Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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    Hello from Maine


    White Oak
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows

    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 14
    Join date : 2017-05-19

    Hello from Maine

    Post by White Oak on Sun May 21, 2017 4:32 pm

    Hello everyone, I figured I would introduce myself. I am interested in building a crossbow (duh), a medieval-ish one. I have no archery experience to speak of, not since high-school gym class some thirty years ago. However, I am pretty handy.
      Just so you know that I am unlikely to hurt myself or others I'll say a little about my tool using experience. After high-school I took a two year degree in Gunsmithing at Trinidad State Junior College. (It's a real school, not an online course, started in  1947 by P.O. Ackley, lots of NRA courses etc. ) I didn't end up working as a gunsmith, I went into house carpentry instead, which I did for 5 years. I've worked as a boatbuilder in Maine for the past 15 years, doing primarily wood and cold-molded construction but some glass and carbon-fiber. Boat-building is a varied occupation, you do a lot of everything. I've been blacksmithing, welding and knifemaking as a hobby for the past ten years.

      ANYWAY...having said all that, I don't know the first thing, really, about archery, cross-wise or other-wise! I've read enough to have some probably amusing misapprehensions. Very Happy

      I'm thinking of a fairly primitive crossbow with a wood prod and the little notch and peg type trigger (I don't know what it's really called) not a rotating nut type. My biggest questions are about making and tillering the prod. I don't know what weight to shoot for, I guess a hundred pounds, nice round number Very Happy.

      I'll spend plenty of time reading up before I start peppering you guys with questions! Very Happy

      So, thanks for reading this long introduction, I hope to have fun here and learn a lot.
    Crossbow Junkie

    I live here!

    Crossbow JunkieI live here!

    Posts : 760
    Join date : 2012-08-03
    Age : 69
    Location : Living Aboard a Sailboat in Fort Myers, FL

    Re: Hello from Maine

    Post by kenh on Sun May 21, 2017 9:34 pm

    I had the great honor, years gone by, of being one of the pallbearers for PO Ackley.  I was the last one to interview him and published several articles.  I had moved to SLC in 1984, and became friends with Dennis Bellm, who bought PO's business.  Dennis introduced me to PO and we had some good, interesting times together before he passed.

    I've done a bit of boatbuilding in my time too, but nothing like what you've done.

    Since you aren't "into" archery, I'm going to strongly suggest that you skip trying to build a wooden prod for your first Xbow.  Building regular sized "self" bows (all one piece of wood) or sinew backed wood bows are intricate and complex crafts in themselves which can take years to master.  I would suggest that while you are enjoying shooting your "medieval" crossbow that you spend a bunch of time studying and perfecting full-size bows building skills before attempting to make a crossbow prod. 

    For your first bow I would suggest a steel prod, or one of the multi-laminate fiberglass prods that some of us use.  Those 1-1/5" wide x 1/4" thick fiberglass "boat cover bars" that hold up canvas covers, can be cut and stacked together to make a decent crossbow prod.  Fiberglass sail battens might work too, but you'd have to pay attention to the directions of taper.

    White Oak
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows

    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 14
    Join date : 2017-05-19

    Re: Hello from Maine

    Post by White Oak on Sun May 21, 2017 11:06 pm

    kenh, thanks for the reply.

    I just got done reading your build thread about the bow in your profile picture. I really like it.

    You make a good point about learning self-bow skills first. And about using glass for a prod. I have to go to "town" tomorrow anyway, perhaps I'll pick up some fence tension thingy-ma-whutchits.

    I've seen a couple of pictures of "period" bows made with anachronistic steel prods "made up" to look like composite, perhaps I'll try something like that.

    I think a pin-lock is what I'll try first, my wife saw a video of a little 14th? 13th? cent. hunting xbow and she thought it was the neatest ever. It was a lever on top but the pin lock is sort of the same amount of primitive, if you get my drift.

    We've got a bunch of extruded glass C-channel and other shapes at work, lots of scraps...I'll see what the type is, it's definitely structural grade but that of course doesn't mean it's suitable. The price would be right though. Very Happy I know you can't break it. Well, of course you could...

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    Re: Hello from Maine

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