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    custom crossbow


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    custom crossbow

    Post by jasper1978 on Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:53 am

    hi all,
    i am new to this site and already loved to read around and see peoples builds. I have been a long time fan of crossbows and have a long dream of owning a certain type of bow. Unfortunately i dont have the skills and tools to create the bow I want, so I am hoping there are people here who can help or point me in the right direction of makers of the components needed. the bow I am after is the ones used in an eighties tv show, called "the adventures of william tell". or "crossbow" as it was named in the netherlands.  here a a few pictures of the bow. just let me know what you all think.
    greetings jasper
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    Re: custom crossbow

    Post by kenh on Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:13 am

    Although I'm not sure what the two "horns" sticking out of the top and front are supposed to do, that appears to be a pretty simple, straightforward "roller nut and tickler" action; or the even simpler "push pin and tickler" action (sometimes called a Skane action or pin lock).  I suspect those horns are supposed to be 'daggers' to keep people away when the action gets too close.  

    The forward facing "horn" at the rear is the bolt holder.  The tiller does not appear to have a groove or slot, the bolt is held up near the head end by a bolt rest.  There  are decorative plates simply screwed onto the sides of the tiller which could also close in the socket for a roller nut.  

    Between those pictures, you can make a pretty good sketch of what the side view of the tiller (stock) should look like.  It appears that you'll need a piece of timber perhaps 37-40mm wide, about 20cm wide and most of a meter long.  A simple saw and some rasps, and you would have the tiller mostly completed.  Heck, I live on a sailboat with only hand tools and could make that tiller!

    Don't personally know of any European sources for prods or roller nuts, but the Germans, French and other certainly have active crossbow groups which could help you with that.
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    Re: custom crossbow

    Post by Geezer on Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:59 pm

    Aaarghh!  What an abysmal excuse for a crossbow.  I once built a crossbow based on the 1950s William Tell TV series.  It had some inventive touches, but otherwise was fairly close to a period piece.  But this thing OMIGOD!  Don't try to build it that way.  The horns on the fore-end, where a stirrup would otherwise go, are probably intended as a bayonet, or perhaps the shooter sticks them in the ground to steady the bow while spanning.  The heavy shroud over the lock is probably a combined string-snubber, designed to prevent misfires, that might double as a bolt-securing clip.  The 'horns' that rise from the middle of the table are presumably put there to insure the string will be cut and fly away, should there ever be a misfire.  Given the narrowness of the bowstring and the skinny prod, this bow won't be very powerful anyhow. But yeah, the horns on top are a guaranteed disaster, and serve no known purpose, other than to add peril to an otherwise workable machine.  Otherwise the stock illustrated should be no real problem to make.  Wow, thanks for posting this.  I needed a good laugh.  Geezer.
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    Re: custom crossbow

    Post by hullutiedemies on Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:48 am

    The horns on the fore-end were intended as to stick in the ground or timber wall to steady the bow while spanning. The 'horns' that rise from the middle of the table were tactical implements intended to create general badassity.

    Crossbows in this show were usually handled with tactical swatcombatninja moves. And since aimpoints and lasers would have been anachronistic, they needed out sticking custom acessories that look right for the period.
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    Re: custom crossbow

    Post by Gnome on Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:06 am

    Hello Jasper, welcome! I guess I would ask what type of crossbow you would like, an accurate reproduction prop, a low powered LARP style build, or a functional, dependable weapon that is as close in appearance to the show as possible? In both the latter cases those upward projecting blades would need to be done away with, or moved much further forward to avoid a catostrophic failure such as Geezer describes.
    I got curious so reviewed a couple episodes of this show on Youtube. When spanning the bow in the first episode during the famous "apple off the son's head" scene, the actor does place the pointy bits in the ground and draws the sting back by bracing the butt against his midsection. I have an old worn out aluminum-prod crossbow I can do that with, I would guess it draws around 35 or 40 pounds. So maybe a LARP type lightweight aluminum prod would work without adding a foot stirrup. But I also noticed that when drawn the bow flexes hardly at all but the string is actually stretching! I think they were actually using a large crossbow shaped slingshot.
    I actually like the tiller design, short and beefy with almost full length metal side plates. I couldn't quite tell how the prod was mounted, in some shots it looks like there is cord binding going down to the bottom of the stock instead of toward the front, but wooden wedges in the mortice slot would work fine since it's covered by a plate anyway...
    Well heck, now you've got me thinking about actually building this thing, like I needed another distraction!

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    Re: custom crossbow

    Post by jasper1978 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:44 am

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the reply’sI can recommend you all to watch the series on youtube, as it’s a very nice series, well acted and have a variety of different styles of crossbows.

    By no means is this bow intended as authentic medieval or time period correct piece (geezer). It was created for a tv series show, and the thing probably could not fire a shot further than 10 meters. Or could not shoot at all, for safety issues of the cast. BUT, I really like the look of it, hence the reason I would like to build / buy one. The crossbow would be more a “wallhanger” than to use it, but if it does fire, that would be nice. So, replicating the looks is more important to me than function.
    I have quit a lot of pictures of the bow, from various angles, so if anyone is interested, or have some questions in order to help me realise this project, your more than welcome.

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