When you say carve the wood down, do you mean actually making the shaft from a block of wood, or just tapering and self nocking it? Actually carving the wood down, maybe one or two.
Just self nocking it and tapering for the point? I would guesstimate a dozen, if he's really good at it. However it takes longer for the glue under the point to fully cure, so he might have a dozen finished looking arrows, but they probably couldn't really be used until the next day. These would be quick and dirty, medieval warfare arrows though. Fired once into the enemy troop, and assumed broken or lost.
Fancy, traditional wooden arrows like you would use for SCA archery competitions or hunting? You couldn't even really finish one in an hour, due to the sheer amount of glues and coatings you need to let cure for hours if not days. There's also the fact that if the arrows are to be re-used over and over, you really need to spend time measuring the weight and spine weight to try and get them all uniform. Making sure they're as strait as they can be, and the right stiffness for the strength bow they're to be fired out of. Modern day target shooting with wooden bows and arrows is really a game of matching the arrows to the bow perfectly, and when you get that perfect match you use those arrows until they just fall apart or get lost to mother nature.
Just out of curiosity, what prompted such a question?
[EDIT: Sorry, I seem to have completely skipped over the bit about shaping the arrow head. Do you mean knapping a flint arrow head? Cause any metal point would have been made by a blacksmith/weapon smith. Just forging a dozen arrow heads would take a few hours. Lol.
If he actually had to knapp stone heads I would guess maybe 2-4? I don't really have any concept of how quickly you can knapp an arrow head though.]
From scratch though, I'm thinking a long time. If you are forging heads then even longer. Medieval heads were glued on by a socket so you don't string them on. I have no experience with flint heads but if you are knocking them up from scratch then I'd assume it would be quite some time too. Though I doubt flint heads would be around much (if at all) in medieval times. Perhaps one a day if they are starting from nothing without help?
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Well, I'll go ahead and give you the source of my inquiry.
I'm playing a paper and dice role playing game tomorrow using the Hero System rules (if anyone was curious.) It's going to be a post apocalyptic game, but not the run of the mill type. World War 3 had broken out, and new technology was developed as a result. This technology was nanites.
The nanites were meant to be injected into a wounded soldier and they would mend flesh and fight infection assuming they had enough carbon building blocks to do so. Well, this was all fine and dandy until there was a mistake somewhere. Nanites started replicating themselves using human tissue instead of repairing it. Now, 50 years post outbreak, there are grey zones where every living thing is turned into nanites so it looks like a giant glob of grey goo. (Not sure if plants are included in this. We'll probably say "no" and give the reason that plant cells are resistant to the nanites... or something)
The other side effects is that in some of the population, the nanites have actually improved the host. Stronger, faster, think generic list of super human feats, classicly associated with mutations cause from radiation. But there are always side effects. You become stronger, your brain reverts to primal instincts, etc etc. This is also where a "zombie" type creature is formed. (We haven't figured out a cunning name for them yet.) But basically, the nanites take over the body and instead of just using the host to replicate, they use the host to eat other people, which they then use to replicate.
My character is a survivalist who had picked up fletching here, some blacksmithing there. I was wanting to know, realisticly, how many arrows he could produce an hour, if he had nothing better to do. While there is glue, he'll probably just use the thread wrap method for securing the fetchings and broad head to the "throw away" arrows and go the extra step and make some sap glue for the ones he wants to reuse.
As far as the head goes, it could be anything from a street sign to a door panel. Doesn't need to be fancy, just needs to pierce skin and clothing. He has enough blacksmithing to fashion arrow heads, but since he travels a bit, he doesn't always have access to a force. Sure a hot campfire could do the trick for some metals, but in the long haul, he just uses what he can.
So there you have it! I'm a geek. But I like to bring as much reality into my fantasy as possible. So I didn't want to say, "Hey, my character can build 2 dozen arrows an hour!" Because no one is mass producing bullets anymore, so arrows are turning in to the new "thing"
And I wouldn't jump the gun and say that medieval arrows never used string to attach a head. Surely there are some split shaft medieval arrowheads. I don't have any to show you, I'm afraid, but I would be surprised if no one in europe used a split shaft mounting for the head.
But that was an awesome video! Now I know why my oak arrows don't work... teehee, silly me.
Well in that case, thread wrapping on crude points, no glue or finishes to speak of, I'd say a dozen an hour seems reasonable, if he's really good. Maybe a half dozen if he's just sort of decent. I'd say 6-8 an hour, to er on the side of realism. Assuming he's doing this by a campfire, with like a multi-tool or something. It is surprisingly difficult to saw in a self nock with a multi-tool and no vice to hold the shaft. I know, I've tried. Lol.
That said, if you're trying to go all super realistic, these kinds of arrows should take a pretty severe hit to accuracy. Like I said earlier, with wooden arrows, to get them really super accurate you have to spend a lot of time measuring weights and such to really fine tune them to the specific bow. Random sticks and pieces of river cane, etc, coupled with really inconsistent head weights/sizes are going to make some really shitty shooting arrows. Hell if you get a shaft that isn't strong enough, it might just explode when you try to shoot it. I've seen it happen before. Sounds like a damn gun shot with splinters filling the air. Scary damn thing to have happen a few feet from you. Lol. Here is a nice video demonstrating what happens when you shoot a wooden arrow that's way to light for the bow. Skip to about the 2 minute mark to see it:
I've never heard about any sort of trade points in Europe from the viking age or later. I mean of course there could have been some but I've never heard of it. Of course the Native Americans were using them right up until we white folk came over with our muskets swords and fancy armor, so they certainly existed in that time period. I'm just not sure if there were any in Europe on any sort of large scale.
Hope you have fun man! I really need to get my buddies over to continue our DnD game. Sort went by the wayside over the holidays.
Post by Major, Cory J on Jan 17, 2011 14:47:04 GMT
Actually.... Making arrows in the Medieval Ages was about as time consuming as making a house....
It is because every thing was about the "Guilds" back then. and there just wasn't a "arrow making guild", you had the people who shaped the shafts, the black smiths who made the points, the people who picked the feathers and attached them, and the people who gave a basic "stain" on the shafts (to avoid swelling in the damp weather).
And not all these guilds worked in the same building, let alone the same town...
But in your context making arrows in a RPG, I'd say you could whip out some rudimentary arrows fairly fast in a post apocalyptic world. I would think they just wouldnt be made of wood (Fires of all the nukes maybe burned most of the forests and such up?).
For example: In Vietnam the VC made primitive "cross-bow" devices out of truck struts and used Steel cable for the string, and sharpened re-bar shafts as ammo. Did some pretty nasty damage if I remember.
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