I'm planning on making a Central European sporting bow loosely based on some photos of period pieces I found particularly pleasing. I have a steel prod on the way from Alchem that should be slightly north of 200# at an 8" powerstroke. I'm planning a walnut body with a light top, Micarta if I can make it work and walnut if Micarta is too difficult/expensive. The nut will be from Alchem as well - one of the 1.5" plastic rods cut to 1". Does anyone have advice on any of the following?
1. I'd really like to do a Micarta top veneer, but I'm having a hard time finding any solid info on how feasible this is. Geezer has mentioned in past posts that gluing is a serious issue, and if it is, I would just as soon forego looks and performance improvements to just go with maple. Can anyone chime in on just how difficult these veneers are, good source materials, costs?
2. I'm trying to decide how to create a nice, strong nut socket to withstand the heavy weight of the prod I ordered. Right now, I expect that I will inlet a separate nut socket from the top. How have people approached this? I was thinking of marking the rectangle with a carpenter's pencil, using a drill press to clear as much material as possible down to a carefully marked depth (using a little tape on the bit to mark depth), and then cleaning it up with a very sharp chisel. I've never done anything like this before, so I'm a tad nervous. Ideally, I'd like to be able to remove the nut to replace it after wear and the like, so I thought about making the detachable socket loose enough to remove and lightly screwing it in with some brass wood screws. Any wise words?
3. Will a 200-ish# prod need socket reinforcement? I have seen the sockets others have made using rectangles of bone glued into a wooden socket, but I have no source of bone. I was wondering if I could use a hard plastic of similar color effectively, or whether this will cause friction with the plastic used in the nut socket. What materials (with reasonably authentic appearance) have others used with success?
4. Does anyone have experience with using a rest vs. a groove? For authenticity, I'd love to use a rest, but I don't want to risk performance too much. "Iolo's First Book of Crossbows" suggests a minor dichotomy between accuracy/power from rests and reliability from grooves. Can anyone comment on this? Will it suffice to have a flat top with a very low rest, or do I actually have to slope the table down slightly between the nut and the rest?
Thank you for whatever advice you might have - please feel free to respond to any part of my question that you can answer. I'm really excited about this first "authentic" project, and I want to do it right by asking first and carving into wood later.