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DavidZahir
08-18-2009, 10:01 PM
I'm trying to figure out how long it would take wooden arrows made circa 1917 to rot away partially exposed to a cold, wet environment (think San Francisco Bay Area). Frankly, I'm assuming they wouldn't last too long so my question should be -- how might such arrows last for a long time? If one of them could last about nine decades that would be perfect.

For example, what if they weren't made of wood?
If not, what might they have been made of?
If they were of wood, what wood would last longest and/or how might it have been treated to make it last a long time?
One possibility that came to mind was an arrow with a stiff wire through the center and the shaft really thoroughly coated in shellac or something similar.Similarly, I'd like to know what kinds of arrowheads would do the most damage and tend to remain lodged in the human-sized target. From what research I've done so far methinks a medieval design, the "forked" arrow head might do the trick. Like this:
http://img105.imagevenue.com/loc161/th_18229_forked_arrowhead_122_161lo.jpg
Thanks in advance!

TheIT
08-18-2009, 10:08 PM
I don't have answers to your specific questions, but this thread might give you somewhere to start:

"Archery Competitions?"
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69327

DavidZahir
08-18-2009, 11:32 PM
Thanks for the link. Doesn't really answer my questions, but was fun to read.

Shakesbear
08-19-2009, 12:12 AM
How long it takes may depend on the type of wood used and how it had been treated. Some wood can take centuries to rot - Woodhenge is one example and so it the Mary Rose. Metal items taken out of shipwrecks don't seem to be eaten at by sea water. Interesting problem... goes away scratching head ...

Canotila
08-19-2009, 04:58 AM
Are they outside or buried or something? If so they'd be gone within a couple of years. If they were stored in a dry attic or something, and no bugs got to them they would last quite a while.

Though, if the fletching was made of feathers it would likely be eaten by mites. You get the same problem with violins stored in attics for decades. People pull them down and the mites have eaten every scrap of horsehair from the bow.

DavidZahir
08-19-2009, 05:25 AM
The arrows are partially exposed, as I said, to cold and wet. I'm not concerned with the fletching. Nor do I need the arrows completely intact. But if one could be intact enough to be handled without disintegrating--that would be ideal.

Nivarion
08-19-2009, 05:27 AM
I'm trying to figure out how long it would take wooden arrows made circa 1917 to rot away partially exposed to a cold, wet environment (think San Francisco Bay Area). Frankly, I'm assuming they wouldn't last too long so my question should be -- how might such arrows last for a long time? If one of them could last about nine decades that would be perfect.
For example, what if they weren't made of wood?
If not, what might they have been made of?
If they were of wood, what wood would last longest and/or how might it have been treated to make it last a long time?
One possibility that came to mind was an arrow with a stiff wire through the center and the shaft really thoroughly coated in shellac or something similar.Similarly, I'd like to know what kinds of arrowheads would do the most damage and tend to remain lodged in the human-sized target. From what research I've done so far methinks a medieval design, the "forked" arrow head might do the trick. Like this:
http://img105.imagevenue.com/loc161/th_18229_forked_arrowhead_122_161lo.jpg
Thanks in advance!

In order
1. Most nowadays aren't
2. Fiberglass and aluminum are common
3. Cedar can take almost 50 years to decay, and it is pretty available through all of the western US. Or any other place where it rains or snows a lot.
4. That would be a lot of work, but it would work.

The barbed or break away arrows would stay in a person for a long time. Break away's are normally hunting arrows though. About 3 to 6 inches from the head the arrow has been cut so that the shaft behind it fits into front. A large gap remains. A twig or other small breakable object is inserted through a peg hole. When the arrow strikes the head is buried in and the twig breaks. The shaft falls out and leaves the head in. Does massive damage since its all but impossible to remove the head and stay alive.

And the pronged arrow head actually looks like it would be easier to remove, since the back is curved. That is if you live through it.