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    My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

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    JoaoLS
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    My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:10 pm

    Hi guys! This is my first step out of the shadows here, so advice is very much the word of the day.

    This is my second crossbow, after a wee little 1.5# toy i made from a scrap of bamboo. The point here is to aquire the skills and knowledge to move on to more "full size" bows. 

    The prod is english oak that i aquired as a log, made a flimsy first shortbow out of, and then turned, as a sort of fun sunday afternoon experiment, into a small prodlike thing i backed with bamboo. It came out very surprisingly tough, reaching 35# at around 10 inches, being only 22inches long. 
    Thus it became perfect for my learning process! 
    One of the quarters of the split log quickly became a rough stock, and with some iron and steel parts i managed to make out of iron stock and waste sheet steel, using a push peg simple trigger, it all came together as a quite fun experiment.

    Im working on a bridle block and stirrup, for confort mostly, and a sighting system of sorts, using the bolt clip probably.

    Then its on to sanding, some detail carving and finishings. Planning on going linseed oil and clear varnish, to bring out the oak's grain, which i like very much.







    So, what do you think?

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by kenh on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:26 pm

    Olá Joao!   Very nice "second-first" bow.  Love the metal bolt track cap.  The other metal work is nicely done as well.


    Welcome to the Guild.  We have a wealth of information for you here.

    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:55 pm

    Thanks! All done with a handsaw and files, pretty gruesome work, but pays off. The clip does look good, tempered it on the stove with some oil dips, got a nice look to it.

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by edstuff on Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:52 pm

    This is awesome.  I too work with steel and was debating something like this for my first build.  Yours is much nicer than mine is going to look though

    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:39 pm

    Thanks edstuff! Today i got to do some more carving on the butt end of the stock, as well as some sanding and tool mark removal. Got a prototype bolt going too, hope to post some more pics soon. Are you going with a wood prod or a metal or glass one?

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by edstuff on Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:00 pm

    wood. I haven't started anything yet.  Just brainstorming really. I did buy a chinese 150# prod but going to give my crossbow a short power stroke so it'll probably be much less.  Might even go with an 80# one on my first build.  They're definitely cheap enough.

    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:20 am

    Where did you buy the prod? I wasn´t aware there were wooden prods for sale. Laminated? Can you post a picture?  bounce

    edstuff
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by edstuff on Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:41 am

    Ohhh no I meant a fiberglass one.  The kind you find on ebay.

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by Hermit on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:25 am

    Joao,congratulations on your bow,your workmanship and your English,all are excellent.Regarding the prod.Many members have and probably still are experimenting with wood /wood, wood/ fibreglass combinations.I don't recall seeing a posting on here from a member who had found a solution that they were completely happy with.Most members after doing research go with either steel or fibreglass prods.As your country seems to ban the import of crossbow prods,it seems you will have to make your own.If you choose to go with steel,an automotive leaf spring will work.If you decide on fibreglass I would think the materials are available there.Working with fibreglass is not difficult and does not require expensive tooling.Fibreglass comes in 3 types,mat,woven and with the strands all oriented the same way,this last type is the one you want.I think you will find how to videos on you tube.Good luck with your build,whichever method you choose.
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    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:48 pm

    Thank you Hermit, both for the praise and the advice! I just finished a broadhead prototype, cut out of a scrap of steel i found lying on the street the other day (shelving brace, i think). Turned out nice enough, being that it took 3 hours to make. (bolt itself is beech)

    The thing is that i want to practice my angle grinder skills (which i acquired two months ago) so that when i manage to get a bit of time off of work i can try and find some spring steel. I have lurked in the shadows here for a while now, done a bit of research on prods and where to find the materials, and leaf springs do seem to be the most accessible to me at the time, being that Lisbon has lost all of its metalworkers, cause, you know, tourism pays better  Mad

    Although...I think the reason why the prods can't be imported and that dream i have with all the policemen searching my flat, are, in some way, connected.  Wink

    That said, a steel prod is bound to happen.  Twisted Evil

    Now for pics! (got the lashing done with some thin hemp thread, to try it out, it got so tight i'm thinking about shooting it with no gluing. ((hey, it's 30#...)) Thoughts?)






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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by phuphuphnik on Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:09 am

    lashing will help prevent the shaft from splitting, and the point from being knocked sideways when it hits the target. 
    That is a fine looking arrowhead, btw.

    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:37 am

    Thanks phuphu! I did lash it, although the scrap steel proved to be too soft for a point, since it bent the tip when i shot it into some MDF board. Going to temper it today. Any tips on that?

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by phuphuphnik on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:58 am

    Yes, depending on what kind of steel it is. Actually, as it is a consumable item (though reusable)
        I would heat it to a red hot* and quench it in motor oil. That will stiffen up even low carbon steels. This does make some steels brittle, though.**
        This is a crude method, and if it is a higher carbon steel it may break in contact with something hard. You could temper it after hardening. A quick and dirty way is to harden it as mentioned above, then write on it with a sharpie marker. Heat it up until the marker mark goes away (about 700 F) then quench it again. You can also sand it after hardening heat it and when it turns blue quench it.
    *this red hot should be visible in a lit room, not the dark. In the dark you'll want closer to yellow.
    ** DO NOT use this for making a prod or other big springs, that takes a special kind of lunático. I suggest this only for hardening points.

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by c sitas on Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:01 am

    I like your arrowhead. There is no doubt in my mind, it will be lethal. On the lashing part, I use dental floss pulled super tight. Then kinda soak some super glue into the thread and point. It makes the unit almost "store bought" and solid.  Sharpen with a file . The file leaves thousands of micro little rippers on the edge.  WILL do the job, it just won't hold the edge cause it's not hard enough.I do this for my primitive archery. Same racket ,just different strokes. Cool job on the bow also.

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by Hermit on Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:48 am

    You can also use copper wire from a junk transformer from an old radio or T.V. for the lashing.I used 2 part epoxy to coat the lashing,so I have no experience with superglue for this purpose,but I would think that would work also.
                                  Hermit.

    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:30 am

    Phuphu, thanks for all the info. Smile I tried the sanding method, because sharpies are nowhere to be found around here, and i presume the particular composition of their ink is what gives you the "gauge" for that 700 F mark. 
    Tempered yesterday, got that black iron look to it, like the bolt clip, going to re-sharpen today. 

    C sitas, that is something i never thought of, dental floss! Reminds me of sinew as a lashing, don't know why. I'm sharpening on a whetstone, followed by some water sandpaper, up to around 600grit. Gives it a nice sharp contrast. 

    Hermit, i've use brass wire before, on bow handles and such, thinking it might work, though not as pliable as copper. I hesitate to add more weight to the tip though, i think it's already a bit heavy for the prod.

    Anyways, and with that in mind, yesterday i laminated a bit more oak and bamboo, thicker this time, also wider. I'm going to tinker with it for a bit, see if i can scale up the poundage a bit. I have to say though, it's very fun to shoot, and (some may say surprisingly) the trigger push is very smooth and satisfying.

    Ill get some photos going, maybe a vid on shooting it.

    JoaoLS

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:45 pm

    Here is  a short edit showing my new toy. 
    Btw, I'm making a new prod, same bamboo and oak combination, though considerably beefier, going on 55 pounds. 
    Hoping to mount it soon.
    Enjoy!


    c sitas
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by c sitas on Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:25 pm

    Just spending some time here  rereading things. Joaol , You no doubt know how hard the MDF is right. With the penetration you showed, that arrow head would most likely be lethal. I know  if you didn't bleed to death, you would catch pneumonia  from the hole it left. The thing ,back when I mentioned using dental floss for a lashing material for the head , the whole purpose of the stuff was to simulate  the sinew of old.The hairy little fibers stick out just great.Tiny carvings of raw hide will work to . install them wet , and it's like welding the head to the shaft.As I look back at this ,you done an exception job on the whole . Well done my friend.

    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:29 pm

    Thank you very much sitas!

    I've been tinkering on and off with this bow for a while, as I've learned a lot from my mistakes, this forum and some reading i've been doing on crossbows.

    The first improvement was a new prod, which i made from a loose laminate of spring steel 2mmx50mm, 6 leaves. I cut a taper into the limbs, going from 40mm in the center to about 25mm in the tips. (Once i got a grip on using a scrap guide to cut with the angle grinder, it was 2 hours to do the lot. Thanks to whoever posted that on the wiki  Jam)





    This improved the poundage to around 85#, which, while still fairly low, is a big step, combined with some lower weight bolts (mine were too heavy by far, having a range of around 12 meters, although hitting quite hard in close close range...)

    Next im going to raise string height a bit, to reduce track friction, which i think is slowing things down a fair bit.

    The final step will be to drop a steel half pipe (which i just cut) into the bolt groove (which is too deep, adding more friction) .This will allow me to make thinner, and lighter, bolts of the same lenght, without compromising their durability too much by changing into a soft wood (i'm using beech). This is where DENTAL FLOSS *play trumpets* will make its appearance!

    Also, 85# is kind of hard on my thigh to load without a stirrup, which is also in the making. 

    So. That's all the news from the Portuguese front! 

    I really have to thank all you guys for the advice, encouragement and knowledge you have compiled here, this is truly a Guild, in the best sense.

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by Onager Lovac on Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:11 pm

    That is a beautiful looking prod, i was thinking of doing somthing like that using a bunch of old style wood saws becouse their kinda springy

    JoaoLS
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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:13 pm

    Onager, thanks.

    I made a saw blade prod a while back, on a small pistol bow. I'll link it: http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t1365-small-pistol-crossbow

    My advice for you is to get the thickest possible steel. Think old style 2 man lumber saws: 



     The one i used on the pistol bow was around 0.8mm thick, and it took me 6 leaves to get 30# from a 30cm long prod, at 17cm. What you might notice is that 17cm is quite a long draw length for a 30cm prod, which is the beauty of loose laminates. 30# at 17cm gives you a lot more arrow speed than 30# at 12-13cm (my estimate for a solid prod of same characteristics).

    Happy blade hunting!
    Joao

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by JoaoLS on Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:27 am

    Got the prod mounted and the new string made. Next up, the groove and front sight, as well as the prod bindings.






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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by Geezer on Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:17 am

    It's looking better all the time.  By the way, I've actually seen at least one medieval/renaissance crossbow with the butt bent off line, much as you have done.  I've also seen some with butt bent downward in a gentle curve.  Geezer.

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by c sitas on Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:49 am

    Joao; You have a gorgeous   bow my friend. I have a similar saw and I am going to sacrifice it to the bow gods. You have shown me the way. Say ,back to your broad head, there are some old heads and some new ones now,that are sharpened only on one side. They use these on large dangerous game. In use they make an awesome wound. Just google "single edge broad head."Easier than me trying to explain. Thanks.

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    Re: My very first second crossbow! Also, hi.

    Post by Hermit on Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:27 am

    I have an old book on Gunsmithing,and back in the day,gunstocks were made with an offset,so it's not a stretch to see that Jao's bow is an accurate reproduction.I'm not really into the old style crossbows,but dedication and good craftsmanship deserve recognition,very nice work Jao
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