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

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    Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?



    Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    [ 5 ]
    100% [100%] 
    [ 0 ]
    0% [0%] 

    Total Votes: 5

    Fresh Blood

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    Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    Post by KnifeKnut on Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:37 pm

    Which would be less expensive, to build a modern crossbow, or to buy one?
    Workshop Savvy

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    Re: Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    Post by jds6 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:54 pm

    Greetings, I build medieval crossbows( on second build ) and I find it not all that expensive to build. I guess it all depends on what your looking for in a crossbow. But the one good thing about building your own is the satisfaction you get when it works as you planed. Give building a try, many great topics here on the forum to help you along. Good luck on what ever you decide!


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    Re: Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    Post by Basilisk120 on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:11 pm

    I cast a vote for build but it really depends on what your going for and, more importanly, what tools you already have.

    What are you thinking of trying to build? You mentioned modern but are you thinking recurve or compound?

    Something Something Dark Side

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    Re: Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    Post by KnifeKnut on Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:36 pm

    I have a pretty good set of manual woodworking and metalworking tools, (no wood chisels yet, but I can make some if I really have to) and can get access to a table saw. I am looking at around 70 - 100 pound draw weight since I want it to hit hard, but not have to fool around with cocking mechanisms. I would like to have modern ergonomics, trigger and layout. One handed firing is preferred. Since I cannot spend much money on this I will be fabricating as many parts as possible, including the prod.
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    Re: Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    Post by Gnome on Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:34 pm

    I've never really thought about it in terms of what would be cheaper, I guess it depends on how valuable your time is. Even though I love recycling and repurposing stuff and bragging about how little I spend on the projects I build, in reality I could have bought a couple very nice modern crossbows with the money I've spent on tools and materials to make the ones I've made so far. But I didn't just want a crossbow, I wanted to be a guy who makes crossbows, I think that's a key distinction that trumps the money question. I would reccomend that, if the bottom line is a critical factor in your plan, you may find it easier to go with a less modern design. Good luck with it, welcome to the forum, and keep us posted! You've got me thinking, now: How inexpensively could a useful crossbow be put together, with commonly available materials and without a huge investment in tools? Hmmm..

    Todd the archer
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    Re: Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    Post by Todd the archer on Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:31 pm

    Here is one I have built, not quite modern but close. I have $325.00 tied up in materials. Most of which was for the prod I bought from Elk Ridge Archery (142.00 w/shipping). Some other costly items were the double set trigger assembly,brass trigger guard, and brass buttplate. BTW the double set trigger is only to release the lock mechcanism which I fabricated myself. If you could fab everything I sure it would be much less costly.

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    Re: Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:55 am

    I have never approached building crossbows from a cost factor. Not that I am wealthy, but you put into it what you feel it is worth to you. The raw materials are not super expensive in most cases, and I think that time is the biggest cost of all. However, the time spend in the shop is total therapy for me, relaxing, and a place to get away from common life stuff.

    I think probably tools are the most expensive (monitarily) part of building a crossbow (or an anything), and I always try to justify buying any tool by what else I can do with it. I wouldnt have purchased professional wood chisels just for crossbow making, but having them is sure nice, and I use them for other things like furniture making, etc.

    Another factor to consider is that sometimes being on a limited budget can cause you to seek alternatives that end up being far better or more creative than if you could just plunk down dollars or Euros or pounds sterling. Sometimes though, going cheap ends up costing more, as you have to invest in XYZ anyway.

    For me, the medieval crossbow is the ultimate crossbow, and I don't have that much interest in more modern styles with buttstocks and red dot sites and so on. I admire work like what Todd just showed us here, and enjoy learning about all kinds of crossbows, lock systems, etc, but what appeals to me is what appeals to me. My viewpoint and opinions evolve over time just like the rest of us, and in ten years, I may be heavily into some other style of bow. My self-bow making focus has changed greatly over the years, so why not with arbalists?

    One of the most rewarding things about all this is that my skills improve and grow and are used for other types of projects. The many hours I have spend in the shop building wooden bows and other stuff have also made me a better crossbow craftsman.


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    Re: Which is cheaper, Build or Buy?

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