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    New rig starting to take shape

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    blangas
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    New rig starting to take shape

    Post by blangas on Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:12 am

    Happy New Year crew.

    Thought I would kick it off with some progress pics of the crossbow I've been working on to go with the trigger mech I posted some time ago. I finally have had some time in the man cave to devote myself to this weapon. As I work away from home this is a very rare commodity, so It's been nice to string a few days together.


    Timber is 2 pieces of Tasmanian Oak laminated together. Beautiful timber to work and stain.







    The prod is an Alchem 130lb and the shape fits the style of bow nicely. I assembled it today for a test shoot before I start to get carried away with detailing, sanding, polishing and timber finish. Turns out my sear faces were slightly out and it would not take the string under load! After some furious stripping of parts and a little filing of the offending faces, she now holds that prod back without breaking a sweat. At least the test shoot served it's purpose and the bolts now fly true and sweet.

    Trigger still needs a few minor tweaks just to get it a little more crisp as well as some other minor make overs
    here and there but all in all a pleasing start to the new year. Once I have it at completion I will ditch the phone camera and take some proper pictures . Probably a couple more weeks as I'm away next week Sad
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Ivo on Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:38 pm

    I'm liking it!!! Very Happy

    I'm assuming this is the project you were talking about when you brought in your trigger, right? > Link

    Trigger still needs a few minor tweaks...

    How do you test your trigger?

    I did my like this (assuming that at least one spring is aimed at unlocking the assembly - usually it's the *nut*) - put a heavy rubber band on the nut and tap the crossbow in various spots on the stock. If I did something wrong the thing will go off after a few good taps. At such a light load, parts move with much less effort and most mistakes will surface instantly (as opposed to unexpectedly when you drop/bump the damn thing at full load pale Laughing )...why I like safeties so much...once everything is sorted out, you might be interested in an upgrade somewhere along the way with at least a nice little manual safety we discussed. > Link Wink

    The stock looks sweet, think it's my most favorite part of all my favorite parts of making a crossbow. Laughing

    I'm guessing this one will be using iron sights? I've learned that to use a scope comfortably, one would need a higher cheek piece. I'm talking about 1"-1.5" above the arrow track and slimmed a bit to help align the eye with the scope. Let us know how it shoulders.

    Oh! ..and No Doubt this one has a bit of Talisman touch to it with the wicked hardware. Always loved those crazy sharp looking bits on Phil's Crossbows. He's on the forum too by the way and I'm sure would be very glad to see how sharp you made this baby look.

    I like it a lot, but there is one thing about hardware I noticed that might give you some headache in the long run . The string in it's rested state is practically touching the bow irons/sideplates. Why this worries me is that the string always travels 1"+ at the end of the stroke due to inertia...with hardware right in it's way, it's bound to collide with it and thus wear out much quicker.

    While that may seem like an issue, this can be used to your advantage. Wink

    You can mount string stoppers(suppressors) right there in that spot...basically a set of nice medium soft rubber stoppers should do. Lots of crossbows these days use them to reduce vibration (and ultimately noise) by stopping the string at the end of it's path.



    Anyway, that's just a bit of "food for thought", see how it performs and make your decision - you're the boss on this one. Smile

    Looking forward to this one finishing up and shooting well. Good luck! Smile

    Ivo


    Last edited by Ivo on Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:52 am; edited 2 times in total




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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:35 am

    This is a righteously cool weapon you have going on here. Nice!
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Todd the archer on Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:37 am

    Excellent job. I know what what you mean with the trigger. The more sofisticated triggers are like swiss watches and everything has to be just right.



    I have made several medieval syle crossbows, but I think I like the shoulder stock crossbows more and yours looks very cool.



    Also does your crossbow have a groove for a third fletching or made to use two fletching bolts?



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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by blangas on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:24 am

    Thank you so much for your kind words, a nod of approval from experienced builders such as your good selves goes a long way.

    Ivo you're right ...about most things it seems study , the string travel does foul on the "bat wings" on the front of the bow and hasn't gone unnoticed. I had planned on trimming them back to alleviate this problem, but a dampener is a great idea and 1 I had not considered. Definately going to look into this.

    This bow is certainly inspired by the beautiful works from talisman. While I have tried to add my own curves and shapes to the overall look , Phils bows remain at the pinnacle of the fantasy style crossbow and to my mind any style of crossbow. Without a doubt in the looks department anyway.

    As for trigger testing , the only thing I did was place the assembly in a vice and pull as hard as I could on the claw with a piece of round bar inserted where the string would sit. Turns out I was little deluded as to just how much load a prod will place on the mech. Fortunately , when you make 1 of these mechs, you end up with an intimate knowledge of it's inner workings and I knew that the sear faces must have been out by a few degrees for them not to hold. A few strokes with the file on both faces was all that was needed to rectify the problem. You are right Todd , it is such a fine line between function and failure with these things.

    As for the other tweaks , the trigger has just a touch of slop before it starts to engage the transition lever. Just needs another light tension spring pulling it back towards the butt. Trigger weight is nice and is easily a 1 finger pull. A safety is definitely on the cards later on.

    I have a BSA compact red dot scope I will mount on the trigger casing . Hopefully will be able to sight it okay with that cheek rest where it is.

    To answer your question Todd ,yes it has a fletching groove. I dropped 1 in with the router before I began to shape the stock. Should be easier to spy when I post more detailed, better quality pics on completion
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Ivo on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:41 am

    "Bat wings"

    Hmmm...reminds me of something we were talking about back in 2010. Smile

    Project: "Devil's Toothpick"




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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Gnome on Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:29 pm

    Very nice design, Blangas! Sounds like your first test firing went about like mine did on my last build- the lock seemed to work fine until it was actually under the full load and then it wouldn't hold at all! Getting at those sear faces with a file and mating them up to perfection did the trick for me, too. What are the specs on the bolts you plan to launch with it?
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by blangas on Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:08 am

    Hi Gnome, sorry for the delayed reply . I haven't checked this thread for a while, so in answer to your question regarding the bolt specs: To be honest I just bought some aluminium shaft, 3 fletch target bolts, 16in long from amazon. I had only considered the length of bolt to be used when I was designing it and not weights. The bolts I have fly quite nicely ,by my standards anyway, and I got some nice grouping after zeroing the scope at 15 yards. I would have , and will test at longer distances, but time was short and that is the max range in my back yard!

    As promised I have now completed this project and have some nicer pics to show off the finished product.





    I used the birchwood casey stock refinishing kit to seal the timber and can safely say this stuff is very forgiving. If you get any runs or high spots just buff them before the next coat with steel wool. Gives a beautiful glossy, almost wet look finish after a few coats.







    So I have an Alchem 130lb prod and a string from the same place. About 20 shots in and the string has worn through and snapped at the nock loop on one end. The loops and string were well waxed and I have followed the recommended draw measurements from Alchems website.Has anyone else experienced this problem with these prods? The prod itself seemed reasonably well finished if not polished with no visible sharps. I have seen the other post which says it is a good idea to polish up the tips. I will do this, but also wrap with some leather and see how this goes.

    Well now what? This has been a very enjoyable process for me and I hate to see it come to an end! I think I might jazz up the sides of the trigger housing with some brass plate cut into a shape that fits the theme...
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Basilisk120 on Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:20 am

    WOW Shocked

    That turned out quite nicely. Have you been able to shoot it at the longer ranges yet?



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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Gnome on Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:17 pm

    Sorry to hear about the string! That reminded me I need to unstring my 180# Alchem rig and fine tune those tips. My string looks ok after 20 or 30 bolts fired, though the serving is starting to seperate a bit at the stress points. I think that is probably as critical a fit issue as the lock and trigger for long term reliability.

    I was curious about the "ammo" you were feeding it because I was wondering how a short-stroke steel prod works with long, light, modern crossbow arrows. After hand-crafting a half-dozen short, heavy, 1/2" thick bolts for my rig, I'm thinking my next design will incorporate "off the shelf" projectiles!

    I really like your design and execution on this piece. I'm thinking that notch on the back above the grip is for a cocking rope?
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Ivo on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:33 pm

    Fantastic work! Kinda looks like something an Elf would build for an Orc...a sweet balance of the smooth natural curves and colors with a touch of brutal thorn/blade work protruding out of it. drunken

    Well now what? This has been a very enjoyable process for me and I hate to see it come to an end!

    Haha! I'm glad to hear it...becasue while I had no internet I've been going through my sketches and kinda worked out something in between. All done in wax and was waitrng to get on to get your approval...just let me take a few pics. Wink

    Ivo




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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by blangas on Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:51 am

    Hey Basilisk, Unfortunately no I've not had the chance to shoot over longer distances. I work away from home in the mining and resource industry and won't be back in my work space for about a month. I burnt about a week of my build on the stock finish with drying times. A process that is very difficult not to rush when it is the final hurdle between assembly and completion. In fact I may strip it again and lay some more coats of tru- oil, the stuff is so nice to work with bounce

    My string looks ok after 20 or 30 bolts fired, though the serving is
    starting to seperate a bit at the stress points. I think that is
    probably as critical a fit issue as the lock and trigger for long term
    reliability.
    This is exactly what happenned to mine Gnome and was the begginning of the end for my string These prods definately need some leather I think. Nice spotting by the way, that is certainly a cocking rope groove, a fantastic little invention that will save your back without question. I didn't have 1 and it was going to take too long to recieve 1 via post so I made my own after a quick trip down to the hardware store.


    Looking forward to seeing what you have come up with Ivo! A sweet little trigger will finish this off nicely.
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Gnome on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:59 pm

    Yeah, I got a Barnett cocking rope and was pleasantly surprised at how much easy it worked. Great for de-cocking, too. The only thing I don't like about using it is that it's a bit fiddly, getting it oriented correctly and and hooked on, not to mention trying to remember where I left it last time I used it. I'm thinking my next build will have it permanently attached and incorporated into the stock somehow.
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Basilisk120 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:58 pm

    Yeah not rushing through the finishing is Darn hard on any task. Very Happy But that Tru-Oil is nice for finishing a stock and sturdy too.

    I have an Alchem prod as well and you will have to polish up the nocks quite a bit. It took me at 3 attempts to get it smooth enough.



    I think Todd has a picture of the work he did on the nocks of one of his bows. Basically take a round file out and smooth the corners around the pin, so the string doens't bend over at a 90° angle. After smoothing out those transitions go over the area were the sting will lay with fine grit Sandpaper, i.e 800 to 1500 grit. That shoud help with the string wear.

    Broke three strings before I got it figured out



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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Basilisk120 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:02 pm

    Protecting the String a Steel Prod - The thread on fixing the nock to reduce string wear



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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by 8fingers on Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:32 pm

    I used heat shrink tubing - the type used to cover electrical wires, to cover the prod tips on my first crossbow and it seemed to work. I didn't shoot it much but it is less trouble than leather if you aren't bound by 'historical' constraints.

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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Guest on Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:35 am



    WOW!!! That is my kinda bow!!! And Ivo is doing a trigger for it right? I'll go check on it!!!!!!!

    BTW...I'm Ivo's browski.

    His first bow he actually built for me.



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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by blangas on Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:16 pm

    Yeah good idea 8 fingers , I have scored some heat shrink from work and will trial this and some leather and see which causes less string wear.

    Hey Ivos' bro thanks for the comments. I have checked out that little rabbit hunter of yours when I first joined the guild and I love the whole design. The flare and curves of the stock really appeal to me, as well as the tidy little rabbit trigger. Your bro certainly has a talent in the sketch and design department.
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    Re: New rig starting to take shape

    Post by Gnome on Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:40 pm

    I cleaned up my steel prod's nock tips with a round file and sandpaper, and wrapped them with thin leather before restringing. It seems to work well, and is a little quieter. I'd post a pic but it doesn't look good on account of how I overthought the cut shapes of the leather, though, and it looks like tiny, saggy leather diapers on there. Think I'll redo it with simple strips, wrapped and tied tight, should look much better.

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