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    Looking for some wood selecting help.

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    SilverWolf
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    Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by SilverWolf on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:42 pm

    Hallo all this is my first time one the forum so i'm sorry to barrage you all with questions allready.

    I'm a member of a crossbow guild in Belgium and for the last year i have been borrowing a crossbow from the guild.
    Now i want to build my own crossbow or let it be made if the crossbow maker still want to make one (heard rumors that hes retiring).

    So i need some tips on the type of wood i can use for this project.
    The guild use's traditional Belgium crossbows with a lever, there mostly 2 or 3 type's of wood used.

    Here are some picture's of the crossbow i'm borrowing just to give you a idea of how they look (click on the image to enlarge).

    Thank you very much for your time and help in advance.






    Hermit
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by Hermit on Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:45 am

    Good Morning from Canada Silverwolf.The bow you are currently using,the stock,or tiller is made from 3 pieces(laminations) of oak.The track where the arrow goes,I am not sure about.You can use any stable hardwood for the stock,Oak I would think is easy to get in Belgium.The woods that are commonly used for stocks(both gun and crossbow)are Maple, walnut and Beech((cheaper guns)Oak is not usually used for gunstocks,but I don't know why not,I see no reason why it should'nt be.Mahogany is also a good possibility,as is Birch.If you are going for good looks ,Walnut is generally thought to look the best,Maple can offer some spectacular grain,but is a light coloured wood,and is not usually stained dark,Mahogany a dark wood also.you need to talk to anyone you know who works with wood,they should be able to tell you what you can get locally,and how much it will cost.
    There are literally hundreds of woods you can use(there are over 200 different types of Mahogany)I suspect it will come down to what you can buy locally,for a reasonable cost.
                                                            Hermit.

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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by Stonedog on Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:50 am

    That's impressive....whoever built it is an artist....

    SilverWolf
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by SilverWolf on Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:45 pm

    Thank you very much for the info Hermit.

    I will be looking around for hard woods, and your right oak and beech are easy to find around here.

    I will try this project in small size first, so i can see how to start/finish and solve the problem that may popup.
    Thank you very much again for your time and advice.

    Hermit
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by Hermit on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:08 am

    Taking another look at that beautiful crossbow you have Silverwolf,I think that the channel for the bolt,is most likely Beech.It looks as though the craftsman who built it used locally available woods,which makes sense.Beech is a nice wood to work with,hard ,tough,very stable(does not warp)but it does'nt have much for grain,so it's not an attractive wood.that's why you don't see it on expensive guns.Oak is a more attractive wood,not as stable as Beech,but when cut right(quarter sawn),can be very attractive.Laminating it,as is the case with your bow,will make it stable.Wood nowadays is kiln seasoned(moisture removed in an oven)But there are still some places where it's naturally seasoned,if you can obtain naturally seasoned wood,that's the best way to go.Hope this helps Silverwolf,and good luck with your build.
                                                                 Hermit.

    SilverWolf
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by SilverWolf on Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:35 pm

    Thank you for the extra tips Hermit.

    I was planning to make the middle out of beech because its cheaper and as you say it strong.
    If i put some other wood beside it like a darker one the beech will jump out aswell making it look nice to.

    With the arrow grove woord i can go a bit more expensive because i wont need a big slap of it.

    But befor i'm starting with the the wood works i'm going to make the trigger mechanism first, during that time i can look around for the wood.

    8fingers
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by 8fingers on Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:16 pm

    A friend of mine is a gun nut, warns that beech gun stocks tend to warp in damp conditions. Highly figured woods also tend to warp. Laminating will tend to stabilize both. Consider cherry, tends to be very stable, and other 'fruit woods' that often come in short lengths and nice figure.

    SilverWolf
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by SilverWolf on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:32 pm

    8fingers wrote:A friend of mine is a gun nut, warns that beech gun stocks tend to warp in damp conditions. Highly figured woods also tend to warp. Laminating will tend to stabilize both. Consider cherry, tends to be very stable, and other 'fruit woods' that often come in short lengths and nice figure.
    Now if you have a wood that is stablized and seal it up after glueing (dryed) wont that help fight off the warping problems?
    Beside that point is the price of the wood and this is my first time i'm going to try this so i need to keep the cost as low as posible.

    i'm going to need a wood slap of 1cm (minimal and straight) thick on 120cm long and atleast 17cm wide and that only for the core of the bow.
    So i will need that same size 2 time's for the out side and a little bit extra for maybe warp and cutting/straightening los.

    And if we are talking about damp condition is this around the 80 to 90% humidity on a hydrometer or lower?

    Hermit
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by Hermit on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:53 pm

    Gunstocks were made for 2 conditions,warfare,and hunting.Both of these conditions can be tough on wood when it comes to exposure to moisture.We have found that certain woods are more stable than others,especially when properly treated.If the wood has been seasoned properly,and the grain is not to extreme,most woods will remain stable.As this is your first build Silverwolf,I think you are smart to go with what is cheap and available.My own experience with beech is that it does not warp,when I was in school,and was taught wood work,all the planes in the woodshop were made of beech(that was a long time ago).Laminating will further reduce the warp factor.The other thing that will protect your stock,is the finish.I have looked at many pictures of  crossbows that are home built,and all to many of them are finished with some form of polyeurethane varnish.This is something I would not do.Polyeurethane varnish is easy to apply and gives a good tough finish,but only on the surface of the wood,should your bow take a knock,and the surface be broken,you then have a way that moisture can get in.In my humble opinion,the best way to get a waterproof finish on a stock,is to use oil.There 2 kinds of oil you can use linseed oil,and tung oil personally,I prefer tung oil,much easier to finish and apply and re-apply than linseed oil.Tung oil comes from the nut of a tree than grew only in China,but is now also grown in North America,and is readily available here,I don't know about availability in Europe.Oak is a good wood to use,as it is coarse grained and porous,so oil will penetrate deeply,and provide the best protection.If your wood is well seasoned,laminated,and oil finished,warping should not be a problem,regardless of humidity.
                                                          Hermit.

    Rizzar
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by Rizzar on Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:24 pm

    Hey there!

    I personally would not use beech for your crossbow. Its grain is too short in comparison.
    With Oak I had some problems concerning the wide grain structure, too. But this depends on the growing speed of the tree itself.

    When laminating layyers together many things are possible and even not very expensive.
    But you should not save in the wrong places. The tiller is the thing you handle all the time so you will regret doing a compromise with it.

    I personnally would prefer ash, maple, Walnut andfruits (cherry is available for considerably low price but the fancy hard ones like peer, plum or appple are expensive)

    For the finish I´d recommend an multi oil wax mixture: Osmo Hardwax Oil (german producer, so should not be a problem in Belgium (googled: is even available in the US under osmo na polyx oil)). It gives a beautiful look and touch like the old stuff!
    Thried linseed, Tungoil and other stuff before (even mixtures of these by a secret recipy), but have to admit that the osmo thing is outstanding.

    Rizzar

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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by Hermit on Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:34 am

    Vielen danke Rizz,will give the Orno a go if I can get it..............
                                                                       Hermit.

    Rizzar
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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

    Post by Rizzar on Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:33 pm

    Gern geschehen!

    Give it a try, you won´t regret it!
    Very Happy 

    Rizz

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    Re: Looking for some wood selecting help.

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