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    Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

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    ferdinand
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    Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Thu May 31, 2012 11:36 am

    First topic message reminder :

    First steps towards a new build. Getting the angles correct on the parts to make it all work together whas kinda tricky. But i think it worked out. Next i have to clean them up and harden te surfaces to reduce wear, any ideas how to harden them? heating to redhot and cooling in oil sufficient? i made a short movie to show how it works. MAc, thanks for the picture of the 4 axel trigger assembly, i decided to keep it a bit simpler but it is basically the same.


    Last edited by ferdinand on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:24 am; edited 8 times in total
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:55 am

    Thanks for the in info! I did oil quench it first time after sanding it smooth. And afterwards re-heated to light brown /golden and let it cool slowly.
    The material is quite thick, it didnt reach red colour beyond the tip. Maybe i'll re-heat the whole thing but not sure if its needed?

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Rizzar on Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:07 am

    Nice pictures so far.
    (Isn´t the trigger distance to the trigger guard a bit short?)

    To the prod:
    First of all, forging is not simply heating metal to a point were it is easier to process.
    It is all about correct temperatures and (holding) times.

    If you want to form Metal into unstressed parts (just to look good with no elemential tasks) get yourself a Hammer, some bright fire and go on...

    BUT IF THE PARTS NEED TO FULFILL SOME TASKS, like to bear mechanical forces (in our case), everything and everyone needs some point of detail.
    First of all temperatures: forming and tempering temperatures mustn´t exeed or undercut the defined ones for your steel.
    If you forge something when it is too cold micro cracks will likely to be generated.
    If you heaten up metal too hot elemential (carbonate in the beginning) parts will burn and it will loose its character (btw lighting up spring steel so high is not that easy).
    The less often you heat the metal, the better.

    Temperatures begin with at least 750°C (for low temperature forming) and this is very, very low.
    Possibly this temperature would be the point a Blacksmith puts the steel back into fire to get to the right working temperature again.
    So the danger of mistreating the steel is/was very high.

    As for the theory: You can´t heat metal to a point where you can form it without touching its properties (better said temper).

    If you want to heat treat metal properly you rely on correct temperatures and its holding time.
    Those temperatures must mostly be kept accurate by 10-20°C for a certain time (depends on steel, detail on steels spreadsheet).
    And just by quenching it into oil/(water) at some undefined point doesn´t improve anything.

    If you do not take care of correct forging, hardening and tempering the danger of breaking or at least bending will multiply.

    This is a point why I suggested you to get your prod from a professional maker.
    You invest lots and lots of hours to build the tiller, it´s mechanics and those ornaments.
    But when it comes to the prod (whis is in my opinion the most important work on a crossbow since it inflects security like no other thing ) everyone starts to take a hammer and puts his life and the others around at risk when spanning and shooting it.

    The best that can happen is, everything works by coincidence (not taken any look on the steel efficiency).
    Second best the prod will bend at its weak and soft areas and stays bended a bit.
    The other possibility: it will break when spanned or (and even more likely) when applied with higher forces during the shooting process.


    Sorry for these words, but bending steel is dangerous...


    Greetings Rizzar
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:08 am

    No need for kind words, u are right! Okay, so i get the shape i want, can u tell me what i need to with heat treatment to make it safe? I have someone who has the equipment but not the experience with these kinds of material. I used automotive leafspring, 5mm thick and 50 wide. Any suggestions what temperatures and time needed to get the correct temper back?

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by panne on Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:14 am

    the first thing i'd do is normalize it. it's usually best to do it 4 times. the basics of normalizing are to bring the steel to the point of being nonmagnetic and let it air cool. this allows the molecules in the steel to destress and settle in.

    most blacksmiths i know don't use temperatures to forge and go by the color of the metal. the most important temperature is the point where the steel heats up enough to become nonmagnetic.this is usually around the color cherry to orange. if a magnet will stick to it, the steel isn't hot enough. let the steel heat too long, to almost white and you'll burn out the carbon, resulting in brittleness.

    doubt you made it brittle, most likely you just have lack of hardness near the tips, making them weak and prone to staying bent after spanning.

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Rizzar on Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:27 am

    Normalising is a good start after applying some forming onto metal.

    No magnetism and color are only hints to temperatures. Blacksmiths often do have enought experience to decide by the color how hot the steel is, but for someone that is not forging everyday and doesn´t have a darkened room it is hard to see a difference between dark red, dark cherry red and cherry red which is a temperature area of around 100°C(you know what I mean ;-))

    But the main problem is to have a lack of information what kind of steel someone exactly has when using a leaf spring.
    In most cases the manufacturers do not give you exact information like a steel code (in europe).

    So once you normalised your steel you want to make it hard again.
    There are a handful different common type of spring steels for leaf springs used in europe, but unless you got those info from the manufacturer you need to take your chance for guessing. Most of these steels do not differ in the hardening process, but some do. And with these it is a problem when not doing the right thing at the right time.

    I can tell the person who is in choice for the hardening and tempering process won´t smile to you if you say you have no idea about the steel but want him to make exact work on it.
    Perhaps he will lough... about you :-D

    I hope your material is not brittle but i won´t say i´d doubt it, it is just hard to estimate while not have seen what exactly was done and I won´t guarantee for nothing.

    With the right steel code and the information what you have done with it an experienced hardening company should be able to decide what to do with your prod.

    Hardening and tempering is in my opinion a job for professionals. Either a very experienced blacksmith or a company specialised into it.
    So either way you can use a leaf spring without heating it (in that case no reflexes, no rolled ends) or you do not use leaf springs (and purchase a prod, or do the completely long way in building a prod from spring steel directly like i am, but i can tell you it is a long time procedure with much more money involved than buying one from e.g. Jens Sensfelder), the last possible method is the risky one by ignoring the problems (compared to around 150-200€ for a very good handcrafted one a not so good solution i think) .

    But coming to another thing:
    How did you determine the prod lenght.
    Let me express it the other way round. Normally you should build/purchase a prod, after this is done sucessfully you build the tiller to the prod so you can max out the energy output.
    I am concerned whether you are running into following problems or not...?
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:05 pm

    You are absolutely right, i didnt really have a plan.
    I am going on what i think looks good, feels good.
    The prod is a bit risky, i take your word on it.
    Maybe i am pushing my luck doing it like this.
    The tiller is fitted to what felt good in my hands.
    The trigger mech is a copy of a plan in a book, it works as should.
    The fake ivory is also improviced.
    All goes wel for now, but safety first, dont want to risk loosing an eye or worse!
    So i will have to come up with a plan, i was tinking to make plain steel rolled ends and slide them over the ends of a leafspring prod.
    That way it looks like the real thing but no heat treating or damaging temper, what do u think?

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Rizzar on Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:29 pm

    I absolutely do not have any concerns about the tiller and mechanics itself.
    Everything looks fantastic and should work as intended.

    I want to come to the point, that you will get difficulties designing a prod suitable for your tiller.
    In detail, every prod works well in its own personal working area.
    If you have a prod that is made for a total draw of 320mm this is the point where it evolves its power. The point where the material is under suitable working tension(with security reserve). If you undercut this draw you will loose power and speed, so the crosbow will look pretty but shooting will be far from optimum. On the other hand if you exeed it you will shorten the lifetime and risk dangerous breaking.

    So this is why you start with a working suitable prod, after that is made and tested you build the tiller to the prod so the nut fingers hold the sting on the exactly 320mm.

    To build a prod for a existing tiller you need really good calculations and/or a lot of experience in prodmaking.

    I don´t know wether your idea with the plain steel "overlays" will work. I would be worried if it stands the forces.
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:31 am

    Looks like i am up for a challenge...
    How about i 'tiller' the prod like a wood bow.
    Lots off work but probably the only option...
    That way i can adjust the prod to produce 100pounds at the drawlenght of my tiller.
    No calculating, but testing and adjusting..
    That should keep me busy for a few days at least.....
    Sounds good to u or do u have some advice to help me out.

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by panne on Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:35 am

    with hand grinding you only a few basics to keep an eye on. if you take your time and keep the temperature down you should have no problem creating a prod within your specs. you are doing the same thing as tillering a wooden board bow, but with a steel stave, most times you only remove material from the sides.
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:10 am

    That's what i mean! I didnt wanna reduce the width at the center but i have to a little. The rolled ends look nice but probably a bit to dangerous.
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by kiwijim on Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:21 pm

    Wow, you have done an absloutely awesome job on rolling those tips!

    as far as quenching and tempering is concerned, listen to Rizzar. Send you prod to a commercial heat treater. You will be suprised at how cheap the process is. If the heat treater has a atmospheric kiln or a salt bath (and any reptuable heat treater will), you can totally finish-sand and buff the prod as the heat treatment will leave no scale. Have them temper the prod slightly on the soft side; better for it to take a bit of set than to break.

    If you decide to do it yourself, temper to a blue/violet colour. Straw/brown temper, while good for tigger sear surfaces and knife blade edges, is too hard for a spring.
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:32 pm

    Thank u for the compliments! It whas hard labour and i myself am also pleased with the looks!
    But i must also consider the facts that Rizzar is verry right warning me of forging with little temperature.
    There is the option of micro-fractures in the metal due to the hammering and re-heating.
    Safety first so i will really have to weigh my options here.
    It looks like the prod is a bit long and to wide at the ends now, so i wil have to cut off and adjust the rolled end.......
    Fortunatly i will be ableto do it again and then have the whole thing re-tempered.
    Or another option, i came up.with the idea of making rolled ends out of plain steel and slide them over the end of the prod.
    No heating the leafspring metal in that case!
    But i want them to be invissible so all looks to be one peace.
    Well, that will have to wait for now, Christmas an Newyear comes first!
    Merry Christmass to u all! And a safe and fruitful Newyear!
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:04 pm

    Allright, i need ur thoughts on some info i got.
    I was making some phonecalls about tempering my prod when i finish.
    A blacksmith working for a local steam machine museum gave me some advice wich did seem to make sense. But i want to hear from u guys if that seems plausible to be used for "our" use.
    So here is what he told me about leafspring tempering:
    Gently heat the metal a bit and graduatly further at the point u want to shape to bright red and forge it.
    After u reach the shape, again reheat to bright red and cool in oil to harden the metal.
    Then clean and pollish the metal and place it in a large pan or something else. Poor enough used engine oil in the pan to submerge the whole thing.
    Then set fire to the oil and let it burn out completely, tempering is finished!
    Engine oil burns at a verry precise temperature wich is perfect for tempering.

    Not to question the skill of this man but does this sound like a plan?
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Zardoz on Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:43 pm

    Uhh, If that works, it would be great for us here, you try it first. Do you think he could be pulling your leg? I am no pro, but if you live after testing it, let us know. I volunteer Geezer to be second to try it.
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:20 pm

    Thanks a lot bastard

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Rizzar on Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:39 am

    To be honest, that doesn´t sound very good to me...

    (normalising after forging would be good after serious forging action, as mentioned before)

    Again, bright red is not very self explaining to someone not used to the color range.

    (820°C is as far as I have in mind the hardening temperature for the common spring steels, so bright red is good, the difficulty is to be exact without years of experience. Remember, under light, colors are different than in a darkened room. By the way, the complete prod must be even bright red for hardening, not just a part of it)

    The "tempering":
    Did he mention on what temperature the flame of used oil burns (I bet the temperature of a oil flame is higher than 400°C)???
    Did he mention how long tempering should be to reach the desired softness (I dont speak from hardness here, because tempering is used to reduce hardness from a hardened part and reregulate the structure to a certain point where it can be used)??
    It is easy to say it is finished when it is gone, but depending on the form of the steel you can have a pan of burning and smoking motor oil for several hours. And I would suggest you got the temperature only on the surface where the burning reaction can process, not underneath.

    The longer you temper, the softer the steel will get. The use of low temperatures for a long time can be swapped by higher temperatures for a short time and vice versa.
    Oil can be a medium for tempering, that is not very extraordinary, but then exactly heated oil (with a bit of igniting danger) just to have a better regulation possibility compared to air in an oven.

    So this method seems not to care about time and temperature.

    One final point: do you have any idea what happens when you burn used motoroil? Besides smoke will be very toxic but the laws in the Netherlands(and the european union) are not joking about environmental criminal actions like these. This process could be very expensive.

    Greetings Rizzar
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:10 am

    About that burning, that is something u are absolutely right about! I hsve made lots of fires in my life, but engine oil..... That would certainly bring me a lot of trouble! The smoke is verry toxic snd can be seen ftom miles away!
    I think he meant to heat the oil to the temp when in ignites on its own and let it burn to keep it at that temperature.
    But again, even if it would work, u really cant burn oil anymore.
    So i couldnt do it even if i wanted.
    To bad.
    I think he would probably be able to burn the oil without getting in to trouble, a large coal fire from a steam-engine is a great cover!
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by mac on Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:43 pm

    Tempering in flaming oil is a technique which I have seen recommended for a number of sorts of small springs. Traditional gunsmiths, and clock 'n watch makers, describe variations of it in their "how to" literature. It can be a pretty handy way to temper, and I have done it a couple of different ways myself. Many procedures call for wrapping the spring in wire so that it holds enough oil to sustain combustion for a sufficient length of time to bring the spring up to temperature.

    As Rizzar says, though, it may not work for a big spring like a crossbow prod. If you could be sure that the thing burned long enough that the whole mass of the prod had come to temperature, it would be good enough, but I don't know how you would insure that.

    I think it would be better to seek out a kiln for the tempering; or better yet, have the whole operation done by a shop that does custom automotive springs.

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:29 pm

    Thanks Mac!
    U are a blacksmith urself, if anyone would have known this it twould have been u!
    He wasnt pulling my leg afterall!
    But maybe a bit much for prods indeed.
    I wonder how blacksmith in medieval times did it, skill? Experience?

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Lien93 on Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:28 pm

    730C to 810C is the hardening temperature of most common steels,closer to 730 means finer steel grain. normalisation is perhaps the most important part. a trick i use when determing normalising temp. is to use the backside of a match and stroke the surface of the steel, when it feels kind of slippery its close to the desired heat. when you can stroke the match 3 times back and forth before it starts burning the temp. is ok.

    Hardening is easier in a gas forge, but possible to do in a coal forge with some experience. for beginners i recomend using a magnet to determine the heat. start slowly and build up the heat while you check with the magnet regulary. cool in oil.

    Tempering can be done in a kitchen oven if its big enough, polish some parts og the prod to see the collour better. heat until you get a nice and even blue collour. this can be repeated 2 og 3 times if you are uncertain about the result
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:25 am

    Again some verry usefull information!
    About normalising, can i normalise, forge the ends and then again normalise? i must look up the exact temperatures because i am not as skilled as u!
    And the hardening takes a big gas forge also! Again this exact temp i need to look up.
    Tempering in ur kitchen i heard about before, my mom has a huge oven, how hot do i need to go? In celsius. I am sure i can do 250 at least.

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Lien93 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:57 pm

    Normalising is just to make the grain size finer, no need to do it before forging. If you just want to forge the ends, you can just wrap the prod in wet cloth where you do not want to heat it. The ends wil not bend when you string it. When you shape the ends try to keep the thickness of the spring all the way to the tip by making the cross section triangular before you roll them.

    As for the tempering, you just have to watch the collour. Light blue is good.
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by ferdinand on Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:31 am

    Right! Thanks all u guys for the advice!
    After we start of the new year i will resume work on the prod!
    I got some calculations and dimentions from Rizzar wich will help me a lot! And with the rest of the advice i am verry happy also!
    Happy newyear to y'all!
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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Ivo on Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:09 pm

    Ferdinand, thumbs up to you on the progress.

    Quite an undertaking there...my hat is off to you Sir.

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    Re: Halbe rustung. Nearly finished now, next up is shooting it!!

    Post by Lien93 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:04 pm

    Looks like your crossbow will be finished before mine, but im curious about how you made the iron side plates, did you make some kind of template?

    Mine has been on the shelf for a while after i finished veneering it in ebony and went a bit crazy engraving the bone plates.

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