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    My first try

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    Frode
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    Post by Frode on Wed May 11, 2011 7:21 pm

    Hi all,
    Well (gulp), nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here is my very first attempt.
    Client wants a target crossbow for his wife. He has supplied the prod, a laminated wood and glass version rated 81#@15", measuring 32 1/2" ntn. The tiller is beech, 31" tip to butt, made by gluing two beech planks together for a final thickness
    of 1 1/2". The trigger is a teeter totter style, at clients requests (simplicity, past problems with a roller nut), modeled in maple right now to test movement and placement, ultimately to be steel. It is smoothed down, but not (by any means) finished, as it is a test bed to learn with. When everything works smoothly (hey, I'm a glass half full kind of guy), we'll move on to a more finished version. The only power tool so far is a hand drill, for the stirrup, and to start the hole for the bridle.
    Thanks, and I appreciate your help and insights,
    Frode

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    Post by Basilisk120 on Wed May 11, 2011 8:59 pm

    Looks great even more so for a first attempt. Never would have guessed that.

    How did you cut the bolt groove with out power tools?
    Wait did you bevel the edges before you glued the two pieces together? Clever/



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    Frode
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    Post by Frode on Wed May 11, 2011 9:28 pm

    Thank you! Naw, afraid I'm not that clever, but next one... heheh.
    The groove was cut with a curved gouge, then later v-grooved with flat chisels and a scraper. Pre-beveling would work a lot better (and easier!), and though I had speculated about cutting out trigger mechanism cavities before gluing the boards, it never occurred to me to bevel the groove first. Thanks!
    Frode
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    Post by Todd the archer on Wed May 11, 2011 9:35 pm

    I like it!

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    Post by Ivo on Wed May 11, 2011 9:58 pm

    Basilisk120 wrote:Looks great even more so for a first attempt. Never would have guessed that.

    Indeed. Smile >Very nice and clean build.

    Don't even know if there is anything to suggest, you are simply "on your way".

    ...but I do see one minor detail that I would have done differently. I would countersink those holes in the stirrup so that the screws go flush with the surface of the metal...again saying this only because I love that bit. Razz

    Get that trigger in metal and get some finish on that stock...oooooh your clients got some choices to make in the paint isle Laughing with all the crazy shades of stain/poly/oil they have....or you can even do a bees wax finish for a more trad look. drunken

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    Post by mac on Thu May 12, 2011 7:00 am

    Frode,

    I recommend using a steel pin for the trigger pivot. It will look nice, and wear better than cord.

    Take some 1/8" rod, or a likely looking nail with the head and point off. The final length of the pin should be such that it barely protrudes from the sides of the tiller. With the ends of the pin gently rounded and neatly polished, it will give a very professional look.

    Make some test holes with your number series drills until you find one that lets you press the pin in. The hole in the trigger should be just a the slightest bit bigger.

    If the hole you have already is too big for 1/8", you could step up to 5/32" or even 3/16". The upper limit is about how much material you have around the hole in the trigger its self.

    Mac

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    Post by Frode on Thu May 12, 2011 10:57 am

    Thank you Todd, Ivo, and Mac!
    @Ivo, Countersinking would be nice, I agree! Those were actually the only two screws I could find that were the right size, I need to get more, and a countersink reamer, and give that a go! As for finishes, I'm a big fan of the beeswax finishes, though I just tried Tru Oil on a white oak flat bow, and that gloss sure comes up nice!

    @Mac, That sounds good to me! I had a nail, just for location and sizing, but it was loose and kept falling out whenever I'd turn the tiller to the side, and the trigger would drop out after it. I tied a scrap of artificial sinew through two or three times, just to keep track of everything (I wonder if it would last for a couple of shots?). When I get the metal trigger done I'll set it up as you recommend.

    Thanks again,
    Frode
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    Post by 8fingers on Thu May 12, 2011 6:13 pm

    I just finished reading an old woodworking magazine where they recommend threading holes in wood, and using machine screws. I thought I might try a Allen headed set screw for my trigger. The hold strength is better than wood screws, and the set screws are available at a local industrial supply outlet. Other option is Corby rivets from a knife maker supply outlet, but that means mail order.
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    Post by mac on Thu May 12, 2011 8:43 pm

    8f,

    If you use a machine screw for a pivot, you will want to make sure that your trigger does not bear on threads.

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    Post by cmgower on Tue May 17, 2011 6:57 am

    Nice Bow! Well done!
    I've made pins out of 5/32 steel rod tapped one end then tapped the stock on one side. On the rod opposite the thread I just cut a simple notch to make it a flat head screw. Just drill out the hole with the smaller size drill bit first the then follow through with the larger bit leaving enough material on the one side to be tapped.
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    Post by Frode on Tue May 17, 2011 8:34 pm

    Sorry, been side tracked for a few days. Thanks for the screw suggestions, Mac and 8fingers, and for the kind words, CMG!

    Here's another question, I see that the string stops the bolt as it passes between the fingers of a roller nut, but on a Skane (? push rod trigger) type, or the teeter totter like I'm setting up, how do you keep the end of the bolt from sliding too far back, potentially causing a misfire? I can't say as I've ever seen one set up, but I am new to this sort of thing.
    As always, I appreciate your insights,
    Frode
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    Post by Geezer on Tue May 17, 2011 8:58 pm

    Frode: On your skane-bow, you'll need a stop to keep bolts from sliding back over the notch (resulting in misfire). A tiny brass pin in the very back of the bolt-groove will do the trick. Just make sure it doesn't stand above the table and snag the string. The smaller the distance between butt of bolt and string on release, the more efficient your system will be. In the end, all notch-locks slap the bolt a bit, losing energy and wearing center-serving and beating up the butts, but that's the price you pay for very fast loading and ease of manufacture. Geezer.
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    Post by Frode on Wed May 18, 2011 8:04 pm

    Thanks Geezer! I did tap in a small round headed brad, and that seems to have worked.
    Tonight it went for it's first trial run. Challenge one, stringing. The stringer that came with the prod slipped, necessitating the muttering of various and sundry unpleasantries about the uncertain parentage of the cow from which its leather came, but an alternative stringer got the job done. A holder (?) to keep the bolt in place will need to be added, but the client and I shot it with a gloved thumb over the end of the bolt without incident. The purchased prod is fast and quiet, and the wooden trigger seems smooth, which suggests that the metal trigger will be even better.
    It is a blast to shoot, and most importantly, the client is happy!
    Now, to quote Will Smith, "I have got to get me one of these!"
    Client is experienced with crossbows, and managed the grouping below from 20 yards in the second round, despite no sights, unfamiliar bow, and the thumb hold. I shot it twice, and got one on the straw and one in the catch curtain, but I am a bad shot.
    More to come...
    Frode

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    Post by jake-owa on Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:16 pm

    Good looking bow, love the prod. That'll teach that bunny to bring his eggs around here!

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