Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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    First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

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    blangas
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    First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:59 pm

    Hey all, this is my first post on this forum, but I have been visiting this site quite frequently in my quest to build a smooth functioning crossbow. Let me begin by stating what an impressive place this is, not only in terms of the wealth of information and level of craftsmanship, but also the respect and willingness to help fellow members is of the highest level.

    Okay, onto the build. I have always been fascinated with crossbows and whilst I do not hunt, the idea of building one from scratch is very appealing. There are a few reasons for this, for me at least, the main one being that these weapons have recently been prohibited in the state I live in. So of course being told that I can't have one just makes it so much more desirable and deliciously wicked to own.

    The goal here with this build was not to get too crazy with my first effort, and make a modern pistol type crossbow that works smoothly and is also pleasing to the eye.

    Thanks must go to weapon collector on youtube, as the basic design comes from his series of videos. Stock is simply 2 pieces of 18mm ply with a strip of 3 mm sandwiched in the middle to form the rail groove. However I did chisel this out a little wider to take the aluminium angle I used for the rails. I just like the idea of polished metal ( with rail snot applied ) for rails rather than timber. Red dot scope is an NC Star cheapy and prod is an Ebayer but both perform admirably. I have 1 of the 50lb fibre glass prods as well, however I much prefer the steel both in operation and looks.





    Trigger and nut have had a few more tweaks from their pictured state and operate quite smoothly with a little graphite lube, however I wouldn't use this type on any higher poundages.

    I am reasonably pleased with how it turned out, but of course hind sight is 20/20 and there are few things I would do somewhat differently. So on to bigger and better things! I think a medium size maybe 120-130lbs could be the next project.

    Gnome
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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Gnome on Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:37 pm

    Nice! Interesting trigger/nut. Pardon my ignorance but I'm guessing at the purpose of the spring on the nut. Does that hold it in the correct position for cocking?

    Gnome

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:54 pm

    Yes , after release the spring returns the nut to the cocked position, rather than having to manually turn it back into position.
    Initially the force of the string turning the nut was damaging the spring after a couple of shots. By placing a stopping pin inside 1 of the holes the nut now only turns as far as it needs and the spring remains undamaged. I am about 30 shots in and everything runs pretty smooth.

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Gnome on Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:54 pm

    Cool. what was the rational behind the crossbow prohibition in your state?

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:12 am

    In 2009 a man was killed with 1 here over a love triangle. The family of the deceased had been lobbying the government to change the laws regarding crossbows, but I don't think they needed to much excuse to do it. The crossbow has always been demonized by the media and uninformed individuals. In April this year the laws were changed making the weapon prohibited. Here is a quote from a newspaper article:-

    "Police Minister _________ said the new laws followed an
    agreement by the Australasian Police Ministers' Council that crossbows
    should be banned across Australia.
    "The changes will limit the circumstances under which crossbows can be lawfully purchased," he said.
    "We want to reduce the likelihood that a crossbow falls into the wrong hands and is used to injure or kill a person or animal."
    The
    only exceptions will be genuine crossbow collectors, people engaged in
    crossbow events who belong to an Archery Australia club, and film
    producers.
    Anyone with a crossbow who does not qualify for one of
    the three exceptions under the new laws must destroy or lawfully dispose
    of the weapon or surrender it to a police station.
    Under the new regulations, people will not be able to hunt with crossbows."


    Actually reading that , maybe as a builder you qualify as a collector, although I don't fancy applying for a license. Pistol crossbows are also classified as a concealable weapon , so in fact I'm a menace to society and should be locked up immediately.

    Gnome
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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Gnome on Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:20 am

    Wow, that's a bit over the top. What are firearms laws like there? I like your avatar image. You look like a menace to society!

    blangas
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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:54 am

    Firearm laws here are tight compared to yours'. Correct me if I am wrong but I understand in the US it is legal to own and carry a hand gun for protection in most states and is quite common for people to do so. Well here that is very illegal and you would be considered a criminal if you did. Not just in the eyes of the law, but by the population in general. It is possible to obtain a license if you are a farmer to cull pests like pigs and kangaroos, but even hunting license criteria are quite stringent.

    My avatar? He's the closest image I could find to my to my warhammer online character named.....Blangas.

    Gnome
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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Gnome on Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:25 am

    The laws vary a great deal from state to state in the US. Generally speaking you have to have a permit to carry a handgun, it's just a question of how hard it is to get a permit. Long arms are much easier to own and operate, barring full auto war-gear and sawed offs, of course, the only licences involve what animal you can shoot when. I'm not aware of any states that have any prohibition against owning crossbows, only hunting with them.

    I've never played Warhammer Online. I enjoy computer games, but with persistent on-line games I get too wrapped up and I know before too long I'd lose my job and my wife would leave me and then I wouldn't have any money to buy crossbow parts or video games.

    I used to draw quite a bit, fancied doing graphic novels and then I got more into the writing than the drawing and my hands forgot how to draw. Anyway, when thinking about an avatar for this forum I thought I'd look through my old doodles and find something with a crossbow in it, and my current avatar is the first one I found.

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Ivo on Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:56 pm

    Coming in with a late welcome. Very Happy

    Thanks on the good word on the community, much appreciated. Loving it myself here. king

    Nice little bow, I'm also working on something of a pistol right now...gotta love these little bows...just be careful with the authorities. The whole idea of being a *collector* is that you never really bring these things out to play with, so just keep it on the low and you should be ok...I'm from the same boat - they were once illegal in my state too. Wink

    As for Weapons Collector from youtube, I've invited the guy a few time...I'm sure he's lurking here too. Great guy from what I hear and great job on spreading the fun with self built crossbows on the tube. Perhaps he'll join in one day too.

    Ivo




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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:19 am

    Cheers Ivo thanks for the welcome.

    A quick update on the pistol crossbow. I wasn't entirely happy with the way the stock turned out finish wise.I originally hand brushed it with a few coats of stain ( with fine sanding in between coats) but just couldn't get it to an acceptable finish. I am not all that experienced with timber finishes so perhaps it was in no small part due to my lack of knowledge. Is it possible to thin stain and run it through an airbrush? Maybe I should start scouring the woodworking forums Sleep

    So how to alleviate this? Some airbrush urban camo and demon skulls with multiple clear coats to finish it off. I can feel the timber purists cringing as I type lol!




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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Gnome on Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:49 pm

    I think you said you used plywood? Your painted finish is the right choice, I think- looks awesome. I'm no expert woodworker, but in my experience, a beautiful stain finish starts with a beautiful piece of wood. Stain and varnish are great for enhancing good looks, but they can highlight the ugly, too.

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Ivo on Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:41 pm

    I can feel the timber purists cringing as I type

    You'll be surprised how cool our timber purists are, they've been cutting me slack like it was butter here since the day I've built the forum. I also like plywood (hate when you get voids, but that's another story)

    Nice paint job, wish I had an airbrush...it was a choice...*get an airbrush, or get an HVLP*...I chose the big gun. Razz

    Something I've been wanting to do to a less than ideal crossbow stock. The day will come. Twisted Evil



    But then again staining wood black/grey, yet so it still shows nice grain is a challenge and definitely worth pursuing. Smile That's what I'm after with my current build, reason why I chose red oak. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

    http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/ebonizing_wood

    http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib/jThompson/howTo/EbWood-jThompson/jThompson-EbWood.asp

    http://www.wildlifeintarsiadesign.com/Tips%20HTM/new_tips_for_ebonizing_wood.htm

    http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Staining_and_Blending_Difficult_Woods.html

    PS: The prod you got on that pistol, never really seen one like it. scratch Looks pretty cool. cyclops

    Ivo




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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Ivo. Some useful links there. You've clearly done your homework on the topic of dark finishes. HVLP gun is on my wish list , but I do love the little airbrush and don't need much excuse to load it up. I have used that carbon fibre technique, but in reverse when painting an RC truck lexan body. Really simple to do and the effect is striking.

    Here's a link to that prod
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-50-lb-Crossbow-Metal-Limb-Prod-Replacement-w-String-/120490957034?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c0dd218ea

    A whole 6.95...with a string chucked in

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by jake-owa on Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:19 pm

    I love this place because even the serious purists will give solid advice on any bow.

    Liking the camo and the pistol looks wicked. Great work. If its fun to shoot you probably did it right!

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by coon.design72 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:20 am

    I live in the USA, and I am having a heck of a time finding an 80 or 95 pound prod for my pistol crossbow that I am working on. I too am using "The Weapon Collectors" basic design, but since I am first and for most a wood worker I have changed a few basic design points. Any ideas where I can get a 95 pound prod for my crossbow?

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Ivo on Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:57 pm

    Welcome to the forum CoonDesign,

    blangas wrote:....

    Here's a link to that prod
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-50-lb-Crossbow-Metal-Limb-Prod-Replacement-w-String-/120490957034?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c0dd218ea

    A whole 6.95...with a string chucked in

    Google also helps > "Crossbow pistol replacement prod"

    I was asking blangas about it earlier too actually, becasue his is not like some of the ones I handled. Smile

    Ivo




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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by engineerit on Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:55 am

    Hey blangas nice work on the crossbow looks sweet with the new paint job. Recon i could pick your brain for a few details?

    Was wondering how the little red dot sight goes, worth getting one do you recon?
    Also ive got the same limb for my next build just wondering what draw length you went with.

    thanks for the help in advance

    neerit

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:42 am

    Hey engineer , thanks , the paint certainly does a good job of covering up the defects in ply.
    The Red dot scope is fine just don't leave it switched on, the cheap ones like this don't have an auto shut off ( learnt this the hard way ). Don't expect anything super accurate, but for the light draw of this prod and the short distances I shoot it, I find this scope more than adequate. You can get them from ebay or optics planet I think has the best choice.
    As for the draw distance, I am away from home at the moment and can't check but I think it is 5". If you use weapon collectors template for his pistol xbow as a guide it works out just right for this prod.


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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Gnome on Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:21 am

    Blangas,

    I forgot how much I wanted to experiment with this little prod, I ordered a half dozen yesterday. I've got some crazy ideas cooking, a few of which I'd better work the bugs out of in miniature, in addition to a couple straight-up pistol bows. I really liked the last bow you posted, got anything new going on?

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by engineerit on Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:00 am

    Gnome wrote:Blangas,

    I forgot how much I wanted to experiment with this little prod, I ordered a half dozen yesterday. I've got some crazy ideas cooking, a few of which I'd better work the bugs out of in miniature, in addition to a couple straight-up pistol bows. I really liked the last bow you posted, got anything new going on?

    Gnome

    Gnome i ordered and just received 4 myself. You know its good value when you can say "ah might as well grab a few".

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by blangas on Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:47 pm

    Hey Gnome,
    I have been thinking about my next build for while but haven't got anything set in stone as yet. I really like that 15th century tournament bow posted by nice John recently and it has inspired me to try a medieval type bow.

    But of course I will have to jazz it up a little, maybe make some sort of medieval /modern hybrid with some pointy aluminium and brass bits. But then again I love the pistol bows and I still have another 50lb prod sitting there waiting to be flexed...

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    Re: First crossbow -first post ,Australia.

    Post by Gnome on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:49 am

    I know what you mean, I see these beautiful medieval bows folks are turning out and I start there with good intentions, but can't seem to help putting my own spin on the design. I am going to focus on simplicity, and build quality, though. I am using a tickler intstead of a modern trigger, and am not doing another thumbhole stock this time! I"d suggest we could have a "who's crossbow is cooler" contest, but I make it a rule never to engage in any competition if there is a good chance I'll lose.

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