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

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3 posters

    General Question about Tiller / Stock Design

    stoneagebowyer
    stoneagebowyer
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    Post by stoneagebowyer Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:23 am

    Hi gang. I am still messing about with the exact design of my next crossbow project. I love the look of tillers / stocks that have lots of nice bevels and narrow tables. I also like the look of tillers that curve down for the final 3rd to quarter or so at the butt end.

    Any thoughts from Geezer or others about the shootability / performance of the curved tillers? What were the primary reasons that tillers weren’t just straight? Or is it simply a design feature? Geezer does have some curved designs in his crossbow book, including a Buffy the Vampire Slayer bow.

    Happily, I have a big ol’ moose antler stem coming mid-week, so I can get started actually building this bow very shortly. I do want to have my nut material at least turned before I begin laying out the lock, bow, tickler, etc. A 180-190 lb. prod from Alchem Inc is sitting on a shelf in my workshop, and I may end up also using the prod from the German bow if I decide I want a lighter weapon. The German is going to be retired with honor. And, my birthday is 12/24, and I’ve already blocked out some serious workshop time that day, since it is my day, and I can do anything I want. Smile This bow is going to be maple, with an exotic hardwood table veneer, or possibly real bone. A very narrow table will facilitate using bone, as there will be less of that ghastly stuff to cut and rasp and sand and smell. Smile The material is so handsome when finished, it is worth the pain and suffering. Within reason.
    Geezer
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    General Question about Tiller / Stock Design  Empty Re: General Question about Tiller / Stock Design

    Post by Geezer Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:39 am

    The question was about bent stocks. Most of the medieval bows I have seen have pretty straight stocks that are either set atop the shoulder or held free alongside the cheek, the there are a few, mostly 16th century or later, that curve downward behind the lock. The shortest of these would probably qualify as 'pistol' bows, but there are some that really do appear to be cut to fit against the shoulder or breast, like the firearms of the day. There's a big pistol/short carbine called a 'petronel' that was popular in the 16th century that commonly had a simple down-curved butt without much widening. I figure you wouldn't be going terribly wrong if you did some research on petronels and based a curved stock on the results.
    Whether petronel or not, there are some Germanic stocks, like the one in the Alchem pattern, that have a fair amount of gentle downward curve behind the lock. So do it your way! Geezer
    stoneagebowyer
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    Post by stoneagebowyer Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:14 am

    Thanks, Geezer. If I create a bastard, I want it to be a beautiful one with graceful lines and elegant subtle curves. But a junkyard mongrel can also be made to be pretty nifty too. I will go with a curved tiller and see where it takes me. It is, after all, only wood. Smile

    I suppose since I am not building a true replica to the millimeter of any particular weapon, slavish historical accuracy is not the order of the day, and a certain Frank Sinatra song will be the theme song for this project.
    Geezer
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    Post by Geezer Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:47 am

    Stoneage: Geezer here. If you want to make a pretty snappy 'bastard' stock, with bent butt and musket-butt, you should look at my apprentice's flikr page. check this series: http://www.flickr.com/photos/swifthoundbows/sets/72157625075161036/
    Not the only path in the forest, but this baby came out really nice.
    That's one sharp 'prentice I've got!
    Geezer
    stoneagebowyer
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    Post by stoneagebowyer Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:41 pm

    I took a look. Lightly does indeed do very fine work.

    I have been inspired by Arabic matchlocks, European wheellocks and assorted other cool toys. Heck, even like some of the Mad Max / Road Warrior crossbows (including that tiny little wrist mounted crossbow one particular character uses to create mayhem), and steampunky stuff.

    I do want to keep this grounded in historical fact, but have fun with it.
    Geezer
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    Post by Geezer Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:47 pm

    The underlying problem with all those cute little pistol-crossbows you see in the movies is the inescapable laws of physics. Anything light enough that you can span with the off hand, and carry around fastened to your arm, is gonna be way too weak to do any serious damage in the absence of some really hideous poison on the darts... in which case, you're carrying around a crossbow in your arm that's loaded with hideously-poisonous darts... one distracted moment and 'thip', you've got a hideous poison-dart in your hand or leg or heaven-forbid you should scratch your ass...
    Geezer
    stoneagebowyer
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    Post by stoneagebowyer Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:02 pm

    Don't forget that only the bad guys wore the tiny crossbows, so if they scratched themselves, no big loss. The good guys have better crossbows, a mini helicopter, and Mad Max with his sawed off shotgun.

    "Hollywood" is great that way....a single pistol shot causes a body to hurdle back 20 feet. A hand grenade packs the explosive force of a 500 lb. bomb, and no one runs out of bullets. The fake gizmoes are still fun.
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    Post by Todd the archer Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:24 am

    Talking about curved tillers, I find it easier to get your eye down closer to the line of the bolt making it better to aim with. The medievals I have made although straight tillers I have rounded off the top side at the handle end. It really does make it easier to sight down as well as more comfortable against the face.



    Todd
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    Post by stoneagebowyer Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:02 am

    I agree with your comment. Although I have never shot a curved-tiller crossbow, this is primarily the reason I was thinking of curving the tiller on my next weapon. The secondary reason is it would look nice. Crossbows have a great tradition of cosmetic appeal and physical beauty.

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