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    New guy's First Build

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    woodsmith
    Fresh Blood

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    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

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    Age : 62
    Location : Kitchener, ON, Canada

    New guy's First Build

    Post by woodsmith on Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:14 pm

    New guy’s First Build
     
    I was hesitant to post this build since it is a very amateur effort compared to what I have seen on this site but what the heck, gotta start somewhere.  My intent for this build was to make a functioning crossbow using materials on hand, mostly wood, where possible and to learn and have fun. I pretty much succeeded on all counts although it is an ugly beast.

    I did not have a plan, or a prod to build around and I now realize that this was not a great way to start but lesson learned.
    The prod is made from two fiberglass chain link tension bars (thanks to kenh for the idea) held together with shrink tubing and zip ties. The zip ties are not a great idea as they stretch when flexed and don’t have the elasticity to return to size, and since I cut off the tails before flexing the prod I can’t tighten them now.
    The tiller is just soft woods I had lying around the shop. The rifle stock part is two 1x6 fence boards one spruce and one cedar, glued and doweled together. The rail part is poplar and wasn't supposed to be as high but when I went to route the bolt groove I couldn't find the mounting bolts for my router table so I built up the rail with two strips of poplar to create the groove.
     
    The stirrup is made from two bicycle training wheel brackets bolted together.
     
    The trigger mechanism is a combination of old and new styles, pinlock release with a modern trigger.  Another not so great idea here as the trigger is extremely heavy, I imagine with a tickler and its extended leverage it would be a lot lighter.
     
    I fired two test shots couple of nights ago in the basement from 24ft and the grouping was great however on the second shot the bracket holding the prod in place split and part flew off. Not a good idea for securing the prod since it is basically a bending handle bow so the flex popped the wood. Plus I had the grain on the oak plate running parallel to the prod.
     
    Prod is 28” lg, 27” ntn, braced at 3” with 11” power stroke. Pulls about 68lbs measured with a bathroom scale. I was expecting heavier after reading kenh’s “Loose laminate pinlock build” but then realized the fiberglass rods I have are ½” wide versus his ¾” ones.  Maybe 3 rods next time?
     

    I’m still tinkering with the build and it will be good for shooting in the basement this winter while I plan my next. For the next one I will plan it out this time, start with a prod, share plans, ideas and pictures during the process and seek advice from members here.





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    Lightly
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    Re: New guy's First Build

    Post by Lightly on Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:56 pm

    Really liking that woodwork on the stock...good job there. And, clever stirrup!
    Um, thinking, Darkwood armory (link on the site somewhere here) has some pretty good and cheap aluminum prods. We use them in some of our bows. 
    Anticipating seeing this, and more! Keep the photos coming...

    Best!

    Lightly
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    woodsmith
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    Re: New guy's First Build

    Post by woodsmith on Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:02 am

    Thanks Lightly. I was viewing Ulrich and she is beautiful. Awesome handiwork!
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    Gnome
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    Re: New guy's First Build

    Post by Gnome on Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:03 am

    I like it, Woodsmith! In my opinion, any project where you learn something in the process is time well spent, regardless of whether the final product meets expectations. I went looking for some of those tension bars, all I can find are galvanized steel. I've seen them online, though. Looks like you know your way around a woodshop! Sourcing the training wheel parts is my kind of thinking. I've got some bicycle brake levers and cables I've been trying to work into a viable release mechanism for a long time.
    Two questions- how did you do your limb end nocks, and how do you measure pull strength using a bathroom scale?
    Gnome
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    woodsmith
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    Re: New guy's First Build

    Post by woodsmith on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:25 am

    Hey Gnome, thanks. I came across those steel tension bars also, was wondering if they would work to make stirrups though would probably need special primer if painting them. The training wheel parts I've had for ages (I can't throw stuff out), used the wheels a couple years ago to make a cart for the kids croquet set.
    The end nock idea I got from kenh's Mar2013 "Loose Laminate Pinlock Build" except his look much better. They are simple pin nocks reinforced with epoxy putty. I had a heck of a time smoothing and shaping the putty, sticks to your fingers like crazy. Maybe Ken can chime in and give you some tips on how to avoid that. The putty dries very hard and can be sanded or filed.
    The bathroom scale trick I learned from the longbow folks on an archery forum. They put the braced bow on a tillering tree, place it on the scale, zero the scale and then pull the string down to their total draw length and read off the scale. You could do it with a chunk of 2x4 with a slot cut in the top, measure down from the top, put a mark at your total draw length and put the string in the slot and pull down on the center of the prod. Warning! (insert disclaimer here) its not the safest procedure and I wouldn't try it with too heavy of a prod. Of course you need to be able to pull the full draw by hand and the bottom of the 2x4 is gonna want to slip off the scale and the top and the prod smack you in the face. I put a rubber pad on the scale to help prevent this.
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    jds6
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    Re: New guy's First Build

    Post by jds6 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:12 pm

    woodsmith,

     I agree with Gnome. If you learned something while building this project that will surely make the next build easier and better, then the build was a success! I find flaws in every build that I do. We all are our own worst critic.
     Great build by the way, I like it!!!

    jds6

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