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    Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

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    Xamllew
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    Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by Xamllew on Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:40 am

    Hey guys, I wanted to see if anyone had tried something like this, I know sear plates and the contact surface on the tickler bear an immense load and the pressure on heavier crossbows can eat away at the steel of the sear/tickler, but do you think that I could get away with aluminum sear plate/tickler parts in a crossbow drawing only something like 90lbs?

    If you're wondering why I would use aluminum, I haven't got the tools necessary to cut thick gauge mild steel, but aluminum can be cut with a reasonable amount of elbow grease.
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    Onager Lovac
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    Re: Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by Onager Lovac on Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:25 pm

    I think you could get away with it, aluminum is not very different from bronze and the nut and tickler setup can withstand a lot, 100 pounds should be no problem provided your sear is more than 1/8" thick, but steel is a lot better and you could build one with very simple tools like a steel vice, a hacksaw and a metal file, you could get all the tools for around 30 dollars, and 4 dollars for a 10 foot piece of 3/16" thick steel.

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    Re: Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by c sitas on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:02 pm

    x, have you ever studied triggers? Ivo, on this site has a fantastic run down on them . One thing I learned is  how much the actual holding weight changes on parts just by the way you set them up . That alone can be huge.Look em over , man you can really get some ideas.
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    Re: Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by kenh on Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:26 pm

    No reason you can't use aluminum on a low-weight bow.  There are aluminum alloys almost as soft as gold, and almost as hard as steels.  I should think a look around your local hardware store might turn up a bit of aluminum or steel that would need minimal re-working to be a sear plate.

    As c.sitas says, check out some of the action designs that Ivo and others have posted here.  Search on "trigger" for starters...

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    Re: Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by c sitas on Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:12 am

    X ,there was one style in particular that I seen  was way cool, be really simple to make. It used the regular rolling claw but the way they caught it was way cool . The holding weight was next to nothing. I don't remember what it was called, all I know is it's on here and Ivo explained it. He goes to length tell explain how to get the holding weight down.There are also several methods for that .

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    Tickler and contact issues?

    Post by Random_shotz on Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:53 am

    Ho do you plan to make the tickler? Aluminum won't bend cold, so you'll need a torch, vise, etc. The sliding friction of aluminum-aluminum contact is going to be somewhat greater than that of steel and the surfaces are likely to smear over time even with little pressure. The problem with aluminum is not just the hardness, but that it is also prone to galling. I don't know if all that will hurt accuracy, but it sure won't help. 

    I like Onager Lovac's idea of getting a piece of 3/16" or even 1/8" steel better; it will only take minutes to hacksaw through, a few more to file the edges smooth and you'll have a durable and consistent sear action. IMHO, of course.
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    Re: Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by Geezer on Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:33 pm

    I used to make hardwood roller-nuts for medieval type crossbows by inserting a piece of brass sheet for a sear (sear fitted in a keyway, typical medieval European style) It worked against a trigger of 3/8 in. brass bar stock. This was for bows under 80 lb.  Surprisingly the brass sears held up quite well.  I wouldn't recommend doing this with a 100 lb. bow, but in fact you should be able to reinforce a plastic or even hardwood (oak or maple, f'rinstance) roller with a piece of steel hacksaw blade or piece of brass sheet (brass say, 1/16 in. thick) and get years of good service.  As for aluminum, as others have said, it galls and also work-hardens. It's not really a good material for moving, highly stressed parts. You should be able to make lockplates, frames, bow-clamps, etc. of aluminum with good success.  Geezer.
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    Re: Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by Xamllew on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:38 pm

    Thanks for all the great feedback guys. I've decided to just go with mild steel cut from a plate, I guess that shouldn't be too Much for a coping saw to handle. I didn't realize aluminum would be so problematic.
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    Re: Aluminum sear plate for an under-100lb crossbow?

    Post by Geezer on Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:04 am

    Aluminum IS reasonably easy to work and fine for lightweight structural stuff, just not so great for highly stressed and wearing parts. You can build frame, rails, even prod mountings of aluminum.  In fact, you should be able to cut brass or mild steel sheet with a decent set of metal shears for $15-20.  Geezer.

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