Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
We do not know much about the materials but the only glue used it those periods was bone glue from animal bones. It was not at all 'water proof' but I have heard of the alum addition as well ...
I think that the cranequin you posted should be assigned to the early 16th c. Such pieces in good condition are between 2,500 and 3,000 euro, or you could purchase an imperfect one for less than 1,500 € and complete it yourself. I cannot imagine building a perfect one for less money. Did you ever have a look inside a gear box and take out the gear wheel of such a cranequin?
I'd like to get into contact with the guy you mentioned who built 13th c. composite bows and see photos of his productions!
The only other good book is
Egon Harmuth, Die Armbrust, Graz, 1975, and a later revised edition.
Do not expect to find a lot of images of original items in them though; that's why I started this thread! All original crossbows the photos of which I got hold of are posted here as long as there are a few close-ups.