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    very very begining of a medeival crossbow

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    Post by edstuff on Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:58 pm

    First topic message reminder :

    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 21bkgx
    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 2q32ej9

    This is the start of the nut. I still need to cut in a string groove and trim down the piece that will hold the trigger.  The trigger will be formed from 3/8 Ø round bar.  I'll probably purchase the prod somewhere.  Maybe a 120# or lower if I can find it since this will not have a safety.  Be gentle guys it's my first project.
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    Post by edstuff on Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:55 pm

    I'm going to start over with the nut. Unfortunately I have an office position and can't get out to the shop like I used to.  Our shop was sold a couple years ago.  Before it was sold I was in the shop every lunch hour, usually welding metal art.  When I was hired I was a welder so the old owners didn't really care.  With the new owner, however, well things have changed.  I might be able to get one of the guys to do the drilling for me into a piece of round bar for the price of a six pack.  We'll see.  It's going to be a while til my next progress pics.
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    Post by Jim McCoin on Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:47 am

    If it were me, I would invest in a book called "The Book of the Crossbow" by Ralph Payne Gallwey. The book is a reprint of a one hundred year old book.

    There are a lot of sketches of the medieval crossbows and it will explain most of the mysteries.

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    Post by kenh on Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:14 pm

    One of the most significant books on weaponry.

    Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey's book is available free here:

    http://www.crossbowbook.com/

    Can't download it, but you can copy and paste the relevant text and photos and then print it out.
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    Post by Geezer on Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:24 pm

    Ken: I concur on just about every point.  Payne Gallwey's book is a major assist on making a medieval crossbow.  I would like to point out two weirdnesses/errors in PG's plan.  First the trigger need not have all those extra angles in the middle, and the trigger passage need not be cut to similar weird angles.  A simple mortised slot through the stock will do fine.  You can always fill bits you don't need later if you like.  Second point: He sets the roller-nut a bit too high in its socket.  He has 2/5 of the nut exposed and 3/5 buried in the socket. That gives you a rather precarious nut-socket unless you're actually building the recommended steel nut-socket, which really isn't necessary.  I recommend making the nut 1/3 exposed and 2/3 buried. If you feel the need to reinforce the edges of the nut socket, a couple of pieces of moose-antler (or other solid bone) inlet into the stock, with the nut-socket Forstner-cut in between will do admirably.  Otherwise, assume old Ralph knew what he was talking about, and Don't change Anything else on your first bow.
    Lastly: Use the best materials you can afford.  Crap materials = crap results.  Geezer.
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    Post by Rizzar on Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:41 am

    I must admit I do have problems concerning Ralph Payne Gallwey´s book (some errors, exxagerations, and rumors of copying from another author) but for the beginning the benefits outweigh them greatly, especially when you do not need to buy it, since it is available for free download.

    @Geezer: The thing about the exposed nut is related to a big string diameter while keeping the nut small(stupid Mooses/Deers dont want to grow bigger antler Mad ). I try to do the same when building with non artificial string material.

    For basic overview I am more into Harmuth´s "Die Armbrust" but since many of you do not have german language skills I know why RPG is so appreciated.
    Besides there are many books (even annuals) I could recommend in german language (even for special topics),we do have some quite active writers/builders with engineering background (Jens Sensfelder/Ingo Lison) but I guess that would not help you a lot.

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    Post by Geezer on Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:21 pm

    Rizzar: The thing is, unless the artisan actually makes a close-fitting steel socket for the roller-nut, he's gonna find burying the nut on 60 percent vs. 66 percent, (3/5 VS. 2/3) there may be too little mass in the socket to support the inevitable upward force of the nut under load.  If burying the nut deeper results in insufficient height for the lugs to hold the string, one should go for a larger diameter nut. Payne Gallwey recommends a 1.5 inch diameter nut.  These days I regularly use a 1 and 3/8 in. diameter moosehorn nut, and have no problems with lug-size in the weights I'm building (under 200 lb.) The heaviest bow I've built came in around 350 lb. It too used a 1 and 3/8 in. nut and performed well. As for getting antler large enough for a 1.5 inch roller-nut, moose is about the only thing I've found that comes large enough.  Axis stag is really nice stuff, but generally too small, but the folks at Moscow Hide and Fur (Moscow Idaho) usually have moosehorn stems that will provide good rollers of sufficient diameter for our needs.
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    Post by Hermit on Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:16 am

    Elk horn gets big enough also Geezer,and they farm elk..............
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    Post by Geezer on Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:49 am

    Elk horn is big and beautiful on the outside, but sadly, all the big elk horns I have seen are mostly pith in the interior, and make for a very inferior lock.  If you can find some that's mostly solid in the middle, it should serve very well. Moose antler is almost entirely ivory from the base of the horn until it flattens into the palm.  The broad part of the palm is about 1/2 pith and not very thick, but the edges of the palm are thick and solid.  Those make good reinforcing blocks for the nut socket, and good bolt-rests, but they're much too small for rollers.  As I said above, Axis stag is absolutely beautiful ivory, but most pieces are too small for anything but the tiniest of crossbow locks.  The skinny Spanish (Padre Island) bows have roller-nuts @ 1 inch diameter (and 1 inch wide) You could probably turn such from axis stag, but I've never seen any larger than about inch and a quarter... which is not an unusual nut-diameter for lighter weight medieval/renaissance crossbows.  Still I recommend beginners go for a larger roller, like PG's inch and a half diameter. Larger rollers need not fit their sockets as closely as smaller ones, so they're easier to fit and less prone to swelling in high-humidity.  
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    Post by edstuff on Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:38 am

    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 100_3710
    Took all the advice you guys gave me and decided to start over.  Also have one of the delrin nuts thanks to phuphuphnik that I will also be working with.
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    Post by kenh on Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:07 am

    Good deal!  I'm pretty sure you'll be a lot happier with that Delrin nut and some square bar stock for the tickler.  Best of luck, and keep us posted as you build.
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    Post by edstuff on Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:13 am

    As far as the stock goes it won't be one solid piece.  I'm not sure how many sheets I'll use or what thickness yet.  I need to take a trip to the hardware store and see what they have.
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    Post by edstuff on Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:10 am

    https://i.servimg.com/u/f38/16/26/54/96/roller10.jpg
    Just thought I'd ask you guys a quick bit of advice before I get hacking away at my first roller nut.
    Do the dimensions look right or am I removing too much meat?
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    Post by kenh on Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:11 am

    Dimensions look pretty good; but I'm not sure you need  3/8" pivot.  I'm thinking 1/4" would be enough.
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    Post by edstuff on Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:30 am

    So you think 1/4" on the top and bottom?
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    Post by mac on Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:16 am

    edstuff wrote:https://i.servimg.com/u/f38/16/26/54/96/roller10.jpg
    Just thought I'd ask you guys a quick bit of advice before I get hacking away at my first roller nut.
    Do the dimensions look right or am I removing too much meat?
    Ed,

    I find that the modern artisan is frequently caught up in modern esthetics.  If you are making a medieval bow, the thing to do is look at medieval nuts.  Here are some pics or real ones. 
    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Denmark%20Copenhagen%20National%20Museum%20cross%20bow%20internal%20parts%20nuts%20280

    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Medieval-Crossbow-Bone-Roller-Nut-With-Searvery very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 18very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 %2524_12very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 DP307907
    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Media


    Last edited by mac on Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:51 am; edited 3 times in total
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    Post by kenh on Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:17 am

    No -- I was saying 1/4" hole in the center.
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    Post by edstuff on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:47 pm

    kenh wrote:No -- I was saying 1/4" hole in the center.
    Oh right ignore that.  I actually have 2.  The delrin one from Phu that is 1/4" and my steel one that is 5/16
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    Post by edstuff on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:48 pm

    mac wrote:
    edstuff wrote:https://i.servimg.com/u/f38/16/26/54/96/roller10.jpg
    Just thought I'd ask you guys a quick bit of advice before I get hacking away at my first roller nut.
    Do the dimensions look right or am I removing too much meat?
    Ed,

    I find that the modern artisan is frequently caught up in modern esthetics.  If you are making a medieval bow, the thing to do is look at medieval nuts.  Here are some pics or real ones. 
    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Denmark%20Copenhagen%20National%20Museum%20cross%20bow%20internal%20parts%20nuts%20280

    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Medieval-Crossbow-Bone-Roller-Nut-With-Searvery very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 18very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 %2524_12very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 DP307907
    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Media
    I'm going to be working with a hacksaw unfortunately.  When I get better I'll try to keep it as authentic as possible.
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    Post by mac on Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:24 pm

    Ed,

    It's not so much about authenticity as it is not re-inventing the wheel. Those medieval guys have already figured out what the best shape is for a nut.  We would all do well to copy what they did rather than presume that we know better. 

    I recommend that you take out the bulk of the material for the string with two saw cuts and then round it up with a rat tailed file.   http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-round-file-96628.html  It will look better and it will work better.

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    Post by edstuff on Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:41 pm

    what do you suggest for the center groove that holds the arrow/bolt?  Or is that where you use the rat tail?
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    Post by kenh on Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:44 pm

    Depends, in part, on how you build your tiller.  

    With a solid plank, some folks use a guide and a ball or V tip on a router.  Others use a table saw to start the groove, then use a round or V rasp.  Some people add a top deck in two pieces which form the groove,

    I like the 3-Plank method, with the center plank being 1/8", 3/16" or 1/4" thick, and when the three are glued up the center plank sits down between the other two by its own thickness, creating a square U shaped groove.  The groove can be left as is, rounded or sanded out to a square bottom V depending on your preference.
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    Post by edstuff on Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:03 pm

    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Img_1510
    Be gentle guys, it's still my first project. Still has work to be done obviously but finally some headway!
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    Post by Gnome on Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:33 pm

    Good to see you were able to carve out some time to carve out some Delrin, Ed. I assume that's what I'm looking at, based on previous posts in the thread. I have a couple questions- what are the dimensions of this nut, width and diameter? Secondly, how powerful of a bow are you planning on building? The only critique I can offer without that information is the profile shape of the claws- they are probably swept back too far. You only need a minute curve to hold the string solidly in place, since it just wants to go forward. Those long pointy tips would just get in the string's way on release, if not snap off.
    I'm thinking you want something more like this:
    very very begining of a medeival crossbow - Page 2 Img_1510rev_zpsa0yx6d26
    Hope to see more progress soon!
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    Post by edstuff on Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:43 pm

    Yea part of the fine tuning is I'm going to take the tips down some. That is not delrin though, it's steel. it's 1.5 diameter x 3/4" thick
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    Post by Geezer on Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:31 am

    The delrin roller looks good so far.  Make sure the lugs don't have any sharp corners at the release point.  Corners tend to nick the string serving.  Just round 'em off a bit.

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