Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Build your own crossbow

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by alemonkey, Dec 30, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,678
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Anyone ever build their own crossbow? Not a modern one, but a medieval style armor-puncher. I've been eyeing site for a while, and one of these days I want to order some parts and go at it:
    http://www.alcheminc.com/crossbow.html

    I'm a sucker for anything historically accurate, and I've seen a couple of authentic reproductions. Neat stuff.
     
  2. mole

    mole Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Georgia
    I have considered it in the past and may still make one. You should be able to make one yourself without having to order the metal parts. I perfer a simple wooden bow myself.
     
  3. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,678
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    I've thought about building one with a wooden prod, too. It would be neat to make a laminate one.
     
  4. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,172
    Location:
    Florida
    You want an armour-puncher? In one of the old Popular Mechanics books it shows how to make a crossbow out of an automobile leaf spring. Probably takes a winch to cock it.
     
  5. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    I've always wanted to make one of these.

    http://www.koreanarchery.org/rcb/index.html

    The first ever "assault weapon!" I've even heard that some were made with two magazine stacks, so it would fire two bolts simultaneously. I figure it wouldn't be too hard to make a toggle switch that can set it to fire from one or the other magazine, or both. With 12 bolts in each one, you'd have up to 24 shots on tap, with hip accuracy. May also be possible to monkey with the cocking system so that, optionally, the handle can remain cocked and an actual trigger squeezed.
     
  6. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Messages:
    815
    If you wish to consult a book on crossbow history and construction, please read The Book of the Crossbow by Ralph Payne-Gallwey. This work is a century old, so you will learn techniques that may not be discussed by modern crossbow constructionists. Still, this work may provide some interesting information to consider.


    Timthinker
     
  7. denster

    denster Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    Actually just finished one today. Using Alchem's prod and parts. Very high quality parts at a very reasonable price. I used the claplock mechanism and bowirons to hold the prod to the tiller. Turned out very nice and throws a one ounce bolt with authority.
     
  8. TAB

    TAB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,475
    I built a bolista in HS for a project... ended up being way too powerful for the class...
     
  9. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Calirado
    I was going to start a new thread with these questions, but since this one's fairly recent, I figure you posters might know.

    I recently picked up a hand crossbow. MTech DX-80.

    Never had one before, and I know nothing about them. Just always wanted one, if only to hang on the wall.

    But just for grins I'd like to play with it indoors at a range of about thirty feet. (Do not want the neighbors to spot it.)

    (1) What kind of backstop might be effective? Seems to me a carton of newpapers might not stop a bolt with the regular target piles unless they are really tightly packed, which would make them hard to recover.

    (2) I don't really think I need the 80 lb. draw weight. If I were to get a slightly longer string (say an inch or two) to reduce the weight, would there be any negative effects?
     
  10. mole

    mole Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Georgia
    I don't have a crossbow, so I can't comment about it's penetration. Even my 50# selfbow will penetrate a 2x4 using field points, so you better have too much of a backstop rather too little of one.
     
  11. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Calirado
    I kind of figured it would penetrate like mad. My son had a hand crossbow many years ago and he said if you hit a tree, you could not get the bolt out without destroying it.

    But how much is too little? Are there other options besides a carton full of newspapers? These bolts weigh about 145 grains and I reckon going less than 300 f/s.

    I used to be pretty good with recurves of aboout 50 lbs (this was before compound bows were invented) but what with arthritis and a shattered left collarbone, I doubt I could draw a 35 lb target bow any more.
     
  12. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    717
    Location:
    East Tennesseee
    Remember that if you use a Steel Prod its wise to cover the prod with a thick wrapping of leather or canvas.
    If a Steel prod breaks on firing the splinters can kill you, also the broken end can swing back at you like a sword.

    Some Swiss and German target crossbows used a bolt with grooves like negative rifling down the length of the bolt. The Steel prod had a ratchet shaped hole in the center. As the bolt went through the hole it spun like a rifle bullet.
    Could be thats where the idea for rifling gun barrels came from.

    Those target bolts had threaded heads and a spanner that fit the nock area.
    When fired at a wooden target you couldn't pull it out so using the spanner you unscrewed the bolt from the wood.
     
  13. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Calirado
    Roswell 1847 remarked:

    Gee, maybe it would be a good idea to lengthen the string as I asked about above.

    Still need to know about indoor backstops, though.
     
  14. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,678
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    oooh....any pictures? What draw weight did you go with?

    The alchem prods say they come covered with rubber tubing, but leather would look a lot nicer.
     
  15. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,572
    Location:
    Essex Co, MA
    I made one when I was about 12. I used a leaf spring from a trailor. The bow itself was about right the right tension. The problem I had was in the simple trigger mechanism I made. I was not able to fire it well b/c the tension from the bow prevented the sear from being pulled down.

    I was still proud to have done as much as I did at 12 without any help or diagrams.
     
  16. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Calirado
    I also built one when I was a kid. Used a broomhandle as a frame and a sear that was a piece of wood stuck up through a hole in the broomstick connected to a trigger that ran parallel to the frame and connected to the sear by a hunk of string. Had about the same problem, but it was operable. Sorta.

    I used a shaved-down hunk of maple from the tree out back for the bow. Broke several of them on cocking before I got one to work. Sorta.

    On my modern one, the string is held by a step in the frame of the crossbow and the "sear" merely pushes the string out of the step.

    I wish I'd'a thought of that when I was a kid.

    Isn't anyone going to tell me what might a suitable backstop for indoor use of a hand-held crossbow of 80lb? (See post # 9.)
     
  17. mole

    mole Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Georgia
    Personally I think that shooting it inside is a bad idea. Once you get something strong enough to stop the bolt I assume that it'll be hard getting it out anyway. Sometimes I have to split the wood I'm using as a target to get my arrows out.
     
  18. denster

    denster Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    Here is a picture of the one I built.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. denster

    denster Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    Forgot to add. 155lb draw at 8inches. Shoots a 435gr bolt at 212fps. Takes a lot to stop them I use the dense foam targets designed for compound and crossbows.
     
  20. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,678
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Beautiful work, you did a really nice job on that.
     
  21. mole

    mole Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Georgia
    I too really like the looks of that. What kind of string is that? Do you mind telling how much it cost?
     
  22. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,675
    Location:
    Michigan
    Cannonball

    You jogged my distant memory so I had to check. I have some of the PM Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia books (1955) and one of them has plans for a crossbow made with either a lemonwood bow or an automotive leaf spring.
    They showed a cocking lever being used with the leaf spring bow since it had a greater than 100 lb. pull. The string used for that one was a 5/32" dia. steel cable.:what: Imagine what would happen if that broke.
     
  23. denster

    denster Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    Thanks for the compliments. Cost wise the parts were about $130. I used the plans on alchem's website and bought the prod (bow) bow irons, wedge pack, stirrup, tickkler (trigger) and claplock mechanism from him. Really reasonable price for very high quality parts. The bubinga for the tiller (stock) I got from one of the dealers on eBay.

    The string is B50 dacron got that from alchem also.
     
  24. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,678
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Is there an advantage to using the claplock vs. the roller nut for the string release?
     
  25. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Marines raising the left-leaning Pisa tower.

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    6,632
    Location:
    Calirado
    mole said:
    I kind of figured that, but I thought maybe some folks with some experience in crossbows might have a whizbang idea about it.

    Oh, well. I'll let it go.

    What about lengthening the string 1" - 2" to reduce the draw weight? Are there any unforeseen problems in that?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page