So this happened.
The sinew is in place, I found it moved rather a lot depending on temperature and humidity, and at the times of high humidity, the sinew was relaxing at exactly the time as the glue on the side seam was softening and the timber was trying to lengthen. The quiver was basically one hot, wet day away from exploding.
After talking to a few people with sinewing experience, I gave the sinew a coat of hide glue to protect it from moisture, and used finely ground iron oxide as a filler in the glue. The filler stops the glue from moving too much when it starts to be affected by heat or humidity. The result is quite happy and stable in today’s 86% humidity.
The aim was to use only things that were used in the period and culture. I had to be careful that whatever I used would be consistent with the reported grave finds. The use of glue comes from Rau’s proposed method of construction, which I’ve been following through this process, “the two halves may have been glued together”. Rau then notes “Very thin organic wire shaped fragments in the incised grooves are likely to represent the remains of sinew bands…”. The iron oxide pigment is my own interpolation, but would be indistinguishable from the soil in the grave. We do have arrows from the period with red paint on the shafts, so there is a precedent for pigment use on archery equipment.
The finish is home-made beeswax/linseed oil. I only have the leatherwork to go – a carrying strap and lid. I’ll make sure it fits my monster 32″ arrows, that should suit just about everyone.
I’ll discuss my thoughts and findings in the next part of this epic.
Reference: Rau, A., Remarks on Finds of Wooden Quivers from Nydam Mose, Southern Jutland, Denmark, in Archaeologia Baltica 8, 2007, pp141-154.