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

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+2
Seventeen76
Warbowman
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    My First Crossbow

    Warbowman
    Warbowman
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    My First Crossbow Empty My First Crossbow

    Post by Warbowman Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:46 am

    Hi Guys,

    Here are a couple of pics of my first crossbow. An all-wood Skane Lockbow type design.  I have a fair bit of experience with making longbows - and I suppose this is a typical crossbow made by a longbowyer.
     
    My First Crossbow Top_vi13

    My First Crossbow With_b10

    The prod is made from hickory backing on an ash core with an ipe belly.  It originally came from a longbow that was not 'working out', so I cut it down and remade it into a prod 50" long.  The tiller is made from white oak.  Draw length is 15".  It shots quite well and prefers heavier bolts - 1/2" oak with a bodkin work best.  It does not like lighter bolts made from old field arrows (11/32" POC) and vibrates and is noisier with them - so I prefer not to use them.  It will send the oak bolts a good 200+ yards and is fairly accurate - most innacuracy coming from me.  Draw weight is 150lb - so it is quite easily hand-spanned, and is a big beast.  I would like to have a go at a more compact (and more powerful) steel prodded late medieval crossbow next. 

    For this bow, I originally intended to use a self-yew prod from a broken yew warbow but that did not work out - nocks broke off!

    My First Crossbow 1st_pr11
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    Seventeen76
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    Post by Seventeen76 Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:26 am

    Very cool bow, are you using "lumber" grade or "bow stave" wood for the prod and what kind of glue/clamping process do you use to laminate the layers together?
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    kenh
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    Post by kenh Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:17 pm

    Very nice first crossbow!  You might want to think about cutting a couple more inches off either end of that prod to make it more manageable.  Or design the next wooden prod so it's under 40" wide:cheers: .
    Scotty
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    Post by Scotty Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:07 pm

    Warbowman, that's a beauty, particularly for a first.  It's a fine example of elegant simplicity. Cool
    Warbowman
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    Post by Warbowman Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:31 am

    Thanks for your kind comments guys.  I think I will design my next crossbow a bit more compact.  As I am from a longbow background I am quite attached to the virtues of length - in bow and draw.  Also for my first effort, I thought I would stick within safe bounds design-wise (3:1 - bow:draw length ratio for a wooden prod).  I also wanted quite a long draw for more power!  

    She is a bit of a big brute - with the look of a seige bow, but not the power level of course, and is a bit heavy and clumsy to lug around.  I would like to try a steel prod from Alchem or SloBows maybe next.  I know a guy here in the UK who hand forges steel crossbow prods, but he is quite expensive!  I have also thought about a mock-composite prod made from Perry-reflexed wood laminations (from very tough woods).  You can get a near-composite type bow by laminating woods this way - if I have the time and inclination. 

    I guess that wooden bows will usually exceed the performance of steel ones due to wood being lighter and the inherent inefficiency of steel - until you reach a threshold draw-weight.  I would be interested in hearing about experiences of other cross-bowyers here.  From what knowledge I have, I would think that the practical limit of simple wooden prods may be reached at about 200lb - above which the draw length would become so compromised that any further increase in draw weight would give ever diminishing returns (given that the weapon is kept within practical size).  Also from what I have seen I would think that a steel bow would need to be above about 200lb to give a decent performance advantage.  I have seen 90lb and 150lb steel bows being shot and was not too impressed.  I feel my wooden bow here would kick their asses!  What prod-length:draw length ratio is commonly used with steel prods?

    The wood I use is a mixture of 'bowyers quality' and lumber quality I suppose i.e. I get some from a specialist exotic wood supplier and some from the lumber yard.  Wherever I source it though, I am highly selective.  I glue my laminations using Cascamite (powdered epoxy) and clamp them with wooden battens and lots of G-clamps.
    Samuel Wilhelm
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    Post by Samuel Wilhelm Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:17 pm

    very nice, looks very traditional and sexy
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    Stonedog
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    Post by Stonedog Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:14 am

    NICE!

    Well done!

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