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» Collotiere a Charavines crossbow
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    Collotiere a Charavines crossbow

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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:17 pm

    Evening!
    I'd like to make a replica of this crossbow and believe it is 110cm ttt and 3cm wide at centre (according to https://www.bourges1ere.fr/Archeologie.htm)

    Can anyone add to this, I really need thickness at centre, ideally, I could do with thickness at limb centre and at the nocks as well.

    Thanks in advance,
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:53 am

    So, this is what I have, probably enough for a decent replica but I would love the reasurance of accurate measurements and a front elevation.  I've contacted the museum but with France going into lockdown I think I'm going to have to be patient.

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    Post by hullutiedemies Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:13 am

    according to https://www.bourges1ere.fr/Archeologie.htm


    L'arbrier est en frêne et mesure 80 c de long par 3 cm de largeur.
    The tiller is of ash and 80cm long by 3 cm wide.


    L'arc est en orme et mesure 110 cm de long par 4 cm de largeur
    The bow is elm, 110 cm long and 4 cm wide.

    Draw weight of the featured replica is 54lbs.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:38 pm

    Thank you for that, that's really useful, could I confirm if that is for the original artefact or for the modern reproduction?  I did not realise the original was elm rather tban yew. From what I can see in the photos, the modern repro looks like its nowhere near 3 or 4cm thick.
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    Post by Geezer Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:16 am

    Elm makes sense for a bowstave: not as good as Yew perhaps, but the original craftsman probably didn't have a lot of choice.  To a great extent, I expect basic bows like the Charavines crossbow were made with what was available.  Keep up the good work!  DRW
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:15 pm

    Elm would be correct for the period, writing in the early 13th century Gerald of Wales records the Welsh wood of choice for bows was Wych Elm and I believe there were Elm longbows in the Mary Rose inventory.  Ironically if I have to use Elm its going to be more expensive and more difficult to source than Yew thanks to Dutch Elm Disease.
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    Post by Geezer Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:56 am

    There's one of the problems of trying to replicate the original.  Do you try to get the identical materials in the original, or do you do what the original craftsman did, and use what is available in Your locale.  Either way could be considered authentic.  Here in Texas, a local craftsman would probably use bodark (Bois d'Arc) for the prod.  That's the best locally available wood for self-bows. Whatever floats your boat.  DRW
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:19 pm

    It might come to that, yew would also be correct for the period and would give a decent data set on draw weight and performance characteristics, maybe reducing thickness by 10% would be necessary.
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    Post by hullutiedemies Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:04 am

    stuckinthemud1 wrote:From what I can see in the photos, the modern repro looks like its nowhere near 3 or 4cm thick.

    Wide. I do not really speak French, but my dictionary translates "largeur" as width or wideness.
    Thickness of the limbs seems to be about 1½ cm at bridling. Just comparing against the mentioned 3cm tiller top.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:00 pm

    Thanks guys. I enlarged the image to A3 and scaled up the various measurements, arriving at, 4cm thickness at centre from back to belly with the back being 3cm wide.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:49 pm

    Collotiere a Charavines crossbow  20210210_2128158905111397377225243
    Have emailed the museum twice now but still heard nothing. In the meantime a wych elm stave has just been delivered.  Felled about two weeks ago, I'll trim it to a little  oversize and seal the ends for 6 months or so.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:23 am

    Nooo, finally tracked down a specialist academic in France who confirmed the bow fragments in the drawings were all of yew, the bolt fragments also recovered from the site were ash. Now I have two fine wych elm billets and no project to use them on.  So annoying.  Ah well, no doubt they'll make something fab at some point.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:25 pm

    well, I spent some time following the archaeological drawing of an original tiller and trigger. Have to say, this is a really sophisticated design, you lean against the trigger with your thumb which you activate by pushing it (not pulling) while lightly laying a finger on the bolt and holding the back end of  the cut-out section, all with one hand, the other hand being at the fore-end holding up the bow.  The trigger has a stop designed into it and gives a lovely positive action,  clicking into place on both ends of its movement, though carving the stop into the trigger channel is a bit of a potch.  I messed the geometry up and had to put the nose of the trigger into a groove in the string notch to stop it gapping as it reached the top of its arc.  Its all mated to a 30lb walnut bow with a late gothic type binding as no-one knows what the binding should be and this type of binding is as likely as any as well as being very effective.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Fri Jul 22, 2022 3:59 pm

    Well, I finally found the text to go with the illustrations.  The illustrations have slightly misled me.

     
     
    When making my first replica of the CC crossbow, I wish I had access to the relevant section of this document and so I have cut that section, in full, from the thesis and offer an English translation which I have drafted from a Google Translate version – GT doesn’t cope entirely well with the technical terms.  If you feel I have made any errors in the translating, please post a comment.  I'll add some thoughts in a seperate post so as not to muddy this one too much.


    TROISIÈME PARTIE : LE MOBILIER ARCHÉOLOGIQUE - TYPOLOGIE, TECHNIQUE DE FABRICATION
    (Amont/Serdon) available at:  
    http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/lyon2/2003/serdon_v/pdfAmont/serdon_v_troisieme_partie.pdf
     
     
    P200++
    C. Les éléments d'arcs et d'arbalètes
    En effet, un arbrier complet, parfaitement identifiable, a été mis au jour sur le site (Musée Dauphinois, n° inv. 80-91-112). Il est confectionné en hêtre et mesure 496 mm de longueur. Il est pourvu d'une rainure creusée dans le bois dans sa partie supérieure sur 200 mm de longueur environ. L'extrémité de l'arbrier, ou crosse, présente     une section circulaire d'approximativement 20 mm de diamètre ; elle s'étend sur environ 145 mm.
    La partie centrale de l'arbrier est nettement plus large et une encoche est aménagée dans le bois pour le logement du dispositif destiné à retenir la corde (elle mesure 59 mm de long sur 4 mm de large et 24 mm de profondeur). À 9 mm du bord supérieur, les étroites parois sont percées, de chaque côté, d'orifice carré de 4 x 4 mm. Cependant, au vu de la faible largeur de cet espace, il interdit l'usage de noix traditionnelles : en effet, le mécanisme permettant de retenir et de déclencher la corde doit être très différent des noix d'arbalète plus traditionnelles, par ailleurs découvertes à Colletière et dont les dimensions dépassent largement celle du logement pratiqué dans le corps de cet arbrier. Celles-ci devaient s'adapter sur d'autres modèles d'armes,  vraisemblablement de calibres plus importants. La pièce, servant de déclencheur, doit être plate et perforée de la même manière. Un axe permet de maintenir le tout de façon solidaire. L'arbrier présente une encoche profonde dans laquelle venait se loger la corde lorsque l'arme est bandée. Par une rotation du déclencheur, actionné par la détente, la corde se dégage ainsi de ce logement et propulse le trait. Nous proposons une hypothèse de restitution d'après les pièces découvertes à Charavines et selon un modèle inspire d'exemples ethnographiques321.
     
    En effet, un groupe de trois objets est à mettre en relation avec le mécanisme de détente d'arbalète. Ces pièces sont morphologiquement identiques mais de gabarits différents : leur module varie de 79 à 114 mm d'envergure. Leur forme évoque le bec d'un oiseau. La partie terminale, amincie et de section rectangulaire, est percée d'un trou carré. Cela nous conduit donc à envisager la présence sur le même site de deux types distincts d'arbalètes utilisées de façon contemporaine ; elles pourraient correspondre alors à des usages différents. L'arbrier se termine par une partie beaucoup plus large
    dans laquelle est aménagée une encoche ; sa largeur conditionne celle de l'arc. Celui-ci est emboîté dans ce logement et fixé vraisemblablement par des ligatures. Quatre autres fragments de bois de diamètre similaire et dont une des faces est creusée d'une rainure nous amène à les interpréter comme des fragments d'arbriers.
    Le seul arc d'arbalète complet mesure 980 mm d'envergure pour un diameter moyen de 18 mm ; une telle arbalète devait avoir une puissance sinon considérable du moins plus élevé qu'un simple "arc à main". Sa section est triangulaire aux extrémités et devient circulaire, puis semi-circulaire au centre. Une encoche est aménagée sur l'arc pour permettre le passage du carreau. Par ailleurs, quinze éléments d'arcs ont été  découverts sur le site de Colletière. Ces fragments ont très probablement appartenus à des arcs d'arbalète, mais aucun exemplaire n'a conservé sa partie centrale qui montrerait sans ambiguïté la zone de contact avec l'arbrier. Cependant les diamètres et les profils sont similaires à ceux de l'exemplaire entier. Ils sont confectionnés en if (taxus) pour la plupart, mais aussi en hêtre (fagus), aulne (ulmus), noisetier (corylus)… La plupart des éléments présentent des coches sur les poupées d'arc, simples ou doubles, destinées à la fixation de la corde. Ce dispositif à double encoche sert vraisemblablement à régler la tension de la corde. Aucun renfort en corne n'était donc prévu.
     
    Pages 200 onward
    C. The parts of the crossbows
    Indeed, a complete tiller, perfectly identifiable, was brought to light on the site (Musée Dauphinois, inv. no. 80-91-112). It is made of beech and measures 496 mm in length. It is provided with a bolt groove some 200 mm long, approximately. The end of the tiller has a circular section of approximately 20 mm in diameter; the butt is about 145mm long. The central part of the shaft is much wider and a notch is carved in the wood to house the device intended to hold the drawn bow string (it measures 59mm long by 4mm wide and 24mm deep). 9mm from the top, the narrow walls are pierced, on each side, with a square hole of 4 x 4 mm.
    However, given the small width of this space, it prohibits the use of nuts traditional: indeed, the mechanism making it possible to retain and release the bow string must be very different from the more traditional crossbow nuts, otherwise discovered at Colletière and whose dimensions largely exceed that of the housing practiced in the body of this tiller, these were to adapt to other models of weapons, probably larger calibers. The piece, serving as a trigger, must be flat and perforated in the same way. An axle makes it possible to join the trigger to the tiller. The tiller has a deep notch in which the string was held once the weapon was drawn. By rotating the trigger, the bow string is pushed up out of the notch, releasing the drawn bow.
     
    We propose a hypothesis of restitution according to the pieces discovered in Charavines and according to a model inspired by ethnographic examples. Indeed, a group of three objects is to be related to the mechanism of this crossbow trigger. These pieces are morphologically identical but of different sizes: their module varies from 79 to 114 mm in wingspan. Their shape evokes the beak of a bird. The terminal part, thinned and of rectangular section, is pierced with a square hole.
    This therefore leads us to consider the presence on the same site of two types distinct from crossbows in contemporary use; they could use them for different uses. The tiller of the second type ends in a much wider part in which is arranged a notch; its width determines the width of the bow which is nested in this housing and probably fixed by ligatures. four more fragments of wood of similar diameter, one side of which is hollowed out with a groove leads us to interpret them as tiller fragments.
    The only complete crossbow lath measures 980 mm in wingspan for a diameter medium 18mm; such a crossbow had to have a power, if not considerable, then higher than a simple "hand bow". Its section is triangular at the extremities and becomes circular, then semi-circular in the center. A notch is provided on the lath to allow passage of the bolt. In addition, fifteen bow elements were discovered on the Colletière site. These fragments most likely belonged to crossbow laths, but no specimen has preserved its central part which would show unambiguously the zone of contact with the tiller. However, the diameters and profiles are similar to those of the complete specimen. They are made of yew (taxus) for the most, but also in beech (fagus), elm (ulmus), hazel (corylus)… Most elements feature nocks, single or double, intended for the string attachment. This double notch device is probably used to adjust the string tension. No horn reinforcement was therefore planned.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Sat Jul 23, 2022 5:45 am

    So, the illustrated trigger mechanisms are from Asian crossbows, the spur at the bottom that creates the 'stop' is not a European feature and the archaeological drawings do not show a socket to receive the spur.  Whether the trigger would stick up in the air as in the Asian type (and on my version), or lie flatter as most reconstructions now show is unknown as a trigger has not been found at the site.  

    Also, though my post number 12 says a French source believed all the bow remains to be yew, the text clearly stated that bows had been identified primarily as yew, but also in beech (fagus), hazel (corylus) and elm (ulnus).  I suspect the beech will one day be found to be incorrect as it is not a highly regarded bow-wood

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