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    Slack-strung prods?

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    Post by kenh Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:49 pm

    looking around the 'net at photos of crossbows in museums, I see a huge number with the strings stretched from nock to nock but the prod is not under tension. Were early/heavy bows normally slack-strung like the one in this picture?

    https://i.servimg.com/u/f30/17/70/58/16/slack_10.jpg
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    Post by Todd the archer Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:42 pm

    I am thinking there should be some tension on the string or else the recoil will tear up the bow even to the point of breaking. Quite common in all wood bows if the string broke the bow would break as well, not as common with modern materials but still a danger. An all steel bow might be imune but would most likely have a lot of recoil and shock.

    The reason for the slack strings is probally due to constant stain and time.

    Geezer may see this and add his insight.

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    Post by mac Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:48 pm

    Kenh,

    I would be very surprised if any bows were intended to have slack strings.

    It seems most likely to me that what we are seeing is the result of the curators wanting to see some sort of string on the bow, but the conservators being unwilling to flex the bow sufficiently to install a string of the correct length.

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    Post by Geezer Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:06 pm

    The official Geezer position on slack strings: Museum convenience, or stretched-out old strings. You'd get absolutely no power from a slack string. If you DID get any power, the string would fly downrange after the bolt.
    Remember, you'll also see roller-nuts installed backwards in some museums as well (I recall one in the Tower of London, years ago, and another in the Kunstistorisches Museum in Vienna.) That doesn't mean they'll work that way!
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    Post by kenh Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:17 pm

    I wondered about the curator thing too. Makes more sense than slack strung. I do seem to remember Montagnard crossbows as being nearly slack-strung; or maybe, as you say, it was just the "bamboo binder twine" strings slacking from use. They sure could drive a bamboo bolt for short distances though...
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    Post by olrono Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:38 pm

    Could it be the museum just didn't want to take a chance arching a five hundred year old composite bow to display how it should really look when right? I mean I used to think people would like to display their crossbows too, so much for my thinking... Rolling Eyes
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    Post by Rizzar Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:19 pm

    I think there could be different reasons:

    But the most significant would be the security/presentation thing, I wouldn´t dare to span/string a xhundret year old crossbow for longer time either. Chances for destroying cultural artifacts are much too high. So a slak string is better than none, people need to see something to get better imagination.

    Second aspect could be mistake. Wrong string, wrong measurements when replacing a damaged or missing string. (working in a museum and reconstructing a crossbow doesn´t neccessarily mean to be a crossbow specialist, consider the small pic on that site (thank god it is fixed) http://www.historiavivens1300.at/realien/armbrust1.htm)
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    Post by olrono Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:56 pm

    Rizzar wrote:I think there could be different reasons:

    But the most significant would be the security/presentation thing, I wouldn´t dare to span/string a xhundret year old crossbow for longer time either. Chances for destroying cultural artifacts are much too high. So a slak string is better than none, people need to see something to get better imagination.

    Second aspect could be mistake. Wrong string, wrong measurements when replacing a damaged or missing string. (working in a museum and reconstructing a crossbow doesn´t neccessarily mean to be a crossbow specialist, consider the small pic on that site (thank god it is fixed) http://www.historiavivens1300.at/realien/armbrust1.htm)

    Thanks "Rizz", Glad some one agrees with me on this. But I didn't understand your second point. Then you commented "thank god it is fixed".
    Like our resident expert here Geezer has said many times... " the museum people don't always know how these things go together". Is that what you mean? In the smaller picture of the "same crossbow" it looks as the bow is put on backwards? For the 'festmeal' (what ever Geezer calls it) looks too great, and the string notches are turned the wrong way. This shows that even crossbows can be gotten disassembled when discovered and reassembled wrong before displayed in the museums.
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    Post by Rizzar Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:44 pm

    I just wanted to point out mistakes made by restaurateurs. The link shows two pictures of the same crossbow. The prod was bound wrong direction for longer time,I am glad they fixed it. ("thank god it is fixed")
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    Post by Armbrustier Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:07 am

    Rizzar wrote: The link shows two pictures of the same crossbow. The prod was bound wrong direction for longer time,I am glad they fixed it.
    Not exactly true, as the left one is a copy of the right one. The copy was made by the Austrian master builder Andreas Bichler.
    But I agree that the right one is now corrected at the museum in Köln (Cologne).
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    Post by Rizzar Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:28 am

    Ahhh, thank you. I was in fact in a hurry this morning when posting.
    I searched for the wrong bound picture and was surprised to see a fixed one, I didn´t realised it was a rebuild one.

    But i am glad they fixed the original, too.
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