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

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    Post by jwall Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:33 am

    another newbie introduction 600276 Hi all my name is joseph wall my friends call me tony or joe or bandit or some much more colourfull names if they have been drinking,i am from the uk originaly but have been living in thailand for the last four years,its a great place to live and extremely hot all year ,i am completely new to crossbows but want to build some for pleasure and leisure. As far as i can tell i cannot purchase either parts or materials specific to crossbows in thailand but i can get some beautiful timber if only i knew which types were appropriate for the stock and the bow or better alternatives , by the way i am retired now so will have plenty of time on my hands once my workshop is completed
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    Post by Basilisk120 Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:26 pm

    Hey and welcome to the Forum.

    Well to start with. Just about any hardwood that you can get cheaply or you like the looks of should work for the body (or tiller) of the crossbow.
    Proper wood for the prod (or lathe or bow) is a bit more of a challenge as I'm not sure what woods are available in your part of the world. I know that are good bow wood but just not sure what they are. You should have access to some nice bamboo to use or to back the prod with if you want to.



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    Post by jwall Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:05 pm

    Thanks for the reply ,there is plenty of hardwood over here that i can use but i will have to start ashing the locals about a more supple wood for the bow ,we have lots of stands of bamboo on our land maybe i can laminate some of that ?or maybe laminated hardwood,,as i said before i will have to start gathering the raw materials as and when i find them, my first crossbow will be mainly for me to learn how to build with the materials that i have available to me,i may not have built a crossbow before but i have built plenty of furniture so i am not a complete dummy i hope
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    Post by Basilisk120 Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:37 pm

    You can defiantly do a bamboo laminated bow. Bamboo is excellent in tension so does really well on the back of the bow. You could do a bamboo only laminate as well. I believe there are example of those from the area.

    You might be surprised at what woods will work for making a crossbow prod. I have made a couple of bows out of red oak and I originally thought that would be too brittle. For this application Ash or hickory (Or there oriental counterparts) would be better. Is it possible to get Ipe in Thailand? Bamboo backed Ipe is an excellent choices as well. Ipe is becoming a little more common in the States as rot resistant decking material.



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    Post by jwall Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:29 am

    I will go with some type of bamboo lamination to start with the wife is going back to her home town at the weekend for a visit so i have given her instructions to harvest a couple of poles and cut it to about 4foot long pieces so it will fit in the car easily, i do not expect her to cut it herself she will get her brother to do it. when i eventualy get started i will try to post some pics
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    Post by Ivo Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:54 pm

    Good Day Jwall...Welcome to the forum!

    Thailand you say Shocked ...that's awesome! Very Happy I get to watch Thie boxing all the time in my living and occasionally have to break up the fight to change the channel...it's so great to have siblings. Laughing

    So all wood bow is what your mind is set on...there are a few things to become familiar with to make this one a success.

    Main two are "Bow Woods" and "Bow Tillering".

    Bamboo sounds like an excellent idea and I'm sure it can be used as both the belly, core, and back of the bow...Ipe is also a good idea, as I've seen some really tiny horsebows with Ipe core and full bamboo back and belly showing some intense flex!

    Original Trad-Gang Topic (Link)

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    Here is good ol' Sam Harpers bamboo backed Ipe vertical bow buildalong (Bamboo Backed Ipe Bow) to give you a few ideas on what to expect from the process. Crossbow prods aren't too different, just much shorter, center-shot, and a little harder to tiller since it's a smaller bow(more sensitive to material removal)..."all-wood prods" topic is still warm Smile , so if you have questions pop up in the process, feel free to throw them there. >>>(Wood Prods Topic)

    Good Day,

    Ivo



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    Post by jwall Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:56 am

    excuse me for being so thick but what is ipe,i dont hold out a lot of hope of finding it in thailand but until i know exactly what it is i have absolutely no hope of finding it ,as i said before specific bow making materials are none existent over here and i am a complete novice at bow making so any help or tips or advice are going to be invaluable and very much appreciated
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    Post by jwall Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:09 am

    as an afterthought my mind is not set on a complete wooden bow it just seems like the sensible way to go as i have so much big bamboo growing on our land
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    Post by cmgower Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:29 am

    Welcome to the Guild!
    I have read before that the Chinese built bows of Mulberry, bamboo,horn, and sinew.
    A build like this would be a nice one to follow!
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    Post by Basilisk120 Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:13 am

    Ipe is also know as Brazillian Walnut and I wouldn't be suprised if it was not avaliable in Thailand. That would be a long way for it to travel.
    Some bow woods that might work
    tamarind
    Burmese Redwood- Reports have it starting to fret after 100 shots or so
    Wild Mango
    Quava
    Eucalyptus - http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/topic/24406 talks about Eucalyptyus and that it is likely not a good choice for a crossbow lathe.

    Bamboo backing would help with turning a marginal wood choice into an exeptable wood choice. With either making a completely bamboo bow or a bamboo backed bow your going to want to find the largest diameter bamboo you can. The larger diameter means the wider the bow you can build. Bamboo isn't flattened out so much as it is shaved down to a flat section. I There are some nice tutorials on how to deal with raw bamboo for bow making. If you look for makeing a Japanesse bow you will find some. But I will look for some as well.



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    Post by jwall Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:45 pm

    thanks for the suggestions ,as well as the bamboo we have mahogany, teak, mango and some other trees that are called redwood by thais but only because the wood turns red when cut,probably not the redwood that you mean .it looks as though i have a lot more choices of wood to try than i originaly thought
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    Post by Basilisk120 Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:30 am

    It looks like Teak might be a good choice if you can get it for a good price.
    http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/topic/6213 has a long list of woods and breaks them out by acceptable, borderline and, not acceptable choices for bow woods. It is Western Centric but lists some woods that may work (like Teak) and give you a hint at what to avoide (like most mahoganys). The list may also help you with learning what makes a good bow wood and what doesn't. Generally it seems the denser the better.



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    Post by jwall Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:43 pm

    someone just suggested rubberwood but i dont know anything about it yet,thanks for the link i am going to try it now
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    Post by jwall Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:54 am

    i meant to say that we have the wood that i mentioned growing on our land so it looks like harvesting some different types and drying it to use later ,meantime i can buy teak very reasonable, thanks again for the link it is very useful
    Basilisk120 wrote:It looks like Teak might be a good choice if you can get it for a good price.
    http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/topic/6213 has a long list of woods and breaks them out by acceptable, borderline and, not acceptable choices for bow woods. It is Western Centric but lists some woods that may work (like Teak) and give you a hint at what to avoide (like most mahoganys). The list may also help you with learning what makes a good bow wood and what doesn't. Generally it seems the denser the better.
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    Post by testhero Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:19 pm

    Since your wife is local your best way forward is to get her to ask around to see what the locals make their bows out of. Whatever they use is going to be good as a self bow or part of a laminated prod.
    The only real bows I saw while in Thailand were very long bows made entirley of ratan with ratan arrows to match. needless to say a overgrown piece of grass is unlikley to make any kind of Crossbow prod.
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    Post by jwall Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:56 am

    the locals do not make either bows or crossbows,only the northern tribes make any sort of crossbow and unfortunately we live in the south region and no one can tell me anything about the materials(timber) that they use however my wife arrived back home a couple of days ago with the bamboo i asked her to get and some other timber that i dont know the name of but i will definitely try out for the stock.i have mentioned that i intend building a crossbow to some friends and incredibly i am getting orders for crossbows from people i have never met before i have produced my first one ,this may even turn into a small cottage industry type business ,though it is for my own pleasure realy.thanks for your replys ,i am finding this an extremely useful website /forum another newbie introduction 600276

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