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274271 Darrell <larchmont479@g...> 2021‑08‑03 crossbow project

Summer time has rolled around, and with it, my usual penchant for taking on
an interesting project to while away the time whilst on holiday.
This year I was inspired by a video I saw from Tod's Workshop on youtube.
He was shooting a really basic crossbow, which he said was based on an
11th century French archaeological find (Colletière à Charavines).
He mentioned in his shooting video that he had done a build video too.
Ah, ok, that sounds interesting, so I looked it up (from like 3 years ago
it was).
He did a nice job on the video, and has good photos on his website,
where you can purchase said crossbow, or plans to build your own.
Well, in the SCA I play a woodworker, and I'm a galoot, so I'm not
gonna buy the plans or the crossbow, because the video and pictures
are sufficient for me. Or they should be, if my skills are worth anything.
The guy who made the original a thousand years ago probably had
no plans, just skills and experience. Let's Go!

His one measurement mentioned in the video, plus the pix is good
enough for me to scale the parts. His process description was
excellent, explaining how you need a full, complete growth ring on
the face of the prod (the bow part). Makes perfect sense. And his
use of a plane and spokeshave are quite familiar to us, right?
Tillering is a little foreign to me, but after making steam bent
stuff I have a pretty good idea of what's happening.

He used a 1m offcut of ash (old hand rail apparently) so I decided
that ash would be fine for me too.  I had my son help me pull the last
two big ash planks out from under the wood rack.  These are 19
inches wide, 8/4, 9 feet long. Huge by my standards. We inspected
the stock and found some really straight grain on the edge of one
that I figured I could use. We managed to hack a chunk off (my
apprentice and his apprentice, ha ha) that was a bit longer than I

It's basically riftsawn, grain at a diagonal, so I had to saw the corners
off to get the appropriate flatsawn stock for the prod. I tried using a
bowsaw for this, but gah!, it was sooo slow and difficult to keep to
the line. Switched to a Warranted Superior rip saw (8 TPI I think)
and that worked way better!  I ended up with a reasonable piece
of stock, and then proceeded to bring it down to the same growth
ring on one face all along its length. I got close with the drawknife,
too close in fact, cutting through my precious ring in two places.
Switched to the spokeshave, and that went far better.  Slower, but
safer, and now I have one ring along that face.

Not sure about the size of the rings on Tod's stock, they appear to be
thicker (faster growth) than mine. I count 8 rings per inch on mine,
and I think his might be 6, but I still have to scale the thickness of
the prod from the pix to be sure. In any case, I'm now to the point
where I need to start thinning the stock down, back to the drawknife!

I'll take pictures as I go, but right now it's just a big ole hunk o' wood.
Nothing to see here yet.

Oakville ON
Wood Hoarder, Blade Sharpener, and Occasional Tool User

Recent Bios FAQ