Hi, Basileus. I didnt know about the wiki, but will check it out soon. Always nice to run into someone with our particular...affliction
I'm at the point with both machines where I need to make the washers and counterplates, and the trigger parts. It all stopped there, lol. Actually, I need to get back to them and get them finished. Like you, I really want to make springs out of actual sinew, and about the only plan I have is to make friends with slaughter houses and harvest the stuff myself.
I have the same plan. I'm probably trying to make contacts with hunting societies and slaughter houses before our hunting season, which is in September-November I think. I'm going to try moose and reindeer Achilles tendons (they're pretty long) and backstrap sinew. I'm hoping leg tendons work ok, because they'd make life much simpler as they're basically waste. Possibly the best bet is to visit Lapland in late autumn when tens of thousands of reindeers are butchered in large facilities. Most of them are young, but about 10-20% are adults and have tendons suitable for sinew rope.
Rubber boots and a strong stomach will be required.
For my little 1.25" hand held machine, I estimate it will take at least 150 feet of rope. That is a LOT of sinew. The next closest classical material would be horsehair rope, which Vitruvius and Heron et al do suggest if sinew isn't available. I just need to build a rope jack and get to work making all that rope.
Yep. Making the rope is going to be a very tedious task. But I need to do this properly, as I have scientific interest in the Cheiroballistra. Most scholars have stopped short and settled with speculation and nylon springs.
It will be nice to have a translation that is not Wilkins or Marsden! I look forward to your efforts.
Fortunately I took two classical greek courses at the University just for this purpose, lol
. Translation is going to take a while: classical Greek is not an especially easy language.
Later, I'll have to post some pictures of my machines, and hope that they are related enough to crossbows (well, not exactly, but they do hurl sharp pointy things), as do crossbows.
Ivo: perhaps we could have a separate forum board for ballistas? It'd be nice to be able to discuss these things with fellow builders
. Granted, there's the RomanArmyTalk forum board, but any time you mention "inswinger" there, a flamewar is started by Alan Wilkins proponents. As the late-Roman ballistas (incl. cheiroballistra) were with 99,9% certainty inswingers (see the ballista Wiki), it's next to impossible to have an intelligent discussion there without background noise. I feel this forum is not as tied to religious issues such as the inswinger vs. outswinger "controversy".
Ok, rant over, Basileus out