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Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > Bavarian hunting bow reproduction by Tods Stuff Reply to topic
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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 4:03 am    Post subject: Bavarian hunting bow reproduction by Tods Stuff         Reply with quote

I have been busy on this one for a while, well two years in the making actually.

This is a reproduction of a late 15thC Bavarian hunting crossbow that is owned by the Wallace Collection but due mainly to the limits of the materials I could get there are some differences.

The stock is ash and covered in bone that has been carved to replicate the St George and the Dragon theme with mythical beasts that the original exhibits. The bow is steel and covered in parchment, the string is linen and the nut is Ivory from a legal source as I could not get an antler crown big enough.

The front rest is missing and this will get fitted once I start test shooting, which will be after the cranequin is made as is the case for the bolt clip (missing from the original). The bow weight is a touch over 400lb.

The paint has been degraded similar to the original, but this will be repainted with full coverage on request of the new owner - a sad phrase 'new owner', as I would love to keep this one.......

The carving was done by a colleague of mine and all other work was done by myself.

Tod



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www.todsstuff.co.uk
www.theenglishcutler.co.uk
www.todsfoundry.co.uk
www.todmedia.co.uk
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Ed T.




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Absolutely stunning! I can see why you would want to keep this one.

It looks like the prod is painted steel. Is that the case on the original you were working from?

Ed Thyberg
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 4:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautefull work! I would also be very unwilling to part with such fantastic work of art.
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Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Outstanding, Tod.
I am really happy to see this.
Incredible concept, dedication and execution.

Top quality work.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed T. wrote:

It looks like the prod is painted steel. Is that the case on the original you were working from?


Tod said:

Quote:
The bow is steel and covered in parchment


So, I'm guessing it's painted parchment over the steel bow/prod.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Sam Haverkamp




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo,
Mind boggingly outstanding work. As with the original, it deserves to be in a museum.
WOW!
Sam
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Tim Lison




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome! That is truly a masterpiece. It's new owner should be extremely happy!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe this is the original it's based on:


Happy

ChadA

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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the the support, there were times when I was getting just a tad bored with it, so I am glad it was worthwhile.

Yes, the bow above is the one it was based on and I have a stack of pictures, that I of course am not allowed to post but Toby Capwell at the Wallace very generously let me handle the original. I actually can't thank him enough, as when I approached him for the pictures and told him I was planning to make a copy he said 'You can't possibly do that without handling the original so can you come in next Tuesday?' A very approachable guy. The other notable thing was that I went in during the recent refit and was shown into a back room; he opened the door and the room was like a jumble sale of medeival artefacts, to the point that when he sat me down at a desk he asked me to try not to kick the leg armour that was in the banana box under it - I dream about that room.

It was a very interesting bow though, the first impression was of weight, and that is the same of the repro I have made, the stock alone is 5Kg (12lb) and that is due to the bone. The other really interesting side to the original is its history that is evident in its repairs. The steel bow it has now is almost certainly not the original as it does not fit the recess and to be honest this type of bow was far more common with a composite bow, though the decoration is still very period.

The other side that is intrguing is the repairs. The front of the bow has sheared off, breaking under the bow meaning that during loading or aiming the bow slipped under the stock, presumably horrifically injuring the left arm of the user/loader and there is also a break through the stock near the cranequin lugs. In both cases the bow was refitted and rivetted using large steel rivets to reinforce. So even though the stock had snapped at the front, snapped at the back and had the bow replaced it was still of enough value to be worth saving.

Tod

www.todsstuff.co.uk
www.theenglishcutler.co.uk
www.todsfoundry.co.uk
www.todmedia.co.uk
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great work and fascinating stuff. Big Grin Cool

Just a technical question about usage: I'm just wondering what if anything keeps the bolt in place on the bow string and aligned trait for shooting as there seems to be noting save the groove in the lock " Nut " ( proper term ? ) that might hold on to the end of the bolt but the front of the bolt would be free to move to the right or left of centre I think ?

Would one load it with a bolt just before shooting and try to not move so that the bolt would fly trait or not fall off the top of the crossbow if one was moving around ?

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simply freaking amazing.

I cannot begin to imagine how much time must have gone into that project.

Joe Fults

"INVENIEMUS VIAM AUT FACIEMUS (We will either find a way or make one)" Hannibal

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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote
Just a technical question about usage: I'm just wondering what if anything keeps the bolt in place on the bow string and aligned trait for shooting as there seems to be noting save the groove in the lock " Nut " ( proper term ? ) that might hold on to the end of the bolt but the front of the bolt would be free to move to the right or left of centre I think ?


If you look on the picture of the original bow between the nut and the cranequin pin there are two small holes that have been filled with bone and these were the original mounts for the spring clip, the larger,darker stud in front is a replacement clip fitted later in its life and now also broken off. When I have made the cranequin I will make and fit this part.

Hunting bows after about 1450 usually did not have a groove but had a small smoothed pair of uprights at the front that the bolt rested on. This gives better accuracy and less friction and that is the method this bow uses. It will be a small plate of bone that slides into the groove at the front of the bow and once the bow is shot it will be positioned and glued in place. This is done as there are always discrepancies between one side of a bow and the other because it is handmade, so this allows for some initial set up adjustment. This part is also missing from the original.

Crossbows do not use a nock or anything similar on the bolt, it is simply a flat end that the string pushes against, and this also can take a little time to set up properly on a bow, as the string can scoot over or even under the bolt, though usually this is a cause of the bolt

Tod

www.todsstuff.co.uk
www.theenglishcutler.co.uk
www.todsfoundry.co.uk
www.todmedia.co.uk
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the answer as I always wondered about this but never asked before. Wink Big Grin

A lot of these hunting crossbows seem to be missing this part or maybe it's that most books keep showing this same and
" famous " crossbow ? Will have to look more closely at any pics I have of different crossbows in my reference books.

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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 1:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

Jean Thibodeau wrote
A lot of these hunting crossbows seem to be missing this part or maybe it's that most books keep showing this same and " famous " crossbow ?


The bolt clip should look something like this when it is done. This can either be from a piece of bone or antler formed to shape or as is the case with this one cut from an antler/tine intersection.

Basically the problem is that it is rather delicate compared to the rest of the bow and it is easy to damage, especially with cranequin bows, where the clip often swivels out of the way.

Tod



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www.todsstuff.co.uk
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David Evans




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Nov, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Handling the bow         Reply with quote

I had a chance to handle this bow at TORM this weekend and I have to say that's it's even more stunning than the pictures give credit. It's an impressive piece with some real solid heft to it. I just can't believe that the skill sets exist out there to turn out pieces like this.
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Darrin Hughes




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Nov, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like David I was able to spend a bit of time with this 'bow at the market and I would agree that as is so often the case the pictures don't really do it justice. My initial impression from the photos was that it looked a little square and blocky, but this now seems to be the effect of a white object being photographed against a white background.
First hand this is much more sleek than it appears and the spine especially has a rather nice 'skittle' shape. The carving on the panels is nicely executed and the whole thing is very solid.

Cheers,
D.

btw, when it wasn't being viewed Tod had this chained up in a perspex display case. Probably the best secured item at the market.


Last edited by Darrin Hughes on Tue 18 Nov, 2008 5:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Glennan Carnie




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PostPosted: Mon 17 Nov, 2008 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had the pleasure of holding Tod's crossbow at the weekend. It's a truly stunning piece of work. Very beautiful indeed.
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Ben Potter




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 9:07 am    Post subject: Carving Bone         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting the pics of the bow, it is beautiful.

I was wondering if you have any tricks for carving bone? I've had trouble with it chipping.

Thanks,

Ben

Ben Potter Bladesmith

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod:
Can you tell us about the basket-weave leather bit on the business end of the stock? That weave/knot is identical to that used on some German sword scabbards of the period and I've been trying to figure it out for ages.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Ben Potter wrote
I was wondering if you have any tricks for carving bone? I've had trouble with it chipping.


I am afraid that I didn't carve the bone myself, but it was done largely with a pendant drill running very fast using a conventional drill bit as a milling cutter and taking a lon, long time over the job.

Quote:
Sean Flynt wrote Can you tell us about the basket-weave leather bit on the business end of the stock? That weave/knot is identical to that used on some German sword scabbards of the period and I've been trying to figure it out for ages.


I thought it would be a killer but actually it is pretty easy.
Pass a diagonal from top left to bottom right over the front, take it round the back and go top right to bottom left and so on. Be careful to lay them side by side as you go and they will naturally weave. this works for say 4 or 5 passes before the ring gets in the way and the front face (for want of a better term) runs out of room. At this point stop the diagonals, but don't cut the thong. Start running the thong round in a spiral weaving up and over the crossed pieces to create a woven piece.

I hope that kind of makes sense and please post up your results

Tod

www.todsstuff.co.uk
www.theenglishcutler.co.uk
www.todsfoundry.co.uk
www.todmedia.co.uk
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