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

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    Axle for trigger and rolling nut

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    Post by gcostello65 Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:22 am

    I have all of these parts of the crossbow currently built, but I do not know how to correctly assemble them! I am struggling to find a way to drill holes for my axless without the use of a bench press (I simply have a hand help drill). I also would like to know what the best material for these axles would be as my prod will be pulling about 200#-250#. I do not have access to a forge so it has to be something easily bought at a hardware store. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, G.
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    Post by Rizzar Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:39 am

    Working those out without a drillpress will be very hard.
    This is detailwork and should be very accurate.

    Simple round mild steel should do the work, but there must be enough surrounding material to hold the axle in place without breaking out, brass and copper can be good, too.
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    Post by gcostello65 Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:46 am

    I guess I will have to go very slow with the drill, I do have a vice which will make the work slightly easier. And I will probably go out and buy a piece of mild steel for the job. Thanks for all of the help.
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    Post by kenh Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:25 pm

    Our ancestors drilled lots of holes without a drillpress or electric drill.  If you have the tiller down around waist height, so  you're sort of leaning over it as you drill; it's actually pretty easy to keep a drill running at 90 degrees to the surface.  Drilling those holes before you go shaping the tiller also helps - flat square surfaces are easier to square against, doncha know.

    Any Big Box or hardware store will have steel 'dowel' of various diameters and hardnesses.  Just ask.
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    Post by mac Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:32 pm

    Gcostello,

    You can get a lot of millage out of nails for pivots and axles. They are cold drawn mild steel, and are hard enough for most purposes.  They come in a wide and useful range of diameters, and you probably have some already. 

    Drill your holes in the wood a bit undersized, so the nails will be press-fits. Drill the holes in the moving parts a bit oversize, so they work freely.  We are talking about 5 or 10 thousandths of an inch here, or 1/10th of a mm if you think that way.   Make sure you grind or cut off the points of the nails.  They are a bit wider than the rest of the nail as a result of the way they are made.

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    Post by Rizzar Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:22 am

    Yeah, nails can be very good material.

    I always forget I have a metal store around the corner where I get mild steel in almost every size if I will buy at least 6 meters (1 unit).


    For the drilling I hope you can do it as accurate as possible.
    I have a wide range of machines and when it comes to that I even do prefer the much more accurate 800kg milling machine instead of a quick drillpress.


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    Post by Hotspur Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:44 pm

    Also, if the nut is seated in the socket four fifths so that it can't come out the top  anyway the axle is not mechanically necessary to hold it in place.  I have an axle for 'insurance' but probably don't need it.

    I made my axle out of the shank end of a broken drill bit.
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    Post by Hotspur Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:49 pm

    I found the axle hole hard to get dead centre in the nut even with a drill press.
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    Post by Hermit Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:10 am

    The quickest and most accurate way to drill a hole central,is in a lathe if you have one,or have access to one.If you don't have a lathe,it can be done accurately by hand,and the secret is to reverse your thinking and work from the pivot out.You will need to make a simple Jig with a pivot for your nut and a
    pointer with a very sharp point or blade.With the nut on the pivot,set the pointer or blade as close to the nut as you can.slowly revolve the nut,checking the gap between it and the pointer,file the high points off the nut until you have an equal gap all the way round.this method requires time and patience,but will result in an accurate nut.I used to get model engineer magazine,and one of the contributors built an entire model steam engine by hand,no power tools,even a drill.Using a similar method to this,he hand filed the flywheel concentric to within one thousandth of an inch.In place of a pointer,you can use a dial indicator,but I'm assuming you don't have one.
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    Post by Hermit Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:29 am

    I forgot to add,obviously,when you file off the high spots,you need to re-set the pointer as close as you can get it to the nut.A magnifying glass to inspect the clearance between the pointer and the nut will also help,as will a small square,to check that your filing is level.
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    Post by septua Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:29 am

    How about tool steel dowel pins for axles ? They come in various sizes and lengths and I get mine from a local hardware store.
     
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    Post by Hermit Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:06 am

    Depending on the design of your trigger mech.,tool steel pins can work fine Tom.If you need to re-work them in any way,for instance,centre pop them on the edge(to hold them in place in the trigger housing).or thread them,if they have been hardened,you've got problems.When building anything we have to go with what we can get that we can afford that will work,as opposed to what is ideal.....
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    Post by Hermit Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:57 pm

    I should have read all the posts on this thread properly,I assumed that the question was about drilling the nut,so my answer was about making the nut.Having re-read all the posts,I now see that the question was more about drilling holes at 90 degrees..............Aaah well,it's still a way that will work for making a nut.The hand drill I have,is an ordinary Dewalt,with a 3/8ths chuck,it has a bubble on the end,which helps greatly when drilling holes vertically.
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    Post by Gnome Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:09 am

    Hey all!
    I don't have a real drill press either, and getting that hole in the center of the nut does make me sweat a bit- even using a drill press adapter on my hand drill and clamping everything down, that just gets me into the neighborhood of ninety degrees, let alone centered. So I usually drill the hole a size smaller than I actually want, then touch it up by hand with round files.
    Most of my nut retainer pins and trigger mech axles are 3/16 steel I got from cutting down a worn out extra-long drill bit. There're about a foot or so long but only have cutting edges on the last couple inches, other than that they're good, hard steel without being too brittle or bendable, and available in whatever size drill bit is commonly available. I admit when I used up that first dull bit I went out and bought a brand new one to start cutting down!
    I usually design my roller nut and socket so the nut can only be removed by rotating backwards, so the retaining pin is just insurance. But since my execution is rarely as precise as my design, it's good insurance to have!
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