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    Duplicating the look of a composite prod

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    kiltedcelt
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    Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by kiltedcelt on Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:42 am

    I plan on making a crossbow that looks very similar to this:



    My first thought is to simply slap on a metal prod as most of us would do in making any kind of medieval replica bow and simply explain away the substitution by saying that I/we can't easily create a composite prod as would have been used on the original bow. I don't know, but maybe there's some evidence that bows may have had their composite prods replaced by steel prods when those became more readily available. I recently bought the 'Crossbows of the Royal Netherlands Army Museum' book and it indicates at least one or more bows in that collection may have seen service for a couple hundred years, undergoing minor service and upgrades throughout their lifetimes. Anyway, back to my idea. If you look at the area where the prod binds to the tiller you'll notice the absence of something - namely a binding block like those we see on steel prod bows. A composite prod bow doesn't need a binding block because the bindings simply wrap around the stout midsection of the composite prod. So, here's where my tricky mind got to thinking. Why not encase a steel prod and its binding block inside of a faux composite prod? You could wrap some kind of thin leather or rawhide around some kind of stiff but still pliable material that would overlay the steel prod underneath, and the wooden binding block. You would only need to build up the ends of the prod with something that the string would fit around to make the ends of the prod look more beefy instead of leaving the thin metal ends of the steel prod poking out of your faux composite prod. Obviously there's no practical purpose to doing this. Instead you'd take this approach simply to duplicate the look of a composite prod without having to go the trouble of actually having to make one. This would only be of importance or even worth considering for those of us who are involved in groups like the SCA where you might score some points with some folks by going the extra mile to try to simulate the look of something historically accurate. Anyone have any thoughts on this? I still haven't decided which route I'm going to go with this particular bow. Although, I'm kind of leaning towards giving it a try on this particular bow.
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    Re: Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by Basilisk120 on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:10 pm

    I was wondering about the same thing the other day. How to duplicate the thick rounded look of a period prod. I have a different approach in mind. I wanted to try making a composite D-shaped wooden prod. Most wood or wood composite prods that I have seen are flat board bows. If your trying to imagine the shape a tradition English War bow is a D shaped bow.

    I was thinking of Ipe (or hickory) backed with Hickory, Fiberglass or bamboo. That mostly depends on what I have or can get cheaply/easily. then hiding the composite look with either leather or rawhide wrapped around the prod.

    I do realize that to make it close to an appropriate length with a decent draw weight will probably over stress the wood. But I happen to have a piece of Ipe floating around right now and only part of it is going towards making an ELB (English Long Bow).

    Hopefully I can get this project started soon. Will keep everyone posted.



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    Re: Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by Pavise on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:37 pm

    We always hear and read about sinews and tendons being incorporated in very old composite bows. But there is another organ that was undoubtedly used that I've never read about when it comes to making archery equipment. And that is the bovine, or other large animal, penis. A large domestic bull has a long penis that can be stretched and dried to make a savage stick that was once used by cattle drovers until the use of them was outlawed many years ago. Obtain one from your local slaughterhouse or rendering plant and then put the root end on a large nail or hook and suspend in a warm dry place with a pail of rocks etc., hung at the thin end. When it's firm and dry then go to work with your tools and make laminate bow fibres from it.

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    Re: Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by Basilisk120 on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:52 pm

    Well that would be an interesting prod if nothing else. And it would go with my bull scrotum bag.



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    Composite prod look-alike

    Post by Geezer on Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:06 am

    Geezer here, on composite look-alikes. If you don't care if your prod actually works, why not make the entire thing out of papier-mache' ? It would be easier to get to the right shape, lightweight, and a very good display item.
    If you want your prod to actually peform.... that's a different kettle of fish. ANYTHING you attach to a prod that isn't contributing to the work of flinging bolts will reduce performance. That includes such useful items as string silencers, leather 'sicher' safety straps for big steel prods, pom-poms, or even fatter-than-necessary bowstrings for the right 'look'. If those items are light enough, the losses may be minimal, but they're real enough.
    I lash very thin rawhide over my aluminum-alloy bows to make them more acceptable to medieval groups and theatrical/movie property folks. Adding even these very thin, tight fitted covers slightly increases draw-weight, but in fact performance generally suffers just a bit. The people who want the covers are happy enough to make the compromise, but its certainly real.
    So if you wanna pile some sort of goop on your prod to make it look like something it isn't go ahead, but don't expect the result to shoot worth a darn. Geezer.
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    Re: Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by Ivo on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:08 am

    Penis billy clubs...GREAT... now I'll nave nightmares for weeks.

    Also I totally agree with Geezer... if you want the looks without authenticity, you are just twisting your arms out of their sockets only to end up with a less efficient(if not at all efficient) build.

    On the other hand, imitating something like this is very animal kingdom friendly (I would say it's practically Vegitarian ) , but shouldn't be a problem with the method Geezer mentioned. Papier-mache' would be a the choice...>>>think "cardboard" glued to the steel prod.

    And to imitate the sinew look, you can buy Silicone Caulk or Liquid Nails(comes in this a very authentic diarrhea color...just fooling ) in the hardware store, dilute it a little with Xylene(Xylol) and brush it on the cardboard prod. <<< This is all highly theoretical, so have fun experimenting.






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    Re: Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by kiltedcelt on Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:05 pm

    I hadn't actually thought about how non-working stuff added to the prod could rob performance. Anyway, in the day or so since I'd posted this thread originally I had decided to stick with the original idea of just putting on a metal prod. At some point down the road, there's no reason I couldn't remove the binding and put on an authentic composite prod. The German book about composite prodded bows that was mentioned in another thread got me thinking more seriously about making a real composite prod. I think that would be the ultimate - making a real composite prod for the ultimate in a period-correct crossbow.
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    Re: Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by Ivo on Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:52 am

    I'm glad to hear your decision is leaning towards fabricating "working" composite prod one day.

    Not having any experience in making them myself I did do my share of research on the subject, in fact enough to start gathering materials for this project.

    I will be glad to share any information I have on the subject and support you in your research.

    Good Luck!

    PS: By the way, you mentioned you looked through the German book...do you have a copy already?




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    Hornbow book

    Post by Geezer on Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:03 pm

    Geezer here: I just got my copy of Holger Richter's book on horn/composite crossbows. It's a goldmine, I tell you, an absolute goldmine. I've been digging through it for the last 5 hours, stretching my woefully inadequate German to the max. Great stuff my friends, great stuff. Geezer, back to the gold-mine.
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    Re: Duplicating the look of a composite prod

    Post by kiltedcelt on Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:39 pm

    Ivo wrote:

    PS: By the way, you mentioned you looked through the German book...do you have a copy already?

    Ivo,

    I think that link that was posted went a site that shows a lot of images from the book. I'm just going off of what I saw there, but I do plan on buying that book, even if it is in German.
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    German book

    Post by Geezer on Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:37 am

    Geezer here: I have received my 'German book' if by that you mean Holger Richter's book on horn/sinew composite crossbows. It's wonderful. He quotes a contemporary English maker of horn composites... Jeeze, what a stinking, awful job. i'll let you guys try it out first and see how it goes.

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