Andy George of the YouTube channel, How To Make Everything (HTME) posted a video yesterday (May 28, 2022) about working with a blacksmith to create an early crossbow under the tutelage of Dr. Stuart Ellis-Gorman.
This shows some interesting aspects of the construction process. That includes a catastrophic failure of their first prod as they attempt to string it!
There's a separate video containing a full interview Dr. Ellis-Gorman:
If you're not familiar with the channel, Andy George picks a technology and attempts (with varying degrees of success and fidelity) to recreate it from scratch. Previous projects have included creating lenses from scratch, including prospecting for the correct sands, borax, and other minerals, developing a process to fire and grind the glass, etc. It can be a fun watch.
In his current technology exploration, he's heading for Gunpowder...but this seemed a logical step after archery, with early trigger mechanisms, etc.
// [i]I'd rather this was about my own project, but it's on-hold pending a change in my work schedule. At any rate, I've been lurking here on and off for a few years!