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    "Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod)

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    Post by crimbizzle on Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:52 pm

    I'm thinking of starting a crossbow project. I have two bows in construction at the moment, but that isn't enough to keep me busy, something is always curing or drying or on the back burner due to a slowing in the creative process. I'm leaning towards a simple design with minimal metal and no pulleys. I say "design" but at the moment all I have is a vague idea of how I want to go about this. I thought I'd start with the prod, since it's the closest thing to what I actually CAN build. Are all wood laminated prods effective for crossbows? I have quite a few bow woods at my disposal as well as a lumberyard that sells many others close to my house.

    I'd prefer to avoid fiberglass if I can get away with it, at least for this first attempt. Steer me, oh wise ones.


    Last edited by Admin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : title)
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    Post by Ivo on Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:53 am

    Hey crimbizzle,

    Good Day to you Sir! Very Happy

    Wooden prod is possible and Geezer here has made quite a few all wood crossbow and knows quite a few interesting things about their construction and maintenance...I recommend you PM him in case he missed this topic...real great guy with beard full of good wood shipping advice. Very Happy
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    Post by crimbizzle on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:01 am

    Moved this from a PM I bugged Geezer with.

    Geezer Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:43 pm

    Okay, let's talk about wood. Medieval crossbow builders used whatever decent hardwood they had available. Don't bother with cheap stuff, like pine, or really soft woods, like cedar. They're just not suitable for the strain. My favorite wood for crossbow stocks is cherry. It's fairly hard, but honest and easy to work. Mahogany, if you get the harder 'upland' stuff is very nice, easy to work and stable. The gold-colored soft coastal mahogany is a joy to work, but maybe too soft. What else works well? Walnut, oak, maple... they're all good.
    You'll want a piece of wood that's straight and reasonably square, long enough to make your stock in one piece. The grain should run from top to bottom of stock, rather than across. 45 degree angle is okay, but across (quarter-sawn) is not good for crossbow stocks. For a typical medieval crossbow, I want 30 inches of hardwood, at least four inches wide and two inches thick. If you want to make one of the really fat Germanic stocks from the 16th century, you'll need wood 2.5 inches wide. so there's your start... get some wood.
    More later, I've gotta go make some crossbows. Geezer.

    crimbizzle Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:11 pm

    I've made a couple longbows (loose definition, and none of them are even close to historically accurate weapons. One is more of a hybrid, almost a recurve, although it's not done yet so who knows if it may still blow up on me) so I have a few good bow woods on hand. Ipe, Jatoba and Hickory, all with straight grain, no runoff, and no knots. Also some purpleheart, but its really hard and brittle so it might be better suited for something mechanical rather than bendy.

    You have New World Arbalest listed under web pages in your member info, is it your site? I love the First Book of Crossbows Pdf, very informative.

    Also, would you mind if I moved this to the open thread I started? I'd love to get a good public discussion going about this.

    crimbizzle

    Geezer
    By all means, move it to the public side of the forum
    You have a lot of exotic and very hard woods in your woodpile. I would recommend you start with something a little easier to work. You're gonna do a lot of shaving, chiselling, etc. Geezer

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    Post by crimbizzle on Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:23 am

    Alright, I've gone to my local lumberyard and selected a nice straight grained piece of Cherry to use for the prod/stock/whatnot. This I add to my 100lb stack of bow wood that is slowly driving my beloved and understanding wife to insanity (it's sitting in our guest room... Because I refuse to leave it out in the garage)

    After an exhaustive fifteen minutes of research (and a delicious home made margarita) I've come up with the following rough plan:

    Prod: Laminated all wood. Hickory backing, Cherry core, Jatoba belly. I have the means to cut and grind these laminations to an even thickness. Multiple laminations should lend greater strength and flexibility. Right? Aprox 30" knock to knock.

    Stock: I'll glue together several pieces of cherry to make a stock. Then shape it with hand and power tools. I'd like to achieve a comfortable modern looking stock with a regular rifle style grip. It may take forever, but I enjoy making sawdust.

    Trigger Mechanism: Is an all wood alternative possible? With Purpleheart at my disposal and the determination to shape it? Perhaps. Here's a link for a dude who makes a 100% wood crossbow http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php/topic,9036.0.html I may use this as inspiration.

    Let fly people. I really need info here, this is more or less totally new ground to me.
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    Post by Ivo on Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:08 am

    Wooden nut is possible as you've already seen in that guys build. Geezer mentioned the issue with wood thou - swelling due to moisture...the fix that he devised was melting wax(paraffin I think it was) in a pot, heating up the nut a bit and submerging it in hot wax...that way sort of sealing it(and in my opinion probably even lubricating it a bit). I'd put in a threaded sear rod into the center of the nut and make a simple trigger from a brass/steel square rod and then bend and file the last emd bit into a more modern trigger. Smile

    As for the all wood prod...laminate sounds like it would make a very nice shooter...who knows may be you can even give it a tiny bit or recurve that way...

    This guy here made a few all-wood ones VVV

    Хороший Модератор wrote:"Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) Bc28514f1525t"Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) 8aaff99f28act"Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) 1e381aaa5182t
    "Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) 7a99fd9a9e95t"Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) A15dbef6ab6dt"Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) 81959b25738et
    "Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) D1e476613a51t"Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) 2cc119bdfad5t"Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) 6c96cb13cc78t

    Also a good reference illustration that might be of use when judging the prod proportions...All wood no stirrup and this All Wood with stirrup ...there are more books that might come in handy > Crossbow Books

    I'm rooting for you man proud to be and even if folks don't jump in right away don't get discouraged...we'll get there.

    By the way, you mentioned you wanted a more modern stock...what design are you thinking of?

    Show me them bar napkins man!yeh
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    Post by crimbizzle on Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:08 am

    Paraffin sounds like it'd work well. You'd want a pretty hard wax with a higher melting temperature, none of that stuff you find in container candles.

    I'd actually thought about trying to imitate the stock design you came up with for your crossbow build along. I'd make it a bit longer, more of a rifle and less of a carbine, and I have no idea if the all wood trigger mechanism would work with the thumb hole stock. I have no specifics yet, it's all just vapor floating around my clouded mind so far. I'm a pretty poor artist when it comes to paper and pencil so probably it's not gonna really start taking shape until I start making sawdust.

    Prod first though. 36" ntn with a 12 inch draw sound like it's in the ballpark? If it's too big that's fine, I can always make another shorter one if I need to.
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    Post by Ivo on Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:35 am

    Speaking of stocks...open design vs. thumb hole...open one like on rifles will allow for a longer stock design for sure...just make sure to watch the grain ...that's actually the part that I stopped on in the stock making topic...gotta rearrange the priorities. 🐰

    Oh and do you remember this guy? pirat

    "Prod" me in the right direction (all-wood prod) Th_44715563-1
    Crossbow "Ikar" by Mammoth -longer trigger for more leverage :idea:

    The prod that long should work well... are you going to just make a straight laminate or give it some reflex/recurve??? Could be fun. :idea: tongue
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    Post by crimbizzle on Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:52 am

    I'll reflex them a wee smidgin I think. Good way to add some draw weight perhaps.

    I'm out of epoxy though, so for now I'm just doing research till my order comes in study Lots of build alongs for bows on the internet, not so many for crossbows
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    Post by Ivo on Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:05 am

    There was a time when I was thinking the same thing...how come there is nothing on crossbows? I think now there is a place where this question can finally meet it's end. Smile

    blazing

    All wood crossbow trigger is a bit of a challenge that is directed at an inevitable doom as the wood wears...thou I guess it depends on how heavy of a prod you are thinking of making.

    Interesting...are you planning a gap in the rail to allow a three fletch or will you be going with a classic two fletch?

    Also...what type of sight are you planing to put on this thing?
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    Post by crimbizzle on Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:41 pm

    Hadn't thought about a sight, but I want to maintain it's all wood theme. It looks like a rest might be a lot easier to manufacture than a groove so I think I might go for that. For simplicity's sake I'll just do two fletchings as well. The more I think about it I'm starting to center on the following two goals.

    1. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) scratch
    2. All Wood Rolling Eyes

    To personify this I think I'll keep the stock simple, probably just the 15th century flattening of the body of the bow. The all wood prod won't be hard, I can throw together a laminated one pretty easily, with the power tools I have. If I use a pyramidal design the tillering should be fast too.

    I've been thinking about the axels I'll have to use in the trigger mechanism, it sounds all rather complicated for a first try. The alternative option I considered was a notch and peg type of release (did I get the nomenclature right?) Am I right in thinking this is just a notch cut in the stock and a vertical peg which pushes the string up to engage the bolt? Would it be a good idea to use a lower draw weight, say 50 lbs if I did this?

    Also, what kind of nocks should I use for the bolts? Does the bolt actually get put on the cocked string or does the string just slide forward and push the projectile forward?
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    Post by Ivo on Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:27 am

    Crimbizzle didn't you disassemble and assemble various firearms to the soothing ticking of the clock in the screaming drill sergeants clenched fist? pirat ...just messing with you man Very Happy

    What I'm just trying to understand is where you are going here as "Keep it simple stupid" can actually drive you nuts when compared with "I'll just go grab some powertools and go crazy on this little metal pin" technique Very Happy...perhaps you should do a buildalong and we'll take it step by step from the prod to the trigger...what do you say?

    TriggerVVV
    Spoiler:
    Trigger using a double toothed nut allows for the nock to come in contact with the string and start its journey smoothly which is good...when the "peg" trigger(one Johnathan used in his crossbow) will send the string slamming into the nock which is...you guessed it - all kinds of bad.(single tooth latch like on my crossbow also has this problem)

    The flat nock should be more durable than the half moon assuming you are thinking of making the arrows out of dowels...as well as it should be more accurate given the string isn't going to catch the groove pressing it against the arrow track...this is very sensitive stuff that relies on the diameter of the string which is adjusted with serving material of various thicknesses.....this is done to put the string as close as possible to the center of the nock...any way this is high math of crossbow making that we still need to grow up to.

    By the way, did you look at the diagrams in that book I linked to? The nut in some is made of bone and Lightly here did a nice buildalong on how it's done >>>Link



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    Post by crimbizzle on Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:02 am

    I actually once completely field stripped and reassembled an M16 in something like nineteen seconds, it was our platoons fastest time I think. Of course all those memories are a little hazy, I'm sure Freud and Jung would have a field day with them.

    Ok ok, so I'll do a rolling nut design. I just talked to a friend who's visiting on thursday and he's bringing me a 30 year old King drill press. Maybe it's providence but I think I ought to be able to put it to good use. After reading Lightly's build along it seems that a drill press would be a very VERY useful tool when you are building these things.

    I checked out the link, I also have a copy of Iolo's first book of crossbows (I think that's what it's called) I got it from a site I found on Geezer's profile (not sure if it's his, but it's really informative one way or the other). I'll absolutely post my progress. Although probably I won't get started till this weekend.
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    Post by Ivo on Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:57 am

    Yes Geezer is David R. Watson of the New World Arbalest, not a doubt there. In fact the fake/clone guy I was talking about at TBD was actually showing off Davids and his apprentice Lightly's work as his own.>>>Link

    The books should definitely help out, but as Geezer mentions there are a few moments that should be accounted for(accent was made on the depth of the rolling nut placement)>>>Link and then there is also this topic that might come in handy>>>Link

    One advice I can give you is do the trigger work on a piece of board like I did. Even then I was still making adjustments when moved the pieces to the housing(stock in your case), so make sure nothing wobbles. It makes a good habit and gives you some extra ground under your feet.

    You know I just remembered this one website, judging from your measurements you have most likely already visited it, but I'll post it any way. http://crossbowhunters.com/_sgg/m3_1.htm {Edit} I mean it practically has the basic plans for your project v

    PS: Congrats on the drill press...I'm still walking past the hardware store...really don't want to buy a small one...Yeh I know...I have issues Laughing



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    Post by crimbizzle on Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:35 am

    Well, two years later and maybe I'll get started next weekend!

    We've moved twice and bought a house since I last looked at this thread, but I FINALLY have a workshop slowly taking shape! I thought I'd try to restart this project with some changes, fiberglass prod, and metal trigger mechanism specifically. The trigger still scares me, but I'm going to start at the front and work back so it'll be a while. Pics to follow, probably in a new thread though.

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