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

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» "How To Make Everything": Early Crossbow
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» starting a 1400's replica
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» Trigger mechanisms
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» Finish wooden stock
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» What bolts do you use?
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3 posters

    Notch-Lock questions.

    Clinker
    Clinker
    Fresh Blood

    Doesn't mean
    I'm new to crossbows


    Fresh Blood Doesn't meanI'm new to crossbows


    Posts : 9
    Join date : 2010-07-10

    Notch-Lock questions. Empty Notch-Lock questions.

    Post by Clinker Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:54 pm

    I made up a simple notch lock crossbow along the lines of this:

    http://homepages.tesco.net/~tinyclanger/fitzgreyve/albini_equipment_crossbows_lockbow.htm

    I made a linen backed Red Oak prod from a Home depot 1X2 which gave me about a 75 lb pull. An earlier heavier prod broke. I replaced it with a cheap 150# fibreglas prod. Much faster! I can see why composite prods took over from wood prods.

    I am not too happy with the trigger. Slow, heavy, creepy. The long tickler flexes too much. Grease helps the push-pin a bit.

    Does the diameter of the push pin make a difference? Would a larger/smaller pin have less friction?

    I made up the string with artificial sinew (Dacron) to the same diameter (7/16")as the bolt diameter, which size seemed to be medieval practice. My push pin is a bit smaller, about 5/16".

    Is the heavier trigger just a result of a more powerful prod?
    Geezer
    Geezer
    Master Crossbowyer
    Master Crossbowyer


    Posts : 1194
    Join date : 2010-01-12
    Age : 74
    Location : Austin, Texas, USA

    Notch-Lock questions. Empty notch lock problems

    Post by Geezer Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:05 am

    Geezer here: Well durn, I was in the middle of writing a reply to the notch-lock problem, when the computer ate my letter. I'll try again.
    Clinker had problems with his notch and push-pin lock.
    Push-pin locks are pretty primitive and they don't work all that well, particularly with stronger prods. That's why all crossbows don't use simple notch and pin locks. They tend to have creepy releases, often misfire, beat up the butts of your bolts, and devour string serving. So what can you do short of going to a more sophisticated lock?
    1. Replace the release lever with a stiffer one. That will take the spring out of the release. A longer lever or changed fulcrum-point will make the trigger pull easier, but may make it even longer.
    2. Smooth and re-face the notch, to make the string slide easier. (a bit of ivory or Delrin on the face of the notch will reduce friction.
    3. A shallower notch will reduce the distance that the string has to slide may improve matters, so long as you still have enough depth for a secure lock.
    4. A low-friction serving for the string... like monofilament, may reduce the drag on your string.
    5. A thinner bowstring, carried higher in the notch might improve performance over all. Ideally, you want the string to push the bolt at its middle. So if your bolt is riding in a groove, you could probably get away with reducing the diameter of the string a bit and still get a centered push.
    6. If you don't have a 'string snubber' installed to keep your bowstring from jumping over the butt of the bolt and misfiring, you should consider fitting one. They're simple to make and effective. All you need is some sort of plate that fits over the notch. There should be enough space between the plate and the bolt-groove to pass the string, and if the snubber is just a bit springy so it will serve as a bolt-clamp, so much the better. With the snubber in place, the string should not be able to leap OVER the bolt and cause a misfire.
    7. I doubt changing the diameter of the push-pin would improve performance.

    Does anybody else have anything to add? You have the floor. Geezer
    Basilisk120
    Basilisk120
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    Join date : 2010-03-01
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    Notch-Lock questions. Empty Re: Notch-Lock questions.

    Post by Basilisk120 Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:11 pm

    I will second everything that Geezer said.
    I would add that having a smaller diameter push pin would technically give you less contact friction (less surface area in contact = less friction) all things being equal, but they are usually not. Having some low friction surfaces in there would be much better results. If the push pin is too small it may bend and bind up in the action (or break). So a thicker pin with some delrin or brass bushings would be better.

    A lubricant like graphite might help as well. Graphite lube brings back memories of doing the pine car derby as a kid and the mess, the front of my shirt was always black from graphite. So it is messy but it wont cause the wood parts to swell or attract dust like a wet lube might.



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    Notch-Lock questions. Empty Re: Notch-Lock questions.

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