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    Prod bindings

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    mac
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    Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:31 am

    First topic message reminder :

    Over on this thread, http://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t525p15-leather-braiding-to-bind-on-stirrup#4593 there was a call for information on how prods are bound into the tiller.

    Here is my first series of instructional sketches. It shows what might be described as a "plain and simple" binding. There is nothing here that most of you don't know already; but it should serve as a sort of jumping of point for the discussion of more complicated bindings.

    Mac


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    mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:14 pm

    Hi Micke,

    It's good to see ya' here!

    My current thought about ending the bindings is to just cut the cord off flush, leaving the cord pinched between the bindings and the tiller. To either confirm of refute this theory, we would have to look closely at historical bindings. Unfortunately, most published pictures do not show the bindings from the angles we would need to see this.

    Binding the bow tightly at the beginning of the dry season leads to an endless cycle of having to re-bind the bow at the beginning on the next dry season. Now, as you say, perhaps they did this too. On the other hand, if there is a way to avoid this inconvenience, I am sure they did it.

    The thing I have always done, is to re-bind the bow when it gets loose. This is always in January. I bind it just as tightly as I can (this usually results in some blistering to my hands) and everything stays tight until next January. Each winter, I find the bow loose enough to slide left and right. While this loosness in itself is not dangerous, I find that I have to keep shoving the bow back into its correct position every couple of shots.

    I wonder if I am creating a situation where the wood-linen system is too close to the yield point of one or another of its components. I wonder if it is possible to bind the bow "just tight enough" that the seasonal humidity swings never take either of the materials out of their elastic regimes. If true, the bindings might remain "just tight enough" for many years.

    Mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:04 am

    In the next few days, maybe even this weekend, I will be binding on a prod and stirrup. I will follow your illustrations and see how it goes, plus factor in this discussion.

    Regarding the woven strirrup binding, do you think I should dampen or soak the rawhide, Mac? Or do it dry (that sounded odd)?

    Dane
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:59 am

    Dane,

    When you get to the woven stirrup binding, you will definitely want to soften the raw hide. I would let it soak for an hour so...until it is translucent. Then, blot off the excess water and let it sit for a while. When it is ready to work, it will be cool to the touch, but not feel wet. You will have an hour or so to work with it in this state.

    Weave it up. Pull up the slack by working back through with needle nosed pliers. (if you have a cheap pair you can devote to this sort of work, I would recommend grinding off the serrations and rounding off the edges) Repeat the tightening process if you think you can pull out any more slack.

    It will dry in a couple of hours, and shrink up nice and tight.

    Mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by Geezer on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:02 am

    Geezer here: I've been following the discussion about bound-in prods (laths). There have been some interesting ideas mooted about, and Mac's careful drawings of the binding process, as well as his observations about lashing on stirrups are particularly insightul. Indeed I expect no less of him.
    From my personal experience with binding in crossbows, I can offer these observations, with a caveat or two. These days I use heavy hemp twine to bind in bows. There are several suppliers online that can offer 3 to 5 mm cord, which is about the size you see on medieval pieces. I think flax (linen) is stronger, but hemp seems to be most common in extant medieval/renaissance pieces. Of course I do the cinching-up along the sides with artificial sinew, in a pattern of my own devising. If you see a row of knots atop an artificial-sinew cinch, it's probably from my shop. My system works for me, but I've never seen that row of coxcomb-stitches on a period piece.

    I have noted that most of the pics in our group show the binding strung through a simple round hole drilled through the stock (@3/4 in dia.), and indeed there are a fair number of medieval pieces that are done so. A better system shows up in a lot of German bows. Drill the requisite hole, then flatten out the front portion, so the passage assumes a "D" shape. Then round of the flat surface of the 'D' so the string doesn't cut in to the stock. Some very strong bows actually reinforced the flat of the D with blocks of horn to reduce wear. If you make your binding-hole this way AND you crank it down as Hard as you Can, your bridle/binding cord should stay tight for years of service.
    Of course, fixing it with wax or glue or whatever, may help extend the life of the bridle and make it more water-proof, but the 'D' shaped hole really does help. Geezer, signing off.
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    mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:06 pm

    Geezer,

    Thank you for your kind words about my drawings &c.

    I have always used the "D" shaped holes, (although I have recently seen that the earlier tillers typically had round ones). I thought the extra bearing surface, perpendicular the tension of the cords, would be a good idea. I even carefully radius the bearing edge, so that the cord is not subjected to a sharp corner; and likewise the wood is not burdened with a small and easily crushed edge. Still, I get the seasonal slacking of the bindings.

    On two of my bows I installed bearing plates of bone, like the ones you describe above.......Same thing...slack every winter. Perhaps horn (being a better material for elastic compression) would work better here. Are you sure that the real ones are horn and not bone? I have to go and chek that.....

    Here is my theory about why you are getting better results than I am. I think that the nylon wrap that you are applying to your natural fiber bindings is supplying the elasticity that my systems are lacking. When the humidity is up, and the linen or hemp shrinks and the wood swells, the nylon wrapping allow the bindings to give a little. When humidity conditions go the other way, and the cordage lengthens and the wood shrinks, the nylon squeezes back on the bindings and restores the tension. Subtly ingenious, really.

    Mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:15 pm

    Mac, thanks for the quick answer. I figured as much and will be doing that perhaps this weekend. I just laid a second coating of tung oil on the tiller earlier this evening. Things are happeneing very fast now. Lock finished, tickler return spring installed, nut completed, nail decorations done, binding block all finished, and the stirrup is now blued and ready to install.

    Now, to do a historic binding or a Geezer super binding? My first German bow, I used that method, and it has presented no issues at all. Not sure which to do, but the muses will hopefully whisper in my ear as I begin the process.

    Dane
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:01 pm

    The Muse of crossbows is named Arbalestia. I can't remember her last name...it's Greek, though. I used to have her phone number... I'll look and see if it's in any of my old notebooks.

    Mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by Geezer on Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:18 am

    Geezer here, with a note to Mac. Yes, I am aware that lots of earlier bows and even a fair number of later medieval/renaissance bows used a round bridle-hole rather than a D shaped one. Still I find the D shape makes it possible to lay the binding-cord down in a tight, orderly pile...(the vibration of shooting is gonna make the pile settle anyhow, but I try to give it as little settle-room as possible)
    Thanks to superior performance of the D hole over the round one, I do
    all my bound-bows that way unless the customer really
    insists on a round one. It's really that much better.
    As for the question of horn or bone being used to reinforce the front of the hole, I really don't know which they used... I suspect it was often a case of availability. Communications and transport problems being what they were in the 15th century, I strongly suspect bowyers were commonly beset by materials problems, and ended up using what was available. Things haven't changed all that much, have they?
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:00 pm

    Geezer,

    I am in total agreement with you about the superiority of the D shaped holes over plain round ones. It is therefore with some trepidation that I have resolved that my next Gothic-one-footer will have a round hole. If I can not escape the fact that the D shaped hole is too late for my bows, I must learn to embrace the authentic alternative.

    Mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by Henry on Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:50 am

    Hello to all you guys!
    Mac, you have made some beautiful drawings are really all very effective.
    Now I want to ask one of my concerns. What do you think if the last tying twine is made ​​to the contrary? I say this only because I did a test, and is very effective. (I'm talking about tying in Figure 7 to Figure 10)
    In practice:
    Not from the bow to tiller, but from the bow to the tiller!

    Ok: is very strange, but it become a very powerfull tie!

    Enrico.
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:58 am

    Enrico,

    I am glad you like my drawings. Grazie!

    I am having difficulty understanding your question. Can you say it a different way?

    Mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by Henry on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:40 pm



    I hope this can replace my bad english...
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    mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:43 pm

    I see what you mean now. ( I also see that you draw better than I do)

    I think that the wrappings (nodi?) begin at the hole in the tiller (teniere) , and progress toward the prod (arco), because this will make the bindings (legature?) tighter than doing it the other way.

    I think they began by passing the cords under lengthwise skeins of the binding to "lock" the cord in place. I will divide what I call the "wrappings" (and you have called the "node" ) into two parts, which I will call the "first wrappings" and the "figure of 8". They made the "first wrappings" by winding the cord around the lengthwise skeins. They continue this "first wrapping" until they can no longer draw the cords of the lengthwise skeins close together and parallel. They then wraped in a "figure of 8" to keep the "first wrappings" from slipping.

    Tell me if this makes sense to you. If not, I will try some different wording.

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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by Henry on Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:59 pm

    I understand your tecnique, I utilize it for a lot of crossbow, but later some time, the bindings(thanks Very Happy ) become soft, and I need to Re-make them.

    I find my metod from a german guy in a reenactment, and in my idea, the bindings remain hard for more time. If you want, you can try it! in a first time, you make the "figure of 8" and in second time you make the "first wrappings"


    Of course i never untie a original crossbow, and this is only a mine personal idea.

    Enrico.
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by mac on Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:08 pm

    Enrico,

    I had never considered starting with the "figure8s"....the idea just never occurred to me.

    I will have to try it your way, and see how It works for me. I am interested in anything that will make the bindings stay firm for a longer time.

    Mac
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    Re: Prod bindings

    Post by Henry on Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:18 pm

    And when you make the end of "first wrappings"(and you're touching the hole of the tiller), make always one more lap as possible!

    And, if you have rabbit glue for composite bow, put it on the binding for "lock". But sometimes i don't put it.

    Thanks for patience Mac. Smile

    Enrico
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    Hemp for binding

    Post by Zardoz on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:13 pm

    You can find really nice, thick, smooth hemp cord in a big ball in the craft section of Walmart. I got mine there.

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    Re: Prod bindings

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