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    Stringing question

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    Daniel Levesque
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    Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:10 pm

    Hello everyone !

    Since I,m pretty new to Xbows, I thought I might ask you guys what you think.

    I've just finished my very first crossbow. The rawhide backed hickory prod itself is 37,5 inches knock to knock and it's a beast (probably in the range of 300 lbs) and the draw length, belly to nut is 12,5 inches.

    The problem is, how can I string this monster ?

    I tried the bastard string method by using a doubled paracord and while I can bring it back to the nut, The bow is not flexed enough for me to put the string on it (btw, the string is about 35 inches long so it»'s not too short).

    I just don't wanna hurt myself or someone else you see. 
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    OrienM
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by OrienM on Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:48 pm

    Sounds like a strong prod! Paracord is too stretchy, most likely...try thicker rope, even mountaineering rope if you can find it.
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    Daniel Levesque
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:05 pm

    Thanks OrienM, indeed, it's quite stretchy. I'll definetely try to find some thicker rope like you said. Thanks !

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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by SlingerDave on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:25 pm

    Paracord is most certainly too stretchy. My brother is a traditional bowyer and when he would use paracord as a tillering string for 60# self-bows there would be at least 3" of stretch. We currently are stringing our prod with a commercial hog snare; it won't be breaking any time soon.
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Geezer on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:09 pm

    Geezer here:  I highly recommend Dacron B50.  Kevalar (fast flite) will work as well, but since Kevlar has essentially No stretch at all, it's much harder on your prod, particularly in case of a misfire.
    Paracord is indeed much too stretchy.
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Geezer on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:13 pm

    Dave: the answer is yes.  Call me to arrange a time. send me an e mail   iolo@crossbows.net
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:04 pm

    Hello everyone !

    Just thought about giving you guys an update. I did a bastard string with the same material I used to make the rope itself (and the same way). Basically, it's made of hemp (a good quality one) with some artificial sinew I bought from Track of the Wolf to make the end loop and the notch. I did all my calculations following the basic rules of thumbs I found on this very forum and it seems my problem is solved. Although I'll have to review the length of the string I did but I think it's quite a common thing from what I've seen on the forum ! Very Happy

    I'm really glad I've have joined the forum, good people and good advices. Thanks to you all !! Will post some pictures shortly.
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    Daniel Levesque
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:40 pm

    Damn it, my prod broke... I just finished the string and bastard string and I was gonna string it. It didn't hold and I heard a snap. The rawhide backing (I'll definetely use sinew next time...) just unglued and the limb broke (I notice the grain ran off slightly where it snapped. I know, as I did my research, that I did some mistakes while working on it and it was too late. I just hoped I guess. 

    Well, I guess this is what we call "learning"... back to the workbench !
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by kenh on Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:49 am

    A rawhide backing is only good to keep things from flying around when the prod breaks.  Only sinew will increase a prod's strength.  Was it the back (tension) or belly (compression) side which let go first?
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:04 am

    It's the back actually. I was wondering since it only splintered a bit (it didn't broke entirely). If I filled the gap with strong Titebond III, clamp it firmly and after, I put some artificial sinew from a spool I bought arount it, glue the whole thing again and tie it tightly in several turns of hemp string. Do you think it would hold or is it pretty much ruined ?
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by kenh on Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:25 am

    Sorry to say, it's done for.  The rawhide back is what prevented you from having an explosive, and possibly injurious incident from the exploding and flying wood

    No amount of glue and/or even real sinew will help it.  Artificial sinew isn't even as good as wax-less dental floss in the strength department. Hemp would just be heavy and slow it down, and still let it break.  

    Best to start over.  If you are set on making a wooden prod, I would start with Osage Orange, the best bow-making wood in the States.  Shape and tiller it just as you would a selfbow, then after that apply sinew to the back.  Alternatively, still using Osage for the relatively thin core, make it a true composite with sinew on the back and horn plates on the belly.

    For the best information on building a period composite prod, I would contact the Asian Traditional Archery page on Facebook, or the archive site www.ATARN.net and go to the Discussion Group.
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:11 am

    Thanks a lot for the advice.

    Would you happen to have a good source regarding sinew backing ? I'm doing some research myself but since I'm quite new to this, I could use some pointers. Also, unfortunately, I live in Canada and osage orange is not common around here. I have some good pieces of hickory with a straight grain, do you think it would be a good backup ?
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    OrienM
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by OrienM on Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:43 am

    This site gives a good overview of sinew-backing: https://sensiblesurvival.org/2012/03/06/how-to-sinew-back-a-wooden-bow-part-1/


    Sinew is strong stuff, probably your best bet for backing a wooden prod. I am just getting started on a crossbow with a short sinew/osage prod, and I'll be posting pics of the backing process once I get into it. A hickory core, maybe with some deflex steamed in, should work OK up to a certain draw weight...beyond that, compression forces get so high, even the hardest woods probably can't handle the strain. The old-timers used horn bellies on their prods for this reason.

    Sorry to hear your prod exploded Sad...to be honest, when you said it pulled 300-ish lbs I was concerned this might happen, that's a very high weight for any wooden bow, backed or not. If it makes you feel any better, when I started trying to make longbows I broke 14 bows in a row before I made one that would shoot Razz ...I also broke a fair number of crossbow prods, once I got interested in those. "If you ain't breakin', you ain't makin'".
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by kenh on Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:28 am

    As Orien sez, Hickory will work for a core between sinew and horn, but not very well with just sinew; the wood would crack on the belly side if it isn't protected by horn.   You should be able to find Osage billets on Ebay or such sites.  Another good wood is Ipe, but again, with the kind of thing you're talking it's that sinew/wood/horn sandwich that you want to create.  Wood selfbows just don't make it for crossbow prods
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    Daniel Levesque
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:50 pm

    Ah well... you know what ? I think I'll just order a prod from slobow and get done with it !! Very Happy

    I'd like to do it myself, I just lack the installation to work steel yet. I'm working on it though.

    I'll still probably try to make a decent wood prod in the meantime but I'm just eager to shoot and a steel prod seems to be the way to go.

    Thanks for all the advices my friend.
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:00 pm

    And thank you OrienM, I stay positive even if it broke. That's what learning is about anyway. Not just I have the budget to break 14 prods though Razz
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    Re: Stringing question

    Post by Daniel Levesque on Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:12 pm

    As for horn plates, I'm not sure where I can get these... I only found some weird india website that sells them.

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