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

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» 12th Century Chinese Crossbow Chronographed
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Nov 24, 2023 3:50 pm

» Crossbow Stock
by kenh Tue Oct 31, 2023 6:19 am

» Colletiere a Charavines continuing experiment
by stuckinthemud1 Sat Oct 07, 2023 5:36 am

» Cocking - how
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» Questions around heavy crossbow lath buildin
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» Arab Crossbow
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» prod angle, and lever trigger for sale anyone?
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» flexible string
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» [solved]Skane/Lillohus crossbow thread
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» jens sensfelder
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» 400lb Windlass crossbow bolts weight and accuracy shooting high.
by stuckinthemud1 Sun Mar 05, 2023 2:53 pm

» Codex Löffelholz crossbow
by stuckinthemud1 Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:14 pm

» Digitar prodsc
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» Troubleshooting
by Andy. Fri Jan 06, 2023 12:29 pm

» Wood Prods
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Dec 30, 2022 12:47 pm

» Colletiere a Charavines crossbow
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Dec 30, 2022 8:54 am

» Simplified Löffelhotz speedloader
by stuckinthemud1 Fri Dec 09, 2022 4:05 pm

» Fiberglass H-bows
by c sitas Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:44 am

» Bad Antler
by drawknife Sat Nov 12, 2022 3:48 am

» Anyone make their own bolts?
by Juniper Mon Oct 17, 2022 8:20 am

» Josef alm in English
by Juniper Sat Oct 15, 2022 4:22 am

» Qin/Han lock drawings
by kenh Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:16 pm

» stirrup dimensions?
by stuckinthemud1 Thu Sep 01, 2022 1:49 pm

» Skane/Lillohus lockbow information needed
by stuckinthemud1 Sun Aug 14, 2022 6:23 am

» need help contacting le musee Dauphinois Grenoble
by stuckinthemud1 Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:22 pm


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    Colletiere a Charavines continuing experiment

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    stuckinthemud1
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Fri Aug 11, 2023 5:32 am

    The archaeologists that first looked at the Colletiere a Charavines crossbow speculated it was a child's bow, as far as I can gather for no other reason than the stock was short and looked to be insubstantial.  Research since then has found that short tillers were normal in the early medieval period. Reconstructions in the past few years have shown the tiller can cope with bows of over 100lb, so the tiller was not necessarily for a youngster. 

    I wondered what sort of weight would be expected from the tip fragment that was found near the tiller.  First I built an elm bow but I went much too short and didn't deal correctly with a row of pin knots that crossed on limb.  I saw over 100lb but then had to scrap the bow as the knots began to fail.

    I have had another go with a better piece of elm, going slightly longer at 95cm tip to tip, including the recurves - 89cm working length - working backwards from the tip, tracing a correctly sized tip drawing of the tip and extending the bend the tip dimensions produced backwards to the centre.  I also experimented with making the proper recurves. The work was very revealing about why the tips are the shape they are (the triangular end is perfect for hanging a stringer on) but the bow was only 65lb.  I reckon a better bowyer should get a few extra pounds from it, maybe 80 to 100lb is reasonable.  Don't forget the bow is slightly stronger than it feels as the recurve levers will have an effect but they are very short, so the effect will be limited. 

    I'm going to try again and see where I end up. 

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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Fri Aug 11, 2023 11:07 am

    I have spent a few hours roughing out an apple-wood bow to the same pattern but using a taper of 1mm per 2 inches, again starting at 11mm.  The draw weight has actually come out well below the elm, which at least confirmed that the tip fragment does not produce even a medium weight bow.  With careful tillering and going a couple of inches shorter than I did, and using a class 1 bow timber, such as elm, the tip might have belonged to a 100lb bow, but I don’t think even that is likely.  I can’t get the idea of sinew out of my head.  Sinew on wood crossbows is such a game changer, and a substantial layer of sinew could raise draw weight by 30 to 50 percent, so a 75lb elm bow would pass 100 with more energy storage and quicker cast than wood alone .  Would welcome comments and questions 

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    Post by kenh Fri Aug 11, 2023 11:47 am

    No evidence of sinew in the archaeological fragments, if I remember correctly, but that could well be a victim of time.   

    I say go for it.  As we know,  100# prod would be pretty much the minimum acceptable draw for anything more useful than bird and close-in small game hunting.
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Fri Aug 11, 2023 1:04 pm

    You are correct, there is no evidence for sinew, but then, what would that look like? EVERYTHING eats sinew from microbes and fungi to fish and rats.  Moreover sinew is fully recyclable, all bow makers soak it off a broken bow and use it on the next one.  The only possibility of evidence would be light scoring, but on bows like this, you’d only scuff the surface..You could perhaps argue that a (deliberately) very underpowered recurved  bow is possible evidence for sinewing
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    Post by stuckinthemud1 Sat Oct 07, 2023 5:36 am

    Well, I don’t know what happened but when I finished tillering the bow ended up with a draw weight of 41lb! I know that the energy stored would be much higher than that due to non-working recurved tips but performance was dreadful sending a 350 grain bolt at only 25 metre per second .  Still in for a penny  and all that.  One layer of sinew dried for a month, draw weight increase by 6lb but I lost all that as I had to correct the new tiller profile.  So, no change in draw weight at 41lb but bolt speed had increased to 32 meter/second.  Still not great, but kinetic energy has gone up 25 percent for no increase in draw weight. 
    I think I’ll apply another couple of layers and see what happens.

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