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stuckinthemud 30th January 2018 11:06 AM

late Gothic crossbow construction
Hi Guys,
I am in the middle of a (very) long-term project to reconstruct a mid/late Gothic composite crossbow. I am a reasonably skilled carver, can build long-bows, can work deer-antler and am learning to work with horn, sinew and traditional glues. I have read everything I can find, and have looked at relevant chapters from Die Armbrust. What I need is a decent set of measurements for a 'typical' composite prod of the type used for hunting, not warfare, from the mid to late 15th century from the Saxony region. Can anyone help? My ultimate goal is to construct a reasonably faithful replica of the Ulrich bow, but I do not anticipate undertaking that project for a few years, a generic mid-15th century Gothic bow is the next step for me.

Thanks in advance

fernando 31st January 2018 11:57 AM

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Welcome to the forum Andrew,
You will notice that the scope of this forum is to discuss original examples, so that you will find several posts with pictures and research, but not properly the way to make replicas. You may use the 'Search' button above to follow such discussions.
However concerning technical data, measurements and the like, i would ask you if you are familiar with the book here attached, a bilingual work with a comprehensive study on crossbows, where measurements are mentioned to the last detail namely, i realize, for the styles you are after.


Marcus den toom 31st January 2018 12:13 PM

Not really helpfull for measurments but there are alot of quality pictures of medieval crossbows

corrado26 31st January 2018 01:52 PM

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Maybe this book helpls in your research with lots of drawings and pictures on more than 500 pages

stuckinthemud 31st January 2018 10:34 PM

Hi Guys.
Fernando thank you for the welcome, I will try to obtain a copy of the book you describe. I confess that I am aware of the scope of the forum but as it is the dimensions of original weapons I need, I thought this the best place to come to, having lurked here on and off for a long time. To Marcus ten boom and Corrado26 also my thanks and although I am familiar with the documents you suggest, they are indeed excellent. The best paper I have found is the one by Barron de Casson on the Ulrich bow. What I particularly need is length of bow, thickness and width of bow at centre, the rest I am fairly well informed on though all advice is always welcome.

fernando 1st February 2018 11:25 AM

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Here you have some specs, Andrew. I am not certain if this is what you are looking for. If so, you will find in this book excelent close up pictures of each detail, measuring systems, and a thechnical overview on the European crossbow.
Indeed an exelent book you should acquire, once interested in the subject.


stuckinthemud 4th February 2018 10:15 PM

Thankyou Fernando, yes, that is exactly what I need; I also noted a measurement for a long-tiller composite bow in Matchlock's translation of an essay by Bielz on page 10 of the 'Classic thread', where the prod is described as 80cm long and 6cm thick at the centre:

fernando 5th February 2018 11:58 AM

Good; so you are not stuck in the mud any longer ;) .
Don't forget to buy the book; it is a precious one for your hobby.

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