Join Date: Jan 2011
Yes I’m also thinking that this crossbow maker was hiding this new invention so that it wasn’t copied by his competitors. I believe that this crossbow maker could actually be THE inventor of the two axle lock, and maybe also the four axle lock! He was at least one of inventors. I think, based on the inlay design and the crossbows overall design, that this maker has also made the crossbow in post #1. This crossbow is later than the one in post #55; it could very well be from 1475 as it says at Peter Finer’s website. Check out the similar design of the crossbow and the delicate inlays between the hole in the tiller and the long white strip below the lock. An interesting and odd thing about this crossbow that it WAS originally built as a two axle crossbow, but it was later rebuilt as a one axle crossbow! This could of course have been done later when the tiller was repaired at the front.
If you also check out the fancier and a lot more expensive crossbow in post #88, page 3, Royal Armouries, Leeds, Inv. –Nr. XI. 11, you will see the same pattern of delicate inlays on the same place as the two other crossbows. This one has a kind of four axle lock, ("Die Hornbogenarmbrust" page 100), that don’t seem to have been used on other crossbows and a lot different than the usual type that was used from at least 1496 to more or less modern times.
I have earlier looked for asymmetrical composite bows, but I can’t say anything conclusive about it, some bows look a bit asymmetrical but the majority seems to be straight. I think the one you mentioned is much to degraded to use as an example for an asymmetrical bow. It’s possible that composite crossbow bows don’t handle the twisting well if they were built asymmetrically.
I think that it is always better if one can build the bow from as few and as long horn strips as possible, but if you look at page 46, 47 and 89 of "Die Hornbogenarmbrust", you will see some examples of how I think most looked inside with pieces of different length and thickness glued together. I don’t think the “teethed joining” between the layers was the weak point but possibly the overlap between the horn pieces or if you get more overlaps at the same place in one of the bow limbs. I think the “teethed joining” was what held the bow together, the pieces locked a bit like LEGO pieces to each other and the glue line was longer.