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

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3 posters

    Skyrim-style crossbow

    gcostello65
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    Post by gcostello65 Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:01 pm

    Hello all,
    I was playing through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim lately and obtained one of the beginning level crossbows. Has anybody ever tried to build one of these with a spanning lever built into the bow? If so, can you post some blueprints/designs or even pictures of the product. Thanks!
    Geezer
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    Post by Geezer Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:26 pm

    Howdy there, gcostello:  Geezer here.  You asked about medieval-type crossbows with built-in cocking levers.  There are a few such that show up in medieval/renaissance manuscripts, but the ones I've actually seen were pellet-bows that had the lock attached to a lever.  Release the end of the lever, the whole thing hinges forward so you can hang the string on the lock, then lever it back in place and fasten down.  You'll want to look for bullet-bow or balestrino pics if you want to make one.  I dunno if anybody's got a proper set of plans though.  It should make an interesting project.  Geezer.
    gcostello65
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    Post by gcostello65 Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:47 pm

    Thanks for the info Geezer. I love all of the positive feedback I am able to receive on this site as I am a new arbalist and hope to continually hone my skills and create better and better crossbows. I have been doing some research lately, and I was wondering. Is it easier/safer to bind the prod to the tiller or to carve a slot out of the tiller in which the prod is inserted? I know these are two different models and probably different regions which make these different designs, but for my next build I would like to know which one would produce the greatest and safest results.
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    Post by Geezer Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:21 pm

    Medieval bowyers either placed the prod into a deep notch in the fore-end of the stock, or ran it through a hole in the fore-end.  I've never seen one placed in a slot in the top, the way the old Wham-Os did it.  Given that medieval bows were based on hundred years of practical experience, I suggest you do it that way. 
       For the actual fastening, you can bind the prod in place with hemp cord, or use bow-irons, like the ones available from Slobows, Alchem, or Darkwood Armory.  
    And welcome aboard... this is a wonderful forum full of helpful people.  Geezer
    gcostello65
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    Post by gcostello65 Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:27 pm

    The first crossbow I built was bound on, and the binding seems to be coming loose. I did this with #48 hemp cord at 2mm in diameter. I would like to attach my next prod using a hole in the fore-end as you had mentioned. How would this be accomplished? What tools could I use to make this hole? How do I make the prod flush to the tiller as to prevent the prod wobbling around inside of the wood? Thanks for the support!
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    Post by Geezer Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:34 pm

    Tools?  I have a mortise-machine for such work, but you can do it by drilling through and then chiseling things off nice and square... it helps it your chisels are Really-really sharp. 
    Some people wedge their tiller in with wooden wedges... Chinese crossbows are often set up that way.  European bows either fasten with rope, or hold the prod in with bow-irons.  They're really strong, yet relatively easy to knock apart if you need to.  Geezer.
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    Post by Gnome Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:17 pm

    I don't remember any crossbows in Skyrim- maybe I should boot it up and take another look. There's a couple good threads on here with modern type built-in spanning levers, but for historical pieces I've only seen the pellet shooters Geezer mentions.
    It's hard to beat bow irons for convenience in mounting a prod, the only downside is they do add quite a bit of weight to the front end. I'm working on my first full-size weapon with a cord-bound prod right now, mainly to see how light I can make a steel-prod build if I use cord for the binding and stirrup instead of steel. It's not really a historically accurate build, though, I'm using paracord and wrapping it in a way that will hopefully make it easy for me to tighten up in the field if necessary.
    I haven't messed with a lever type cocking aid yet, mainly because it seems like it would be too fiddly to carry that extra tool around. If you can figure out a good way to integrate it into the weapon, I'd love to see it!
    Gnome

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