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any tips on making a crossbow?

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any tips on making a crossbow?

Unread postAuthor: beastmode986 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:58 pm

wwell i have everything planned out but i have on problem what material do i use to make the front bendy peice(forgot the name) i have no clue what to use for it. any ideas? thanks
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Unread postAuthor: Goats spudz » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:25 pm

you could use a car leaf spring or spring steel or even better just get a real prod from ebay there not that expensive http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150-lb-Crossbow-Limb-Prod-Replacement-w-String-150lb-/120605380234?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c14a40e8a for example
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Unread postAuthor: beastmode986 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:32 pm

ok thanks alot. ill probably try spring steel or just buy the limb on ebay. any idea where to buy spring steel?
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Unread postAuthor: jsefcik » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:51 pm

or go to your local sporting goods store
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Unread postAuthor: jakethebeast » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:33 pm

Springsteel might be too "hard", if not treated properly. When made a traditional crossbow that has been used in north Finland, the limb is steel, But it is treated so that it reaches high speeds and power.

Generally, wood is much faster than steel, so 60lbs flatbow will get same speeds as about 300lbs crossbow that uses steel limbs.

I would say go for wood, or composite materials, and stay out of steel. Even old ski's can be used for bow (trust me i know :D)

I will cry blood if you use steel and it doesn't look that good :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:53 pm

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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:59 pm

You can use those white golf flag poles for the bow part. They're fiberglass, but you'll need to use a few of them for enough draw weight. Leaf springs are better for very short bows, since the length of the limbs vs. the amount of weight at the limb tips has a dramatic effect on a bow's performance. You want most of the bending/energy storage to occur near the middle of the bow,
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Tue May 01, 2012 10:05 am

Jesus christ, do NOT try make your own prod (limbs) unless you know what you're doing- as you ask us what material to use to make the front bendy bit, you don't.

Commercial solid fiberglass limbs are made under high temperature and pressure, with extensive quality control. Laminated limbs in a similar manner, though obviously by a different process. I simply wouldn't recommend (hell, I wouldn't even buy one) considering a metal prod. Loud, uncomfortable to shoot with, heavy and slow. Not to mention you have a problem when it shatters.

Let me put it this way:

a) If you have good fabrication skills, then buy a cheap solid fiberglass prod, a string, arrows, and perhaps a trigger assembly. Make your own rail (this could be purchased also), stock, sights (unless you want glass optics) etc.

b) Go buy a crossbow

Edit: @ Jake, crossbows and flatbows are very different. A bow naturally has a longer powerstroke so can reach the same power with a lower draw weight, though the draw weight must be held continuously by the archer, and a bow requires much more skill and practice to use- this was why the crossbow became popular, because you didn't have to start training your bowmen the second they got off the teat to the extent that they became deformed.
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Unread postAuthor: Goats spudz » Tue May 01, 2012 3:36 pm

inonickname wrote:Jesus christ, do NOT try make your own prod (limbs) unless you know what you're doing- as you ask us what material to use to make the front bendy bit, you don't.

Commercial solid fiberglass limbs are made under high temperature and pressure, with extensive quality control. Laminated limbs in a similar manner, though obviously by a different process. I simply wouldn't recommend (hell, I wouldn't even buy one) considering a metal prod. Loud, uncomfortable to shoot with, heavy and slow. Not to mention you have a problem when it shatters.

Let me put it this way:

a) If you have good fabrication skills, then buy a cheap solid fiberglass prod, a string, arrows, and perhaps a trigger assembly. Make your own rail (this could be purchased also), stock, sights (unless you want glass optics) etc.

b) Go buy a crossbow

Edit: @ Jake, crossbows and flatbows are very different. A bow naturally has a longer powerstroke so can reach the same power with a lower draw weight, though the draw weight must be held continuously by the archer, and a bow requires much more skill and practice to use- this was why the crossbow became popular, because you didn't have to start training your bowmen the second they got off the teat to the extent that they became deformed.
How is a Crossbow loud and uncomfortable to shoot with if it has a metal prod? my friend has one and its almost silent and is comfortable to shoot, whats uncomefortable to shoot is a 180lb compound bow when it hits your hand and cuts off skin :D
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Tue May 01, 2012 5:24 pm

Jesus christ, do NOT try...


He's probably not looking for a three-hundred-bazillion pound 1.21 gigawatt deer obliterator. I suggested fiberglass flag polls since they're durable and pretty much fool proof, at least compared to leaf springs.
I knew some people who did large scale re-enactments/ medieval combat games, and it was a common choice of material for the crossbows used in them (when you wanted simplicity over power).
For a power standpoint it's far from ideal for a number of reasons, but for the cost of a board, poles and some various bolts and stuff it's worth trying if you're just starting out.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Tue May 01, 2012 10:03 pm

Fnord wrote:
Jesus christ, do NOT try...


He's probably not looking for a three-hundred-bazillion pound 1.21 gigawatt deer obliterator. I suggested fiberglass flag polls since they're durable and pretty much fool proof, at least compared to leaf springs.
I knew some people who did large scale re-enactments/ medieval combat games, and it was a common choice of material for the crossbows used in them (when you wanted simplicity over power).
For a power standpoint it's far from ideal for a number of reasons, but for the cost of a board, poles and some various bolts and stuff it's worth trying if you're just starting out.


Your suggestion of the flag poles is reasonable and safe- I was talking in terms of a higher power bow. If you just want a plinker then give the poles a try.

@ Goats, a 180# compound bow? Someone doesn't know what they're talking about...
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Unread postAuthor: jakethebeast » Wed May 02, 2012 12:28 am

Inonickname: I just used that flatbow as an example when trying to say that wood is faster than steel :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Wed May 02, 2012 2:18 am

jakethebeast wrote:Inonickname: I just used that flatbow as an example when trying to say that wood is faster than steel :wink:
Well for equal draw weight, wood will be quicker. Then fiberglass/wood laminations even better again.

There's some pretty good low price bows around. But I can tell you from experience archery can be a goddamned money sink. If I'd bought my last limbs new I'd have dropped $700+ on them
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Re: any tips on making a crossbow?

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Wed May 02, 2012 7:27 am

beastmode986 wrote:wwell i have everything planned out but i have on problem what material do i use to make the front bendy peice(forgot the name) i have no clue what to use for it. any ideas? thanks


Don't expect to get what you see in the movies. Crossbows are really only good for 30 to 40 yards tops. They are a lot of fun, I've had mine around 15 years or so. It's a cheapo recurve 120 lbs but still fun to shoot...
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Re: any tips on making a crossbow?

Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Wed May 02, 2012 11:03 am

jrrdw wrote:
beastmode986 wrote:wwell i have everything planned out but i have on problem what material do i use to make the front bendy peice(forgot the name) i have no clue what to use for it. any ideas? thanks


Don't expect to get what you see in the movies. Crossbows are really only good for 30 to 40 yards tops. They are a lot of fun, I've had mine around 15 years or so. It's a cheapo recurve 120 lbs but still fun to shoot...


Depends on the number of radical dollars you have floating around in your wallet :wink:

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