Building A Primitive Crossbow

Discussion in 'Hunting / Fishing / Trapping' started by GrizzlyetteAdams, Mar 28, 2019.

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  1. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Has anyone here built a primitive crossbow from materials found in nature? Please chime in! I would like to learn how make this ancient hunting tool, which incidentally can also be used along with a trap setup.

    There is not a lot of how-to information Out There, but I like these videos that help to take the mystery out of the building process. Some of the vids are missing a few critical details, and others fill in the blank spots quite nicely. All are different styles but the principle is the same.

    First, a couple of quickie vids, then more detailed ones in my next post:



     
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  2. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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  3. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    I like how this guy talks about working with the grain of the wood, etc. etc. etc.

     
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  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Somewhere there is an old garden gate on which I used a buggy spring as a latch lever. Must see if I can find it, might make a great bow for a crossbow.
    Keith.
     
  5. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    I think I will add a sinew/hide glue backing to my crossbow just for safety and durability.

    For those who are not familiar with that concept, here is a brief go at explaining how it works on Native American bows:

    https://www.primitiveways.com/secrets_of_sinew.html



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  6. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I forgot, crossbows are illegal over here!!!:(
    Keith.
     
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  7. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Keith, there is hope yet!! Notice how the guy worded the beginning of his presentation in the last video I posted... (he alluded "for educational purposes" or something like that).
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
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  8. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Expert Member
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    Great thread. Honestly though, wouldn't a regular bow be easier and quicker to make? Now if you need a primitive weapon for siege warfare, I could see making an arbalest or ballista.
     
  9. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Yes indeed a regular traditional bow is certainly easier to make, but for certain situations, you can't beat a crossbow. For example, in a situation where drawing back on the string may blow your cover or maybe even be difficult because of the lack of elbow room, crossbows are the BOMB for stealth and ease of use. Also, for those who never shot one, they are easier to learn how to shoot accurately in a shorter amount of time than a traditional bow.

    Because info is (relatively) scarce, this thread is an effort to explore the ancient/primitive methods of making one with found materials. :)


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  10. randyt

    randyt Expert Member
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    Ron Hood has a video on making a primitive crossbow, He goes into details and makes one from found materials.

    On another note, I have often thought a leaf spring from a snow machine would make a dandy bow for a crossbow.
     
  11. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    No doubt I always done something wrong when whittling out a traditional bow . I've worked with white oak , cedar , and osage orange . The results have always been the same . It always dried out and became as stiff as a board , with zero spring .
     
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  12. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Unfortunately the crossbow over here is classed as a prohibited weapon. There is no way of legally obtaining & using a crossbow.
    Keith.
     
  13. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Are you "seasoning" your wood properly for at least a year before using?

    Check out post #4 from this site:

    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/paleoplanet69529/bow-wood-does-it-need-to-be-seasoned-t36170.html

    Here's that post:

    "Don't be put off by people talking about drying boxes, moisture meters and whatever other "modern methods" you have in mind when referring to drying and seasoning. While these things are handy to have and give you a lot more freedom and precision when seasoning wood, they are by no means necessary. I dont use them and i think it is safe to say that most of us dont. sometimes i like to work green wood down to near finnished dimensions but i never bend it very much (certainly nowhere near its final draw weight). but even this method can cause wood to warp as it dries if you arent careful. you can strap it to a board to avoid this. What i do is cut a few logs anywhere from 4" to 10" in diameter, paint or smear glue on the ends and then split the logs in half and leave the bark on. with the woods that check easily that Iktomi mentioned, i just glue the ends and leave them until they drop a lot of moisture weight, then split, let them drop more weight then de-bark. so to sum it all up, cut it, glue it, split it (except some woods), let it lose weight, then debark it and let it lose more weight. Once your stave stops losing weight it has reached equilibrium and is as dry as it is going to get. And as a general rule of thumb, dry wood is twice as strong as green wood. So if you put a green stave under too much stress it may take set that you wont be able to fix even when it is dry."


    This expounds more on what he meant by "glue the ends."

    https://www.wildernessawareness.org/articles/bowmaking-basics

    Check out the sections titled,
    Prepare the stave
    Alternatives to harvest
    Seasoning on the Fast Track


    Here is an excerpt from "Prepare the stave"


    "The traditional process is to immediately coat the ends of the stave with varnish or glue. This will prevent it from drying too quickly — allowing the wood to season without the ends cracking. Now set your stave in a cool, dry spot under cover. Let it season for at least a year."



    (By the way, wax or hide glue also works for sealing the ends of the stave.)

    Edited to add: After making your bow, I would also back it with sinew and hide glue which will give the bow more "spring."


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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
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  14. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Wow...Australia has the most kinds of dangerous critters in the world (seems like EVERYTHING there wants to either kill you or eat you!), and folks are left with pretty much only a rolled up newspaper for defense against anything!

    Note to self: Scratch Australia from bucket list...


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  15. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Is it a crossbow if it is unable to shoot a bolt? Could you build it but install a blocking plate to prevent a bold from being loaded. Then tag the video for instructional purposed only. just a thought. Sort of like building a rifle that will not seat a bullet. Looks like the real thing, was built like the real thing but can't fire a bullet, so it is not a rifle, it is a replica.

    I did something like that to comply with the California AR15 rifle laws. I turned my AR15 from semi auto to bolt action. Funny how it became an semi auto AR15 once I crossed back into Arizona.

    Just a thought.
     
  16. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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  17. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Expert Member
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    LOL, if you keep a rolled up newspaper specifically for the purpose of self defense you can be arrested.
     
  18. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Don't be too hasty, they produce some bloody good wine over there...definitely worth the visit. As for everything wanting to kill you or eat you....no worries, statistically the most deadly animal over there is a horse.
     
  19. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    If the Aussie legislation is anything like the UK offensive weapons legislation then they will include component parts or working replicas in the ban but exempt genuine antiques or theatrical props
     
  20. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Until 1863 every able bodied man in England and Wales was required by law to practice archery, at this point the law was repealed. Crossbows, air bows and bows are still legal here but not for hunting.
     
  21. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    That may be true, but after reading many reports over the years (much like this one): I think I will stick with my own homemade (delish!) wine, lol.

    https://www.australiangeographic.co...3/03/australias-dangerous-animals-the-top-30/




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  22. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Seldom drink alcohol, and really don't like wine. So Australia is off my list completely. Too bad, I used to think the people had a pair.
     
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  23. randyt

    randyt Expert Member
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    Australia is on my bucket list, I think it would be awesome to visit. The outback specifically. Gosh they have folks like Keith and the bush tucker man. They have interesting history too, guys like Ned Kelley and Rod Ansell. The aborigines, sign me up.
     
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  24. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Yes they did have people with guts. No they have allowed their government to emasculate them. Keith can't even make a replicate crossbow. That is sad.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  25. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Expert Member
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    Australia and Hawaii were both on my bucket list. Both have been removed for basically the same reasons.
     
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  26. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    I'm amazed to find that they consider the honey bee so dangerous, I keep several hives of bees and am often surrounded by large numbers of them. Anyway according to figures available on the web (so take them with a small pinch of salt), horse related deaths maxed in 2017 at 20 fatalities while the max number of bee deaths was in 2016 with the loss of 10 lives.
     
  27. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Anyway, back to the topic, I have made bows in both ash and yew but have never actually tried to make a crossbow. I set aside some ash to season for the limbs of the bow but ended up using it to make replacement axe handles.
     
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  28. randyt

    randyt Expert Member
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    Lots of places are on my bucket list, Great Britian comes to mind. While I don't necessarily agree with all their laws I will not shun them either. My grandfather was alive when the 1934 and 1968 gun control acts were enacted. He was against both. Should I not have visited him because he didn't do enough to stop those laws?

    The USA is approaching the same outcome. There are laws being passed state by state banning things, little bits and pieces at a time. Types of firearms are being outlawed, not just Hawaii. These laws will eventually stair step downward. I saw huge changes over the last 45 years. More and more people are willing to trade freedom for security.
     
  29. Sonofliberty

    Sonofliberty Expert Member
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    I have already been to England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. All good their. My rich uncle paid for the trip lol
     
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