question goggle eyed tourists or are they archeologists and professionals who want to use items they themselves cannot make? Sorry (I am not really) but all such notions are cop outs to justify poor or absent research because it is the path of least resistance.

As for authenticity, that is the reddest of herrings and has nothing to do with well researched items, why? you may ask, because not everyone who buys our products is a reenactor, as the last point, the item is not the one responsible for its own use.

It all depends if you want to make aside claims by assumption or at least make the minimal effort of looking for things that support a claim or two, belief alone is not really a strong foundation to base an idea on.

To my mind if a maker has made a discovery or is making something based on new evidence it should be proclaimed for us to have a good think and admire on. With the case of jigs, and this has come up before then surely it is something to crow about, subject to some sort of rationale, look at is as a good marketing strategy rather than sliding a 'plausible' item under the radar of the unwitting.

I feel strongly on this because I have fallen foul of the one size fits all medieval item or 'no one has called me on it yet' and I find that not in trader's interest and certainly not in the interest of the buyer. We are and should be better than that, and before anyone thinks I am talking about everything being 'authentic' I am not, I suggesting a bit more honesty than falling back on caveat emptor.


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Flectching in an Authentic setting

Postby glyndwr 50 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:56 pm

Wow ,what can one say to that .So let me get this right .What you are saying is that because somone has found a method of doing something like the leather fletching jig .Because no evidence has come to light ,and therefor no examples of such a thing has been found or recorded,it does in your world not exist .I further more put it to you that in your world everbody who does reenacting of any period must befor they pursue this hobby must have ,or wear item's which exist or have knowledge of them existing or have seen or can document such findings to a point that they then have a right to use such items to be in period .If that is your point then very few reenactors can fit that criterion .Even the most ardent of enthusiasts have something that they know is not correct but its not meant to decieve anyone,its more a point of reason.Sometimes you can't get something absolutely correct .There may be many reasons for this ,Money is one of the main reasons .I'm sure many reading this thread will agree that we all wouild like the best money could buy ,and we all would like to be wearing the best armour or have the best swords .But some of us have to start from the bottom and work up .Just because it does not exist does not mean that it never did .If someone wants to fletch his arrows using a jig made of leather ,and it works ,and providing he or she does not try to tell people that its period whats the harm .You say there is no evidence such a thing was produced ,I say you can't be sure .You have a Coelacanth way of looking at it .You remember the Coelacanth story that experts said that they were exstinct untill the first one was caught of the South African Coast in 1938 .and still being caught as late as 2007 .Suddenly all the exsperts change there tune .Its not untill such things happen ands bit you in the rear that opinions change .So lets just say for instance that one such leather jig did come to light ,what would be your answer then .There are many reenactors that wear the wrong type of something or know it to be wrong but can with a little alteration get it to pass as near enough .I wear a 1939--1945 civil defence helmet as do most of my archer friends ,The reason I wear it because it cost me £15 if I brought a nice period remake I could pay up to £100 .So with your view in mind because such an item i never was in use in medieval times do we all have to throw them away because they are not period .I could go on and on and bring in my longbow made up of many diffrent types of wood and not all one wood such as yew ,does this mean that I cant use my multil laminate bow because they did not exist .If this is the case then there would be very few of us reenactors that would fit in your world .Necessity is the mother of invention ,Providing you dont say its a period piece or a copy and just a possilbility ,and leave people to make there own minds up whats the harm,Most archaeologist will admit that when they find something they go by what has been found ,but many times they are finding new evidence to change exsiting opinions ,It happening all the time ,you never know what will turn up next . Maybe it might be a leather fletching tool jig ..


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Postby lucy the tudor » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:56 pm

gregory23b wrote:TD

'The principal duty re-enactment has to the general public, however, is to educate and entertain.'

What has selling an item got to with any of that? the item does not know the intentions of the buyer, it is (usually) an inanimate object. You make and sell an item and you as the seller are responsible for its veracity as you are selling in good faith. And since when have those two precepts been universal? are all the audiences of the items in question goggle eyed tourists or are they archeologists and professionals who want to use items they themselves cannot make? Sorry (I am not really) but all such notions are cop outs to justify poor or absent research because it is the path of least resistance.

As for authenticity, that is the reddest of herrings and has nothing to do with well researched items, why? you may ask, because not everyone who buys our products is a reenactor, as the last point, the item is not the one responsible for its own use.

To my mind if a maker has made a discovery or is making something based on new evidence it should be proclaimed for us to have a good think and admire on. With the case of jigs, and this has come up before then surely it is something to crow about, subject to some sort of rationale, look at is as a good marketing strategy rather than sliding a 'plausible' item under the radar of the unwitting.

I feel strongly on this because I have fallen foul of the one size fits all medieval item or 'no one has called me on it yet' and I find that not in trader's interest and certainly not in the interest of the buyer. We are and should be better than that, and before anyone thinks I am talking about everything being 'authentic' I am not, I suggesting a bit more honesty than falling back on caveat emptor.


I am getting a bit offended here.
I don't think I ever claimed to rely on caveat emptor.
I do not keep these items regularly on my stall to lure the innocent.
The line on the website about " not been called on it yet" is my ex husbands writing style, he wrote it, it starts by stating " Authentic, probably not, but..." which does not appear to be trying to lead people astray.
At no point am I trying to slide anything under the radar of the unwitting.
I make these, to order, and explain to those who order them, what they are getting, and why they were initially made. Most of the people using them will be using modern glues on arrows cut by machine, and using turkey or modern goose breed fletchings and machined tips to their arrows, to loose them using laminated or at the very least, ash or some other wood not yew bows. But it is their purchase of the jig which is the biggest failing, and that would appear to be my fraudulent and money grubbing nature luring them into this...
Have you seen the price? And the amount of work in making one, and materials used? They are not a big earner. I make them occasionally, when people ask me to, as the bow stands. They have mainly gone to modern longbow enthusiasts who just like a nice bit of woodwork. I don't feel inclined to take them off the website because a reenactor may be lured into improper behavior. That is their decision.
I only joined this discussion in a careful way, explaining that archery was not my strong point, but that I had recently been surprised by a friend having told me he had made his jigs based on a medieval woodcut. I too would love to see the woodcut in question, and told him so. I still hope he may find it again. But he's a nice chap, I'm not going t call him a liar or a cheat if he doesn't find it for me immediately.

I am not a happy bunny.
I am not single handedly bringing reenactment to it's knees, encouraging the use of hessian covered shoes or biros hidden in quills.
I am trying to research to the best of my ability, and actually had hoped that someone else who had seen the woodcut too may have had their memory tweaked and given me a pointer on where to find it. People here have been very kind that way in the past.
I researched and asked folk before I tried to make a chair type which is very commonly seen at shows, and finding no provenance, I never made one, not one, for fear of perpetuating a myth.

I would be grateful, Sir, if you would please acknowledge that I do not mislead or defraud my customers about the provenance of fletching jigs.

Thank you.


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Thomas Hayman
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Postby Thomas Hayman » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:11 am

Good lord, you lot get bent out of shape easily!


I agree with Jorge.


Consider this a place holder for the full essay tomorrow :-D


From what i have seen there are a lot of lazy re-enactors who take what is being sold as correct. Many items are poorly researched and at best only give the feel of the originals.

As was pointed out, items being made from bits of leather and crudely lashed together with a bit of hessian are shoddy at best.

It is a shame a lot of items are under researched or completely made up tat. All due to laziness on the part of the vendor OR the buyer.


I think that made sense, it's late!


Official Thumb biter.

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Postby lucy the tudor » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:48 am

I only get bent out of shape when accused of duping customers and making tat.
I think that would be considered a bit upsetting to most people who try very hard to be scrupulously honest and make all their own stuff .


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Postby lucy the tudor » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:52 am

gregory23b wrote:'and that if people wanted to use them in Living History scenarios, they could pay their money and take their choice.'

That strikes me as capitalising on people's ignorance, bear in mind that the buyer is not always well informed and we as makers are beholden to be scrupulously honest when selling items that are either reproductions or conjectures. The poor customer buys on trust and then will use that item to explain things to the visitors, they then in some cases have to justify something that is not provable even in the loosest sense of the word.

I do feel strongly about that kind of thing because research is where it is at, not spurious guesswork based on our modern logic.


My point was that I do not allow my customers to be ignorant of what they are buying when they order a jig. Thus the customer can trust that what they are buying is what they asked for, in the full knowledge of it's lack of provenance .


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glyndwr 50
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Fletching in an authentic setting.

Postby glyndwr 50 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:44 pm

I agree with Lucy the tudor on her reply ,She has stated quite clearly that she is not trying to pass off items that have no historical povidence .I find that many traders are most helpful and give good honest advice ,without traders we as reenactors would find it very hard to obtain or produce such items .Many of us don't have the skills to produce items or even if we did by the time you manage to get all the items you require to make something ,it would be a not worth while siduation.Traders who make items have paid out a lot of money and time to achive a finished product .I have always found that if you see something that you like and are not to sure about it ,find or get advice from someone in the know.There are I'm sure many medieval items on sale by traders that cover a wide time span ,and styles of certain items can change over a period of time.To explain my point ,you can purchase a pair medieval period shoes of say 13th cent and find the same style still in use in the 15th cent.Not all medieval people moved with the changes of style ,if a item works well or serves its purpose why change.I have some very good buys from traders and without traders it would be very hard to find what you are looking for .The point that some poeple are trying to make is the fact there are items on sale by the medieval traders that have no evidence of ever being used or existed ,but its up to the person who is interested in buying said items to be aware of this fact .On the other hand its up to the trader to know what he or she is selling .To get a good name as a trader is by word of mouth .If you do a good deal or are known for producing good quality items people will be only to pleased to give you a good report and recommend you . But if you sell items of poor quality or totally wrong then you can exspect a very bad name and people will become wary.I find that on the whole most traders are very fair and try and give you a good deal ,after all its there livelihood ,and with no customers they have no sales .Working on to idea that known and documented items carry a good povidence ,one feels quite safe with that knowledge that the item they have brought will be correct .Its this grey area that is causing the problem and the word ( Its possible they used this or it may of been about ) is opening a large can of worms .My advice is ask someone in the know ,if you are unsure of any thing you wish to buy ..


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Postby lucy the tudor » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:35 pm

Thanks.


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Postby Lady Willows Retinue » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:57 pm

We have a jig very similar to that made by Lucy. Ours was from another well-known archery product outlet (no adverts) - virtually the same. We only bought that because we didnt know Lucy sold them too.

We know they are not entirely authentic, but they are the best product for making arrows with long fletchings (safer for slower blunts). However, the middle of a wet n windy field isnt the best place to make arrows, especially when you have spent an arm & 2 legs on the parts (which as already stated are also not authentic - we didnt pluck the bird ourselves or cut the sticks).

So we make our arrows at home - the sensible place for it - & do other stuff at the shows instead.
However, as a theorietical "how was it done then" this thread has come up with a bunch of interesting suggestions, which, if tested in experimental reconstructions (at home) have value towards forming a hypothesis as to how it may have been achieved (so keep up the ideas).

Unless you have a TARDIS you'll never know for sure.




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