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

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    Crossbow Bolt groove design.

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    b33felix
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    Post by b33felix on Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:26 pm

    Hi guys, im new to arbalist guild! just wanted to introduce myself, i've been watching post for a time, and decided to make my first medieval build (first from several more to come) took some plans from the web but after some chiseling here and there i found that i probably made a huuuuge mistake,  the plans supposed to say thay i should narrow a few inches of the flight riel (if im not mistaken) but not all the way over so i ended up with a few inches where the bolt wouldnt actually touch the wood or riel, neither would the string, , what i did was something like this: 

    http://www.aceros-de-hispania.com/gb/infer.asp?ac=34&trabajo=listar&pa=ballestas-flechas-medievales&sg=ballestas-flechas-medievales

    (actually its not that deep , or that long) Do you suggest to start from scratch? make a steel plate? or leave it like that and it'll be fine.?

    Thanks everyone for making this such a great website. cheers.
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    Post by Sugarbuzz on Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:39 pm

    Hello and welcome to the guild! I have seen a lot of those kind of crossbows floating around on the web and assumed they were some oddity or mix up between a stone bow/bullet bow and a crossbow. I know most every medieval crossbow I have seen made here has a rail that the string is always in contact with, I would be concerned with the string suffering a lot of shock when is stopped in that empty region and possibly snap? As far as I could see with stone bows they seem to have specialized strings that are heavily reinforced and made very differently. I'm not a pro on those kind of crossbows, my interest has always been with grooves and bolt rests on medieval builds. I personally would make a new stock if it is too extreme but it's possible it might be repaired somehow. Someone here said most mistakes aren't irreparable. Not to be discouraging in any way, don't get me wrong! I have made my share of mistakes and learned a lot over the last few years and crossbows I have made. As regards the narrowing of the flight rail I would think they might mean narrowing the sides? I always do that for the section between the nut and about 2 inches behind where the prod is bound in. It may be mostly aesthetic but I'm sure it serves a purpose, perhaps to reduce drag on the top rail. I recall it being said that you don't want a string that "flies" as it is detrimental. I made one crossbow that came very close to barely contacting the rail, but even that was only for a very short distance as the prod was slightly angled. Posting an image of the stock in question might help people determine the best course of action too. I might be wrong about those kinds of crossbows with the cut out table section, I am sure someone will correct me on that, I'm curious to know!
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    Post by Gnome on Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:38 am

    Welcome, Felix. Check out Hotspur's avatar photo, is that what you mean?
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    Post by b33felix on Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:32 am

    Yes gnome, just like that! do you think its fixable/usable? and thanks sugarbuzz for the reply!
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    Post by Gnome on Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:01 am

    I've never made that type of deck myself, but I think Hotspur has gotten good use out of that weapon. You might want to message him and ask. What's critical, I think, Is that the area around the brace height is flat and level and in contact with the string. That is where the most stress on the string takes place, when the string is set into sudden motion then needs to suddenly stop it's motion, and contact with the tiller helps soak up some of that energy. If you have that, I think you can make it work.
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    Post by Hotspur on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:53 am

    Hi b33felix,

    As Gnome noted i made the dip in the table as well.  The idea is that there is less string/bolt friction.  I haven't noticed any problem with flight.
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    Post by 8fingers on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:41 pm

    If your current groove doesn't work, I'm sure you could cut off the offending area and add a nicely contrasting piece of wood. Cutting a new groove, and re-contouring will give you a chance to show off your new skills.
       From museum pieces I have seen, a very dark wood overlaying the entire top of the stock would reduce glare and might make for a few more hits.

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