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    First effort - simple lockbow with yew prod

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    Post by backgardenbowyer Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:19 pm

    I've been making traditional and primitive bows for some time and inherited some yew from a tree which was cut down at work a couple of years ago. Unfortunately only one short length was of bow making quality and I couldn't find another billet to make up a long bow so decided that the wood was crying out to be made into some kind of crossbow. A bit of research on this excellent site and elsewhere and I've just finished my first crossbow.

    The yew prod gives a draw of about 75lbs at 12" draw from the braced string. There is a simple push pin lock inspired by the Skane bows and the slightly soft wood off the tiller has been reinforced with a piece of black buffalo horns as of course have the nocks on the prod.

    The bolts were quickly made up from pieces of discarded and broken arrows, but I'm finding that the two flight bolts tend to corkscrew in flight despite having the fletchings set at an angle to spin them. They are 14" long, 5/16 arrow shafting with 100g points. Any suggestions?

    I went for an all wood construction to keep things "primitve" and because I just don't have the facilities to bend and harden the still for making are more conventional nut and tickler design...maybe next time Very Happy

    Hoping my posting of the images will work!

    http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=37130.0;attach=81218;image

    http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=37130.0;attach=81219;image

    http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=37130.0;attach=81220;image
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    Post by Todd the archer Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:30 pm

    Pretty cool. When I started making crossbows I was like you , not much metal experience. But you can still fabricate some good stuff with some basic tools. The real fun starts when building the heavy weights!

    And hey welcome to the forum, Todd
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    Post by Todd the archer Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:32 pm

    Also your bolts should be fine, just make sure you are cocking it straight.

    Todd
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    Post by shiloh Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:44 pm

    Great job I`m really digging the simple designs easy to make and fun to shoot, similar to the one I just finished.
    Wish Yew was available here in Canada, I`m now looking for hopefully a suitable iron- wood tree, I`m told it`s the next best thing, lots of that here-abouts.
    Have fun shooting your bow,

    Cheers,
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    Post by kenh Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:21 pm

    Really nice job, backyard! Absolutely nothing wrong with "simple".
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    Post by yeomanbowman Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:29 pm

    Looks great!

    What's the performance like?
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    Post by backgardenbowyer Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:21 pm

    Yeomanbowman - I don't have a chronograph but just by eye I'd guess that the speed is something like a 40-45lbs English longbow. The power stroke is 12" and the yew prod is much lower density than say fibreglass or steel so this "primitive" bow is probably relatively efficient compared to say a steel bow with an 8" stroke. The stock is straight giving quite a high head position and using the front of the tiller grove as a foresight the trajectory is point on at about 45 yards - and I dont need to aim over the target til it gets to 60 or so. Plenty good enoguh for field archery here in the UK. I'm still having trouble with the two flight bolts which corkscrew as they fly but a similar bolt with three small fletchings at 90 degrees to each other seems always to fly true. Not been able to test very much as relatively few of our field archery clubs allow crossbows. So far the string serving is holding up well but I might wrap a little thin leather around to prevent wear in future.
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    Post by yeomanbowman Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:41 am

    That sounds quite efficient and, as you say, quite up to the job of hunting (simulated or otherwise). I aim to try my yew prod bow at our Warbow Wales flight shoot on Sunday along with a 450lb steel bow. I'll post the distances.

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    Post by yeomanbowman Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:00 pm

    [img:bf17]https://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/First effort - simple lockbow with yew prod IMAG0191_zps27d98fa5[/img][img:bf17]https://thearbalistguild.forumotion.com/First effort - simple lockbow with yew prod IMAG0195_zpse26e0186[/img]

    I shot my crossbow andit was a little short of 200 yards shot a 45 degrees. The 350lb steel prod crossbow was way down on this distance. Shiloh, you should have some excellent yew in Canada - Taxus Canadensis. I had a stave of it and it was very dense and tough.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxus_canadensis

    This is the Welsh yew stave I used (above).
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    Post by shiloh Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:00 am

    Well that`s interesting, I had no idea, I`ll investigate the Canadian yew and see what`s available if any.

    Thanx for the info.
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    Post by kenh Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:18 am

    Extra special caution about working with Yew of any species. It can kill or cure you or animals. If you idly chew a twig or otherwise ingest (inhale) the bark in particular yew, it contains a toxin called Taxol which oddly enough is also a known fighter of breast and ovarian cancer, arthritis, kidney disease and more. The bark of Yew trees has become very valuable commodity.
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    Post by shiloh Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:22 am

    That`s also interesting, I researched Taxus Canadensis, it grows here as a low evergreen shrub, doesn`t really grow into a tree. It`s closest relatives are eastern hemlock and balsam fir, which grow in the forest out my back door.
    Around here hemlock is considered a hard wood even though it is a conifer, when cured properly it`s almost as hard as maple, very commonly used in the early days as structural timbers for barns. I`ve heard some old timers refere to hemlock as yew??
    I know from my own experience working with this wood, it is very stringy and elastic, might be a good choice for solid wood prods. May have to check that out.

    http://ontariotrees.com/main/species.php?id=2093
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    Post by kenh Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:39 pm

    Yew and Hemlock are separate species, although local names vary widely. Look at Western Red Cedar which is not a Cedar at all.

    Taxus canadensis is the Canadian Yew. A conifer whose bark happens to be poisonous, but a fine bow wood for all that.

    Tsuga canadensis is the Canadian Hemlock, a conifer which is not poisonous. Called "hemlock" from a perceived similarity in the smell of its crushed foliage to that of Poison Hemlock.

    Conium maculatum is the Poison Hemlock of the Mediterranean region and is not a conifer.

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    Post by drawknife Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:25 am

    Feather fletchings should not need to be put on with w helical twist. Feathers have a rough side and a smooth side, the rough side gives more drag so will spin the bolt. only use feathers from the same wing otherwise the flight will be erratic.
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    Post by jeep Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:26 pm

    After some month without any build I start again with the basic: A Skane type lock bow with a yew prod. It is so powerful that I had to recycle a old spanning lever. Very light,extremely efficient a pleasur to work with an all wood crossbow ( a bit of bone for the lock). A successful build is: good design, very good yew and to be experienced.



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    Post by drawknife Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:26 am

    Excellent job that. Well done.

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