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    Faking a medieval composite crossbow prod.

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    Chapel de Fer
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    Faking a medieval composite crossbow prod.

    Post by Chapel de Fer on Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:35 pm

    I need some advice. I have been itching to create a reproduction of a 14th century composite crossbow for a very long time but I'm not up to the task of reproducing a composite prod with original methods. I have seen some reproductions of these bows for sale online, most prominently at todstuff.com and that got me wondering about different methods to produce what Tod calls a faux composite prod.

    Tod uses a steel prod which he pads with something (rubber? leather? wood?) to make it look like a composite prod. I was, however, thinking that one could also just build up a prod out of alternating layers of glass fibre and wood laminate (maple?), basically a sandwich of wood-FG-wood-FG-wood-FG-wood... where the wood layers are maybe ... 4 mm and the FG layers are 1 mm each? This would be repeated as often as required until you have built up a prod to original thickness. The original composite prods seem to have been between 4-5 cm wide and either of a D shaped or rounded rectangle section so the stack of FG and Maple would have to be about 3-4 cm thick @ a length of about 80-90 cm. Has anybody ever tried to build something like this? Is it even possible? 

    The other take would be to build a thinner glass fibre and wood laminate prod and pad it with something like Tod does. Any ideas about a padding material?

    Does anybody have other ideas on how structure a faux composite prod?
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    Re: Faking a medieval composite crossbow prod.

    Post by kenh Yesterday at 5:59 am

    If you make a wood/glass laminate sandwich as you describe, it will be such a heavy pull you'd need a crane to cock it, even if the layers were only 1mm thick!!!  

    I build wood/glass composite bows, and a laminate sandwich 4cm wide by 6mm thick and 1meter 10cm long could have a draw weight well in excess of 150 lbs, and that's just with 3-4 wood lams between 2 pieces of glass.  Reduce the length to 80-90CM and make it 8 times thicker and you may increase the draw weight 16 times or more.  Forget it!

    Personally I would cover the steel prod with taped-on foam rubber and then sew a very thin kangaroo or goat skin cover over the whole thing.

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    Re: Faking a medieval composite crossbow prod.

    Post by Chapel de Fer Yesterday at 1:40 pm

    kenh wrote:If you make a wood/glass laminate sandwich as you describe, it will be such a heavy pull you'd need a crane to cock it, even if the layers were only 1mm thick!!!  

    I build wood/glass composite bows, and a laminate sandwich 4cm wide by 6mm thick and 1meter 10cm long could have a draw weight well in excess of 150 lbs, and that's just with 3-4 wood lams between 2 pieces of glass.  Reduce the length to 80-90CM and make it 8 times thicker and you may increase the draw weight 16 times or more.  Forget it!

    Personally I would cover the steel prod with taped-on foam rubber and then sew a very thin kangaroo or goat skin cover over the whole thing.

    I figured that the layer cake idea was pretty dumb soon after I wrote that. Now I have another idea which is to simply create an modified version of a modern sporting flatbow. 



    Below is a piss poor attempt at a longitudinal section of such a prod. The light wood is a very thin maple laminate, the dark wood is something hard like oak to handle the pressure of the string, the light gray strips are glass fiber strips and the dark gray is padding of some sort, perhaps foam rubber althoug I think foam rubber may be too soft. I don't think the back of a composite bow is supposed to be squishy is it? For most of it's length the part of the prod doing the actual work would not have to be more than a few millimetres thick but it might have a thin wood  layer on the belly just to give the belly a slightly rounded surface.

    https://i11.servimg.com/u/f11/19/74/39/07/prod11.jpg

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