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

Latest topics

» Beware of Alchem
by Archer46176 Today at 3:33 pm

» How to measure and cut leather for prod
by Celtic Archer Yesterday at 5:56 pm

» Crossbow with built in lever?
by John Edgerton Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:38 pm

» Of Bows and Torsion Engines
by JacobL Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:03 pm

» Early Lever and pin Crossbow
by topfmine Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:56 am

» Crusader crossbow
by topfmine Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:53 am

» First Efforts
by rickraedeke Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:25 am

» aluminum prod
by Phil Abrahams Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:38 am

» First whitetail buck taken with medieval crossbow
by Phil Abrahams Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:38 am

» Airsoft Crossbow
by JacobL Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:11 pm

» Questions about steel prod specs
by JacobL Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:25 pm

» Faking a medieval composite crossbow prod.
by JacobL Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:13 pm

» Airsoft Bow
by JacobL Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:56 pm

» Hello All!
by JacobL Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:54 pm

» Padre Island Bow
by Geezer Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:14 pm

» Blocked pictures by Photobucket
by Crossbowmen Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:33 pm

» Geezer website?
by Geezer Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:01 pm

» Could I get advise on order of operations?
by Bs1110101 Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:02 am

» Renaissance Sporting crossbow
by chaz Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:22 am

» Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
by Agniznag Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:26 pm

» The Arbalist Guild - Around the World
by Agniznag Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:56 am

» opinions please
by Geezer Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:19 pm

» Hello all!
by Tarzan65 Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:54 am

» Yet another one
by Daniel Levesque Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:37 am

» Renaissance peep sight
by kenh Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:48 am


    Alchem Incorporated

    Share
    avatar
    Pikvogel
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2010-09-02

    Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Pikvogel on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:37 pm

    Hi there,

    I wanted to order a steel crossbow prod from Alchem Icorporated (a website that is familiar on this forum), but I am not getting a response what so ever. Does somone have experience in ordering a prod on that website? Do i have to pay first? I already sended an order form.

    I hope someone can help me because i'd really like to finish my crossbow.

    Greetings
    avatar
    Geezer
    Master Crossbowyer
    Master Crossbowyer

    Posts : 945
    Join date : 2010-01-12
    Age : 69
    Location : Austin, Texas, USA

    Alchem?

    Post by Geezer on Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:35 pm

    Hello Pikvogel, Geezer here. You have hit on Alchem's besetting problem... irregular availability of stock. They have an excellent selection of prods of various weights and a useful supply of roller nuts, bow-irons, etc. but deliveries can be a problem.
    My second source for prods is Darkwood Armory. They're primarily a manufacturer or replica swords, but they do offer some crossbow parts. Darkwood makes a lightweight aluminum-alloy prod, suitable for backyard recreational bows, and a substantial steel prod of about 155 lb. draw (28 inches long, 3.5 inch brace, 8 inch draw from brace) Darkwood's prods are slightly more expensive than Alchem's, but they're a bit more professional in meeting obligations. So IF their prod will meet your needs, you might give them a try. Just do a search under Darkwood Armory, swords. You'll find them right away. And good hunting. Geezer.
    avatar
    Pikvogel
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2010-09-02

    RE: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Pikvogel on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:22 am

    If somone on this forum knows more stores were you can but steel prods, please put a link up:D


    PS. WOW, the shipping prices for the netherlands at darkwood armory are absolutely outragious!
    55$ for a 70$ prod. I hope you guys know more websites with steel prods...
    avatar
    Geezer
    Master Crossbowyer
    Master Crossbowyer

    Posts : 945
    Join date : 2010-01-12
    Age : 69
    Location : Austin, Texas, USA

    Darkwood shipping

    Post by Geezer on Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:18 pm

    Hey Pikvogel: Geezer here. I'm afraid Darkwood's quoted shipping cost for a steel prod from Mississippi, USA, to Holland is in line with the sort of costs I incur from shipping across the Big Pond. Figure the package at 3 pounds, in a box 4X4X30 inches. If you want it by air, it's going to be somewhere in that range. US post might be a bit cheaper, but most of us artisans have found Fedex and UPS more reliable. There is a manufacturer of steel prods in Belgium. Maybe one of you guys out there has an address for them? Geezer/New World Arbalest... struggling with the same high shipping costs.
    avatar
    Tinker
    Techno Weeny Supreme
    Techno Weeny Supreme

    Posts : 75
    Join date : 2010-07-19
    Location : Idaho, USA

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Tinker on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:06 pm

    Pikvogel wrote:If somone on this forum knows more stores were you can but steel prods, please put a link up:D


    PS. WOW, the shipping prices for the netherlands at darkwood armory are absolutely outragious!
    55$ for a 70$ prod. I hope you guys know more websites with steel prods...


    I think this outfit is in Belgium DIGITARC. Nice looking prods...

    Tinker
    avatar
    Geezer
    Master Crossbowyer
    Master Crossbowyer

    Posts : 945
    Join date : 2010-01-12
    Age : 69
    Location : Austin, Texas, USA

    Digitarc

    Post by Geezer on Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:06 am

    Geezer here: Digitarc- That's the prod-maker I was thinking of. Some 3 years ago, a customer provided a digitarc 'pin' type crossbow prod for the crossbow he wanted. The thing was a magnificent beast... we ended up drawing about 350 lb and it looked PERFECT for the 16th century German bow. I wasn't all that impressed with velocity. I think you'd get a quicker cast and flatter trajectory with a 175 lb. Alchem, but the looks were dead-on, and I think you could have got a fair cast throwing pianos, washing-machines, old toilets, or whatever miscellaneous household appliances you happen to have lying around the shop. It was a stout beast. Anyhow, based on the one sample I have handled, the Digitarc pin-type prods are worth the price you pay, but indeed our European brethren will still pay more for a Digitarc medieval prod, even with the difference in shipping. Geezer.
    avatar
    Ivo
    Admin
    Admin

    Posts : 1041
    Join date : 2009-11-25
    Age : 29
    Location : NJ, USA

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Ivo on Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:40 pm

    Pikvogel,

    Have you considered making one yourself?

    Jim at Alchem was cool enough to give the dimensions of his prods right on the order page. >>>LINK ...and a car leaf-spring is very easy to find and will cost almost nothing if not nothing(car dumps are full of these things).

    A good resource dealing with tillering steel leaf-springs into prods, is this page. >>>LINK

    It was put together by a member going by the name basileus. Give this option a thought.

    Ivo





    * *
    ~ "I don't have any special talents. I'm only passionately curious."
    * * *
    ~ "All Genius is Simple"
    * *
    avatar
    basileus
    Crossbow Building Wiki
    Founder & Curator
    Crossbow Building WikiFounder & Curator

    Posts : 86
    Join date : 2010-06-18

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by basileus on Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:44 am

    Ivo wrote:Pikvogel,

    Have you considered making one yourself?

    Jim at Alchem was cool enough to give the dimensions of his prods right on the order page. >>>LINK ...and a car leaf-spring is very easy to find and will cost almost nothing if not nothing(car dumps are full of these things).
    Making one is probably easiest and as Ivo said, used leaf springs cost next to nothing. I suggest not using the dimensions of Alchem's prods, as their center parts are overworked and tips are too heavy. Rather, select whatever width (at the center) and whatever length you want and then width taper towards the tips as much as possible. For example, reduce the width from 45mm to 6mm for a 6mm thick prod.
    This gives the best possible dry-fire speed without going into thickness tapering, which is much trickier to do with steel prods than with wooden bows. You can estimate the safe draw length of the prod with help from a CAD program and the ODS spreadsheet available here. The spreadsheet is not very intuitive, but has saved from doing a ton of slow manual calculations.
    A good resource dealing with tillering steel leaf-springs into prods, is this page. >>>LINK
    Ivo: thanks for linking to my page Smile. Good to see people are reading it and benefiting from it!

    It was put together by a member going by the name basileus. Give this option a thought.
    Ivo

    Pikvogel: if you have any questions about making a steel prod, don't hesitate to ask. I'll do my best to help.
    avatar
    Pikvogel
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 8
    Join date : 2010-09-02

    RE: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Pikvogel on Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:52 am

    Thanks Guys!
    This wil make it much easier for me!
    avatar
    Geezer
    Master Crossbowyer
    Master Crossbowyer

    Posts : 945
    Join date : 2010-01-12
    Age : 69
    Location : Austin, Texas, USA

    steel prods

    Post by Geezer on Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:38 am

    Be aware that it's possible to make the ends of your steel prod too narrow for practical reasons. Some years ago when my friends at Darkwood Armory were experimenting with steel prods, they made some that were so narrow out near the tips that the prods torqued on release. This made them shed their bowstrings in about three shots. So remember that the outer end, whatever it's relation to the width at the center, must be broad enough to avoid twisting.
    Of course medieval prods were mostly narrowed in thickness rather than in width, but that requires a lot more expertise. Any fool can draw a line and cut along it for a prod that is tapered in width rather than thickenss. Hooray for us fools, we still get to make cool projects anyway.
    Geezer.
    avatar
    basileus
    Crossbow Building Wiki
    Founder & Curator
    Crossbow Building WikiFounder & Curator

    Posts : 86
    Join date : 2010-06-18

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by basileus on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:30 am

    Geezer wrote: Be aware that it's possible to make the ends of your steel prod too narrow for practical reasons.Some years ago when my friends at Darkwood Armory were experimenting with steel prods, they made some that were so narrow out near the tips that the prods torqued on release. This made them shed their bowstrings in about three shots. So remember that the outer end, whatever it's relation to the width at the center, must be broad enough to avoid twisting.

    So far I've had no issues if the cross-section of the extreme tips has been a square, e.g. 5x5mm, 6x6mm or 8x8mm. Going beyond that (=making the tip narrower than it's thick) is probably a bad idea and would cause the mentioned torquing. I doubt that the relation between width at tips and width at the center matters much, e.g. whether width taper is 60->6mm or 40->6mm. Of course, as the center is widened, the tips become weaker in relation, which may cause other problems.

    One more word of warning... if you're working on really narrow tips from thin spring steel, make sure the cuts you make are absolutely straight all the way. Even small local variations in tip width may cause the tips to bend if you manage somehow to dry-fire the bow with a too strong bowstring (been there).

    Of course medieval prods were mostly narrowed in thickness rather than in width, but that requires a lot more expertise. Any fool can draw a line and cut along it for a prod that is tapered in width rather than thickenss. Hooray for us fools, we still get to make cool projects anyway.
    Geezer.

    Yep. The problem with thickness tapering is that it shouldn't be straight but elliptical (roughly x^3 curve). So you should taper progressively more as you move towards the tips. Of course, if there's also width tapering, this curve will be flatter, so a straight taper would be good enough. More details on this issue here.

    I've made a few plans on how to grind and/or forge the thickness taper to a steel prod... I probably have to execute these plans once I start making prods that are ridicuously thick at the middle (e.g. 25mm / 1") and thickness taper alone does not cut it Very Happy.



    Last edited by basileus on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed a typo)
    avatar
    Michael
    Techno Weeny

    Lets put a laser on it!!!


    Techno WeenyLets put a laser on it!!!

    Posts : 52
    Join date : 2010-09-29
    Age : 65
    Location : Oak Creek. Wisconsin

    Where to: Steel Prods.

    Post by Michael on Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:30 am

    Hi Pikvogel: Try this guy in England. Google Todsstuff.co.uk. He makes his own prods thats what I understand. Boy and the pull weight massive. Also with his massive pull weights he also offers (makes) all different spanning equipment. Just my 2 cents. Mike

    Baskethilt
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2011-08-13
    Location : Auckland, New Zealand

    ALCHEM PROD DELIVERY

    Post by Baskethilt on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:46 pm

    Morning Guys & gals,
    A couple of things. Firstly I have been in contact with Alchem and they advise that they have hired a guy last week to do nothing but prods. They expect to despatch my prod order in 3 weeks.
    Maybe this is common knowledge amongst you all but thought I would pass it on, given some previous posts about the delivery delays. It must mean that business is good for them.

    Secondly I must apologize for not introducing myself properly when I first started asking questions a couple of weeks ago; too eager to get on with it I suppose. Anyway, I am down in New Zealand. I love making things generally and knives, antique reproduction blades etc (especially Scottish) in particular. The more complicated and intricate the better. I have wide experience in wood working and metal working at the home DIY level and consider myself pretty competent to tackle most projects.
    I have now become interested in crossbows. I made my first as a kid at the age of about 10 using the steel rod out of a toy bow and nailing it to the end of a piece of floor board. A loop of wire underneath hooked round a wooden lever shaped with two fingers to hold the bow string. It worked well and allowed me to play William Tell games which was running on TV in those days (mid 60's).
    Your site is a great resource and I particularly like the "open source" idea of sharing knowledge. Ivo, and the others instrumental in running it are to be congratulated.
    Regards,
    Baskethilt
    avatar
    kiwijim
    Tinkerer

    If there is a will, there is a way.


    TinkererIf there is a will, there  is a way.

    Posts : 62
    Join date : 2009-12-10

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by kiwijim on Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:46 am

    Hi Baskethilt,

    The first time I bought 2 heavy prodds, some bow irons and stirrups from Alchem a few years ago. They arrived within a month and they were very good. I then got brave and spent the $ and ordered a custom prod of Alchem . I paid for it in advance (as requested) and then spent over a year of hassaling him trying to get it. I even went to the trouble of phoning him and I hate pestering people. I got lots of different excuses from him and promised arrival dates, none of which were meet. Eventually the prodd arrived. It is rough as an old pair of boots and is so whipp tillered that I decided it was too dangerous to use. At least I may be able to make some knives out of it. Maybe Jim Koch might read this post and do something to restore some of my faith in his business. I hope he does.

    James

    Baskethilt
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2011-08-13
    Location : Auckland, New Zealand

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Baskethilt on Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:56 am

    Hi James,
    Now you have me worried, and I was before. I guess I'll have to wait and see whether I get the prods I have ordered and on time. Maybe Alchem are not good on the custom made ones, just the stock standard stuff.

    I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and find someone to make them here for me. I am a great believer in "locally made" wherever you are. At least you can go and complain if they are local. It's a bit difficult when they are on another continent.

    Just out of interest James (and I assume you are in NZ also), how are you getting your prods made?

    Regards
    Baskethilt
    avatar
    kiwijim
    Tinkerer

    If there is a will, there is a way.


    TinkererIf there is a will, there  is a way.

    Posts : 62
    Join date : 2009-12-10

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by kiwijim on Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:20 am

    Hi Baskethilt,

    I have been grinding prodds out of powertuff. It's fibreglass bar stock that compound bow manufactors machine their bow limbs out of. Not very traditional, but a relatively easy way to make a high draw weight prod with good speed and slim dimensions. I got it through a special order from Binghams projects. As far as I know, they still sell it. I have many other half finished prodds in the shed including experiments with horn, steel and osage. I need more time!

    James

    Baskethilt
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2011-08-13
    Location : Auckland, New Zealand

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Baskethilt on Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:56 am

    Thanks Jim. Guess I'll have to sweat it out.

    In the meantime, get on and make up a tiller.

    Baskethilt
    avatar
    mac
    Master Weaponsmith
    Master Weaponsmith

    Posts : 560
    Join date : 2010-12-23
    Location : Near Philly USA

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by mac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:08 am

    Baskethilt,

    I advise you to hold off on making the notch for the prod until the part arrives...or at least, do not finish it to full size. These thing do best with certain nicety of fit that can only happen with the actual parts in hand. I made this mistake on my first crossbow, and had to glue in some shims and spacers to make the prod fit correctly.

    Mac

    Baskethilt
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2011-08-13
    Location : Auckland, New Zealand

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Baskethilt on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:41 pm

    Thanks for the advice Mac. I wasn't going to do anything in that area until it arrives.

    I have a question about plans but will start a new post.

    Basket Hilt
    avatar
    Ukkola
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2011-09-09
    Location : Michigan

    Alchem... Bah!

    Post by Ukkola on Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:41 pm

    A while ago I ordered a prod that was suppose to be stock. I waited for nearly 4 Months to get it.
    While I am sure Jim is a swell guy I just have to say his lack of communication is what really... really pissed me off. If you just keep me up to date (take the initiative to email) I really don't care how long it takes. Needless to say, he will never get my money again. I would never, ever, recommend Alchem.
    Now anyone got any suggestions as to how to string my 220lbs. prod? scratch
    avatar
    Ivo
    Admin
    Admin

    Posts : 1041
    Join date : 2009-11-25
    Age : 29
    Location : NJ, USA

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Ivo on Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:25 pm

    Welcome to the forum,Baskethilt, Ukkola.

    Now...

    *Deep breath*

    I'll try to keep it short.

    Prods take some time to deliver. Could be a month, could be six, could be eight. Authentic prods made by skilled blackmiths take about a year and can cost up to $1000. Smile

    Communication and custom orders is another issue. Not something that can be helped or explained from my end.

    All in all...If you're still not happy with Alchem, there are other guys out there...not the greatest variety of prod weights, but they're out there. Darkwood Armoury has #70(aluminum alloy) and #150(steel) prods. Elk Ridge Archery has a range of laminated glass prods of different weights, but they're a bit more expensive compared to the steel ones.
    So Alchem kinda rules the realm of producing a range of light-to-heavy weight prods that still fit in most pockets($). The more authentic prods cost hundreds of dollars (found one guy who was asking over $1000 for a prod + shipping silent ) and take over a year to make and deliver. So four months isn't that bad.

    Now anyone got any suggestions as to how to string my 220lbs. prod? scratch

    I use a crossbow version of "step through" method.

    One end of the prod goes on my foot (yeh, I'm crazy...use a block of wood Laughing ), step on the middle of the bow, pull the tip of the free limb towards myself and snap on the string.

    Kinda like here only without the stock and instead of a wood block I use my foot (don't do it)



    Some say you can't change a compound crossbow string like that...I change the string on my compounds without a bow press with no problem. I wouldn't recommend stringing a compound like this at just any time ... emergency *maybe*, but not any other time. Smile

    There are several other ways of stringing a bow:


    • You can build a bow press.
    • You can build a stringing jig for use with a bastard string
    • You can built a crossbow and string the prod with a bastard string.
    • You can be really cool and develop a method of string the crossbow that we haven't seen yet.(just messing Smile )
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. Any more questions, always welcome.

    Ivo

    PS: The topic talking about Alchem prods already exists, so I'm merging this one with the original. Please use the Search function prior to starting a new topic. Thanks.
    Smile




    * *
    ~ "I don't have any special talents. I'm only passionately curious."
    * * *
    ~ "All Genius is Simple"
    * *
    avatar
    Basilisk120
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Posts : 548
    Join date : 2010-03-01
    Age : 38
    Location : Arizona

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Basilisk120 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:37 pm

    Ukkola wrote:t.
    Now anyone got any suggestions as to how to string my 220lbs. prod? scratch

    Here is a press that I made out of scrap lumber: http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t373-crossbow-press-mk- 2

    I think there are some other designs floating around. I'll see if I can find any others for you.



    Something Something Dark Side
    avatar
    Ukkola
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2011-09-09
    Location : Michigan

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Ukkola on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:46 am

    Hey guys!
    Thanks for the input. I got some really good ideas now on how to string it.
    Sorry Ivo, I will try to keep it one topic at a time in the future!
    SISU!
    avatar
    Ivo
    Admin
    Admin

    Posts : 1041
    Join date : 2009-11-25
    Age : 29
    Location : NJ, USA

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Ivo on Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:03 pm

    Going back on my "defense"...

    Ivo wrote:So four months isn't that bad.

    The other side of the medal...

    A quick delivery of 1 week max waiting time would certainly kick things up a notch...people would get their stuff faster and get building instantly...so yeh it's definitely a bummer. Hope in the future things get better-faster-stronger.

    Ivo




    * *
    ~ "I don't have any special talents. I'm only passionately curious."
    * * *
    ~ "All Genius is Simple"
    * *

    Sponsored content

    Re: Alchem Incorporated

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:29 pm