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    Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

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    gcostello65
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    Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by gcostello65 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:33 pm

    Hello all! I am in the process of designing my next crossbow and would like to get some help. I would like to make a leaf spring prod, but I cannot find any leafsprings or spring steel that is less than 1/4" thick. I want to make a prod that is easily spanned by hand as I want to hunt small game and target shoot with this xbow. Therefore, I need a  leaf spring that is thinner than 1/4" thick, does anybody know where to find one of these? I am also looking into a laminated bow of douglas fir with a thick sinew backing. Would this suffice? If I used two laminated pieces of fir and about 3/16"-1/4" of sinew backing, would this not break under tension? I want to make a prod around #80-100 lbs and I have no forge and have limited stores around with spring steel. I am also on the east coast of the U.S., so I have no access to any yew or osage woods. Please give me any advice you can offer, or even plans of prods that you have built. I also need to find a supply of sinew as I only know limited deer hunters and the season does not start for another few months. Thanks everyone!

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by actionbow on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:53 pm

    Fir is not going to make a good prod. At the very least go to a home depot and get some pieces of red oak. You can get thin pieces, check grain to make sure they are width wise as possible, glue them up to shape and back with standard fiberglass resin and mesh from aisle 14. My first few prods were h9me depot specials.

    a few tips:1. tite bond 3 for wood to wood. 2. Separate the fiberglass fibers and make multiple overlapping bundles running the length of the bow. 3. Spend as much time as you need to get the right grain pattern.

    actionbow
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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by actionbow on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:57 pm

    Also, if you are going to build wood prods spend as much time as possible on the paleo/trad archer building forums as possible. Their bow building knowledge is everything you need.

    kenh
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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by kenh on Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:35 am

    Actionbow is dead right if you must use wood.  Fir/pine sucks as bow wood.  Red Oak is the best Big Box store choice.  You can get 1/4" thick oak "craft wood" at all the Big Box stores.

    If you aren't stuck on wood, you can use about $5 worth of fiberglass chain-link fence tension bar (1/4" x 3/4") to make a simple prod in the power range you're talking about.  A single length about 26"-28" long will do the trick.  Use a hacksaw to cut some pin-nocks and epoxy putty to reinforce them.  You can bind two lengths together with shrink-wrap as a "loose laminate" prod to make an even more powerful prod as I did.  Check out the discussion as I built the bow shown in my avatar:  http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t945-loose-laminate-pinlock-build?highlight=pinlock


    Another option is to buy one of the 80# to 150#  "replacement" prods found on Ebay for about $30.


    Last edited by kenh on Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:05 am; edited 2 times in total

    gcostello65
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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by gcostello65 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:25 am

    Thanks very much for all the help guys!
    Completely off topic, does anybody know how to fletch a bolt with two pieces of leather? I am struggling to successfully do this. I have no jigs, but have a ready supply of beeswax and titebond. Any help would be great!

    Geezer
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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by Geezer on Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:13 am

    fletching with leather?  There are two workable ways.  Actually stiff parchment or rawhide works best, the thinner the better.  Either cut a slot down the shaft from the rear, slide in a triangle of fletching-stuff, glue in place, then glue and lash the last butt of the slot....
    Or, take two pieces of fletching-material, cut triangles.  Hot glue a triangle of fletching on top of the bolt, turn it over, and repeat the process.  Now you have two triangular fletches, one on bottom, one on top.  Make sure there's half an inch or so of butt sticking out at the rear.  Load and shoot.
    Or you could buy a fletching-jig and do it right.  Geezer.

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by kenh on Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:01 pm

    I made a simple jig to make two-fletch bolts with thin (1/16") wood fletching.

    gcostello65
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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by gcostello65 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:51 pm

    Thanks for all of the help! Also, I am making a rolling nut lock system. Is it possible to make a wooden tickler? I made my last one out of steel due to the high draw weight of the leaf spring, but this bow will be relatively small weight and steel of that dimension is hard to get, and I don't have a forge. Please help me with my trigger mechanism! I am a woodworker, not a metal worker!

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by kenh on Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:15 pm

    No reason the arms of the tickler can't be wood.  However the stresses are such (even with a lighter weight prod) that unless you used a bent-wood tickler, you're gonna break something.  Even if you made a bent-wood tickler, you're still going to want a metal pin where the tickler meets the roller nut.  
    What material are you going to use for the roller nut?  Delrin?

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by gcostello65 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:03 pm

    I am using delrin, and what is a bent wood tickler? I was going to cut it out of a 1x4 piece of wood?

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by kenh on Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:39 pm

    Bent wood is literally that.  Say a 1x4 stick which is steamed and then bent into a 90 degree L   at one end.  

    If you just saw a tickler out of a plank, some of the grain will run the length of the long arm, but the short part will be very weak because the grain won't follow it.  The result will be an L shape where the grain runs along the long bit (and is strong) but across the short bit (and is weak and prone to breaking).   

    If you must use wood for a shape like that you want to use plywood, where the grain runs in different directions in each layer, and the result is strong in all directions.  IMHO you will still want metal at the end of the tickler where it meets the roller nut, and also an embedded metal bolt in the Delrin, for strength.

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by chaz on Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:17 am

    How about making the tickler out of a laminate of layers of hardwoods ( light and dark in color with the grains perpendicular) and it becomes decorative as well ? Just a thought.

    Chaz

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by PierreC on Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:14 am

    gcostello65 wrote:this bow will be relatively small weight and steel of that dimension is hard to get
    What size tickler are you planning on making? I'm picturing a piece of steel about 6" long, and about 3/8" in diameter, bent into an L-shape.

    My local hardware store has steel nails that size for about $0.15 each. They could be bent cold with a hammer and a vice, or two short pieces of pipe. It would be better to heat the area where the bend will happen with a torch though.

    If you need to drill a hole to pin it to the lower receiver, you would want to file or grind a flat spot where you are going to punch and drill the hole.

    A thicker plate of steel can often be simulated by bolting some thinner ones together, although brazing them would be better. You could even braze together layers of dissimilar colored metals to end up with a really sharp looking pattern-welded part: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mokume-gane

    kenh
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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by kenh on Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:36 am

    Ye, a self-laminated wood tickler would work as long as the grain of alternate pieces runs at right angles to the one below it.

    Pierre is right.  You can go to any Home Depot or Lowes and get a 3-4 ft length of 1/4" x 3/8" or 3/8" x 3/8" mild steel 'square' bar for a couple bucks, and cold bend it with a hammer over the end of a 4x4 or a lump of metal (anvil) or any number of things like your curb or a piece of pipe.

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by PierreC on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:11 pm

    Another good source for barstock any place in the world is any automotive parts or small engine repair place.  They will have foot-long pieces of square keystock in several sizes...

    If your country calls it something else, ask for the metal bar that you cut pieces off of to keep a gear from spinning on a shaft.  There is a groove milled in the shaft, and a matching one in the gear, and when assembled, they form a 1/4" square hole, or 1/2" or whatever size you need.  They'll know what you are looking for.

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by Gnome on Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:55 pm

    So far most of my ticklers and triggers have been cut from mild steel plate with a cutting wheel in an angle grinder, but on my current project I decided to bend a length of 3/8" round bar instead. It was the first time I tried it and it wasn't too difficult at all, and a lot less waste than cutting it out. I used my bench vise for an anvil and heated the area I was working with a MAP gas torch- it would have been better if I had someone to handle the torch for me, since, by the time I set it down safely to start hammering, the metal had already cooled considerably, but it was still much easier than working it cold.
    Gcostello, you may not be a metalworker now, but you will be soon if you keep at this hobby! That's what I think is so addictive about building crossbows for me, the combination of different crafting skills that go into it- woodworking, metalworking, leatherworking, etc.
    Gnome

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by PierreC on Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:42 pm

    Gnome, get a wide, stable base for your torch, so you can set it on the table, pointing away from the working area around your vice.  One of these type of things: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Coleman-Lantern-or-Stove-Propane-Bottle-Plastic-Support-Base-from-a-5152-Lantern-/380707989848  They are usually found with camping and sporting goods, used to stabilize a propane lantern.

    Now you can start the torch, move your metal stock through the flame until the important area is properly heated, then move it quickly to the anvil/vice and bend or hammer... Move back to the flame for a second heat, etc...

    Jewellers and glass workers frequently use an oxy-propane or oxy-acetelyne torch that is mounted to the bench for this type of stuff.

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by Gnome on Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:54 pm

    That's a good suggestion, PierreC. I'll keep that in mind when I have shop improvement budget surplus. With the trigger-activated torch I have now, plus the limited supply of gas, having a helper would have been the best solution, I think. Plus, whenever I'm working with fire or power tools or sharp implements, it's nice to have someone standing right there for the inevitable 911 call.
    Gnome

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by PierreC on Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:06 pm

    I had an incident back when torch bottles were skinny and tall... I put the torch down (still lit) to free a hand to solder some pipe, then knocked it over with my elbow.  It rolled across the ground, setting fire to the carpet in several places.

    Ever since, I've looked for ways to make the torch more stable.  If I'd been using my grandfather's gasoline blowtorch, it would never have been knocked over.

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    Re: Leafspring prod/ wood laminate prod

    Post by Desert Drifter on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:08 am

    gcostello65 wrote:Hello all! I am in the process of designing my next crossbow and would like to get some help. I would like to make a leaf spring prod, but I cannot find any leafsprings or spring steel that is less than 1/4" thick. I want to make a prod that is easily spanned by hand as I want to hunt small game and target shoot with this xbow. Therefore, I need a  leaf spring that is thinner than 1/4" thick, does anybody know where to find one of these? I am also looking into a laminated bow of douglas fir with a thick sinew backing. Would this suffice? If I used two laminated pieces of fir and about 3/16"-1/4" of sinew backing, would this not break under tension? I want to make a prod around #80-100 lbs and I have no forge and have limited stores around with spring steel. I am also on the east coast of the U.S., so I have no access to any yew or osage woods. Please give me any advice you can offer, or even plans of prods that you have built. I also need to find a supply of sinew as I only know limited deer hunters and the season does not start for another few months. Thanks everyone!
    If your still looking for spring steel try Admiralsteele.com and click on the specialty and blade steel link.  I've been buying all of my blade steels from them for a long......long time.  They have some 1095 as thin as 3/32 and lower carbon grades as thin as 1/8 inch.  They don't have a minimum purchase and are fast shippers.

    These steels come annealed and are easily cut with hack saw, grinded and filed.  You might be able to heat these to antimagnetic (about 1750 degrees) in a bar-b-cue grill using a hair dryer.  I've heard that can be done, but I've never tried it.  Quench in oil.  Place in oven as high as you can set it for about 30 minutes to temper it.  If you didn't get enough temper in the blade, file it bright and then use a torch to draw the temper to a dark blue.....ought to do it.

    'Drif

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