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    more questions!

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    blades7558
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    more questions!

    Post by blades7558 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:20 pm

    ok so say I string a steel prod does it have to be unstrung when I'm done using it?

    when I cock the bow how long can I leave it cocked?

    I have a 7 inch power stroke on a 150 lb prod, can I use normal 11/32 cedar arrows? how long should they be?

    I think thats it for now... sorry if these seem like dumb questions, I can't find the answers on the site and I'm still not used to steel being the power behind the bow Razz I'm to used to my wood self bows.
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    Todd the archer
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by Todd the archer on Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:44 pm

    Don't know for sure but I believe you can leave it strung as they don't seem to have a lot of prestress in them. Should be able to leave it cocked for a period of time (maybe 4 hours) otherwise that would defeat the advantages of a crossbow.



    I think Geezer says you can use cedar and that he cuts them in half. That should make them 14" to 16" long. Hopefully he will see this and comment as he has far more knowledge and experience than I do.



    Hope this helps, Todd
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by bpnelson on Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:12 pm

    11/32 is good for 150 pounds. I recommend Douglas Fir over Cedar, it's heavier and more durable. Ideally you want the bolts as short as possible (the collar of the socket for the point being just past the last point of contact between the bolt and the tiller).
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    Geezer
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by Geezer on Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:41 pm

    Aha.... I heard someone mention my name! Geezer here: Leaving your steel bow strung should not do any noticeable harm. If you're gonna hang it on the wall all winter, it wouldn't hurt to unstring it, but if you're shooting pretty often, don't worry about leaving it strung. You should be able to leave it spanned for hours, but maybe not a LOT of hours. It depends to some degree on quality of spring and how highly it's stressed. If you're shooting an Alchem or Darkwood prod, drawn 7 inches from say... a 3.5 inch brace, you're not putting too much stress on it. I think You could have it spanned in a deer-stand most of the morning without problems.
    For bolts: I use ordinary 11/32 in. Port Orford Cedar for bows up to 175 lb, and they stand up quite well. Medieval bolts were generally heavier hardwoods... one source... Josef Alm, as I recall, suggested ash as the best for resilience and shock-resistance, followed by birch and oak, but all those are heavy, hard woods, that are difficult to get in good, straight lengths. Any of the popular arrow-woods available through archery suppliers should work tolerably well. And yes, I take standard length arrow-shaft and cut them in half for most bolts. Shorter bolts are stiffer and will fly a bit faster, but if they're short enough to bury the feathers in your target, you'll end up doing a lot of fletching. Medieval bolts seem to range from 12 to 18 inches in length, with an average right around 15 inches, but they're also VERY thick... anywhere from half to three-quarters of an inch. Such bolts will be much too heavy for your 150 lb. steel bow.
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:01 am

    Geezer, I have a question about bastard stirngs / stringers, and someone said you may have some suggestions.

    The one I currently use is made with steel wire and two C bolts, which I clamp to the ends of the prod. Is there any other alternative ways of making the bastard string? Kind of a pain to have to clamp it on and off, but if that is the safest way to proceed, I will take the time.

    What did they use in say, the 14th century?
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:22 am

    Bastard clamps... I hate 'em. Payne-Gallwey shows a simple C-clamp sort of thing that works tolerably well, but since it fastens to the prod well inside the ends, you work Very Hard getting the bow spanned. Egon Harmuth's fabled 'Die Armbrust' shows a 15th century Spanish bastard clamp that fastens out near the end of the prod, but has a bit that extends Beyond the ends of the prod. You fasten your bastard-cord there. The extender gives you better leverage, so it's less work, and it's a bit easier to put on or off the prod. Over the last few years I've been using a hydraulic bender... which is essetially a cruciform frame to brace the ends of the prod and a hydraulic floor-jack set under the butt of the stock, to push the whole thing upward. This works exceedingly well... I'll see if my apprentice has some pics... if so, we'll put them on her flickr page. Anyhow, for a professional shop, the jack-system is just the thing. For an amateur, it might be altogether too much trouble.
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:10 am

    Geezer here: Concerning my large hydraulic crossbow bender. I went visiting my apprentice's flickr pages. There are indeed pictures of our bender in work, listed in her Maximilian contract bow series. You can find the bender here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swifthoundbows/3998232229/in/set-72157622262033595
    That's the Maximilian bow on the bender (stock @ 30 inches long, with a standard 28 inch Alchem prod for size comparisons. I hope that's of some help to the group.
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by Geezer on Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:15 am

    Geezer again: In case it isn't entirely clear in the pic. The butt of the stock is sitting on the business-end of our little floor-jack... padded with a leather glove to avoid leaving marks. The ends of the prod are set beneath the big pegs... (we have since replaced the pegs with big wooden U-shaped thingies, to keep the ends from slipping out) You hold it in place by the stirrup and pump the jack... when the prod is bent enough, slip on the string, then let the whole thing down easy. This has made an unpleasant job quite easy. But of course it's much too big to carry in the field. That's where the simpler/cheaper clamps come into play. I'm still looking for some good pics of those.

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    Re: more questions!

    Post by blades7558 on Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:43 am

    thanks for all the help! by the way it is a darkwood prod.

    one more question, the string end of the bolts... they should be cut flat correct? i don't know why but my mind is telling me cut a small string nock in them...
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by bpnelson on Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:29 am

    Yes, cut them flat. You could sand a very, very slight recess in them (like the modern bolts have) but it is definitely not period correct (if you care, of course). Make sure to have the grain perpendicular to the string, i.e. when you look at the back of the bolt while it is in the groove, the lines should be vertical.
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:54 pm

    Geezer, invaluable info and thanks! What kind of jack did you use? Could I get something like that from a tool vendor such as Habor Freight? I loath stringing bows or crossbows, but this would make my life so much easier. Any idea about costs for such a jack?
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by Gnome on Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:15 pm

    The hydraulic jack would be sweet, but I think you could substitute a worm-screw scissor-jack, you can get one of those for 20 or 30 bucks from an auto supply or Walmart. Just tonight I finally got my first order from Alchem, I ordered 2 strings, one to use as a bastard, but I guess since I have been nagging them they went ahead and shipped it with one string with a note that they would ship the other ASAP. So, there I am with all my hardware, but no bastard string! After some furious headscratching I went to work with a length of heavy duty dog chain and the jack from my car. I braced the jack on the butt of the tiller and looped the chain around it, sliding the links of around the ends of the prod. I didn't have to clamp them because they only fit in that very narrowest bit of the Alchem prod. It worked pretty slick though I admit I was nervous, and hid behind a big scrap of plywood as I cranked it back!
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    Re: more questions!

    Post by makoto pat on Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:46 am

    Thanks! This is good stuff...I don't even know enough to know what I don't know to ask...so thanks for asking questions I need to know and thanks for answering them. This is cool. Please let me clarify in my own words...Are we talking about ways to string the prod...do you always need this device? Or is this for setting the brace to a certain measure?

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