I've been haunting this site for a while, finally decided to be more social. I don't hunt and I'm not in the SCA, I do enjoy archery and melee sparring, and designing, making, and modding things. About 10 years ago or so I finally realized that if I never got around to finishing any of the many projects I'd started over the years, well nobody else was, either. I'd been dragging around about a half dozen swords and other medieval weapons I started making as a teenager, and it felt really good to actually see the finished product. The metal work led to woodwork and leather working, for the hilts and wrappings and scabbards, and I got pretty good at it. After finishing most of those, my eye lit on my old crossbow.
I didn't make it, one of my older brothers did. He died very young in a car accident and I inherited it. OK, "inherited" probably isn't the right word, I kinda just took it, but as much fun as I had with it as a kid, I know he would have wanted me to have it. I dug it out of the attic and , on close inspection and after doing a lot of research, I decided just to clean it up and leave it alone. The woodwork was nice and sound, but what I had always thought to be a steel prod was actually aluminum, with a hole in the middle through which a steel bolt secured it to the stock. I think it might have originated with one of those Jayhawk kits, or something like it, when I figure out how to host pictures on this forum I'll put one up of the trigger and see if anyone can identify it. Anyhow, I was lucky the thing never snapped on me, as the original steel cable did many years ago, in quite spectacular fashion.
So I decided to make my own, and I'm pretty happy with what I've done so far with the stock (I use that term because the tiller is definetly rifle-like) and also making up a prototype batch of bodkin-tipped quarrels, but I'm waiting for my steel prod and irons and whatnot to come from Alchem. And waiting. And waiting. In the meantime I just ordered a couple of 150# fiberglass prods to mess with. I might mount one up to the nice walnut stock my brother made, and definitely make another design of my own. Then I just need to find someplace in Atlanta I can shoot the things.
Anyhow, just wanted to say thanks for all the great advice I've already received, and hope to get more, and even better maybe help someone else from doing some of the stupid mistakes I've survived!