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    Casting Aluminium for nut and bow irons??

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    dackieboi
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    Casting Aluminium for nut and bow irons??

    Post by dackieboi on Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:42 am

    Hi guys its been a while since I've been on here,
    I was wondering if aluminium would work for a roller nut and bow irons or if it would be too soft? 
    I recently started looking into building a mini forge in my garden and was thinking i could cast the bits rather than just bending them?
    would be interested in some opinions.
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    Geezer
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    Re: Casting Aluminium for nut and bow irons??

    Post by Geezer on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:44 am

    I have used aluminum round-bar stock to make roller-nuts with mixed results.  On the positive side, it's plenty strong, given a hard steel sear for the trigger to work on, and it's very light in weight.  Aluminum is surprisingly hard to work... it's sorta- soft and sticky... surprisingly hard to cut and file, fills up your files and it's hard to get out, even with a good file-card.  So working it can be a pain...
      Once finished, a polished aluminum nut looks great and turns with fast.  Unfortunately, aluminum oxidizes fast. Hang your bow on the wall a few days, then come back, and the roller has a fine layer of aluminum-oxide on its surface, which will make the nut sticky in the socket... it's not so bad... shoot a few times and the roller will loosen up.  But after a few months of shooting, you'll realize you now have a fine layer of unsightly grey aluminum oxide on the top (table) of the stock and on the bowstring.  It's no big problem for shooting, but looks nasty. After making several aluminum rollers, I decided I'd rather work with stinky-antler than sticky aluminum, so haven't made another in ohhh, 25 years or so.  Geezer
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    dackieboi
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    Re: Casting Aluminium for nut and bow irons??

    Post by dackieboi on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:50 am

    The problem is I don't have a clue were in the UK I could easily get antler and also don't have a lathe or anything I figured casting it would work quite well cause I shouldn't have to cut too much and would tbh kinda cool to do! What about using it for the bow irons and stirup?

    Hermit
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    Re: Casting Aluminium for nut and bow irons??

    Post by Hermit on Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:01 am

    Hi dackie,I am building the excellent RDT crossbow that was featured on here recently.The cams on that bow are aluminium plate ,3/8ths of an inch thick.3/8ths aliuminium plate is neither easy to come by for me,nor cheap,I am obtaining enough plate for one set of cams,but intend to cast several other sets.Aluminium is easy to cast,and versatile.Bow irons would work in aluminium,but it would not be suitable for a nut,it does not wear well,and is not a good bearing material.If I was forced to use aluminium for a nut,I would want an insert for the pivot bearing,and a hard surface insert for where the tickler sear contacts the nut.As you can see,this would complicate nut construction no end,a real headache for someone with minimal tools.Like steel,aluminium can be hardened,I have hardened and tempered steel,but I don't have the first idea how to go about hardening aluminium,and no idea of the metallurgy involved. 
                                         Hermit.

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    Re: Casting Aluminium for nut and bow irons??

    Post by Hermit on Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:20 am

    When working or machining metals,there are lubricants that can be used both for cooling,and helping the tool cut more easily.The lubricant used for aluminium,is Kerosene(parafin in U.K.)it helps a lot.In the video of the building of the RDT crossbow,the builder used vaseline to lubricate the jigsaw blade when cutting out the cams.I have'nt used vaseline,but it makes sense,as vaseline is a petroleum based product.
               Hermit.

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    Re: Casting Aluminium for nut and bow irons??

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