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    Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

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    Lightly
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    Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Lightly on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:54 am

    I made a very detailed photo essay when building my first contract crossbow in the New World Arbalest shop.. here it is, mistakes and all!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swifthoundbows/sets/72157611937565699/
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    Regerald
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Regerald on Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:31 pm

    You're making crossbows for work? I'm little bit jealous Wink Nice work! Some materials are used are not historical (like plastic nut, if I see correct), but overall look is great Wink
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    Lightly
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Lightly on Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:45 pm

    Regerald wrote:You're making crossbows for work? I'm little bit jealous Wink Nice work! Some materials are used are not historical (like plastic nut, if I see correct), but overall look is great Wink

    Thanks! Yes, I am one of the lucky few who get to make crossbows for a 'living', altho, also lucky for me, my husband has a good job, which allows me the liberty to learn from David Watson, at New World Arbalest.
    The nut, in this case, is delrin, a very strong plastic. We DO also make nuts from turned antler, for those who want a more period correct nut. Many of our tools are very traditional, many are great time savers (like the mortising machine). I think that the most trouble David has with me is getting me to go home at the end of the day....
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    Ivo
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Ivo on Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:20 am

    Hello Lightly or Dirty Smile (...which ever you prefer better)

    Thank you for this wonderfully informative photo essay. Many interesting things...some familiar...some completely new to me. The bluing process is interesting...I have heard many different ways of doing it, but have never seen one done with just a torch...usually it required oil or some other bluing solution...but simply a torch...I'm impressed!

    I second Regerald's words on being happy that you can devote so much time to making crossbows as well as being able to learn from a Master. Very Happy As I already know New World Arbalest shop is located in Austin, Texas...I've never been to Texas, but know a few traditional bowyers that live there and hear it is a wonderful and warm place with archery being as great of tradition as hockey is in Canada Smile ...hopefully I will one day be traveling (not on business cheers ) and will be able to visit yours and David's magical crossbow shop.

    Once again thank you...I'm sure this buildalong will help many enjoy crossbow building.

    Ivo
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    Jason D
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    Mortises

    Post by Jason D on Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:25 pm

    Lightly,
    I have viewed all of your photo essays and it is reassuring to me to see that the methods that I have been using are quite similar to your own. I have been using the same blueing process on small parts myself for quite a while now, along with a "baked" linseed oil finish.

    I do have one question for you about your mortises, I noticed that you are using pencil for the layout rather than a striking knife and was wondering why that is? I have always found that my cleanest mortises have been struck with a knife.
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    Lightly
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Lightly on Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:41 pm

    Jason D wrote:Lightly,
    I have viewed all of your photo essays and it is reassuring to me to see that the methods that I have been using are quite similar to your own. I have been using the same blueing process on small parts myself for quite a while now, along with a "baked" linseed oil finish.

    I do have one question for you about your mortises, I noticed that you are using pencil for the layout rather than a striking knife and was wondering why that is? I have always found that my cleanest mortises have been struck with a knife.

    Jason;
    If you will explain to me what you mean by using pencil for the layout, rather than a striking knife, I think I can answer better... and even better, if that means that you have found a better way to DO this, I will be happy to hear of it, and learn to do it better! (Photos help!)
    I also want to know what you mean by "baked linseed oil finish". How do you do that, and, do you have photos of how that looks?

    "Always eager to learn" Lightly.
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    Jason D
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Jason D on Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:35 pm

    As for the linseed oil blackening, I don't have any pictures, but if you have ever had oil or grease burn onto a broiler tray when cooking, you've got the concept. If you coat a piece of steel with linseed oil and then bake it at about 400F it will darken, smoke, and then finally end up as a semigloss smooth black finish. Just NEVER DO IT IN THE HOUSE.

    I am not a photographer so I will have to use words to describe the process, I noticed that you were using a double edged striking knife to outline your sideplates in one of your photo essays. Use the same knife to mark out your mortise, after you drill out the waste and begin chiseling back to the line stop making heavy cuts about 1/64" before you get to the layout line. When you get to this point use the line that you struck as a register for your chisel and pare away the last of the waste. The best tools for this are a mortising chisel and then a paring chisel. I personally just use my bench chisels, they are the old made in Sheffield Marples Blue Chips, but a good set of mortising and paring chisels are on my "to get" tool list.

    The woodworking tricks that I have picked up are mostly from cabinetmakers and furniture builders and they never use a pencil for any of their cut lines.
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Ivo on Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:14 pm

    Jason D wrote:As for the linseed oil blackening, I don't have any pictures, but if you have ever had oil or grease burn onto a broiler tray when cooking, you've got the concept. If you coat a piece of steel with linseed oil and then bake it at about 400F it will darken, smoke, and then finally end up as a semigloss smooth black finish. Just NEVER DO IT IN THE HOUSE.

    Very nice explanation...I've also heard of people having success with these methods:

    • Hanging the part to be blued on a wire so that it is submerged in oil and boiling it...from the words of people who recommended this setup you get a very fine blue good for small parts...thou not as durable as in the next one VVV

    • Heating the part and brushing oil onto it's hot surface with a natural (non synthetic brush) or an oil soaked rag(it not recommended to actually hold the rag in you hand)


    ....I havent tried any of this yet so I'm fairly new to the concept...all I know is this VVV

    Jason D wrote:...Just NEVER DO IT IN THE HOUSE.


    ...that is if you value your ceilings Laughing
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    Jason D
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Jason D on Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:08 pm

    Well, it's not so much the ceiling, I've only done this on a charcoal grill myself, but as it was told to me your kitchen exhaust fan will stay ahead of the smoke. But, your wife will never forgive you when she finally finds out that you are the reason that she had to bake three batches of her chocolate chip cookies before they wouldn't taste funny. At least that is the way I had it from the gentleman who showed me this method.

    Lightly,
    What kind of glue are you using to glue up the composite socket that you made? Just standard carpenters glue or Titebond, or is it something exotic?
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    Lightly
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Lightly on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:19 pm

    It's too bad one can't see the post one is replying to! But, I'll do my best to remember...

    Jason;
    Most of the pencil marks I make are for reference. Geezer's wonderful friends bought him a mortising machine for his birthday several months ago, and while, no, it isn't quite traditional, it IS a wonderful and huge timesaver for us. I learned how to do the mortising with a chisel, but, I am much faster with the machine. and fortunately, or, unfortunately, however you choose to look at it, we are a business....I do use the scribing tool lots, to outline where the lock plates will be inlet.
    The long pencil marks on top of the stocks are for reference, where I want to use the wood rasp or the spokeshave to shape the stocks.

    I will have to try the baked linseed oil! OUTside, if I ever want to eat brownies that taste like brownies again!
    Maybe an old toaster oven?

    And, oh my gosh, that bow of Todd's... honestly, I sincerely hope to be able to do that someday...I NEED TO find out how he tied that bow in, and I have also been itching to try that woven end cap! Geezer has been threatening to teach me for some time, and I just have not got around to it! Guess I better go bug him!

    I love the bone tops on his bows, too, many pieces, all fitting so well...that is a great deal of work and skill.
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    Re: Photo essay of one of my first crossbows.

    Post by Ivo on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:48 am

    Jason D wrote:Well, it's not so much the ceiling...

    I just thought I'd mention this as some of us live in old style European apartments with a simple open top gas stoves and no vents above them flame thrower big

    Lightly wrote:It's too bad one can't see the post one is replying to! But, I'll do my best to remember...

    Which one is that?

    Lightly wrote:....Geezer's wonderful friends bought him a mortising machine for his birthday several months ago, and while, no, it isn't quite traditional, it IS a wonderful and huge timesaver for us. I learned how to do the mortising with a chisel, but, I am much faster with the machine. and fortunately, or, unfortunately, however you choose to look at it, we are a business....I do use the scribing tool lots, to outline where the lock plates will be inlet....

    I typed in "Mortising machine" in youtube search and look what popped up Very Happy ...check out their website LINK


    -note to self: do a topic on self built shop equipment Smile

    I remember how much fun it was hanging out with trad bowyers and how much crap I got from them for talking about mounting red dot scope on a horsebow....or using cnc equipment for engraving...it was all good fun tongue . Mortising machine sounds fun...what kind does Geezer have?

    Lightly wrote:I will have to try the baked linseed oil! OUTside, if I ever want to eat brownies that taste like brownies again!
    Maybe an old toaster oven?

    ...also an interesting moment in metal working called "annealing" or in other words "softening of the metal"... heating and slowly cooling will "soften" the metal(there are various trad ways of varying the speed of cooling Wink )...heating and cooling it rapidly will "harden it"(quenching it in various quenching solutions) study ...that was kinda the reason I posted the video of chemical "cold" bluing, but then deleted it too try and stay on topic of DIY.


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