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    Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

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    Mr. Apol
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    Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Mr. Apol on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:09 pm

    Not too long ago Todd the Archer requested some folks from the board try out a crossbow kit he was developing for sale. As I did not yet own a medieval style bow, I was intrigued. I asked Todd if I could build a bow from his prototype kit. He agreed, and sent me the kit, at cost.

    I spent a few hours over three days building and finishing the kit. Now I could have spent a lot longer, making a fancier crossbow, but I opted for a straight-forward military look.

    The kit is simple. It contains these parts:

    A stock blank. Mine was walnut, a fine piece of wood.

    A fiberglass bow in the 150# range. This is a Taiwanese bow commonly sold on the Net. It's the only 'modern' part. It came with the maker's tip protectors and bowstring.

    A steel tickler. Hand-shaped, in the white.

    A roller nut. Also walnut, with a thick steel insert to bear the pressure of the string against the tickler.

    A walnut sideplate, to cover the slot made to hold the nut.

    A steel stirrup. This attaches to the tiller by two hex head bolts with nylon lock-nuts (no wait, that's some more 'modern' parts).

    A couple of walnut wedges, a spring steel bolt clip. a few small screws, twine, etc.

    My stock was already drilled and had the hole cut for the bow. A strip of leather was glued inside to cushion the bow once mounted.

    All the parts were well chosen, well made, and sensible. Although Todd included an angle gauge to help locate the mounting hole, my kit was pre-cut.

    90 percent of the work involves finishing the stock/ tiller. I cheated a bit and took it to a woodworking shop I know and had the corners eased on a table router. The upper surface corners I had just rounded a little. The underside edge were rounded over a full half-inch. Once the stock was prepared, I finished sanding it by hand at home. I used two 3M sponge sanding blocks, (Fine and Medium), and to remove a few band saw cuts on the underside I used 100 grit paper wrapped around a short length of 1 inch dowel. The walnut smoothed out beautifully.

    I chose to finish the wood in a mix of old and new methods. I sealed the tiller by brushing on Thompson's Water Seal. This is a thin, volatile liquid rather like kerosene, with wax dissolved in it. It dries quickly, leaving the wood impregnated with waterproof wax. Once the Thompson's was dry, I rubbed in two coats of paste wax. The resulting finish is smooth, hard, and waterproof. It's a matte finish, too, which I like. This is a faster, more foolproof method than using linseed or tung oil, which take a long time to dry and can be sticky even longer.

    The bow was easy to mount. I did have to add a wedge of my own to keep the bow tight against the top of the hole in the tiller. Todd's hardwood wedges went in neatly and tightly. With the stirrup in place, the bow isn't going anywhere.

    I chose not to finish the metal parts. I left them bright. I wanted the look of a weapon carried in the field, and bluing soon wears off in use. I considered using Belgian Blue or Gun-kote on the metal, but decided to leave the metal in the white. With some wax rubbed on, the steel parts will be fine. The tickler is secured to the stock by a steel taper pin.

    I made a bastard string and strung the bow. My initial shots were flubs because my bolts snagged on the fingers of the nut. A little work with some sandpaper wrapped around a slim dowel and the bow works flawlessly. I was worried about having a nut made of wood, but it seems to work fine. Todd faithfully includes sinewy twine to tie the nut in the stock. Again, this works, but I may try to find a pin to hold the nut. My background is with old military rifles, and that wrapped twine just doesn't see like enough. I know it's historic, and I trust Todd's judgment, but I think I'll find a pin.

    Another feature I'm unsure about is how the nut sits under tension. I thought the rear of the nut ought to be level with the stock, but it isn't. It sticks up about 1/3 inch. The string is held just fine by the fingers on the nut, however.

    At plinking range (ten feet), the bow worked perfectly. I was shooting 16 inch aluminum bolts, which are probably a little too long for this bow, but they hit hard. I had to trim one plastic flight from the bolt so the missile would lie the shallow groove. A three-flight bolt won't fit. One of these days I have to make some proper wooden medieval style bolts.

    I like the bow a lot. It was simple to build, yet rewarding. It's a quality product. Todd should be proud.

    Photos will be posted later.

    Paul B. Thompson


    Last edited by Ivo on Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Topic Stickied :))
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by juancheco on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:19 pm

    Congratulations for both of you!!!!!!!!!
    Todd, this is your firs costumer??
    Mr Apol, enjoy it, lucky you, Im in Argentina, so i doubt if i can get one of those someday.....!!!!
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:52 am

    Thanks for the review Paul. I have three prototype kits out there right now. Eager to see pics on how Paul's came out. Another fellow who has practically no crossbow experience has finished one as well. I do have some pics of his work. I will see if Ican get them posted.

    Our freind Basilisk120 has one as well. Have not heard how he is progressing.

    Trying to get as much feedback as possible, to see what may or should be changed in the kit.

    Paul how did you find the instructions? Hope everything was clear enough.

    If anyone has suggestions or ideas on what they would like to see in a kit, please let me know.After I make refinements in the kit I will offer them for sale.

    Just to refresh everyone memory here is how Pauls kit stared out:


    Interesting to see how it looks now.

    Todd the archer
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Basilisk120 on Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:06 pm

    Haven't much of a chance to work on it. Been a busy week but going to start tonight and/or tomorrow. I'll post some pictures when I get started but so far the kit looks good. I'm really impressed with it so far.



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    Pictures of my bow

    Post by Mr. Apol on Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:28 pm

    Here are some pictures of my bow. As yet I haven't fitted the filler block behind the tickler because I'm still sanding it into shape.

    P6100039

    P6100040

    P6100042



    Last edited by Mr. Apol on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrections)
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:54 pm

    here is some pics of another kit I sent to a fellow that lives near Gettysburg Pa.



    and after



    It went together for him pretty well. He chose to cover the modern parts with some leather. Interestingly enough he also chose a different method of tieing in the nut.


    Also his kit and Basilisk120's kit I change the bolt clip to one made from PVC.

    Todd
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Basilisk120 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:44 pm

    Ok, I finally finished this yesterday, got to love those long weekends Very Happy .

    The kit as I got it.


    Finished Pictures








    Few little things I would do differently if I were to do this again, but overall I am happy with how it turned out.
    So overall I have to hand it to Todd, he makes a nice kit. The directions were good and the quality of the work he did was great. And it was good project to try out my new Dremel on.

    The one test shot I made was snappy. The thing looks like a shooter. (the bolt punctured through a soft spot in my target and broke on the wall behind it, hence only one shot.)

    I'll post some more after I take it to the proper range.



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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Basilisk120 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:49 pm

    I have to add, in the last picture the bloodwood stripe is straighter than it looks. The shadows and color change of the base wood throw off the lines. (I've check like 5 times)

    And I'll get a picture of what I did with the Trigger when my phone stops being stupid. Stupid phone won't let me take picture when it get to about a quarter battery life Mad



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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:20 pm

    Hi Basilisk120, looks good. really like the stripe you put in.
    Nice to see how you all put your own touches on the kit.

    Any ideas for things you would like to see done differently?

    My intention is to offer a base kit that would not be too difficult for someone to finish.

    If anyone looking at this has something they would like to see please let me know. I am going to try to make these available in a month or two.

    Thank to everyone for their interest, Todd
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Basilisk120 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:41 pm

    Todd the archer wrote:
    Any ideas for things you would like to see done differently?

    No, don't worry I was talking about things I would have done differently as I built it. Spend more time time making the butt thinner and shaping the front end a bit more. Put on a different finish. That sort of stuff,

    As for making a kit I don't really think there is much to change. Maybe a longer butt stock but that is a personal preference.



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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Warhammer1 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:43 pm

    Hi Todd.
    What I'd like to see is a nice wooden stock for my torsion inswingers. I can re-send a vid if you like or perhaps you still have the one sent previously. I need a draw of at least 20 inches.
    I have often thought of offering my designs as a kit like you offer, but for my torsion "manuballistas". The roller nut appeals to me although not period correct. In any case Im interested in having someone make up a few wood "platforms I could bolt my ballista prototypes to.
    If interested please let me know.

    W.
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:55 pm

    Hi Warhammer, I will keep that in mind for a future project. For right now this is keeping me busy. I am also working on another kit which is in the early stages right now.

    Todd

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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Archer46176 on Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:11 pm

    Todd,

    I remember PMing you before on my first visits to the forum about your kit when you were looking for someone to try it out for R&D purposes... Are you still in R&D or are you offering kits for sale? Also if you would let me know what one of your kits is selling for as I cannot remember from our first PMs. Things are a bit better now financially as my fiance is now a full time Hospice RN and even though I am an out of work millwright and we are planning and paying for our wedding in November I think I may be able to swing buying one of your kits in a few weeks. I would like to have something to compare to my attempt at a scratch made crossbow. I think mine is going to turn out decent but the fellas have done so well with your kit so far it seems with a little skill and knowledge a fella can really make one of your kits his own.

    Paul
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:42 pm

    Thanks for your interest Paul. I am still developing my kit. Currently the roller nut is made from wood, but I am thinking of using other materials perhaps corian.



    Question, what would your primary use be? Target, hunting, recreational shooting?



    How finished would you want the kit to be?



    Pricing to be aroung 150.00 plus shipping



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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Archer46176 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:33 pm

    Primarily hunting

    Basic layout maybe the tickler and nut inletted

    Right now just thinking about adding it to the list of projects. The heat here has been so bad it may have to wait til fall though. Even with the wedding coming up in November I seem to have a ton of time so I am sure I could work one of your kits in when the heat abides and I can stand to be in the garage for more than 15 minutes at a time...LOL... Being unemployed and about to marry an RN is like the old credit card commercials, it has it's advantages...LOL

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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Nice John on Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:50 pm

    May I ask if this kit is on the market yet I have looked on the web site but can find no mention of any kits apart from leather working things. I would be interested in purchasing one if available.

    John
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by riverwindflutes on Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:43 pm

    Is this kit still available ???
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:14 pm

    Thanks to all who showed an interest in a medieval crossbow kit. As much as I would like to offer one, I have put this project on hold as least for now.

    The reason being I need to gear up on tooling, something I can not do at this time. Main tools being a planer,mortising machine, and a lathe. While I have made some crossbows without these aids it is too labor intensive for production.

    Thanks again for your interest, Todd

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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Ch0c0m0nster on Wed May 22, 2013 3:09 pm

    can i ask have you started making your crossbow kits again, because i would really like to make one but i do not have the equipment to do it. a how much if you could make one would it cost to be sent to england.

    thanks very much.
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 pm

    I am not offering kits at this time but I do have two finished crossbows for sale. Take a look at the buy and sell section and check out the working man's crossbow there.

    http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t1004-more-working-man-s-crossbows-for-sale

    I check and see what it will cost to ship to England.

    Any other questions feel free to ask.

    Thanks, Todd

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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Ch0c0m0nster on Thu May 23, 2013 12:14 am

    thanks very much is the price on the the bow in dollars or pounds? and yes please see hpw much it costs to send and would you dismantal it if you where to send it to england?
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Thu May 23, 2013 3:42 pm

    The price is in USD, I would send it taken apart but is easy to reassemble. USPS price for shipping is around 70.00 USD

    Todd

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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Bs1110101 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:03 pm

    Would one of the people that has this please give me the dimensions of the stock, and ideally an outline of the blank to use as a template, as well as the angle, length and draw of the bow, and the diameter of the nut.
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by kenh on Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:04 pm

    BS1110101 -- It's just not quite ethical for someone to copy Todd's work and give it to you.  The dimensions for prods, tillers, nuts and associated hardware, adjustable for a variety of draw weights and other factors, can be found here and in the building Wiki with a little research and reading.  If you're interested in building your own crossbow, you need to do your own work as we all have.  Sure, we borrow ideas from each other all the time, but what you're asking is going far beyond that.
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    Re: Todd the Archer's Crossbow Kit

    Post by Todd the archer on Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:12 pm

    Actually not a problem, I freely share any knowledge I have. If you go to the link for Alchem Inc. found on the right side of the page click on the link then click on the crossbow section scroll part way down and there it is free printable plans with all the numbers and info you were asking about.

    Any other questions I am happy to help, Todd


    Thanks Ken for watching my back!

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