Hi, gang. It has been a while since I posted anything, but I do check in from time to time, and have been busy.
I think I posted a while back that I have been commissioned to build a German style heavy crossbow from a fellow forum member. That has been occupying most of my time just in designing the trigger, which, for a 850 lb. bow, really is my single biggest concern, and I spend a ton of time making drawings and testing out the system I came up with. But, there were some design ideas I had to try out with a working crossbow, so I decided to make a new weapon as a dry run, so to speak, to incorproate those ideas into the German.
And here is the results. One of my biggest single worries was how to make a prod socket with really well constructed bearing blocks, and it came out well.
With all that being said, this is an interpretation of a Spanish crossbow from the period of around 1500 - 1600, ie a Conquistador ballesta. I used yellow heart (Euxylophora paraensis) for the tiller, which is one piece. This wood is relatively inexpensive where I source it, is fantastic to work with, and glues and works easily. I simplified the tiller decorations with a simple bone inlaid cross, and put a non-authentic bone and horn buttplate on, 'cause I think it looks cool. Antler nut, and mild steel metal components. A true reproduction of this kind of weapon would not have had single side plates and lock plates done in this fashion, but would wrap all the way around the tiller and been folded onto the top surface, and would have been riveted on, not screwed on, but I think it looks nice and is very functional. I used a non-authentic front ring, not hand forged, but that is for later bows of this style, which I find very appealing. I used bow irons for the first time, and am totally in love with how simple they are to use, and how easy it is to remove the bow without having to cut through a hemp bridle if I have to adjust the angle of the bow, etc.
One big mistake is that I first painted the arrow groove, and that was not a good idea, some paint remains, and I decided to cut my losses and just hope it doesnt look too terrible. Think before you paint is a good lesson to take forward.
The prod is from Slowbow, 165 lbs., so this is a light target bow. It weighs 7.9 lbs, so pretty hefty, which should help with shooting. I began this project at the end of November, so it went relatively quickly.
Feel free to ask questions. Now that this is essentialy done (still a bit more to do, touch up here and there, refinish areas that need it, etc), I'm back to the German with all this new knowledge to be applied to finishing that project. Happy yule to everyone.