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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Empty Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

    Post by Fangbows on Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:09 am

    Hi Arbalists,

    I am trying to make a working model of a Chinese Han Dynasty Crossbow


     which are known to have a high powerstroke and medium draw weight (140lbs @28 - 240lbs @28)
    , similar to modern crossbow stats.

    The following are two prods I am interested to use (already own):

    1. 240lb@32" Quad Lam English Longbow as Prod





    2. 140@32 Static Recurve (Fibreglass limbs) as prod



    The latter looks more historically accurate (sinew horn prod too expensive) but the former has a higher draw weight.

    The main challenge is getting the trigger right, does anyone have blueprints or experience with Chinese Han/Qin triggers?

    I am willing to buy them if you are willing to make the triggers

    Modern steel for the trigger is fine.

    This project is inspired by https://historum.com/threads/han-dynasty-crossbow.69030/

    Thank you


    Last edited by Fangbows on Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:49 pm; edited 7 times in total
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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Empty Re: Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

    Post by Fangbows on Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:16 am

    What I am envisioning is something like this but 200lbs@28 , unfortunately I have limited crossbow making skills
    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Slide19
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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Empty Re: Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

    Post by kenh on Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:48 am

    Both of the bows which you suggest using as prods are far too large -- too long -- to go with a Han/Qin crossbow.  The prods were more like 36" long, not 48" or 60".  Long prods would look ridiculous if a replica is what you have in mind.  

    Your best bet is to make a 36" prod using conventional wood/fiberglass laminate bow-building techniques and a simple rubber-band type jig.  Start with a single 72" length of .030 bowbuilding fiberglass from a place like Bingham's Archery Supply or others I can get you a name for, that is 72" long and 1.5" wide.  One or two .07 or .08 wooden lams 72 x 1.5 in the center.  And a quart kit of Smooth-on EA40 epoxy -- not garden variety epoxy -- should do the trick.

    This is not the forum to discuss these building techniques.  Email me and I can get you started if you're interested.

    There are replicas of the Han/Qin action/trigger mechanism which you can find on the Internet.
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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Empty Re: Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

    Post by Fangbows on Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:16 am

    Hi thank you for your sincere reply
    I am interested about making a prod with shorter bow lengths
    The 2nd bow I showed might be fine for my first prototype but since this is a crossbow forum, I'm hoping to get more knowledge on the Chinese trigger for a heavy weight design. I have read Stephen Selby`s book regarding the 3 common designs A, B, C. Its hard to make my first one without sticking to a specific blueprint since every picture I see online is slight different
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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Empty Re: Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

    Post by kenh on Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:03 pm

    Use the Search mechanism here.  I remember from a few years back that there were a couple of discussions on the Han mechanism with illustrations or a taken apart actin that could be copied and scaled.  

    Another place to check is the Asian Traditional Archery Research Network.  Not the Facebook page but the actual website which is a sort of archive for old 'pre-sound bite' discussions which actually have some depth.  There were similar discussions there as well as builders who replicated the action.

    Found it!  Here's a 15 year old discussion by ATARN Founder Stephen Selby, where he has disassembled an original Han mechanism and photographed the parts against graph paper so that you can copy and scale the images.   If you can't get to the link below, you'll have to join ATARN here:  http://www.atarn.net/phpBB2/index.php and then search (not the Old Archive search which is different) on "Han crossbow".

      http://atarn.net/phpBB2/post15229.html?hilit=Han%20crossbow&sid=762cecb8343a4a9ef39530a7df0dac79#p15229
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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Empty Re: Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

    Post by banuvatt on Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:32 pm

    You might want to try using Ipe or some really dense hardwood to simulate horn. Bamboo, hickory or fiberglass cloth for the backing. You could to glue it up all together put it in a form use a lot of strips of bicycle inner tubing. I heard g-flex epoxy is good for this it's a cheaper alternative to smooth on.
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    Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow Empty Re: Making Chinese 240lb Han Crossbow

    Post by banuvatt on Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:40 am

    The draw length on Han Dynasty crossbows were much longer than their European counterparts but, they weren't the same as bows. Especially since Chinese archers do a over draw increasing the draw length adding at least another 3 inches. I believe the draw length was 24" on Han dynasty crossbows. Also the prods on Han Dynasty crossbows were less like later Asiatic horse bows that they didn't have siyahs. Every picture I have seen of a prod on a Han Dynasty crossbow it looks much more similar to a Scythian or a Korean horse bow meaning that the tips were reflexed. But, not to the extend of Chinese and Mongolian horsebows where you would have these great long siyahs.

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