Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Vintage Backyard Crossbows! (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=9714)

Atlantia 7th April 2009 03:11 PM

Vintage Backyard Crossbows!
 
Having a clearout and found this!
Oak stock and steel metalwork.



Robert 7th April 2009 08:55 PM

Hello, What do you make the age of this to be and is it a reproduction or the real thing? It looks to be in good enough condition that if you restrung it and had a couple of bolts laying around that you could fire it. :D

Robert

Atlantia 7th April 2009 09:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Coleman
Hello, What do you make the age of this to be and is it a reproduction or the real thing? It looks to be in good enough condition that if you restrung it and had a couple of bolts laying around that you could fire it. :D

Robert


Hi Robert,
I really don't know much about it. I bought it about 10 years ago, I cleaned it up as it was quite rusty and shabby, and its been in a cupboard ever since.
I assume that it dates to somewhere between 1920-1960 and was for a bit of fun in the garden.

Its quite attractive, but rather simply constructed, simple steel parts held in with pins not screws.
Possibly a childs 'toy'. It would fire if I got it strung. It's 50lb+ so would definately hurl a bolt a fair way.

Regards
Gene

Pukka Bundook 8th April 2009 01:09 AM

It's a stone-bow, isn't it Gene?

I'd say more like the 20's than much later. but I'm only guessing!!

Looks nicely made and should work very well I should think.

Richard.

Atlantia 8th April 2009 02:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
It's a stone-bow, isn't it Gene?

I'd say more like the 20's than much later. but I'm only guessing!!

Looks nicely made and should work very well I should think.

Richard.


Hi Richard,

I dont know, it might be a stone bow, it has the curving stock, but it has a slot for what must be a bolt at either side of the curve and I guess I just don't know enough about them to be sure either way! lol
The prod is weird in as much as it has slotted ends rather than a central pin.

I'm surprised that others haven't picked up similar pieces and joined this discussion! I bet some of our more errr 'established' members may have had them as children! ;)

Regards
Gene

katana 8th April 2009 10:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
.........The prod is weird in as much as it has slotted ends rather than a central pin.....

Regards
Gene


Hi Gene,
nice object ;) ....I think the curved, slotted ends allow movement of the 'string' as the angle changes, with the draw and release of the prod.
I'm thinking a 'nipple' type arrangement (like a motor bike cable) but at both ends, if that is the case, some sort of 'industrial' manufacture seems likely.
One of my 'to do' lists includes trying to make a traditional crossbow. was originally thinking of forging a steel prod (once I've made my forge....that's also on the 'to do' list :o ) But recently acquired 24" of buffalo horn .....so now toying with the idea of a 'composite' prod .....horn, wood and sinew.....

I think 50lbs draw is easily suitable for small game. My compound bow's draw weight is around 50lbs and would send an arrow approx. 230 feet per second .I would expect a bolt / quarrel to have a similar speed at the same draw weight :eek:

Regards David

Atlantia 9th April 2009 11:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Gene,
nice object ;) ....I think the curved, slotted ends allow movement of the 'string' as the angle changes, with the draw and release of the prod.
I'm thinking a 'nipple' type arrangement (like a motor bike cable) but at both ends, if that is the case, some sort of 'industrial' manufacture seems likely.
One of my 'to do' lists includes trying to make a traditional crossbow. was originally thinking of forging a steel prod (once I've made my forge....that's also on the 'to do' list :o ) But recently acquired 24" of buffalo horn .....so now toying with the idea of a 'composite' prod .....horn, wood and sinew.....

I think 50lbs draw is easily suitable for small game. My compound bow's draw weight is around 50lbs and would send an arrow approx. 230 feet per second .I would expect a bolt / quarrel to have a similar speed at the same draw weight :eek:

Regards David



Hi David,

Yeah, LOL, V short motorcycle cable! that would probobly do the trick! ;)
To be honest, 50lb is plenty at short ranges if you're using sharp tips. I would never hunt, but I'm sure most creatures could be killed with it, even lightly armoured (padded/leather/ even banded) people would likely receive a potentially fatal wound at closer ranges

I had a barnett with a 150lb hernia inducing prod on it, and it would put a 14" bolt with a standard target point about 2" into the face of a seasoned elm log at 70m.

How about using a layer from a salvaged truck leaf spring for your prod. Cut the 'ties' and you should be able to prize them apart, then shape with a grinder!

You're horn would be perfect for inlay on the stock?

I must admit I think steel prods are best. Composite and fibreglass are far too prone to spectacular failures!

I've got a huge steel proded vintage medieval style xbow in the loft that I've always wanted to 'rebuild' into a more gothic style.
I'll try and dig it out later as I've got to get up there.
If I can I'll add some pictures :)

Cheers bud,
Gene

Atlantia 9th April 2009 03:25 PM

Heres another one!
 
This one's quite interesting. Again, I bought it in the late 90s, rusty asnd dirty, cleaned it up and had it on display for a while. The other half at the time didn't really like 'too many' weapons on display so its been in the loft for several years!

Its BIG as you can see from the 30cm ruler by it.

I'll let the pictures show it:







katana 9th April 2009 10:02 PM

Hi Gene,
are you expecting a 'Mad Max' apocalyptic type world soon :D
Is this second crossbow functional....looks great. I am not familiar with the 'spade' type arrangement on the side of the Xbow....what is its function ?
Had considered grinding down a leaf spring...but concerned that heat from grinding would affect the 'temper' ....also would need some sort of 'pattern' so that the prod not only 'flexes' correctly but also has some speed (springy-ness) to give the bolt a fast speed.

Kind Regards David

Jake 24th April 2009 10:42 PM

To Katana(And the rest of you fine folks on this forum,this being my first post-Greetings,and my great pleasure to have joined you here).
You're correct in that an abrasive grinder wheel will ruin the temper of a piece of leafspring.Here're a couple of thoughts,the expressed opinion,of course,being strictly from my own experience(which is not great).

(1)A used vehicle spring is somewhat ill-suited for such a project,primarily,because it may contain a microscopic structural flaw stemming from it's long,hard past service.However,it probably is a good choice of an alloy in general.A section of the alloy brand new,from the mill(complete with it's datasheet,detailing the HT schedule),is very inexpensive.Also,very probably,a shop specializing in spring work would give one a chunk free,or nearly so(as well as being capable to competently and reliably heat-treat(HT)your finished object for you afterwards,for a small fee).
(2)There are methods of reduction of steel that would preserve the original HT,water-jet being one.
(3)Vehicle leaf-spring alloy,often 5160 in the U.S.,and similar elsewhere,(a Cr alloy),is not the most difficult alloy to properly HT with some rudimentary backyard set-up.However the shape of the work,the prod,being as long and slender as it must be,may pose some difficulty.Far from insurmountable,but,depending on one's experience and access to the proper equipment,could be a bit of a headache.


Sounds like fun,though!One could experiment with both the cross-section of the arm of the prod and the temper,using a scale,and measuring the deflection distance,and it may get to be quite a controlled,and interesting process.The very best of luck to you,if ever you shall so embark!

Respectfully,Jake.
P.S.Having written all that,belatedly,and with dismay,i realised that it very well may fall ouside the scope of the preferred discussion on the forum,as set out in a thread by Mr.McDougall,that i've read immediately before this one.If so,my apologies,and i'll make an effort not to be carried away by my empiricism in the future.
Having failed in an attempt to erase it,would the implied safety warning about the use of post-industrial steel deem it even marginally acceptable?Or it's questionable benefit to an archeometallurgical studies? :o

archer 24th April 2009 11:26 PM

response
 
I think that the stone bow was correct it may be called a prod. I believe at any rate two strings were used with a pouch for bird shot or stones, like a sling shot. the style could well have been inspired by old publications like popular mechanics, etc.

katana 25th April 2009 10:05 AM

Hi Jake,
thank you for your input ....and welcome to the forum :) . I feel that comparisons with 'modern' steel alloys is within the scope of the forum ...it allows use to appreciate the craftsmanship and skill of much earlier weapon makers whom, did not have access to it. But with their knowledge gained with constant 'trial and error' were able to create steels with differing properties ...without really understanding the metallurgy involved.

Regards David

Pukka Bundook 25th April 2009 02:05 PM

Hi David and all,

I tried making a prod from a buggy spring, and it's a bit of a heavy pull, (about 170 lbs,) but doesn't have very effective cast. I think Jake has it right about floors in old springs as well. (When I draw this home-made effort, I think how spectacular it would be if it broke!) It is well wrapped to prevent it wrapping 'round my head but.....

A firm in the US makes prods, and are Very reasonable and reliable all steel jobs. I think they go up to 200 pounds or so.

Atlantia,

Your crossbow is very elegant!!

It would be nice to build something similar and inlay it with little bone critters, etc!

Richard.


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