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

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    Yew Composite prod:help needed

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    Edward donald
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    Post by Edward donald Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:03 pm

    First topic message reminder :

    Hi there

    I am new to posting in this forum but have used it in previous builds. I am looking to build crossbow prod useing  Yew and sinew only. Horn seems too time consuming. 

    I would like to follow a build I have seen by the user OrienM:

    https://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/t1655-yew-and-sinew-prod-help-needed

    However i would like the draw weight to be at least 250lbs. I know this is a lot to ask without useing horn but is anyone able to give me a guess as to the dimensions for what that might be before tillering.

    On a side note the design of the crossbow is very unique as it allows the crossbow to cocked in under 3 seconds with a draw weight of 400lbs and utilises this speed of draw with a magazine of bolts. The materials used were available to anyone living in the period of when crossbows were still used on the battlefield and so from a historic sense this build is very interesting. The design is relatively compact and very easy to use with minimal effort in the loading process. 

    I'd very much appretiate any advice/help, and would be happy to reveal the design in a PM

    Regards

    Ed
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    Post by banuvatt Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:35 pm

    I think with knots you're supposed to leave them thicker since they're a weak spot. I know with English longbows made from yew, since they have that characteristic d belly shape if they're any knots you're supposed to work around them. Leave them kind of "proud" because if you just cut through them you could have grain tear out but I'm not sure about flat bows. I think if you have enough wood you can get around them.
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    Post by banuvatt Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:15 pm

    I found this on primitive archer hopefully this helps. 
    https://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php?topic=21660.0
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    Post by Edward donald Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:17 pm

    hey thanks fo that. really helpful. I'll post some photos for tomorrow of what we've done.
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    Post by banuvatt Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:25 pm

    I think that second piece of yew that you have that is pretty much flawless is going to be easy and fun to work with. Even with the first one with only one knot in the limb it's still not preferable. Yew is a good bow wood even though it is soft, it's still a natural lamination. What I think would be a very well performing prod, if you got something really dense like Ipe and then back it with sinew. I think that would work very well since Ipe is such a dense and hard wood you practically need less wood to make a powerful prod. You wouldn't have to deal with a large amount of mass to get a large amount of draw weight. Also if you made the tips narrow as possible I think it would cast better.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:39 am

    The knot in the first one is a problem because of the changes in grain direction in the large hollows each side of it, not because of the knot itself - you will have to dig out all the loose material in the knot though.  Those hollows cause a weak area and can make tillering a real chore, especially as this is mid-limb, if it were in the bow-centre it wouldn't be an issue.   It's your call but I would be trying to design the hollows out of the stave as much as possible or take the data you have got from your tests and go to the other stave, but, it would make a fabulous long-bow...so, two crossbows or one long-bow??  Crossbow staves can be got from quite short pieces of yew, can you source a new piece; 30-inch long yew staves are classed as fire-wood and not expensive, long-bow staves are unbelievably expensive
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:45 am

    Hi Banuvatt, those 'bows are amazing, don't want to hijack this thread but thanks so much for posting them, Andreas is a top guy and has been super helpful to me on my current build.  Need a paint job to complement this one:

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    Post by Edward donald Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:59 am

    hey Andrew.  we are about to cut the stave in two to give us the two prods. What i have decided is to place the knot in the centre to make things easier. i will bulk out the wood around the knot and cut out the knot like you say. shall i fill the hole with hide glue mixed with sawdust?

    i live in Uk so if you wanna give me a call my number is 07908044146
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    Post by Edward donald Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:17 am

    [url=https://servimg.com/view/20097012/3]Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 Img_3210Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 Img_3210[/url]
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:35 am

    Hey another guy from the UK!!!  Check out the two crossbows with wooden laths on this site

    http://www.themcs.org/weaponry/crossbows/crossbows.htm
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    Post by OrienM Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:15 am

    Sorry to say, both those bows in the last link look like horn-composites to me, the highly reflexed one in particular.

    Attached is my favorite original wood/sinew prod...I used this particular photo as a model when designing my own prods. Based on the bow having lugs for a goatsfoot lever, I suspect it might pull as much as 400#. It's made of Yew wood, sapwood included, and D-bellied.

    Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 Yewprod_zpsdeidxs4n


    Last edited by OrienM on Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Post by OrienM Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:20 am

    Edward donal wrote:

    P.S did you see my video of the first working prototype Orien. I sent you a DM

    I did...fascinating! A very clever device, and the added stability of the system would make it nice for hunting. I don't see any reason (besides overstressing the long lever, potentially) that it wouldn't work with a stronger bow.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:04 pm

    Hi Orion, I think you are right about the crossbows being composite. I have done an internet search to try and find out for certain either way but no joy
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    Post by OrienM Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:38 pm

    No surprise if they are mislabeled, I found plenty of obviously mislabeled "wooden" prods in my searches, even pics with a cross-section included showing the horn laminations, lol. Someone has actually replicated that highly reflexed bow in horn, I think; I watched a Youtube vid awhile back of the replica being shot.

    Somewhere I have a small collection of pics of (what appear to me to be) "real" original wood/sinew prods; I will post a few if I can find them. One prod is from a wall-crossbow, a huge, massive thing... Very Happy. Another interesting example is the prod on the 'Alhambra' crossbow.
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    Post by banuvatt Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:56 pm

    What does anyone here think about Leonardo da Vinci's approach to a rapid fire crossbow? I think Edward's idea was rather ingenious because it was rather simple in design as far as I could see. It didn't require any fancy like gears or gadgets so I think if a part were to break or tear it would be easier to repair and restore.
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    Post by OrienM Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:59 pm

    The crossbow in the Alhambra:

    Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 Ballesta_arabe_11c


    Last edited by OrienM on Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Post by banuvatt Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:59 pm

    What made me really cringe is seeing a picture of a restoration of a Turkish crossbow and someone put the prod on backwards and strung it like that.
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    Post by OrienM Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:02 pm

    banuvatt wrote:What made me really cringe is seeing a picture of a restoration of a Turkish crossbow and someone put the prod on backwards and strung it like that.
     
    Agreed! Plenty of backwards-strung bows shown in museums too; makes me wince every time.
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    Post by banuvatt Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:05 pm

    It's amazing how much reflex the composite Turkish prods have not counting the siyahs.
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    Post by banuvatt Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:07 pm

    Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 Armbrust1_Koln
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:46 pm

    Turkish crossbows are not something I have ever looked into, any recommended books/articles/websites?
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    Post by banuvatt Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:51 pm

    You can try Primitive Archer if you need help building bows or in this case prods. This is where I found that picture from. 
    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/paleoplanet69529/my-1st-crossbow-t10627-s20.html
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    Post by Edward donald Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:44 pm

    hi guys. 

    Before I give an update on the prod I thought i had better ask those on this thread that have seen my design of the loading mechanism not to reveal any details of it here or anywhere public if thats ok. 

    Here is the current state of the prod. Obviously lots more heart wood needs to come off but im leaving at least 2-3 growth rings of sap wood on. This hopefully will end up being a about 20% of the wood. Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 67899910
    Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 67458710
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    Post by Edward donald Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:47 pm

    I spent all day processing the sinew. I would also like to know if you guys think this amount of sinew will be ok and if it is in alright condition. I tried to be gentle with the hammer as much as possible and tested every strand by pulling it, before adding them to the piles. Most of these strands are a little thicker than dental floss. I found that trying to make them even thiner resulted in shorter strands. Also I have heard that is not necessary to comb the sinew as this is mostly for aesthetics. Am I ok to use it in its current form. Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 67543310
    Yew Composite prod:help needed - Page 3 67403210
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    Post by banuvatt Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:39 pm

    Are you going to score the back to prepare it for gluing?
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:16 pm

    The sinew looks ok, you gently swoosh it about in luke warm water and the strands will line up, squeegee it out through your fingers and make sure there are no lumps in there. It looks like you still have some sheath material in there that will need to come out though.

    I think, but am really not sure, the proportions are 2/3 by weight of timber 1/3 by dry weight glue and sinew, glue and sinew equal by weight. The finer the sinew is the easier it is to work with, but I agree there does come a point where it just gets shorter so you do need to know when to stop


    Last edited by stuckinthemud1 on Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:26 pm; edited 2 times in total

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