Just wanted to say hi, and share a few pics of my newly finished crossbow. After a couple failed experiments last year with forging steel prods, I got frustrated and (after a break ) went back to a prod material I had plenty of experience making bows from: wood. After only a few more failed prods I decided to start adding sinew backings to them as well...and hey, one actually worked!
The rest of the build was done in a simple, mostly-medieval style; I figured I should go as traditional as possible, since the old timers had likely worked out most of the kinks already .
So, here's the whole thing all built up:
Osage Orange prod, heavily backed with elk sinew and covered with a bullsnake skin. 35" nock to nock, 9" powerstroke, and pulls appx. 160#. (I still need to take it to the bow shop for proper weighing and a chrony measurement)
Oak tiller, made in two pieces...no socket reinforcements or the like, just wood. Sourced from an old, broken table owned by my great-grandmother.
Roller nut made of ziricote wood...9 plies glued up with epoxy, with a steel sear added. Bound into the tiller with hemp twine.
Hemp string; loops reinforced with spectra fishing line, and covered in leather.
Hemp prod binding; stirrup binding is rawhide, in that cool 'basket weave' medieval style (one of my favorite details!). I coated all the hemp with a beeswax/pine pitch mix, which makes the whole crossbow smell great .
Hand forged steel bits, including tickler, bolt clip, stirrup, cross-pin for a rope cocker, and removable sight.
Not shown are the bastard string and rope cocker...picture ugly blue mountaneer cord and pulleys from the hardware store...but they do work OK. I may make less ugly, natural cordage versions eventually. Some proper bolts (medieval type, probably ash wood, and fletched in real feathers, not duct tape!) are on the agenda, too.
It shoots very nicely! Good range and power, with a little practice I was able to (mostly ) keep my shots on a paper plate at 40 yards. I think it would have enough 'oomph' to take large game, with appropriate bolts and broadheads.
Thanks for looking! Once again, a big "thanks!" to the whole forum; all your posts, pics, and info were what made this build possible.