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

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    bigcountry_ky
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    Post by bigcountry_ky Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:22 pm

    So, building a crossbow.  What do you call the top of the crossbow where the string glides?  I would like to lay bone down, but not sure where to get 14" of bone flat enough.  Also thinking holly.  Look like bone. 

    Thanks
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    Post by OrienM Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:02 am

    I call it the table, or deck...not sure if either is correct tongue

    My current build will have a bone-inlaid table. I processed the cattle bone myself; the longest piece I could find was about 8" (cut from one side of the rear-leg shinbone). Maybe a giraffe shinbone would produce 14"?

    A sharp handplane works great for thinning and surfacing bone strips, very fast and accurate.

    Holly sounds like a good option too, maybe not as low-friction as bone but it will look very authentic.
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    Post by bigcountry_ky Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:25 am

    I have thinned deer and elk bone very flat.  I might do a search for giraffe bone.  Thanks
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    Post by OrienM Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:48 am

    Might try looking up camel bone also, it may have the length you need, and is likely cheaper. Giraffe bone is pretty expensive!

    You can get away with using more than one piece, as well...my bow will have two, a short (1 1/2") bone inlay right up front, then a longer section for the string to pass over. The majority of old crossbows I looked at online appeared to be made similarly; I could only find a couple examples of single-piece bone decks on original bows, and they appeared to be made of whale bone.
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    Post by bigcountry_ky Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:30 pm

    Actually found a site that sells camel leg bones for 28 dollars
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    Post by SlingerDave Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:53 pm

    When I visited Geezer over winter break, he show me a crossbow made by his apprentice (swifthound bows) with a bone "rail" (that's what I call it anyway...) It was made with maybe 3 or 4 pieces of bone.
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    Post by Geezer Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:41 pm

    the top of the crossbow, where the groove may or may not be, is often called the table or track.  I've seen a fair number of bone or ivory topped crossbows, either a narrow strip of bone surrounding the groove, or the entire top covered in bone. Just like you and me, medieval bowyers had trouble getting large bits of bone, so the top/table/rail is usually made in several sections.
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