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    new project

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    kiwijim
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    new project

    Post by kiwijim on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:34 am

    Hi Guys,
    I see a couple of you have just had your birthdays. Happy Birthday! and mine is on Sunday, So I thought I would share the start of my latest project. I call it Operation Aries. Can you guess what I'm up too?
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    I have been impressed with the thickness of the horn plates that you can extract from ram horns. The finished dimensions of these plates is a hair under 0.5" thick x 15" long x 2" wide
    Also, I have straightened them since I last took these photos. When the horn was hot, it straightened beautifully .

    Regards

    James
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    Todd the archer
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    Re: new project

    Post by Todd the archer on Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:41 am

    Looks like your getting ready to make a composite prod. Good luck. I mean that in a good way.

    Wondering if anyone knows how they perform in comparison to a steel prod for speed. I am thinking that they are suprerior but a lot of trouble to make and have to watch for moisture protection. I think steel was easier to use but it's mass is so heavy compared to horn,wood, and sinew.

    Also a little freaky about birthdays, mine happens to be this Saturday!

    Keep use posted with your progress.

    Todd
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    Re: new project

    Post by Pavise on Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:00 pm

    Hi James,

    Kia ora.

    Nothing quite like a bit of good old Kiwi inventiveness eh. I guess some old cockie is now wondering what happened to his best tup

    And I like your hunting crossbow on the other thread. Very nice workmanship mate. Did you taper grind the Powertuff on the belly side? It looks like you might have done so from the picture.

    Kia pai and Hari huritau mate.

    Now over to Todd,

    Your crossbow stock is extremely well executed Todd and looks way better than the original plastic. But I find that the wood stocks are a bit vulnerable to damage at the heel and grip ends as well as the fore-end when set down on anything the least bit aggressive.

    And Happy birthday to you too.

    Pavise
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    kiwijim
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    Re: new project

    Post by kiwijim on Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:23 am

    Hi Guys,
    Well, after grinding the horn belly slats to their dimensions and putting in a slight taper I got the heatgun out to put in some small recurves. I now know that you DO NOT use dry heat to bend horn. CRACK! Well at least I have one nice horn plate left, which will make a nice table on a tiller.
    Now to find some more horns. And no Pavise, I will not poach them!
    By the way, as some of you have worked out, I am not going to make this prod the more usual way of laminating horn strips, edge to edge (action horn!), to make up the necessary thickness. I am going to use a wood core. As I am not going to make a monster prod (like Ulrich V's, which is over 2" thick), I think a wooden core will suffice.

    I can find a reference to this being done in The Grey Goosewing By E.G. Heath; Page 301, where a document, dated 1358 is refered to. This document lists the materials required to make 25 crossbows. Included in this list, along with ram horns and sinew, is 25 pieces of yew,

    I will let you know how it goes.

    Regards

    JAmes
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    Basilisk120
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    Re: new project

    Post by Basilisk120 on Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:18 am

    that's frustrating. But thanks for the heads up about the heat gun. Sounds like a fun project thought.
    Keep up the good work and really looking forward to some pictures.



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    Pavise
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    Re: new project

    Post by Pavise on Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:10 am

    G'day All,

    Glad to learn that you had a good time out there in God's country kiwijim and those trout sound like some beauts too. And I only meant to imply that you had found an old tup dead and was merely recycling the horns.

    Now stinkin' old billy goats, well they're a different thing altogether eh. Is it possible to ever get that p**s stink off your arrows?

    Anyway, let's keep having a laugh. A huge snowstorm just missed us last night and now my daughter and her family are snowed in at their farm some 45 miles from here and have been without power since early this morning with no signs of when it will be restored or the roads opened up. But they sure needed the moisture on those vast prairie grainfields.

    Now back to crossbows and horns.

    A dear friend of mine in England, regretfully now passed on, used to make walking sticks and wrote a book that I have, wherein he describes boiling (simmering) "horn" and then straightening it or bending to whatever shape he wanted. He also refers to using hot oil for the same purpose and emphasized that the horn must be heated all the way through. However he also describes how he often heated sections of a horn stick handle, by means of a propane torch applied carefully. An addition to this process was the application of oil to the horn to prevent scorching. He adds that staghorn (antler) cannot be manipulated this way, nor does he describe any other way. He used water buffalo horn and rams horns of every type and speaks well of goat horn too.

    I know how you feel Jim. I just had a real nice piece of old cowbone crack as I tried to make it fit a tiller I'm making.

    Pavise
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    tod
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    Re: new project

    Post by tod on Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:25 am

    He adds that staghorn (antler) cannot be manipulated this way, nor does he describe any other way. He used water buffalo horn and rams horns of every type and speaks well of goat horn too.

    I know how you feel Jim. I just had a real nice piece of old cowbone crack as I tried to make it fit a tiller I'm making.

    Pavise

    sorry havn't got to grips with quotes etc yet.

    bone and antler can be softened to a large degree by soaking in a mild acid solution for a few days, try either very rotten milk or vinegar and you can get some quite surprising curves with thin sections.

    Tod
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    kiwijim
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    Re: new project

    Post by kiwijim on Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:04 am

    Hi Guys

    I have secured some more horns. These ones are black merino horns, they are beauties. It's almost a shame to cut them up.

    Hi Tod, now, I suspect you may be master at bending thin sections of bone! I love that bone veneered and carved sporting crossbow of yours. Abolutely breathtaking! You should post some of your stuff here.

    Regards
    JAmes
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    Re: new project

    Post by Lightly on Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:17 pm

    Good info!


    I have tried simmering the horn (cow) lockplates (to go on my clients Danish bow), and then, clamping them to the bow and leaving over night. The shape got fairly close, then I made the inlet, simmered again, to fit them in... both are done and fairly close ( I so need more practice) but, I think I may try to oil or vinegar next time, and see what happens there.

    Thank you gratefully for the advice and tips...

    Best!

    Lightly.

    Oh, KiwiJim, I will be very interested to see your merino horns and how they come out. Best of luck!
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    Re: new project

    Post by tod on Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:55 pm

    I Have always struggeld a little with horn. I soak it for a few days in water, then boil for a couple of hours and then I clamp it down to whatever former I am using and leave it for a couple of days to dry out.

    And still it moves..........

    It never quite retains the shape I want and worse it changes over the next few weeks.

    If you hit on the holy grail please let us know.

    The vinegar works on calciferous stuff rather than keratin, so try it on bone and antler.

    Tod
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    Re: new project

    Post by Lightly on Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:03 pm

    Thank you, Tod! next time I will try soaking in water for a few days before hand and then the simmering.
    I glued and clamped it just now, and it DID move, darn thing, tried to shove it back, we will see how that worked, if at all. I will have to work with this more. I love the look of it, but boy howdy, the labor.
    I will try the vinegar on the antler, I did some axis stag antler inlay, and that likely would have helped. Next time.. live and learn! The inlay came out ok, carving was never something that I learned, so learning as I go.
    I will come back tomorrow, or wednesday, and tack the horn down, before I start sanding it.

    Thanks again!

    Best;
    Lightly
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    Pavise
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    Re: new project

    Post by Pavise on Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:58 pm

    What part and type of a cow skeleton yields the best bone for our needs? I have access to a bunch of cattle bones where the carcasses were dumped last year. But these beasts were of a beef breed and thus the bones are not all that large.

    And nice work on the Danish crossbow Lightly. You might find it easier to rout the main part of your inlay recess by using a very small straight router bit in a fast turning drill press, set up to suit. Such tiny bits are generally available where they sell Dremel etc., tools. I find that it is much easier and more accurate to carefully move the wood under the fixed position bit than it is to use the power tool itself. (It's just too hard to see what I'm doing that way.) But the stock must have enough of a flat area to make reference against the clean drill table and obviously this won't work where the areas are curved to any degree. Although I have made some of my inlets purposely thicker and proud, and then finished the profile afterwards to suit the final shape I'm after.

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    Re: new project

    Post by Lightly on Sun May 02, 2010 11:28 am

    Pavise, I did NOT think to move the stock under the bit. I think I will need to try that sometime. Usually, I use the dremel, but on a flat bit of stock. This Danish bow is rounded, and was a bit interesting to inlet.

    However, the lockplates are done, I am not totally happy with them, however, it was a great learning experience! I simply hope that I do get another order for cowhorn lockplates before all this knowledge recedes. I need to do something a few times in fairly quick succession to lock it down tight.

    I will take some more photos of the bow/lockplates and caption them with my thoughts on why I am not totally happy. And perhaps, what I can do in the future to make me more happy.

    Best!

    Lightly

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