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    Laminated Wood Tiller, or Solid Wood Tiller, "Maiking the Cavities"

    riverwindflutes
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    Laminated Wood Tiller, or Solid Wood Tiller, "Maiking the Cavities" Empty Laminated Wood Tiller, or Solid Wood Tiller, "Maiking the Cavities"

    Post by riverwindflutes on Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:23 pm

    I'm trying to figure out if its best to use, lets say three layers of wood to build up the thickness of the width of my tiller and create cavities for the roller nut and tickler in that way, or to just carve the roller nut and tickler cavities out by hand, what thicknesses of wood should i use to creat these cavities ???, or do I use a forstner bit, and drill through the side of a solid tiller, install the roller nut and mortise in a cover plate, but that still leaves me with the tickler cavity to carve out ? I was thinking I could basically create these hollow cavities by building up different levels of wood and gluing them all together, I could use say 1/2" oak as my first piece, then 1" poplar wich is the width of my roller as the center piece, then glue another piece of 1/2" oak to those, which would make a tiller with a cool stripe down the length of it. Or have two pieces of 1/2" oak with 5/16th" glued to each piece and that would allow enough of a cavity for a 3/8th" square steel tickler, "I'm getting so confused" Ha Ha. I spoke to David R. Watson, I think his name is "Geezer" on here, talked to him on the phone the other day in Austin Texas and he seems to have a wealth of knowledge about building crossbows, If you see this post give me a shout. !!!

    Anyway any suggestions from anyone are greatly appreaceted.

    Thanks

    Don A.

    River Wind NA Flutes
    Geezer
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    Post by Geezer on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:26 pm

    Concerning laminated vs. solid stocks and cutting lock-sockets and trigger passages, I recommend you look at my apprentice's flickr pages. They have lots and lots of pics of our lock and trigger mortise practices, as well as just about everything else we do at New World Arbalest. That addy is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28962712@N06/sets/72157611937565699/
    If you browse around the flickr site, you'll find lots more stuff that should be useful.
    Medieval crossbow stocks all seem to be made of one piece of wood, though there are real advantages in laminating 2 or 3 pieces of wood given access to modern glues.
    As for woods of choice, I usually work in cherry, walnut, oak, and maple. These are fairly inexpensive, strong, and stable. Though I have made a few stocks for lightweight crossbows out of Poplar, I really can't recommend it. Poplar is simply too soft and weak to make crossbows of any real power.
    There are lots of exotic woods out there that will make a beautiful stock, but many of the tropical woods in particular are hard, toxic, allergenic, or full of silicates that will eventually give you black-lung. So do a bit of research before deciding to sandwich cocobolo-lignum-vitae and purpleheart.
    But don't forget to have fun. Geezer
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    Post by kenh on Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:58 am

    And if you do decide to work with any of the woods Geezer mentioned (or all wood for that matter), please practice "safe woodworking".

    That is, wear at least a paper filter mask. Sawdust from many species is an irritant at best and poisonous at worst. I build a lot of musical instruments from exotic woods and always wear lung protection. And although though I love the look of Padauk, the sawdust gives me a rash!

    Gotta go put on my mask. I'm building a laminated tiller for a carbine-sized crossbow. The tiller profile is based on a 17th century Malaya matchlock pistol.
    African Archer
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    Post by African Archer on Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:28 pm

    Hi
    Just my 2cents worth, carving a neat and snug cavity's for the nut and tickler from solid stock is difficult to do but will give you the strongest tiller, cutting the cavity's with a router and spade bit drill and then laminating together is easy and neat and strong, this is what i did on my first build ( still building )my concern with laminating many peaces together is strength, i feel that a solid peace of wood is far stronger than many, even if you use epoxy in the laminating process, especially when working around the nut and tickler, where all the pressure is. This is just my opinion tho.

    Greetings and welcome
    actionbow
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    Post by actionbow on Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:09 am

    I get that African Archer but I disagree. Composites, properly joined can be much stronger than solid woods in my experience. Using a toothing file, properly gluing with urac or ea-40 and solid clamping for 24 hours will create a bond that is more likely to break anywhere but the glue line. Most wood will break on grain lines and when you have different typed of opposing grain you should see a benefit over solid wood nearly every time.

    Having said that, I always make my tillers of solid wood and chisel trigger/nut cavities out. Mostly because I like the simplicity of the finished look better.
    riverwindflutes
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    Post by riverwindflutes on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:37 pm

    I'm remembering now when I was in construction, that the laminated beams that we installed in new framing were like ten times stronger than a solid wood beam of the same dimension, so even though a solid tiller carved out by hand is more period authentic, a laminated tiller built with each layers grain running in opposite directions sould be stronger as long as you use a good quality glue or epoxy, preferably one that is waterproof.
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    Post by Geezer on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:44 pm

    I concur. If made correctly, laminated beams are stronger than natural ones. You get the advantage of having grain run in different directions, contributing to load-holding. They should also be more stable... less liable to warp or take a bend. I have glued-up wood for stocks on occasions when I needed extra-thick timber but couldn't get it. It worked out great. The trick is to get the laminates nice and flat, use a superior glue and clamp within an inch of its life.
    Besides, contrasting woods in a laminate can look really nice! Keep up the good work. Geezer.

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