Introduction Edit

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:

Red deer leg tendons

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:

Coarsely shredded red deer leg tendons

There was also a fair amount of waste, which is only usable for making animal glue:

Red deer tendon waste

Fine shredding Edit

The coarsely shredded tendons were split further to make finer fibers:

Finely shredded red deer leg tendons

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":

PhaseWeight at startTime (all)Time (one)Long fibersShort fibersWasteLost
Beating87g25 mins5 mins---3g
Coarse shredding84g215 mins43 mins50g-32g2g
Fine shredding50g534 mins107 mins41g4g5g-
Whole process87g774 mins155 mins41g4g37g5g

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.