This article tries to provide a realistic estimate on how long it takes to make sinew rope starting from dried red deer leg tendons. At the time of the writing, the author had practiced enough to do the job fairly effectively without having to waste time learning the basics.
For the purposes of the test, five red deer leg tendons were selected:
These five tendons weighed 87 grams.
Beating the tendons Edit
The tendons were beaten with a wooden mallet and a small hammer to separate the fibers.
Coarse shredding Edit
After beating the tendons were split using a ~3mm thick piece of hardened steel sharpened to a needle-like point. This resulted in a pile of coarsely shredded sinew:
There was also a fair amount of waste, which is only usable for making animal glue:
Fine shredding Edit
The coarsely shredded tendons were split further to make finer fibers:
A fairly large needle was used to help start the splits. An attempt was made to keep the fibers fairly thick to save time.
Time and waste Edit
In the table below are the results of processing red deer leg tendons from start to finish. The most time-consuming phase is the preprocessing phase where tendons are split into thin fibers. Fibers longer than 10cm were classified as "long", those between 6cm and 10cm as "short", and anything shorter as "waste":
|Phase||Weight at start||Time (all)||Time (one)||Long fibers||Short fibers||Waste||Lost|
|Beating||87g||25 mins||5 mins||-||-||-||3g|
|Coarse shredding||84g||215 mins||43 mins||50g||-||32g||2g|
|Fine shredding||50g||534 mins||107 mins||41g||4g||5g||-|
|Whole process||87g||774 mins||155 mins||41g||4g||37g||5g|
Preprocessing one leg tendon takes ~2,5 hours and results in 8,2g of long (10cm+), good-quality sinew fibers usable for making sinew thread. Around 53% of the tendon's original weight was unusable (i.e. "short" or "waste" above). This waste can still be used for making animal glue, or wound into thread for less-demanding uses.