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Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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John Waller
6 posters

    Medieval Bolts

    John Waller
    John Waller
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    Post by John Waller Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:29 pm

    Hi. My first post. I recently bought a rather cheap and nasty repro medieval crossbow for battle re-enactments. The bow came without any bolts so I have recently made a number of blunts and sharps for use and display. During a bit of research I came across the following article which a friend kindly had her mum translate for me. I thought it might be of interest. The article, in German, is on this thread containing many nice crossbow related pictures

    Between 1978-82 a museum for the city’s history was set up in the only surviving city gate of an original 10, the 1523-26 built Osthofentor. The museum is housed on three levels. The first level, the Guard Room, displays 13 panels with large formatted texts, photos, reproductions and graphics. They provide an overview of the over 1,000 year history of the city of Soest. At the centre of the room stand two models of the city in the scale 1:1000. They show Soest at about 1000 and 1550: At the beginning of its medieval development and at its end.

    A stone spiral staircase leads up to the armoury with its 19 text and picture displays. They inform about and show the defence history. At the centre of the armoury stand a large display cabinet and two chests containing the almost 37,000 quarrels and iron arrowheads. These originate from the 14th to 16th century and have survived the centuries in the Soester Council’s armoury in the tower of St. Patrokli opposite the town hall. The display cabinet also shows a town soldier in complete gear: Cross bow, helmet, mail, sword and war hammer.

    The collection numbers around 8,600 complete bolts with original Zain (?) (Oak shafts), partially with fletching of two wooden bars (?) made of willow at the back, and bolt-metal tip, and around 11,000 less well preserved ones. With an addition of 5,000 without iron heads and ca. 12,000 bolt-metals it makes it the largest collection in the world.

    The city archive oversaw the setting up the Osthofentor Museum as well as the restoration and housing of the quarrels. However, out of the total stock they selected together with the Estonian historian, archaeologist and specialist Ain Mäesalu 800 pieces for scientific investigations.

    This stock brought together variations and single examples, and serves as foundation for the development of a catalogue for quarrels. All variations shall be described, marked and, as far as possible, be shown in photos. The descriptions shall highlight the differences of the bolts, and offer dating. The quarrels, in particular the bolt metals, were over the centuries adapted in length, cross section and compound/configuration (?), each time in accordance with technological circumstances of the military.

    Does anyone know if any analysis of the collection was ever published?
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    Post by Pavise Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:06 pm

    Hello John,

    Welcome to this fantastic forum of knowledge sharing.

    And thank you for your wonderful first post and the fascinating link to some incredible facts and pictures.

    I've no doubt that other members will respond likewise and perhaps be able to answer your question too.


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    Post by Basilisk120 Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:40 pm

    That is a nice link. Lots of eye candy.

    Brings up some more questions.

    About 2/3 of the way down the page. The crossbow of Duke Ulrich of Württemberg, Looks like on the roller nut the flanges that hold the string were reinforced with steel. Interesting.

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    Post by Ivo Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:30 pm

    Hello John Waller and welcome to our forum,

    I believe I had seen some pictures of the "wall of arrows" in color, but it could be my imagination playing tricks on me, so I'll check. Medieval Bolts Icon_biggrin

    As for the medieval "Eye Candy" you are welcome to post pictures in the Medieval Crossbow Pictures topic(a sort of treasure chest we are making) in the gallery. Mr SAM will almost always be there to discuss what it is that interests you and perhaps will even show you something you have not yet seen. Medieval Bolts Icon_wink

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    Post by Geezer Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:27 am

    Geezer here: The pictures of the Soest bolt-collection are great, and the diagrams of the bolt-grooving machine are very informative. I'll pass that on to my buddy who does all the fletching around here.
    As for the reinforcing lugs in Ulrich V's nut, you're quite right. That's fairly common on really strong bows and I have done it myself on a few occasions. The pins are 1/8 to 3/16 inch diameter... I often use a bit of a common nail. Drill a hole down through the center of the lug, well into the body of the nut, but not quite out the other side, glue the pin in place (epoxy works fine) set it aside to dry, then file off anything that protrudes.
    ps. Take a good look at the detail pictures of the Ulrich V bow. The work is amazing....wish I was that skilled at inlay. Geezer.

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    Post by kiltedcelt Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:25 am

    Wow! Thank you for posting that link! There was a wealth of great research photos to be had on that site in that thread.

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