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Workbench Creations is the place for conversation and discussion about do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This DIY blog will feature projects completed by its owner as well as projects completed by other do-it-yourselfers. Workbench Creations is the place where DIYers can discuss ideas, learn about what others have done, and share their expertise.

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Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

Posted June 10, 2009 6:01 AM by Del the cat

Here's a shot of the "false string" clamped onto the limbs of the crossbow that I built 25 years ago. This false string enabled the crossbow that I recently refurbished to be re-strung. The image below also shows how the bending lever is used.

There are several steps to cocking the bow. First, the "nut" (a big steel roller block) is rotated so that it is ready to receive the string.

The lever is hooked on the D-ring with the ends of the short arm pressing onto the string. As the lever is pulled back, it pushes the string until it meets the nut.

The string sits in the transverse groove and then carries on back, rotating the nut until the trigger lever clicks into place. In turn, the trigger lever engages with the groove on the underside of the nut. The bending lever can then be removed.

Click here for a video that shows the whole process, including a shot.

The bending lever isn't finished to the same standard as the rest of the bow, but it does its job. A bit of reshaping was done to make sure it wasn't fouling the stock or hitting the bolt clip. The tip of the hook was also trimmed back a bit to make it unhook more easily after cocking.

Bolt and Test Shots

The bolt (arrow) has a tapered shaft which is slightly elliptical at the back so that it fits nicely into the nut. The string sits against it. I forged the head to be reasonably authentic. There are only 2 flights, which were often made of card or leather. I've used feather, and they are applied at an angle to make the bolt spin.

The rate of spin is tested in my special test facility. That is to say, I lob it up in the air and watch it spin like a top on the way down. Because it's heavy, it throws very nicely. It's quite a good game for two people throwing one back and forth. (OK, it's a tad more dangerous than a Frisbee!)

So how did it work? The first shot went through three layers of target foam and penetrated the leg of my Workmate folding bench!

I tested the crossbow in my garage. After all, it's a problem to find somewhere safe to test such a powerful weapon. While shooting at slight longer ranges (3 or 4 paces), I noticed that the bolt seemed to be hitting the target at an angle. To test this out, I shot at the face-of by chopping block (a piece of log). The bolt smashed, but I could see it had struck at 45-degrees.

I figured there were two reasons.

  1. Though pretty, the forged arrowhead wasn't symmetrical or evenly-balanced.
  2. The ivory bolt-rest at the fore end was lifting the bolt too high because it had been shaped for smaller-diameter bolts.

To confirm my findings, I first made a tougher bolt using the forged head. (Yes, this also smashed!) I then made a head out of some steel tube with a piece of rod glued into the end. It wasn't so pretty, but it was much better balanced. I also reshaped the Ivory rest. A test shot confirmed a fast, true flight.

Hope you enjoy the video. Here's the link again.

Del

Editor's Note: Click here for Part 1.

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#1

Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 8:08 AM

And there was me wondering if the rifling on the head was intentional!

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#2

Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 9:39 AM

Simply stunning work

kudos!

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#3
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 9:46 AM

Ta, the vid shows some interesting features...
You'd think the long trigger was a liability, but it works well, my hand gripping the stock prevents the trigger being pressed.

The long trigger also gives plenty of leverage so the trigger mechanism can be built with a nice big sear cut at a very safe angle.
It feels more like squeezing a grease gun than a trigger.
I like the cloud of dust as the bolt smacks the target....
I make a bit of a pig's breakfast of unhooking the bending lever, but I couldn't be bothered to re-shoot the vid...demos eh? never get 'em quite right!

Del

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#4
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 10:43 AM

It feels more like squeezing a grease gun than a trigger.

Should help prevent "shooter's twitch", of course so does the absence of loud bangs.

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#5
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 11:03 AM

There is a little kick, I make sure my cheekbone is pressed onto my thumb, rather the the hard unforgiving stock.
Del

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#6

Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 11:45 AM

Nice job and great video Del.. smokin target very impressive. Powerful shot.

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#7

Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 1:51 PM

"Nice job and great video Del..."

Sulking big-time here....dayum IT monkeys @ work - check it out 2nite @ Mi Casa

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#8
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 1:57 PM

@ Mi Casa

?su casa?

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#9

Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 11:02 PM

Great job, so when are you making a gatling crosbow gun?

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#11
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 2:39 AM

You havn't seen the Chinese Reating Crossbow Video?
That's surely close enough?

Del

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#19
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 9:47 PM

yes (and i just watch ancient Chinese war machines on the history channel, one large crossbow with three bows and one string)

but i like the idea of the crank system of a Gatling gun combined with a Chinese repeater crossbow

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#10

Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/10/2009 11:56 PM

I like the little cat coat of arms.

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#12

Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 8:32 AM

Firstly nice job and I like the blog too.....

You also wrote:-

It's quite a good game for two people throwing one back and forth. (OK, it's a tad more dangerous than a Frisbee!)

You have obviously never heard of "Lawn Darts" or "how to kill your sister when you are only 4 years old" USA style!! In fact I understand that they are banned from being sold in many places nowadays.....USA & Canada for example......

See the following link for a full description:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawn_darts

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#13
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 8:38 AM

Ahhh, ever safety conscious Andy!

amazing they ever made it to market - truly

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#14
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 9:48 AM

It always surprised me too that they ever got sold.....they never made it to the UK, at least not in the time I lived there as far as I am aware....

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#15
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 9:51 AM

I think we did the whole Lawn Darts thing on previous thread already...
Del

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#16
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 9:58 AM

Did the previous thread cover the age-old game of 'knifey', once enjoyed by so many limping adults?

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#18
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 10:04 AM

AKA, kipper, splits etc?
No.

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#17
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/11/2009 10:02 AM

Yes, I forgot.....

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#20
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/18/2009 7:51 AM

Followed a link from your link. This company wouldn't thrive in the UK....

http://www.tossinggames.com/

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#21
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/18/2009 8:00 AM

What a bunch of to$$ers!

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#23
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/18/2009 9:09 AM

Quite correct!!!

Here is an excellent web sie for all To$$ers:-

TO$$ERS

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#22
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Re: Del's Archery Adventures - Crossbow Refurb (Part 2)

06/18/2009 9:06 AM

I don't know.......I bet they get a lot of hits each day on the web site, then disappointed Guys go elsewhere......

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