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    Making a goats foot lever

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    kiltedcelt
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    Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:49 pm

    Now I'd love to make my next two bows powerful enough to need a cranequin, but having seen the prices for cranequins I am going to have to pass. Simply far too expensive. So, I'm thinking of making these two bows powerful enough to need a goats foot lever to span them and thus doing away with the ugly stirrup which wouldn't look appropriate on these two bows anyway. I have the Ralph Payne Gallway crossbow book and I see in there he does provide some measurements and a plan of sorts for creating a goats foot. Is this something I'm going to need to go to a metal worker to get made? Also, from something I read somewhere I recall the goats foot needs to be made to match the bow. So, if I make these two bows so they use the same weight of prod and have the pins located at the same point on the tiller will I be able to use one goats foot for both bows? Finally, what sort of steel stock would you use for this - cold rolled?
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by Pavise on Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:43 pm

    I see no reason why one goat's foot would not work on both crossbows as you have described; as long as the deck/stock width is similar on both crossbows. And I would at least use cold-rolled MS for material. Hot-rolled is simply too much work (scale removal) as far as finishing off and is not as strong as good, cold-rolled bar-stock is. The arms and levers on your goat's foot need to be wide enough in cross-section to resist bending. The ones we see in books etc., are tapered in their side section to make them progressively stronger towards the hinge point as well as for a pleasing and balanced appearance. The effort and load being applied to the device increases as the string is pulled back further and the mechanical advantage of the goat's foot is employed. The pins on the stock need to be smooth and round and the inside curved working part of the goat's foot arms must be super smooth and evenly matched too. An alternative devise is the simple steel cocking lever that pushes, rather than pulls the string into the latch. It all rather depends on the draw-weight of your prods.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:47 pm

    Pavise,

    After talking with Jim at Alchem, I'm planning on using their 1316 prods which range from 120 - 140#. These bows will be for target shooting exclusively. I want to have a reasonably flat trajectory out to 40 yards or so and I believe I can get that with a prod in this range. Do you think a simple wooden lever such as the "whippe" described in the Payne-Gallway book would be effective enough to span a prod of this weight? As I recall that lever design was one that would push the skein into place and was typically made from some type of dense hard wood. A fairly simple design but on that would work fairly effectively to span a prod of a weight to strong to effectively span without some sort of tool but not so heavy you'd need something like a cranequin. Opinions?
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by Ivo on Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:07 am

    Hi kiltedcelt,

    I have a few examples of what you are talking about here in the "Levers, cranks, and other spanning devices" topic. Under the lever pictures I also added some charts and a terrible explanation of how they work

    Not here to drive off topic, but 120-140lb isn't really a heavy crossbow that "requires" a spanning lever. A rope cocking aid can be used just as easily and the beauty is this...it can be successfully used with those pins on the side of the stock with out any modifications. Just a thought.




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    goatsfoot lever

    Post by Geezer on Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:21 am

    Geezer here with observations on cocking levers.
    In my experience, most shooters end up going with the simplest cocking system available. A medieval belt-hook or cord and pulley spanner is much lighter and less trouble to tote around than any sort of lever, and in fact, any sort of spanning aid is usually more trouble than simply spanning by hand if the power of your bow will allow. So you may well end up making a cocking device and leaving it at home when you go out to shoot.
    As far as 'wippe' and 'gafa' levers are concerned, the great advantage in making wippe levers is that they don't generally require advanced metal-working skills, whereas making a gafa pretty much needs the help of a real smith. Wippes generally give you less mechanical advantage than a gafa (goatsfoot) lever, and the wippe is usually a but clumsier to use than a properly constructed gafa. On the positive side, since a wippe pushes from the front, rather than drawing the string from behind the lock, the wippe usually doesn't get involved with a rear sight mounted above and behind the lock.
    In most respects, I think the gafa is a vastly superior spanning machine, but expense and details of its use can tilt a shooter toward the wippe.
    As far as cranequins are concerned, they're wonderful machines, but quite slow to use and again, they get right in the way of your rear-sight, which is the primary reason that Renaissance rear-sights are invariably designed to fold up between shots. Geezer
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by Pavise on Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:05 am

    Hi kiltedcelt,

    Now that you have indicated the weight of your prods I completely agree with Ivo and Geezer and suggest that you try one of the simple cocking devices. I am familiar with Jim's 1316 prod and if you are strong enough, they are not impossible to cock entirely by hand. Very many manufactured crossbows are suppled with solid fibreglass prods in the order of 150 lbs and no cocking device is furnished with them that I know of.

    There is one rope type (Nylon cord) model out there now, which has vertical rollers on the side of the Delrin hooks to prevent galling of the stock as they are drawn along each side into the cocked position. I use the original one sold by Excalibur and find it very convenient in every respect. And I make my stocks to suit their application. The KISS (Keep It Super Simple) principal is always one I try to adhere to.

    Geezer and others have used the correct terminology for so many parts that I think it is time that we had a Glossary reference on this wonderful Forum that we can all agree upon and then learn and use. I have been a bit reluctant to use some of these dedicated terms and names for fear of unwittingly writing over some heads.

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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:11 am

    The one issue I'd have with trying to manually span one of these crossbows is that I'm hoping to build something like this:





    In both cases, neither bow has a stirrup in place. I'm pretty sure I could very easily span a 150# prod if I had a stirrup, however without a stirrup having to span the bow by holding the butt of the stock against myself I can see getting quite uncomfortable. I've seen a few guys at SCA event with crossbows that have a large pin through the stock aft of the lock such as would be used for a gaffa. These guys span those bows by holding it butt end down and hooking their thumbs over the skein and then putting their fingers around the pin. They use the pin as an anchor and pull the skein into position that way. Seems somewhat awkward and potentially unsafe to span a crossbow with the business end pointing towards you, even if its unloaded. Belt hooks or variations thereof seem to require the use of a stirrup. Something more elaborate using cords and pulleys could work I suppose but again as was mentioned, it seems to be overkill for a 150# prod. On another note, I know I could span the bow by holding it against the ground with my feet resting on the prod on either side of the tiller. The only issue here is getting the prod all covered in mud as can often be the case at many an SCA event. I suppose I could always put a towel down to protect the prod. I'm also hesitant to put my feet on the prod because I'm hoping to duplicate the intricate decorative carving on the prod as you can faintly see in the upper crossbow. I won't actually carve the prod but will instead try to use some sort of paint/ink/transfer media of some sort to achieve the look of the incised decoration. Finally, I know from shooting my other bow and spanning that prod a few dozen times over the course of a day that you start to feel it in your back and arms by the end of the day. I can imagine that the difference from spanning 110# versus 150# would be quite noticeable in much the same way as the draw weight difference between a 35# longbow and a 45# can feel much more different. Although there's different muscle mechanics involved in both it's not a good example I suppose. I'm just looking for the easiest least hassle way to span the prod and still be able to achieve look of the bows pictured above.
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by Pavise on Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:36 pm

    Okay. Now we know where you're coming from I can see why you have an unusual problem inasmuch as you will be spanning and shooting many times over a short period of time. Undoubtedly your body will suffer, and in some areas more than others. If it were me I would make a suitable leather pad to be worn at my midrif where the butt end of my stock would be when spanning by hand. When I shot with Robin and others years ago in England we often used such a pad and many of us could regularly hand span 200 lbs Dural prods doing it this way. But then we were young, very fit, and practiced at it too.

    Since you will not have an integral stirrup at your disposal, but perhaps a small ring, why don't you make an attachment for your boot that has a small hook on it? This could be in the form of a leather strap/stirrup that would make it then possible to use a belt hook or other convenient spanning device.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

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    stirrupless bows

    Post by Geezer on Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:41 am

    Geezer here:
    Kiltedcelt, the bows you're lusting after are powerful pieces designed to use a cranequin for spanning. That's why they have only tiny rings suitable for hanging from the wall or a saddle. Spanish bows with tiny rings normally use the 'gafa' or 'goatsfoot' cocking lever. Medieval and Renaissance bows intended for spanning by hand or with the belt-hook used stirrups.
    So you have a dilemma: Either you can fit your replica with a stirrup you can actually use for spanning or use a ring. If you use the ring, you're gonna need a spanning machine. That's life in the slow-lane, I'm afraid. Gafas will be cheaper, and it should be possible to get one made to fit your bow. I recommend contacting my old friends at Darkwood Armory (they make some of my steel prods). Darkwood is now making gafas at a reasonable price and they could probably be talked into making a special one for a wider stock. A websearch will find their address in a hurry.
    As an alternative, you might talk to Alchem Corp... they're contributors to this discussion group and their work is good. I don't know if they're considering making gafas, but it wouldn't hurt to ask. Geezer.
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:36 am

    Geezer,

    In talking with Jim at Alchem and the earlier comments of Pavise on this thread, I had decided to keep the prod weight down around 150#max which is the upper range for the 1316 prod that Alchem makes. Both of them agree that weight is good enough for most target shooting and can still be spanned by hand. I think it was Pavise that mentioned using a thick leather pad suspended from a belt or something to brace the butt end of the stock against while spanning by hand. I was also thinking that I could make a wippe that would be designed to use the hanging ring bound to the front of the stock as the hooking point for the lever so I would have a mechanical aid to help in spanning should my arms begin to tire out or my midriff begin to complain in spite of the leather pad. Thcese two bows will obviously have some compromises in construction, the most obvious being not having a 250#+ prod that would necessitate spanning with a cranequin as the originals clearly would've used. Even if I were to go that route, I'd find quickly that I'd be losing bolts inside of targets or they'd be flying right on through and going missing in a muddy field. Since I can only shoot these bows at SCA events I'm limited in what sort of targets are available. Common targets at the events I've been to are 2 1/2" thick butt foam on a stand. A really high powered crossbow is going to blow right on through those targets. So, making these is a balancing act between historical accuracy and practicality.
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by Ivo on Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:40 am

    You have to also keep in mind that spaning something by hand(especially without a stirrup) isn't going to do well on centering the string...and you said it's for target shooting, so it will most certainly have an effect on that particular factor.

    A wooden goats foot with a few metal reinforcements shouldn't be too hard to make, that way you're guaranteed an always centered string when loading and thus have improved accuracy.




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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:22 am

    Ivo,

    Sounds like you're suggesting I make a wippe, which is, as I understand it, the sort-of cut-rate wooden version of the all-metal gaffe or goat's foot. I've got plenty of scrap ipe laying around and I can't imagine making a stronger more heavy duty wippe out of any other kind of wood. I was planning making a wippe for use with these bows, even if I did try spanning them by hand. With my other 110# bow I quickly found that spanning it by hand, even with the stirrup for leverage quickly be tiring over the course of a days shooting. I think even if I tried to hand span a 150# prod it would become tiring even more quickly and I'd have to resort to the wippe anyway.
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by basileus on Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:41 am

    I've successfully used a self-made wippe lever to cock a ~300 pound crossbow with a steel bow. My wippe is 75 cm long and the axle is located 17cm from the metal hook. The lever itself is made from pine and the shorter, pivoted part from birch. Cocking the crossbow with it is very smooth and does not require much strength. Even my wife who has trouble cocking 150 pounders by hand can do it. That said, there are a couple of challenges in making a wippe that works just right. For this reason I'll soon be adding a "Designing and making a wippe" article to my howto collection at http://users.utu.fi/sjsepp
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by basileus on Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:28 am

    basileus wrote:I've successfully used a self-made wippe lever to cock a ~300 pound crossbow with a steel bow. My wippe is 75 cm long and the axle is located 17cm from the metal hook. The lever itself is made from pine and the shorter, pivoted part from birch. Cocking the crossbow with it is very smooth and does not require much strength. Even my wife who has trouble cocking 150 pounders by hand can do it. That said, there are a couple of challenges in making a wippe that works just right. For this reason I'll soon be adding a "Designing and making a wippe" article to my howto collection at http://users.utu.fi/sjsepp
    ...and finally I had time to write something concrete about making and designing wippes. Take a look here for details.
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:01 pm

    Hey, thanks for finally posting this. I'm sure it'll come in handy should I end up going the route of making a wippe.
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    Building a goats foot.Hello

    Post by Michael on Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:14 am

    Hello Kiltedcelt: I just read the column about building a goats foot (gafa). While at the range the other day test firing my new crossbow the cocking device had major failure. It came apart just pass mid-point. Would you care to try out the Excalibur rope cocking device. To continue to shoot at the range I purchased that item. I know it's not period but it worked. My bow in question is about 180-190lbs of pull.The best of luck to you in your quest. Mike
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:19 pm

    Mike,

    I'm just now finally getting started on building these two bows. Neither will have a stirrup attached which would make it somewhat difficult to span the bow using the rope devices. I am thinking of making a kind of leather and wood stirrup device to go around my foot that I can engage with the hanging loop on the front of the bow. That would somewhat serve the same purpose as an attached stirrup and would allow hand spanning. I'm also still thinking of purchasing a goats foot from Dark Wood Armory and spanning the bow that way. Something else that concerns me is that the hanging ring will be bound to the tiller using thing the same cord that is binding the prod on. I'm reasonably sure I will get that prop/ring bound in very tightly as I was able to do so on my first crossbow. However, I'm concerned that constantly pulling against that ring which is bound into the same cord holding the prod on will eventually cause some stretching or weakness and may necessitate having to re-bind the whole thing. All the bows I've seen that were spanned with a wippe use a metal ring that is physically attached to the tiller with a bolt or is attached somehow into bow irons. In other words, the attachment point for the hook on a wippe is a very secure point versus the hanging ring which is not. Even using the faux stirrup arrangement I described earlier may put undue stress on the attachment of that hanging ring. An actual metal goats foot lever may be the only practical safe way of spanning this style of bow if I'm hoping to keep it looking period accurate without the addition of a bolted on ring or stirrup. At any rate I'm still a ways off from actually attaching a prod or ring to either bow so I'm still open to suggestions.
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by basileus on Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:42 pm

    kiltedcelt wrote:
    I am thinking of making a kind of leather and wood stirrup device to go around my foot that I can engage with the hanging loop on the front of the bow. That would somewhat serve the same purpose as an attached stirrup and would allow hand spanning.

    I've used "loose" stirrups (e.g. from leather or rope) on a few crossbows and never liked them. The problem is that it's difficult to pull the string directly towards the lock if the bow is canted and the stock is not supported properly... cocking with a loose stirrup feels a lot like climbing a rope ladder. Therefore I'd personally prefer to have no stirrup at all. After all, you can simply use your feet to support the bow on both sides of the stock during draw.


    Something else that concerns me is that the hanging ring will be bound to the tiller using thing the same cord that is binding the prod on. I'm reasonably sure I will get that prop/ring bound in very tightly as I was able to do so on my first crossbow. However, I'm concerned that constantly pulling against that ring which is bound into the same cord holding the prod on will eventually cause some stretching or weakness and may necessitate having to re-bind the whole thing.

    I believe most bridles in Medieval times were made from sinew, which shrinks considerably as it dries. If the bow was tied to the stock while sinew rope was wet, the whole package became extremely rigid. If rope (e.g. linen or hemp) is used instead, the bow can't be attached as tightly, no matter what. I've used hemp and linen bridles on a few crossbows with wooden or steel bows. They work ok, but are not nearly as rigid as bow irons. None of those crossbows had stirrups (rigid or loose), so I don't know if the bridles have a tendency to loosen in use. If they do, rebinding the bow to the stock is relatively quick (~30 mins).


    All the bows I've seen that were spanned with a wippe use a metal ring that is physically attached to the tiller with a bolt or is attached somehow into bow irons. In other words, the attachment point for the hook on a wippe is a very secure point versus the hanging ring which is not. Even using the faux stirrup arrangement I described earlier may put undue stress on the attachment of that hanging ring. An actual metal goats foot lever may be the only practical safe way of spanning this style of bow if I'm hoping to keep it looking period accurate without the addition of a bolted on ring or stirrup. At any rate I'm still a ways off from actually attaching a prod or ring to either bow so I'm still open to suggestions.

    Attaching a wippe ring to bridles would not probably work well, as it really needs to be rigid or it won't work properly. A simple rope and pulley system coupled with a rigid stirrup attached to the bridles would probably work ok. However, that would require a relatively short draw length, as it simply doubles the leverage and thus halves the potential draw length.
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    cocking levers

    Post by Geezer on Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:38 am

    Concerning wippe levers and hemp bindings.
    I bind in crossbows with hemp as a regular thing. With practice, you can get the prod mondo-tight and it will stay that way for years, with less weight and a little less recoil/noise on release than bow-irons. And yes, I lash in the stirrup as well. HOWEVER, the stirrup will work loose a bit over time. Not enough to be a nuisance, but enough to suggest operating a cocking-lever against the stirrup might not be such a hot idea. All the illustrations I have seen of medieval bows that spanned with wippes, used either an iron loop at the head of the stock or a couple of lugs that transfix the stock (seen in Payne-Gallwey's illustrations of Belgian target bows)
    Occasionally a customer will ask if I can fit a cocking-lever to his bow. Whether they want a wippe or a gafa, this generally requires the bow to be sent back for a refit. My solution is to make a cocking lever with a broad lower-end, fitted with a double-hook that hooks onto the inside surface of the prod (just outside the stock) rather than working against the stock. That way, you're not stressing your bridle or bow-irons at all. A double-hook wippe can be used on any bow I make, without any alterations whatsoever.
    Another solution would be to make a single loop and weld it to a plate that could be fitted into a bow-iron system in place of the stirrup. Then you would be working against the very strong and stable wedges and stirrups of the irons. Either solution should work well enough, within the limits of the wippe system, which I don't really like very much: they're just too large, clumsy, and inconvenient to use.
    I would suggest that a double .belt-hook is simpler than all of these. Hooks are cheap, easy to use, far less trouble to carry, and will span bows well over 200 lb. with ease.
    ps. I've got that stone-bow back... we're gonna take pictures of the lock and post 'em on lightly's flickr site. Geezer
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by kiltedcelt on Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:21 pm

    Clearly, for these two bows it is going to have to be a gaffa instead of some kind of wippe. The rope cocking mechanisms that have been suggested would work okay but only if you place your feet on the prod itself on either side of the tiller. My problem with placing me feet on the prod is that one of the bows will have a decorative engraving-like design on the prod which could be damaged by placing one's feet on the prod. So, I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and buy a gaffa to use to span these two bows. Oh yeah, and I continue to discount the use of stirrups because they don't have them on the two museum pieces I'm using as references for these two bows.
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by basileus on Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:42 am

    Geezer wrote: Concerning wippe levers and hemp bindings.
    I bind in crossbows with hemp as a regular thing. With practice, you can get the prod mondo-tight and it will stay that way for years, with less weight and a little less recoil/noise on release than bow-irons. And yes, I lash in the stirrup as well. HOWEVER, the stirrup will work loose a bit over time. Not enough to be a nuisance, but enough to suggest operating a cocking-lever against the stirrup might not be such a hot idea. All the illustrations I have seen of medieval bows that spanned with wippes, used either an iron loop at the head of the stock or a
    Do you use some sort of a handle to pull the tightening cords extra tight? By those I mean the cord that pulls the two halves of the main cord closer bundles together, as seen here. I don't know if it's just me, but it seems that no matter how tight I pull the tightening cords, the bow never seems nearly as rigid as one attached with bow irons.

    A few more words about foot stirrups and wippe loops... the difference is that a foot stirrup is pulled more or less directly away from the bridles, whereas the wippe lever exerts rotational force to the wippe hook. This means that in a wippe+bridles system the outermost bridle cords are stressed a lot and probably stretch or break pretty soon. So I'd definitely stay with bow irons or similar rigid system if a wippe is to be used.

    couple of lugs that transfix the stock (seen in Payne-Gallwey's illustrations of Belgian target bows)
    Occasionally a customer will ask if I can fit a cocking-lever to his bow. Whether they want a wippe or a gafa, this generally requires the bow to be sent back for a refit. My solution is to make a cocking lever with a broad lower-end, fitted with a double-hook that hooks onto the inside surface of the prod (just outside the stock) rather than working against the stock. That way, you're not stressing your bridle or bow-irons at all. A double-hook wippe can be used on any bow I make, without any alterations whatsoever.
    Interesting solution... do you have a pictures of this kind of wippe?

    Another solution would be to make a single loop and weld it to a plate that could be fitted into a bow-iron system in place of the stirrup. Then you would be working against the very strong and stable wedges and stirrups of the irons. Either solution should work well enough, within the limits of the wippe system, which I don't really like very much: they're just too large, clumsy, and inconvenient to use.
    I've used something like this as the wippe hook. It's not "period", but works well. It's basically a piece of U-bar that's tapered towards the crossbar, which is made from 10mm spring steel rod. The U-bar is attached to the bow irons similarly to a foot stirrup. This kind of attachment would benefit from a wippe lever with two hooks. My one-hook wippe lever has to be centered manually, which slows down cocking somewhat. A simpler and faster (to cock) alternative would be to use a circular steel loop with one-hook lever; this would automatically center the lever and thus make sure that it always pushes the bowstring just right.

    I agree that a wippes can be a bit large, but besides that I don't think a wippe is inconvenient in use. Even though my own wippe setup needs the improvements (outlined above), cocking my crossbow is still very smooth with bowstring pushing the nut to shooting position, and gravity taking care of locking the trigger to the nut. That said, I have not used goat-foot levers, belt hooks or such so I have no idea about their advantages and disadvantages.
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    Geezer
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    wippe lever

    Post by Geezer on Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:13 am

    "Interesting solution... do you have a pictures of this kind of wippe?"
    See Ralph Payne-Gallwey, "The Crossbow" P-G is a goldmine, I tell you. Just remember that he's not God... can sometimes make mistakes. Just a darned good place to start. Geezer
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    Bastard string clamps

    Post by Geezer on Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:20 am

    Note to Basilius. Looking at the photo of your bow fitted with iron loop for single-hook wippe lever.
    You have a set of bastard-string clamps on your prod, similar to Payne-Gallwey's example. They should work fine, but Harmuth's "Die Armbrust" shows a set of clamps that have an arm that extends beyond the ends of the prod. You fit your bastard-string to that. Advantage? Lots better leverage, you bend the entire prod instead of just the inner 2/3. Easier to use, less liable to damage your prod by over-bending. I'll see if I can find some pics to post show said bastard-clamps in work.
    For my shop, I eventually went beyond bastard-strings and wheedled 'Silly Person' into making a bow-bender that works with a hydraulic jack. It has made stringing strong bows a much easier proposition. Geezer
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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by Tinker on Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:51 am

    Geezer wrote:
    For my shop, I eventually went beyond bastard-strings and wheedled 'Silly Person' into making a bow-bender that works with a hydraulic jack. It has made stringing strong bows a much easier proposition. Geezer

    Strange you would mention that. A couple weeks ago I was looking at the hydraulic floor jack in the garage and my 'wheels' started turning in that direction. Have a picture of that rig SillyPerson made up?

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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

    Post by basileus on Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:51 pm

    Geezer wrote: Note to Basilius. Looking at the photo of your bow fitted with iron loop for single-hook wippe lever.
    You have a set of bastard-string clamps on your prod, similar to Payne-Gallwey's example. They should work fine, but Harmuth's "Die Armbrust" shows a set of clamps that have an arm that extends beyond the ends of the prod. You fit your bastard-string to that. Advantage? Lots better leverage, you bend the entire prod instead of just the inner 2/3. Easier to use, less liable to damage your prod by over-bending. I'll see if I can find some pics to post show said bastard-clamps in work.
    Thanks Geezer - an excellent idea. I assume you mean the clamps on page 136 in "Die Armbrust". I think I'll make my (next set of) bastard string "clamps" to extend beyond the nocks, even though I'm already quite happy with the current design.

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    Re: Making a goats foot lever

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