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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Tod's Stuff Munitions Grade War Bow         Reply with quote

It's been several months in the making, but I have a new crossbow "kit" from Tod's Stuff that I thought I'd share. Please excuse the terrible photography as I am not photographing under great conditions (it gets dark early here).

http://imgur.com/a/fR8XZ/1

Overall it seems very well constructed and solid. The finish is pretty good, though I can see file marks on the goatsfoot lever and a few on the trigger. They don't really bother me as they are not all over the place, and it is a munitions grade bow rather than a custom piece, but are worth mentioning. If it really bothers me I'll disassemble it and sand it. I also like that the metal pieces are forged rather than machined.

It spans quite smoothly as well, though I haven't done that since I had to replace the string since shooting the bow without a bolt in it is a bad idea.

The quiver is also quite nice, very even stitching on the back and the stamping along the rim is a nice touch.

I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet unfortunately, as I am in downtown Portland and without transportation, but I am hoping to remedy that as soon as I get home. Happy

Tod has been great throughout the process of getting everything shipped over here - he was very prompt in answering emails and questions I have had along the way. I'm quite pleased with my interactions with Tod and his product, and would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone.

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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice.

I wish these came as build-it-yourself kits also. Would make a great project.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:

I wish these came as build-it-yourself kits also. Would make a great project.


As for a DIY kit - I did have a bit of DIY experience with this piece. It came disassembed (the bow needed to be attached to the stock with the steel wedges on either side). Also, the string broke when I dry fired the bow (I didn't know that this isn't supposed to be done, but I won't be doing that again). I had to restring it myself, which was a bit of a challenge due to the high draw weight (I was told 250 lb draw). I was lucky enough to have a large vise and a friend handy, but I think it would be pretty challenging to do without these. Also knowledge of blacksmithing would be necessary to make the parts. The parts seem like they have a very considered interaction to work smoothly. Overall I think without knowledge and the studio for blacksmithing and the way the parts are supposed to work together, a DIY kit might be a impractical for most people. Though maybe just riveting all of the premade parts together would be more fun for others than it would be for me, but as a Metalsmithing major my idea of what constitutes "fun" may be a little warped Laughing Out Loud

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Joel Minturn




PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan-
I know there are several places that sell the metal parts for crossbows as well as severl forums dedicated to the topic.
I haven't spent too much time looking for places in Europe but they do exist. if you want more info let me know.
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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was looking into this crossbow too. Good to see that you are happy with this nice piece. Is there a bolt clip, so the bolt won´t slide out when shooting from a wall?
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No, I don't think it does. Is this what they look like?


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Addison C. de Lisle wrote:
No, I don't think it does. Is this what they look like?


Yep. That's it. They're easy to form and fit to a bow. That might be a nice project for you to do. Happy

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Joel Minturn




PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well having a good fit between the bolt and the roller nut should accomplish almost the same thing.

But I forgot to add in my earlier post. Those are both some great looking crossbows. How do they shoot?

Makes me want my new crossbow to show up.
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't had a chance to shoot it, as I am at school in an urban environment for another three weeks. I will be going home soon though and can't wait to give it a shot (pun intended). I have never shot anything (bow or gun) before though, so I may not be the best person to judge.

I think I will make a bolt clip though; it seems like a handy thing to have, and not all that complicated.

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Addison C. de Lisle wrote:
I haven't had a chance to shoot it, as I am at school in an urban environment for another three weeks. I will be going home soon though and can't wait to give it a shot (pun intended). I have never shot anything (bow or gun) before though, so I may not be the best person to judge.

I think I will make a bolt clip though; it seems like a handy thing to have, and not all that complicated.


Start close and make sure the target is nice and deep so the bolt doesn't sail right through or not so tough and hard that you won't be able to pull the bolts out without breaking them or just be able to pull it out at all: I had a broken off arrow head stuck into the basement staircase for years that was in so deep I couldn't take it out with pliers ! Well, that got fixed when my dad built a new staircase years later ( I was young and stupid and the house had a few scars from thrown darts or throwing knives, arrows or BB gun pellets when I was a little careless and missed the targets ...... Oh, a few holed pillow cases also ...... Eek! Razz )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Thu 18 Nov, 2010 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the tips Jean; I appreciate it Happy I am thinking of setting up a double thick block of blue insulating foam, the blue ones you can get at the hardware store.

Well, I went into the studio tonight and made a bolt clip. I'm pretty happy with it - clamping it to the table seems to apply enough pressure to the clip to make the bolts resistant to falling out without feeling like it's clamped down. I'll make some nails and test it on the actual bow tomorrow (with a clamp first) - I don't like to bring my crossbow to the studio every night (haha).

Once again, sorry for the bad photography.



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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Nov, 2010 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is a lovely piece. Tod does some great work. Be careful with your test shooting. Make sure that if the bolt goes through the target you have a fair amount of space behind it as a buffer zone.

As for the clip. Most medieval crossbows lack this so you might want to see how it goes without it. The clip makes somethings easier but as Tod showed me years ago with one he just finished they are not needed to keep the bolt set.

RPM
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Nov, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Randall; I will definitely see how it works without the clip prior to attaching it. It does seem like a fairly useful device though; I'll have to do some looking and see if I can find evidence of any in period artwork. Are there any down-sides to the clip, such as reduced range or accuracy due to the extra drag?
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Nov, 2010 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did a bit of looking and found a few, later crossbows that have bolt clips - I can't seem to find earlier ones though, nor anything on their disadvantages (if any). Could anyone offer some insight on the subject? As a note, I am looking for information on disadvantages to the bolt clip more so than if it's strictly historically accurate, though that is welcome as well.


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Close-up of ivory bow, and what appears to be a bolt clip at the top, Unknown provenance/period

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German, 1475 [ Download ]

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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Mon 22 Nov, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi All

Felix R wrote
Quote:
was looking into this crossbow too. Good to see that you are happy with this nice piece. Is there a bolt clip, so the bolt won´t slide out when shooting from a wall?


As Randall and Addison point out later in this thread bolt clips were not really around until about 1500/1520 or so, so really they would be innappropriate for the 15thC which is where this bow fits. I will not argue that a bolt clip is a handy addition to a bow, but it does depend on how historically pure you want to be.

If the bolt is well fitted to the nut or lightly wedged in with a slip of cloth etc they can be pointed down, it is also possible to hold the bolt down with your left thumb just in front of the nut and let the string skid under your thumb ( courage is required but generally not pain killers). Both methods allow you to hold a bolt in place without a clip.

Addison - caution. The bolt clip will need to swivel out of the way for the goats foot lever to operate so use only one fixing point and you are better off with a screw or a bolt (both OK historically if you use a slot head) as a nail is likely to loosen. The trigger mechanism passes right under where you need to fix the clip, so keep the fixings shallow to about 3/8" or so. Finally it is better to have a clip that flexes and though a nice bit of forging, I think this should allow for flex more. I have seen them made in thin sheet steel, so you could kill a hacksaw blade. Failing that I could send you a horn one.

As regards any negative points to a bolt clip? They slow the reload slightly and as any museum collection will testify, you will break it off at some point due to accident. On the plus side, they hold the bolt in place if you are shooting down or moving about and they look pretty.

Regards

Tod

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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Nov, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks very much Tod, this is exactly what I wanted to know. Also thank you for pointing out the fact that it needs to swivel - I hadn't considered that but I now see the problem. I will see how things go without a clip, and if I still feel it's necessary after actually using the bow, perhaps I'll make another.
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