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

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    First Crossbow Build

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    Post by benjaminh123 Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:15 pm

    p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }a:link { }
    Hello Everyone,


    My first crossbow build is progressing slowly but surely; there are some pictures below of the stock. So far I have inletted the stock for the used Excalibur trigger mech, and cut the arrow groove, as well as some general shaping. The stock is mahogany.


    First Crossbow Build IMG_3829


    First Crossbow Build IMG_3831


    First Crossbow Build IMG_3833


    One question having to do with aesthetics, what do you think should happen with the finger groove? Do you think it would look best as is (with a rounded end), or should it curve down like it begins? Please give your opinions.


    I have another crossbow build planned for the future, and I have already created the trigger mech for that one.
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    Post by Geezer Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:01 am

    From my experience building toy space-blasters with innovative handles... be sure your finger-grooves follow the natural function of your hands.  For instance, A trigger that puts your finger in a peculiar position gets uncomfortable very quickly.  As important as looks are in an art-piece, make sure your beautiful grooves are comfortable.  I wonder of modelling clay over a simple form might be of use in trying out different shapes.
    Otherwise, that's a very nice looking stock, and isn't mahogany a joy to work with?  Carry on:  Geezer.
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    Post by benjaminh123 Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:08 am

    p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }
    Thanks Geezer.


    As for comfort, the finger groove has has been designed to feel good for me. Where the fingers will be has been completed; I would just want to have opinions of what should be done to the end of it. This will not affect the feel of the stock, just the looks;


    The choices are curving down (like the groove begins), or just ending how it is now.
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    Post by c sitas Mon May 04, 2015 8:23 am

    hi Ben; I'm just a simple man, my taste says to just stop where it is. Your work looks cool. I can see you are taking your time. That's way better than trying to replace sawdust. Keep it up, you'll have a machine to be proud of. How did you luck into the trigger? That also is a good deal. I suppose you know that the company that makes them is right there some where's in Canada. I really like the high performance models they sell. Money is not bad either.
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    Post by benjaminh123 Mon May 04, 2015 10:50 am

    Hi Chuck,
    I stumbled across the trigger unit on ebay, and bought it for $18.00
    I thought that was a very good deal.
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    Post by c sitas Mon May 04, 2015 9:00 pm

    Bennie; It takes a keen eye and a lot of guts to accell in this ,  may I say sport. Looking at the competitive nature of humans , back to the beginning of time , one is never satisfied to be in second place. Made no difference what the task. By the way ,  you have both. Have fun.
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    Post by Hermit Wed May 06, 2015 8:10 am

    Beauty being in the eye of the beholder,and from the pics. of your stock,go with the design you like,and that feels right to you,and it will be.
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    Post by PierreC Wed May 06, 2015 1:04 pm

    When I replace damaged handles on knives and tools, or up-size too-small handles, and I always want the business end to orient exactly the same way in my hand without looking, I've been known to use some JBWeld metal-filled epoxy putty to form the part of the handle that makes contact with my hand. Some tight-fitting nitrile gloves lightly coated with a release agent let me make a handle that will fit my hand exactly. This only works for things where the "synthetic" or tacti-cool look is acceptable, but it does work well for a fast repair or upgrade to something that needs to go back outside to work the next day. If I were going to finger groove a wooden handle, I'd be very tempted to pick one of my more comfortable custom fitted handles, and try to copy the groove placement from that. Finger grooves that guide your hand to the wrong position are nothing but a hindrance.
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    Post by benjaminh123 Sat May 30, 2015 2:12 pm

    Hi everyone,
    Just wanted to post a brief update.
    I haven't been having much time to work on the crossbow ( Sad ) but it is slowly progressing.
    I've cut the prod mortise, and it has been stained with a walnut stain to darken it slightly, and has 12+ coats of Tru-oil on it. I am going to put two more coats on and then I will buff it. Then my aluminium angle track will be put on and the prod wedged in and two aluminium plates put on both sides. And then it will be finally tested!
    I have learnt a lot from my first build, and I know what not to do next time (yes, there will be a next time Very Happy ).
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    Post by c sitas Sat May 30, 2015 4:47 pm

    Hey Bennie,what did you settle on for the power maker?
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    Post by benjaminh123 Sat May 30, 2015 5:42 pm

    Hi Chuck,
    For my first crossbow I stuck with something simple.
    This one just is powered by a 150lb Fiberglass prod.
    I do have plans for another one, though, that has an interesting design that I don't know if it has been implemented yet, but looks like it will be quite succesful. That one will be able to be powered by speargun rubber or steel springs, depending on weather conditions, etc. I will post more details about that one when I get around to building it.
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    Post by c sitas Sat May 30, 2015 9:00 pm

    Ben,  are you a hunter? I like the rubber for cool to cold shooting. It doesn't  loose much when it's cool to cold conditions.The way I read it is , When you stretch rubber and the temps are warm to hot the rubber heats even more, you'll loose some power. When the temps are cooler to cold you loose a lot less. I like rubber cause it's cheap, very strong , and the sky's the limit as to where you want to end up --power wise.A max of 250 is not hard .Also study up on how a diver fixes his knots, so you don't get hurt. I'm a weakling , I use my winch on anything 100 and up.You can even dry fire and still go back to shooting. Although as an archer,I surely would recomend this. Keep me posted as to your goings on.
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    Post by benjaminh123 Sat May 30, 2015 9:41 pm

    Chuck,
    I am currently only a aspiring hunter; in Canada I think it is a bit more difficult and there are more regulations than you lucky folks in the US. Maybe this summer I'll be able to get my necessary courses/licenses.
    And sure, I will keep all of you posted on my progress on all my builds.
    I have really found this site to be helpful; If it wasn't for you guys I don't think I would have ever been able to get into this hobby; there is so much information on this site!

    Benjamin
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    Post by c sitas Sun May 31, 2015 1:33 pm

    Ben , It is good to hear your having a good time of it. Take care.
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    Post by twedzel Sun May 31, 2015 10:00 pm

    The hunting regulations here in Canada are under provincial jurisdiction. Mostly you have to jump through a few hoops to get going but depending on the province we sometimes have fewer restrictions than our American brothers to the south. In most cases we have more crown land whereas many American Hunters have to secure hunting on private land or be forced to compete on more crowded public land. Here in BC we have generous hunting seasons and plenty of opportunity. Crossbows also happen to be legal archery tackle for bow only seasons/areas. Double win!
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    Post by benjaminh123 Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:35 am

    Hi Twedzel,
    I realize that here in BC we have it pretty good; I just have to "jump through a few hoops" still before I can get hunting
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    Post by benjaminh123 Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:03 pm

    p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }
    Hi Everyone,
    I wanted to post a couple pictures of the completed (or almost) crossbow.
    I may later add leather to the pistol grip and will probably cover the nylon rope stirrup with leather. Other wise this is the completed crossbow.
    First Crossbow Build Img_4911
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    Post by c sitas Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:32 pm

    Ben ,I'm proud of you , you have a nice looking build there. Have you shot it yet?
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    Post by konni1960 Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:33 am

    tolle arbeit !! gefällt mir sehr gut !
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    Post by benjaminh123 Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:15 am

    Thanks Chuck, I think it is a pretty good crossbow for the first build of a 15yr old Smile You have really been helpful. We actually went shooting jsut last evening

    Thanks konni1960 as well, glad you like it.
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    Post by c sitas Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:37 pm

    Ben, how far do you shoot, also how many pound prod? What type of bolt?
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    Post by benjaminh123 Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:47 pm

    Hi Chuck,
    It is a standard 150lbs prod, used a ~375grain 20" carbon bolt and as this was our first time shooting (we don't have any experience with guns or crossbows) we stuck with shooting at about 15yds. I was very pleased with the performance of the crossbow.
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    Post by c sitas Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:15 pm

    If your shooting off of a rest of some kind, you should be able to shoot and make one hole just a little bigger than the diameter of your bolt. You have to be real steady and concentrate on the aim and the squeeze of the trigger.Keep shooting at the short distance until you have made the hole I mentioned. By that time you'll gain enough confidence to stretch out. That'll  be by trail and error until you really start to know your bow. This latter part takes some experience, that's what your getting by shooting short.  15 to 25 yds. is hunting distance for me.
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    Post by Andy. Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:22 am

    benjaminh123 wrote:I think it is a pretty good crossbow for the first build of a 15yr old

    I think its a fantastic build for a 15 Year old! Well done!
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    Post by benjaminh123 Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:11 am

    Thanks for the advice Chuck; I regretted not taking something to shoot off of last time I went shooting; next time I will, and will then be able to properly sight it in.

    Thanks Andy

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