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

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    Post by Geezer Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:09 am

    Hello everyone, Geezer here:
    One of the obstacles to making medieval crossbows is locating the parts you can't make on your own. I thought I would pass on a few hints. Though every craftsman longs to try his hand on exotic woods, medieval bows were generally made with whatever hardwood the craftsman had available. I usually work in cherry, American walnut, red oak, and maple. I once made a bow out of jacaranda... a type of rosewood. Never again: it was like trying to shape a brick. Beautiful, but awful to work.
    As for those special parts, I buy steel prods/laths from two sources. Alchem Inc. of Euclid Ohio (USA) makes good-quality steel prods from 50 to 100 kg. of draw. They also sell bow-irons and a decent pre-made trigger/tickler and Delrin roller-locks. Darkwood Armory, in Hattiesburg Mississippi (USA) makes steel prods of about 75 kg. draw, as well as 'gafa' or 'goatsfoot' levers to order at a very reasonable price. Both of these sources can be found with a simple web search.
    I have discovered that the best horn (antler) for roller-nuts is either moosehorn (American moosehorn... I don't know about the European variety) or Axis stag. American elk horn is MUCH too pithy to make good crossbow parts. I get my moose-horn as 'stems' from Moscow Hide and Fur, of Moscow Idaho. They too have a web presence.
    For bone placques, the best material I have found to date is cow-bone, but I would dearly love to find a better source. Doesn anybody out there have ideas?
    Geezer.
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    Post by balbi Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:52 pm

    Hi Geezer,
    Not a source of cow bone, but...I was reading over on the My Armory site that camel bone is good.
    There's a discussion by Leo Todeschini about constructing a replica Bavarian crossbow that is covered in carved bone.
    He guess's that the original was whale bone.
    Somewhere in the thread he mentions that he used camel bone and that it carves well, is not brittle and I suppose comes in larger sections than cow.
    Being in the UK Leo Todeschini sources his bone from a company in Scotland, but I googled and found that camel bone comes up quite a bit with US knife makers and suppliers.
    Their must be a company reasonable close to you that has it.
    Just a idea.
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    Post by Jason D Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:50 pm

    Hello Geezer,
    I just placed an order with ORIGINDIA, http://origindia.myshopify.com/ I hope that the material that I get is of the quality shown in their pictures, as I think it looks quite good.

    What I am looking for is a supplier of truly heavy draw weight prods, in the 500-750lbs range as well as a cranequin. Matuls of Poland used to build one but it has been listed as "temporarily unavailable" for quite a while now.
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    Post by Ivo Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:56 pm

    Good stuff guys,

    E-bay is also a good place for getting Gemsbok horn(as well as other animal) and sometimes sinew(animal tendon) and fish bladder for making glue...for those attempting a horn/wood/sinew prod powered crossbows.

    Jason let us know how it turns out with Origindia...personally I'll probably order a thing or two from there myself...that dyed camel bone sounds sweet Smile (interesting how deep is the dye)

    As for Matuls...I think he also mentioned on his site about doing things upon request so it might be a good idea to send him a note on what you are looking for and see what he can do for you.

    After doing lots of searches I learned that these days big companies dealing with fabrication of custom machinery will do almost anything...giving one of them a call or sending an e-mail for a quote on their services might yield surprising results...if you have a CAD model or a blue print of what you want 50% of the work is already done, thou sometimes you might just need a picture of what you want and rough parameters...Good luck!
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    Post by Jason D Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:35 pm

    I received my package of bone scales and horn and am quite happy, the quality is very good, the dimensions are exact and there are no defects in either material. I will definitely order from ORIGINDIA again.
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    Post by Vidar Halvslak Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:03 am

    I ordered a qranequin from Matuls almost 2 years ago and still havent got it! They have problems with submanufacturers with poor quality of their goods. Soon though Very Happy .
    Elkhorn for antlers i use to buy from https://www.nordellknives.com/portal/index.php?option=com_oscommerce&osMod=index&cPath=95_16&language=se&lang=en&language=en
    They also have camelbone and brass-plates.
    Historicly correct steelprods (incl. nocks!) i order from jens.sensfelder@googlemail.com. See http://armborst.forum24.se/armborst-about25.html
    Sights and ther stuff i order cheap from http://steel-mastery.com/index.php?&model=cat_page&category_id=45
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    Post by Ivo Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:18 am

    Thank you for the contribution Vidar Halvslak,

    I'm sure Matuls will come up with that cranequin eventually, just keep sending them e-mails...our world operates on two things "pressure and time" Smile

    I also have a question about crossbow prods. From the pictures I couldn't get a clear idea of what the finished product was. Are the prods you mentioned finished and ready to be mounted as soon as they arrive? or do they still require some work before use. Also very interested in the price and the time requred for processing and delivery.

    Thank you,

    Ivo



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    Post by Vidar Halvslak Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:42 am

    The prods needs some finishing and the price from Jens is approx 130-150 Dollars and the time is 1-2 months depending on Jens worksituation.
    Give hime an e-mail !
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    Post by Ivo Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:43 pm

    Thanks, sounds interesting, ...a well finished prod is something people might be more attracted to, but I guess that's just a small technicality that can be settled quite easily. Again thanks, I'll get in touch with Jens in the near future.

    Ivo



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    Post by Troodontid Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:35 am

    When one orders from this Alchem.com place, how long should one generally expect to wait for the parts one wants?
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    Post by Todd the archer Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:49 am

    I have ordered from Alchem once before. The standard parts came fairly quick, but the prod (a 205 pounder) took a while. Think about 6 months. But I believe this can vary depending on what and when the particular prod was ordered.

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    Post by Vidar Halvslak Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:34 am

    Note that Alchems prods are not historicly correct, but otherwise very nice to shoot with. I ordered some and as compensation for some waiting-time i got some extra strings and delrin-nuts. So i´m happy Smile . Very nice guy to e-mail with too.
    And FINALLY, after two years of waiting and several waisted prototypes, the cranequin from Matuls arrived cheers
    - And what a beauty !!!!!!
    See pictures at http://armborst.forum24.se/armborst-about118.html
    300 Euro is a bargain for that for sure !!!
    Handle 450 kg (approx 900 pounds) draw-weight with ease
    Soon the 2-5 Juni the big crossbowbuildingmeeting in Heidenau, Germany will occur. Seven from Sweden will go and it will be very exiting to see all the fantastic crossbows. See http://armborst.forum24.se/armborst-about14.html. YIPPIE !!!! medieval crossbow components 292120
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    Post by mac Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:16 am

    Halvslak,

    Thank you for posting those pics!

    That's a very handsome craniquin. It is interesting to see how the maker has adapted modern gears.

    I had never been to your crossbow forum before. It looks like I need to spend some time there. I don't have any Svenska, but I have a little Deutsch and some Nederlands, and you have a lot of pictures!

    Mac
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    Post by juancheco Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:07 pm

    Beautiful cranequin!!!!!!!!!! Good for you fella!!!!!!!!!!
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    Post by Vidar Halvslak Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:47 pm

    Thanks !
    I´m building a crossbow for the Cranequin and it will be finished during the winter. It will be a three-axeled mechanism and a 1000 pounds prod from Jens in Germany. With such high forces it´s impossible to have one ore twoaxeled mechanisms.
    Mac, if you use Google Crome you can translate the whole forum. Google translate works too.
    Feel free to join the journey of crossbowknowledge that we all are doing. Happy reading Very Happy
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    Post by Black Knight Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:56 pm

    I'm new here guys.. I am a long time medieval weapons maker/assembler with a lot of wood working skills and I'm about to embark on crossbow making.. have a lot of Birch. Laurel, Honey Locust and Sequoia woods curing right now from a big windstorm we had last winter

    I do not speak or write anything but English and some Spanish.. so the links to those awesome craniquins and other goodies are quite literally, Dutch to me. I definitely want a craniquin, maybe several, some various weights of steel prods from 75 lbs (for the kids and the ladies) to 350+, and some various bolt heads for prototypes, as my good friends father has a centrifuge metal kiln and we can make them in bronze.. but there's no way I can make the prods easily and correctly and I need to buy them.. can you fellows give me any assistance? I promise crossbow porn pics for the forum as I progress. My e-mail is alicethruQQglass@excite.com and I am Steve in Washington State, USA

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