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    New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

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    RKnack
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    New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by RKnack on Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:29 pm

    First topic message reminder :

    Hey, all. My name is Rich. I am a living history.re-enactment enthusiast, and my interests span from the Middle Ages to the American Civil War. Right now, I am focusing on putting together a "kit" for a 15th century footsoldier. One of my German ancestors was either a crossbowman or a builder of crossbows, as his last name was Armbruster. I decided, therefore, to build a crossbow appropriate to the time period indicated. Problem is, where ot begin? I have read Ralph Payne-Gallwey's book, but it has been a long time. Is there a set of blueprints or plans of some sort available that will help me in my project? I want the crossbow to be fully functional, even useable for hunting game up to deer-sized, but as simple and inexpensive to build as possible (tight budget), while still looking good with a short-sword, padded jack, and buckler.

    Thanks in advance!

    chaz
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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by chaz on Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:15 am

    Todd,

    Nice way to punch a hole for a security peep site ! Do you make your own bolt tips ?

    Impressive demonstration.

    Chaz
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    jds6
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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by jds6 on Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:24 am

    Todd, Very impressive! Is that a solid core door? What was the distance that you fired from?
    I too use a 3/8" bolt with a 220 grain bodkin tip for my 150# crossbow. Shot it through 3/4" plywood all the way to the fletches. Messed up a good bolt. Might have to give this door target a try!!!

    jds6

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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by RKnack on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:27 pm

    Well, I found a used copy of Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey's book The Crossbow: Its Military and Sporting History, Construction, and Use on Amazon for under $8.00 (I opted for the book without the added info on siege artillery, as that is not one of my main interests). Hopefully that will give me additional information that I can use.

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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by RKnack on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:33 pm

    Out of curiosity, did medieval crossbow tillers (I'm talking normal crossbows, not mini siege defenses) ever have parallel sides? Or were they mostly of varying thicknesses throughout the length of the tiller? If parallel, how wide should I probably make mine? I don't have a band-saw to cut good contours, is why I am asking, and my woodoworking skills are mostly in their infancy, at least as far as contouring things goes (I am a capable inletter, however, having built several muzzle-loaders from kits that were only partially inletted).
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    Geezer
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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by Geezer on Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:35 pm

    Parallel sides on medieval crossbows? Sure Ralph Payne-Gallwey, cited above has a lovely pattern for a 15th-16th century Flemish bow. The stock is parallel, approx 1&5/8 wide from lock forward. It does taper to about 1 & 1/4 wide from a few inches behind the lock to the tail, but that's not hard to manage with a simple hand-plane.
    Do be aware that RPG's patterns aren't always entirely accurate. F'rinstance, his pattern uses an iron socket for the roller-nut. You don't need to do that unless you're making a thousand-pounder. At most, all you need do is inlet some blocks of horn or antler into the stock before cutting the 2/3 hole for the roller nut. (yes, bury the roler by 2/3, not the 3/5 RPG suggests. And you need not put all those silly zig-zags into the trigger or the trigger passage. A simple square-off S shape trigger will do fine, and the passage can be a simple slot in the bottom. You can always fill part of the slot later if it's too unsightly.
    So whatcha standing here for? Get to work! Geezer
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    Todd the archer
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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by Todd the archer on Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:43 pm

    Regarding my bolts, I use standard glue on tips like you can get from Three Rivers Archery. That shot was taken at 35 yards from my 157# crossbow. The door was an exterior door with fiberglass on both sides and foam insulation inside. Actually it was a backstop and I used the wrong sight picture for the shot at a bag target.

    Todd

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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by RKnack on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:50 pm

    Okay, I have most of my materials for the lock mechanism: 6 inches of 1-1/2" white delrin rod to make nuts from, and a 1-1/2" by 1-1/2" by 2-1/4" block of black delrin for the socket (plus a spare in case I screw up the first one...). What would be the best tool to use in boring out the black delrin block to accommodate the nut?
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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

    Post by Geezer on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:55 pm

    For boring out the lock-socket, you'll want a forstner bit... preferably mounted in a drill press, though you can manage the hole fairly straight without... if you're very careful and lucky. If you can't find a forstner bitt, a standard cylindrical hole-saw will do.
    Do not try it with a flat spade-bit. That won't work.
    Geezer.

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    Re: New here - looking for info on a simple 15th century crossbow

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