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    Hello from Madison Alabama

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    Traveler218
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    Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Traveler218 on Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:58 pm

    HI;

    I was cruising the internet looking for a solution for eliminating a Squirrel problem and ran across this sight. The pictures and articles where so intriguing that I think I'm hooked.

    In my typical fashion I jumped in with both feet. I have already laminated up a wooden prod and dremel tooled out a steel nut for the trigger. Now if I can just figure out how to put it all together scratch


    stoneagebowyer
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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:59 am

    Welcome. Sounds like you have jumped in with both feet and hands. This is a great place, with a wealth of knowledge, so I am sure your journey will be successful.

    Dane

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Traveler218 on Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:14 am

    stoneagebowyer wrote:Welcome. Sounds like you have jumped in with both feet and hands. This is a great place, with a wealth of knowledge, so I am sure your journey will be successful.

    Dane

    Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to some interesting work.

    The one thing I am having trouble finding is information of making a wooden prod. Shaping it and determining the proper thickness is an issue. I have seen references to "build along's" ? Are these what they sound like and where do I find them?

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Ivo on Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:49 pm

    Good Day Traveler,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Not sure if we have a detailed buildalong on a bow with a wooden prod, but definitely remember some wooden builds, need to do a bit of digging. Smile

    I would suggest buying a prod for your first project, as there is plenty of things to keep one's mind busy during the first attempt. but the nagain, if you do manage to tiller out a nice wooden prod, whooooh! Definitely make a post on it, as I'm confident this will be a great discussion - I tried making a wooden prod, and I can't get it right still (always underpowering/twisting it to boot Razz )

    Also, if you're thinking about taking out those tree rats, then you might be more interested in a bullet bow. Bullets are just easier/cheaper to make/buy and you won't be too upset about loosing them, unlike arrows...after all, those sqowows are a pretty small target and fast and sneaky little bastards too.

    If you go looking on the forum for a topic on bullet bows, we did take it quite far without actually any real examples, but a simple slur bow like this is the treat and is very much like a regular bow (just one additional component - barrel like top) Smile



    Ivo




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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:28 am

    Traveler, for making a wooden prod / bow, there are two sites I recommend you spend a lot of time on. One is http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/ In particular, the primitive bow forum is the one you want. Lots and lots of buildalongs and stuff on the art of making wooden bows.

    The other is http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php. You need to join this site to view every topic and picture, but it is free and worthwhile. They have one forum called buildalongs. You can probably find everything you need there, plus friendly folks who are obsessed wtih bow making.

    There is a four volume set of books called The Traditional Bowyers Bible. They are essential reading, but particularly the first volume for general bow making. Nothing specifically on wooden crossbow prod building, but the principals and information can be applied to any type of bow.

    Hope that helps.

    Dane

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Traveler218 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:23 am

    Thanks IVO and Dane for the suggestions.

    As for the squirrels, that was just what got me looking so that I found this site. I think I managed to get rid of them without resorting to extream measures.

    I found this link on bow making: http://users.utu.fi/sjsepp/paja/example_crossbow_1/example_crossbow_1.html. and it gave me a lot of theory on proper bow making, although in practice it seems more difficult than it looks. After glue up and initial shapeing, my first attempt is stiff as a board, if you know what I mean.

    I'm trying to figure out if i should continue to work on the shape of this one or start over with a different approach.

    I have alot of woodworking tools and a little skill, so I don't mind trying to work this out.


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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by mac on Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:29 pm

    stoneagebowyer wrote:

    There is a four volume set of books called The Traditional Bowyers Bible. They are essential reading, but particularly the first volume for general bow making. Nothing specifically on wooden crossbow prod building, but the principals and information can be applied to any type of bow.

    Dane

    It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the Trad. Boyer's Bible. These books have done more for bowyery than the combination of all that has been written before.

    As Dane said, the authors do not address crossbow prods directly, but a bit of creative application of the basic principles that they make so clear will get you where you need to go.

    The one key thing to know is that in order to make the sort of short but powerful bow that is the essence of a crossbow prod, you will need to make it "deflexed". Given this idea, the rest falls into place naturally.

    Mac

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Traveler218 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:24 pm

    mac wrote:

    The one key thing to know is that in order to make the sort of short but powerful bow that is the essence of a crossbow prod, you will need to make it "deflexed". Given this idea, the rest falls into place naturally.

    Mac

    Mac;

    I thought about going the deflex route but haven't been able to locate much on shaping this sort of bow. I like thr look of some of the deflexed and recurved crossbows I have seen. I may have a go at laminating up a new attempt with this in mind. I just need to come up with a form.

    mac
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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by mac on Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:53 pm

    Traveler,

    Once the back of the bow is reduced to the same growth ring, it can be steamed into a deflex. To steam in a recurve at the tips, you can bring the belly of the limb tips to a single growth ring, and steam them in the other direction without fear of the wood failing in tension. I built a press to bend the deflex and the recurve at the same time.

    Once the lath is bent to its final shape, you can tiller it as you normally would. The only tricky part is remembering that as you flex the bow, you are looking at how much the bow's shape changes from a starting position which is not straight.

    Mac

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:26 pm

    I glanced at that document you linked, and was more than a bit confused. There are clearer sources of knowlege out there.

    One recommendation I have is to try making a bow using a board as you learn. If you find a good quarter sawn board, you pretty much avoid the issue of cutting into the first growth ring on the back (side facing away from you). You can later back the bow with materials would may be thin rawhide or fabric. Or, go to a chain hardware store, and find a nice red oak, white oak, or maple board. That being the case, you want the grain to be as straight as possible lenghtwise, with no grain runoffs which will introduce weaknesses that will probably mean the death of the bow.

    A pyramid style bow may be a good option, too. The helps in the tillering process (tillering in this case being a bow making term, not a crossbow stock). Remember you are going to working with a very short bow, since it will be a crossbow prod, so factor that in. Perhaps later worry about reflex and deflex, and just go with a "plain" old bow. Since you will be shooting for a brace height of maybe 3.5" to 4" or 5" and a draw length of maybe 8" or 9", that will be an addtional thing to factor in as you read about and delve into bow making.

    Dane

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Traveler218 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:36 pm

    asI do a lot of woodworking and have a pretty good supply of oak, cherry, ash, maple and walnut. I have done some steam bending in the past. I steam bent the keel for the strip canoe I built, so I think I have the skills, I just don't have the knowledge.

    I agree with the idea of starting simple. My first attempt may have been a little to fast. As Dane suggests I shouldbhave started with a single board instead of a lamination.

    Also, with this being a relatively short bow I think it should have started out thinner.

    I guess I will go back to the workshop and start over and this time I'll use the KISS principal. And look for better references.

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Sugarbuzz on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:58 pm

    I have done a fair bit of bow making over the years and would suggest a simple D bow for a start on a crossbow. They are a fair bit easier to tiller in my opinion. I followed a design that called for slightly raised tips to ease string drag. I made one such crossbow, a skane type, all wood, but I put a metal stirrup on it to facilitate easier draw. Due to a minor oversight it came out a fair bit lighter than I had anticipated, so my son has a new crossbow to tool around with. Smile I usually make my bows from red oak (its the easiest material I have access to right now), I can just pick through the boards at Lowes until I find a suitable piece, as was posted before always try to find a piece without run off and with grain as straight as possible from end to end. I always back my bows made this way, as a precaution against breakage. My research has however led me to conclude that most wooden bows were lower draw weight, so dont expect anything much over 90-100# draw with a wooden prod. I'm sure there are exceptions to that, I just havent seen many, especially not with red oak. Just some thoughts, though I do like Ivo's idea about the bullet bow, my brother has some plans to make just such a crossbow.

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Traveler218 on Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:12 pm

    Any suggestions with starting dimensions? Lets say I start with a single board around 24 inches long? What sort of width and thickness should I go with?


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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by Geezer on Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:48 pm

    Dimensions for a stock? I specialize in Medieval crossbows. My preferred wood for workability is cherry, but red oak will be fine. I generally recommend starting with a stock about the same length as your trousers inseam. Anything longer than that makes it hard to bend-over if you span from a foot-stirrup. Too much shorter than that will get your face awfully close to the lock. And remember, if it's too long, you can always make it shorter. It's rather more trouble to make it longer. Geezer.

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    Re: Hello from Madison Alabama

    Post by 8fingers on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:39 pm

    My rule of thumb for wooden bows is the bow, nock to nock, should be 2.2X draw length. The wooden lathed crossbow appears to have a longer draw and lath than laminated bows. In my opinion, try a 15 inch draw, 33 inches nock to nock. I don't know what draw weight you want but for squirrels and this draw length, 40# would be a good ballpark figure.
    Try ash, 1 3/4" wide, 3/4 -7/8" thick, back it with rawhide. These dimensions will be stronger than 40# but you should be able to get a pyramid bow with a little tip rise out of it.
    There is a little imp on my shoulder telling me this is the build along I should take the lead on. I'll see what I have in my wood pile.

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