So I was thinking about why there are relatively few people building their own crossbows. It seems like crossbows are becoming more popular and we see them more and more in both the large and small screen as well as in the woods. So why are there not a ton of DIY builders?
My theory is that many are stopped by the need for some basic machined parts and the lack of tools or skills to make them. Many have the skills to build the stock, bows and strings are available for purchase at entry level prices. And there are several low tech ways to make bows like the car springs and the multi slat system KenH used so effectively. But try to buy a nut or trigger module.
I think the availability of a low cost high quality set of trigger parts and/or assembly would open the door to a lot of new builders. So I may be a Don Quixote tilting at windmills but I want to take on that problem. But I need the help of you more experienced builders here.
My son owns a machine shop and I am an engineer and I plan to coerce him into using his fabulous CNC machines to produce some parts for us. I am thinking two levels; The first level is a simple nut and trigger/tickler set. Maybe a set of side plates. These could be a kit or individual parts. The idea is to have standard parts to keep the price low but give the builder maximum flexibility to do his own design and construction. This should work for entry level first timers on up to fairly serious recreations of antique crossbows. So low cost and high quality are needed. That is the domain of CNC machines.
The second level is a drop in cartage of a modern type based on my own design with the hammer. (See new member and new trigger design). More on that later.
So I am thinking 1.5” diameter nut made of black Delrin, ¼” axel hole and a small hardened tool steel plate for the trigger notch. Here are some pictures of an aluminum prototype I made last night. (I have some 1.5” delrin rod on order)
I would love to get your thoughts.
Rough cut on the band saw (from .875" stock).
After a quick run on the lathe:
Here is the tool steel wedge has been pressed in but not cut off and trimmed yet.
This picture is a bit fuzzy but it shows the trigger notch. It is wide enough to accommodate up to a .375" trigger.
Here the machining is basically finished. It just needs hand file clean up:
Please let me know your thoughts.