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    source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

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    stuckinthemud1
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    source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:28 am

    Hi All,

    does anyone know of a UK source for European Hornbeam  - I can source boards but do not want to laminate a stock and need a clear length of 2.5 x 2.5 x 30 inch quartersawn timber.  Really struggling to find a supplier of seasoned timber and have phoned round all my usual suppliers.

    Thanks

    Stuck

    Rizzar
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Rizzar on Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:51 am

    Hi

    Just to respond my 2 cents: don´t you have a professional timber supply where you can order selected wood???

    A hint is to look at those suppliers that sell uncommon wood used for guitar building for example, phone them or get in contact via email to get something handselected.

    Look to the European surroundings.

    (For me here in Germany Cropp Timber Hamburg is an option)
    Buying from wood retailers, offering special uncommon woods, is expensive, so be warned.
    Your measurements are usually a bit tiny compared to the masses those suppliers deal with, so you need to calculate a high price due to high effort.

    Which leads to the question: WHY HORNBEAM????

    There are so many other good choices for wood (nut, fruit, oak, exotic wood) with nearly no problems to purchase (at least if you are willing to pay the price for them).


    Rizzar

    stuckinthemud1
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:55 pm

    Hi Rizzar,

    the simple answer is 'no' in this area you can't pre-order unusual timbers, you can only pick from what suppliers have got, I haven't tried lutiers suppliers, though, so will give that a try.

    As for why hornbeam, well, the original crossbow I am copying is made from hornbeam, and I am trying to do likewise....

    Stuck

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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Rizzar on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:30 am

    Hey

    So if I understand you correctly, the only reason to choose hornbeam is because someone states that a historical example crossbow is made of hornbeam (which in fact I know of 2 examples fom MetArt, one of them Ulrich of Württemberg).

    Funny thing is old wood is hardly as easy to differ from each other in optic appearance unless doing mechanical observations.
    The old sealing layers get darker and it makes the difference between fruits and for example lighter woods difficult to see.
    Even experienced guys nowadays have difficulties to identify wood without many indications (leaves, seeds, bark).
    So my point is not to thrust especially those exotic statements of "european hornbeam" when usually every other pieces description is more vague.

    The thesis is not strengthened since both examples mentioned loo completely different to each other.

    But good luck,
    Rizzar

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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:50 am

    Hi Rizzar,

    you are totally correct, of course, and the 'bow I am having a crack at is the Ulrich bow.  The main reason I am trying to be original is because the Met has had the timber analysed and changed their mind from 'a softwood of some sort, possibly birch' to a positive result of European Hornbeam.  If I can't obtain Hornbeam, I might have to make do with Maple but after spending many hours carving the inlays (only carved one of the inlays so far, not quite finished but attached it anyway) and many many more doing the surface engraving I really would like to get the timber correct.

    Rizzar
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Rizzar on Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:29 pm

    Ahh, ok, I remember seeing this carving in another thread wehen you already stated to rebuild that crossbow.

    I´m afraid I will never do an exact reproduction of anything. Much too complicated and expensive.
    (Not to mention I would not want to use any real ivory)
    Especially when I would only have the possibility to work with pictures of the original.

    I have some concerns to point you on, perhaps it will improve your planning or will help you with some thoughts:

    Have you thought about the wood color?
    I did not see many pictures of hornbeam, but it is much lighter than on the pictures of 500years aged wood.
    So unless you do not know exactly how to reach that tone by natural treatment, wou will need to dye it. In that case it would be good to do it before inletting the carvings, but inletting will be a pain without being able to level the surface.
    In my opinion,cherry wood or dark peer would be a better optical solution.


    What do you plan on using the prod,are you going to make a composite prod?
    The one attached nowadays is likely to be a later replacement, but the original one was never a steelprod.

    Hope these (hopefully constructively understood) concerns will help you.

    Greetings Rizzar

    stuckinthemud1
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:53 am

    Hi Rizzar,

    The work by Dirk Brieding states that there is no evidence that the wood was dyed and if he is correct then the original colour scheme would have been for a pale-cream timber that almost exactly matched the colour of the stag-horn inlays (not ivory ) with black engraving - I'd just like to try it and see what it looked like - I can always dye the wood if I hate it - there could also be implications for other crossbows of the period, like the one for Matthius Corvinus where the techniques are similar but the timber is un-known, that is to say where the original colour-scheme design may have been for an over-all white crossbow but aging has darkened the timber significantly.

    As far as the prod is concerned, I am leaning toward a horn and sinew composite but am afraid that that might be beyond me.

    I would welcome any comment as I am 'flying by the seat of my pants', learning lots of new techniques but any help/advice/debate is very welcome.  Very Happy  Smile

    Rizzar
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Rizzar on Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:54 am

    Hey

    I like the Book of Dirk Breiding (for those who do not know of which one we´re talking about: A DEADLY ART, european crossbows 1250-1850) even though it has, according to the titel a more artistic than technical orientation.

    High decorative inletting or scrimshaw are not my priority but I am not excluding it generally from my hobby.

    I pointed out the ivory to maximise the controversity of full authentic replicas in a moral way, I could have mentioned synthetic strings or other examples like glue in the technical/safety way.

    Orientation on a given design with some interpretations or compromises by myself usually make crossbowbuilding a bit more relaxing though still challenging enough.


    If you are clear about the very light wood color resulting from your/the original choice then I am fully satisfied, just wanted to prevent someone from being disappointed after building a crossbow about several months eventually wondering why the color is not like the historical example.


    Good luck with that prod after playing with the thought of building one by myself and delaying it every time due to time efford (6-12months building time) and money (horn and sinew is vere expensive) required this HUUUUUUUGEEEE thing is possibly cancelled until further consideration.
    There are two persons I know of doing good work with composite prods but I do not think they will sell any of them for what someone would call a snip.

    Many people complain about the difficulty to get proper steel prods, I estimate the difficulty to get a good composite in relation to a steel one factorised by ~20.


    And even if you get a good prod, have you thought about a proper spanning device, yet?


    Greetings Rizzar

    stuckinthemud1
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:49 am

    Hi Rizzar,
    If I go with a horn and sinew bow I think ill have to make it myself as sourcing one is pretty much impossible, but I will need to start it soon so it can set while I finish all the other work. As far as products I am prepared to use, I will not use product from hunted animals, so no ivory wild sheep horn or whale teeth, but I do not have any problem with products like antler or water buffalo. As far as modern synthetics are concerned, I often use them, especially adhesives, but for this project I want to try to stay traditional as much as I can, so will be getting messy with casein, etc.

    Stuck
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Lightly on Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:22 am

    Rizzar, as far as ivory is concerned, I THINK (and could be wrong!) that the Ulrich has staghorn inlays? Does it also have ivory, and I somehow missed that?
    I will have to read Brieding's book again. What a chore.... (Heh!)
    And, I do believe the wood could be hornbeam.  I have seen how very much wood can darken in just a few short months.
    When I made the fancy Ulrich for a client, (Sent it off September last year) I saw it again in March for a small repair. I had to remove the nussfaden for that repair, and the wood under that string was much much lighter than the rest of that wood. I was surprised at how much it had darkened in that time, that was only 7 months; imagine, 400+ yrs!
    Given that was cherry, I can still see how hornbeam could probably darken that much. Also, simply handling it will darken the wood. 
    Will it darken sufficiently in Stuck's lifetime to make him happy? I do not know! 
    For that matter, I wonder if I can get hornbeam here.. hmmmm. Will have to check that out. 

    Take care all;
    Lightly

    Rizzar
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Rizzar on Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:31 am

    Oh, did not intend to take concerns about ulrich´s crossbow with that ivory comment.

    That was merely to state on exact authentic copys in general pointing out, that it is not neccessarily needed to hang on extreme non visible details as well as with the string material and adhesives.

    If you dont want to build something for historical archaeologic purposes (museum or hist.tech study) one can do good (and environment friendlier) in using alternatives.

    My sources state mostly stag antler, too, so do not worry.

    I would not want to use real ivory since I am too concerned about threatened species.
    Everytime somebody uses it, even if cites certified, it inflicts demand for the product, giving the blackmarket and illegal kills possibilities.


    I personally do like the aging process of wood, too, especially with good finish.

    Greetings Rizzar

    Rizzar
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Rizzar on Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:21 pm

    One thing came to my mind I need to say.

    Stuckinthemud, I strongly give you and everyone else the advise to start with the prod!!
    ALWAYS!!!

    Do not finish all the other work and think of making a fitting prod.
    You will most likely fail or end op with a not proper working system.



    Rizzar

    stuckinthemud1
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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:14 am

    Hi Both,

    your comments are very interesting, and I think I may have stumbled over a (free) source of unprocessed cattle horn, so having a stab at a horn and sinew prod could have moved a step closer; my preferred timber supplier is hopeful of tracking down some hornbeam to my requirements too.  As far as colour is concerned, I appreciate that the current vogue is for dark stocks, and my timber of chooice tends to be cherry, but I am treating this exercise as a historic reconstruction ( I trained in archaeology many years ago) and am content to see what the finished result looks like.

    Presumably the reason for making the prod first is to get the length of throw and mounting angle correct? Wouldn't making the stock too long and then refining it do the same job??? 

    As far as reference sources are concerned, the best publication on this crossbow that I have found is not the book but is the museum journal article that is a free download on the Met museum site  http://www.metmuseum.org/research/metpublications/The_Crossbow_of_Count_Ulrich_V_of_Wurttemberg_The_Metropolitan_Museum_Journal_v_44_2009?Tag=&title=&author=Breiding, Dirk H.&pt=&tc=&dept=&fmt=

     I found the first half of the article particularly useful, but highly recommend it.

    Stuck

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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

    Post by Rizzar on Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:01 am

    Yeah, you´re right about the prod.

    Basically its much easier to construct a crosbow on basis of an existing prod.

    The prod is brought to its maximum performance and the tiller is built to that measurements of draw length and mounting angle.

    You can make the tiller longer and produce the forend at a later time.
    But if your bow does not match the configurastion you planned, and you need to make lets say a longer front section due to longer draw length, proportions of the whole bow will change.

    It is very difficult to make a steel bow to a given draw, I would bet there is similar or even more difficult behavior with composites.

    Thanks for the article link, that one is great.
    Haven´t read it yet, but looking forward to it.

    Rizzar

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    Re: source european hornbeam in South Wales for tiller

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