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    A bow press idea

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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:23 am

    A bow press idea PressGreetings everyone. I posted a thread asking how in the world one spans such heavy little prods, and of course, a machine to help with a machine seems the right answer.
    This is a quick drawing I made in SketchUp of an idea I have. I may be so far in the weeds, I am out of left field entirely, but here is a solution I hope will work.
    Essentially, this is a hardwood frame about 53" x 21", from 3" x 3" ash. Toward the top is a ratched and pawl with a rope takeup beam (not sure what to call it), with the actual round ratchet and pawl mechanism not really show here, but indictated slightly the the little yellow ring at the end of the takeup beam. Not show is a strong pully, which wiill be attached to the top horizontal part of the frame, on the inside. All joints will be half-lap or saddle joints, reenforced with bolts.
    Toward the bottom of this contraption is two bars. They will be padded with leather, and you would slip the crossbow in there. It would be something like that illustration in Ralph Payne-Gallwey of the early crossbowman (Fig 24) spanning his weapon by his feet on the prod next to the binding. On the other side is a bracket that you could use to span the prod not mounted on the tiller, similar to a tillering tree used by hand bow makers.
    The series of 1" holes drilled up the two side pieces is an idea I took from the Asiatic composite bow world. High powered composite bows can be spanned in this way, by slowly bringing each arm of the bow down and slipping big pegs onto a gigantic flat board to hold the limb tips until you get to full draw and then string the bow. I'd use 1" hardwood pegs, and once the ractchet and pawl has done it's job and the prod is sufficiently spanned to allow the string to be taken or off, slip in a peg and do the job.
    Any comments are welcome.
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    Post by 8fingers on Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:18 pm

    You could use less material by putting your windlass below your pegs, so in effect your limb tips remain stationary and you are pulling the stock down to the windlass. If the press was in a horizontal configuration, controlling what the stock does would be simplified and the press could be clamped to an existing workbench, perhaps allowing the use of lighter materials? Rolling Eyes
    My solution for restringing my SCA crossbow was to jam it into a corner near a doorway, string on one limb tip and get someone to slip string over other limb tip as I pushed the stock further into the corner, flexing the limbs. It was in the middle of this struggle I came up with a horizontal press with windlass idea. Hope this translates, I still haven't figured out sketch up.
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    Post by Basilisk120 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:34 pm

    A bow press idea Press_10

    Does this kind of picture what you mean? Ignoring my bad computer drawing skills.
    The rope then pulls the limbs up and then a peg is placed under the limb to keep it bent, the string on the press removed and the bow string is placed on the prod?

    Some questions: Do you think the press string will stay on when the limbs are bent?
    Are the nocks on the end of the prod long enough to hold two strings?

    I'm sure you have thought about those already but just wondering?



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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:47 am

    I see what you mean, 8fingers. I would want to have this contraption be portable, so I can take it with me to the range, though. BTW, I got a copy of "Sketchup for Dummies." It makes it pretty simple to learn the program.
    Basilisk, that is exactly what I have in mind. This thing will be used in conjunction with a bastard string made from 2 U-bolts and 1/8" steel wire, so there is plenty of clearance for the string eyes. I will leave the bastard string clamped to the limbs throughout the stringing / unstringing process. The pegs will get the pressure off the string and pulley as quickly as possible.
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:50 am

    One last thing, the crossbow will be placed in the press so the table and nut side of the tiller is facing toward the machine. In the case of a prod alone, that doesn't matter.
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    Post by 8fingers on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:11 pm

    My idea was to turn your drawing upside down, then you are attaching your rope to the prod where it meets the stock. One set of pegs, actually, rollers from a boat trailer, the limbs rest on. This way your limb tips are always clear. No messing with pegs to keep your crossbow bent and stable.
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:57 pm

    8fingers, I think I get you, but a drawing or rough sketch would be really helpful. How does the crossbow rest in this press, and where does one find a retail outlet for boat trailer rollers? I dont have access to a marina where I live.
    Thanks,
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    Post by barsod123 on Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:51 pm

    I just finished my crossbow, and was very apprehensive about putting the string on, I tried the "hard way", the bastard string too. but i settled for 2 clamps with leather pads and a thick board resting against the back end of the board. This method took all 4 inches of travel but just worked. A bow press idea Stuff032
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    Post by Todd the archer on Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:58 pm

    hope those clamps don't slip! Interesting stirrup, maybe show us a close up of your crossbow.

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    Post by barsod123 on Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:35 pm

    Yes, hopefully the clamps dont move. I did multiple repositioning before I went for it. Using leather pads assisted with the clamps not slipping. Some newer clamps today have removable jaws and various switch outs.
    I also tried a bastard string with a clampface behind the string and the turning part on the end of the tiller. That worked out alot better but I ran out of travel on the clamp, mainly due to using nylon string that kept stretching.
    The stirrup is 1/2" steel rod bent to the shape of typical stirrup, 2 inches insert into a aluminum block and secured with (2) 7/16" set screws, bolted to the 2 halfs of the crossbow. threading hardwood and re-inforcing the threads with superglue is quite strong, i recommend the use of the Janka scale for wood hardness- the harder the better the threads. My bow is ash and was so so with threading.Sorry I dont mean to change the thread topic.
    Just trying to show a simple use of tools that many might have to help with strining.
    A bow press idea IMG_0825
    A bow press idea IMG_0827
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:54 am

    Barsod, this is not changing the subject, and thanks for posting.
    I've finished milling the ash for my own spanning contraption last night, so that is coming along. I expect to have it completed in the next few weeks, and will see if it works or not. The wood cost me about 40 bucks or so, so this is not an expensive project, and I can always make atlatls or other items out of the wood if it doesn't work out.
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    Post by barsod123 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:51 pm

    I believe I have come up with another, but safer why to span the prod with clamps. You need one 48" I-beam bar clamp(a 36" might work too) a c-clamp that has a acme screw lenght of at lest 7"( its a big c-clamp) and some thick hardwood. I used 2" thick board stacked up to 7"-8" high. the I-beam clamps those 8" high stacks together with a thick board spanning between them. This spanning board is cut to an appropriate lenght that allows the back of the recurves rest on the 8" stack. Then use the c-clamp placed in center of prod a start clamping until you reach the brace you need.
    This was successful in getting a 2" brace with 5" high stack, in theory should work with bigger brace and the right amount of clamp travel and elevated blocks.
    I will take a picture tomorrow, But with wood prod for illustration since my metal one on a bow.
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    Post by barsod123 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:10 pm

    Heres the pics, spanning board sould be cut to a length to were the prods bellys in the recurve a centered on the stacked blocks top inside edge. place the I-beam clamp and spanning board close to the prod as needed due to the downward force of c-clamp pushing the stacked blocks out. This method should work, Its taken directly from me using a 50 ton press the same way to get my string on.
    A bow press idea IMG_0941
    A bow press idea IMG_0942

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