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    Number Four

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    Gnome
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    Number Four

    Post by Gnome on Mon May 28, 2012 2:47 pm

    Thought I'd share some images of my current project, nearing completion.



    The prod, stirrup, and irons are from Slowbows, the prod is the SB113 200-250 pounder. Originally I was going to make my own irons for this one, decided against it. I did bob the decorative "fleurs" off, just to be different, and shaved some steel off the stirrup to save some weight. The concept for this project was a simple, robust, and shootable bow. I spent a lot of time and thought on the stock, and it paid off. the butt is cast off, and it mounts to my shoulder naturally and comfortably. It's amazing what a difference a quarter inch here or there makes, or a few degrees of angle. The wood is Brazilian Cherry, two 3/4" boards glued together. I used some power tools, namely a jigsaw for the rough shape, a router-bitted dremel for the trigger cavity, and a drill press for the nut cavity, but other than that I did all the shaping with hand tools- draw knife and chisels. Very satisfying. Right now it just has a coat of linseed oil to bring out the color, it will get a wax treatment when it's done. I'm trying to build up the nerve to do some carving on the grip areas fore and aft, not checkering, exactly, and nothing crazy ornate, either, just something to give a positive grip and visual interest. Any ideas?



    Speaking of triggers, in a lot of ways this piece is a re-design of my first build, using what I've learned since to try for a better design- what I've learned on my own from experience and experiment, and of course the invaluable information and inspiration gleaned from others here on the forum. The main problem with that first bow was that I put a conventional trigger on a roller nut with no mechanical advantage. I didn't want the complication of a multi-stage mech on this one, and I didn't want a full-fledged tickler, either. So I have something somewhere between a trigger and tickler. A triggler? It works really well, the pull is effortless with all four fingers. It will be blued like the rest of the steel once I finalize the shape and case harden the sear face.



    The nut is black acetal rod. It's the second I made for this piece, the first one was a bone-colored delrin I got from Alchem a while back. It looks good, but it seemed a bid softer than this black plastic and that scared me a bit. I used those black screws because I didn't have any brass ones handy, but I kinda like how they look. I have been thinking about doing a brass track for some time, both because I like how it looks and also to see how it improves bolt speed. I used brass angle, 1/16" thick. It's epoxied in, but also has two small nails at each end, driven at 45 degrees from one another. somewhere I have a little stash of solid brass nails that I couldn't find when it time to install the bolt track, so used steel instead. I should have looked harder for the brass, or made some out of brass wire, it would have looked a lot better. The nail heads filed flush, and are not located where the bolts will contact them anyway, but solid seamless brass would have looked nicer. I also worked to eliminate string drag, and I think I succeeded- the string doesn't touch the table at all, there's a gap about the height of a credit card. I think that's why it's so much louder than any of my other crossbows. Oh, and I made my own string for the first time, so a milestone there. Okay, this is my second string, the first one was half an inch too short. And the string didn't break imediately, that's another milestone, I guess!



    I finally set up the Chrony I got a while back and compared this build with my first, which has a similar prod, but a wooden track that is in contact with the string the entire length of the span. The strings are similar, I modeled mine on the older string I bought from Alchem.. I shot the same 1.4oz (that's 612 grains, for those of you that speak that language) a half dozen times from each each bow. This bow averaged 188fps, the old bow 162fps. Seems pretty slow, but at least that's progress! Those 1/2" wooden bolts won't fit on my overdrawn, leather wrapped 150# fiberglass prod crossbow, but it shoots a 3/8" bolt of the same weight at 220fps.

    Still to come- the bolt clip, nut axle (maybe, it doesn't really need one but I have some scavenged hardware that would look good in that role) and then I ruin the whole thing by trying to carve grip texture on it!

    Gnome


    Last edited by Gnome on Tue May 29, 2012 4:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : 3/4" lumber, not 1/4". D'oh!)
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    Re: Number Four

    Post by whiteraven on Mon May 28, 2012 3:25 pm

    Love it!
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    Re: Number Four

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Mon May 28, 2012 3:41 pm

    Gnome, excellent job! This is a beautiful weapon. I think the numbers you are getting are very decent, too. Looks like a totally fun crossbow.
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    Re: Number Four

    Post by Todd the archer on Mon May 28, 2012 5:53 pm

    Very nice, as for speed my medieval with a 205 pound steel prod from Alchem shot a 428grain bolt 207 fps.



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    Re: Number Four

    Post by Ivo on Mon May 28, 2012 8:23 pm

    Gnome, I love the presentation...all laid out on the blue print.

    Loots of nice details and a just a clean job. Thumbs up...Good stuff! Smile

    ...and a question.

    The grooved in the trigger lever...do the y feel alright? I imagine they wouldn't feel natural as hand tends to slide down the lever as it's pulled.....but I hope I'm wrong and it follows through naturally.

    Also to answer your question...I know I kinda left you hanging there...



    ... don't be an idiot like me.

    Build smart.

    Ouch!
    Timely advice, I sewed up a fiberglass prod with leather lace, but I
    just started making my own strings and was thinking about using the b-50
    to sew with. Apart from the injury, were you successful? I mean, if it
    cut your gloves and your fingers, wouldn't it cut the leather you're
    stitching, too?

    I was wearing the gloves I used for a while to make strings. And they were wearing out, so it was only a matter of time before it cut through. Now I use needle nose pliers to pull things tight, but dacron's slippery nature is what still messes with me...and actually I'm assuming is what helped it cut through the leather.

    As for the leather on the prod...I'm guessing it will hold up pretty well considering the stitching is on the belly and won't be too stressed. Time will tell, but by the looks of it, it's pretty sweet. Very Happy

    Spoiler:









    Ivo




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    Re: Number Four

    Post by Gnome on Tue May 29, 2012 4:49 pm

    Thanks, all. I could get more speed with lighter bolts, of course, but I just love chucking the fatties for some reason. I haven't clocked my super heavy quarrels yet, 2.4 oz or 1050 gr, I could probably make a sandwich in the time between pulling the trigger and hitting the target, but when it does hit, that target knows it's been hit.

    Ivo, regarding the trigger, all I can say is that it feels right to me! There are grooves cut running fore and aft that give sideways traction, but it's still plenty slippery pulling back- like each finger has it's own individual trigger. It may not be for everyone, but I have the advantage of a long lever together with the "positive locators" of the individual finger grooves for consistent hand placement. BTW, love the leather wrapped prod, especially how you went all the way to the ends with it. Hope it was worth the pain!

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    Re: Number Four

    Post by Gnome on Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:00 am

    I revised the profile drawing to represent how the build turned out, versus the plan, so I can start thinking about the areas that I want to add texture to. The cobblestone texture in the illustration is just to define the area, but it did think about interconnecting hexagons for a while... it would look cool, I think, but I would be a very old man before I finished that.



    I finished the bolt clip, case-hardened and blued the triggler, and put a coat of wax on the wood. I still need to polish the lock plates.


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    Re: Number Four

    Post by chaz on Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:08 am

    The brass track is an awsome touch ! And the trigger looks right for the build !

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    Re: Number Four

    Post by Gnome on Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:58 pm

    I finally got enough time and nerve to carve some grip-texture areas on this one. I wanted to do it without power tools, so I kept the design primitive so I wouldn't overshoot my whittlin' skills. To me these elements came out looking like stylized fletches.







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    Re: Number Four

    Post by kenh on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:17 am

    Nice... really nice.
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    Re: Number Four

    Post by ferdinand on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:59 pm

    Looking sharp! I like it!

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