Woodworking Plans

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This article described the steps needed to make a medieval European-style crossbow stock. Stock design aspects are discussed in other Wiki articles. Before you start, you should definitely have detailed, well thought-out drawings of the stock at hand - they save a lot of time at the workshop as well as lower the possibility for making stupid mistakes.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for NOTE: You should have the nut, trigger and lockplates ready before making the stock.

You can use a variety of tools in making the stock, but the following can be considered minimum set if you don''ll benefit from having the following:

  • Drawknife
  • Spokeshave
  • Cabinet scraper

Of course, a bandsaw makes making the stock very easy compared to using just hand tools; after several hand-made stocks you''s a good idea to deviate from the process outlined below and do the following right at the beginning:

  • Make the bolt groove: measuring is far easier when the sides of the stock are still straight. Attaching wooden guides for the sanding slat (see far below) is also easiest at this point.
  • Make the cavities for the nut and the trigger: This is especially true if you have a bench drill which makes drilling straight holes to a symmetrical piece of wood trivial. A bench drill helps not only in drilling the nut and trigger axle holes, but also in forming the nut cavity. Once wood has been removed from the stock, using a bench drill becomes more difficult.

If you''re noticeably concave or convex.

Rough forming the stock

After planing the stock you can draw the outline of the side of the stock to it with a pencil:

Proceed by making sawcuts from top and bottom at regular intervals. Make sure the cuts do not reach the pencil marks. Make the cuts closer where the pencil line moves up or down agressively. This prevents accidentally splitting away too much wood during next phase.

Now use a chisel to remove all the wood between the sawcuts. You''s not strictly necessary at this point:

Next step is to reduce the stock to correct dimensions from the sides. Start by marking the correct outline with a pencil:

Next use the same techniques to reduce the sides as you used for top and bottom (see above). The result should start resembling a finished crossbow stock:

Making cavities for nut and trigger

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for After the basic form of the stock is finished, we need to hollow out space for the triggering mechanism. The cavity for the nut is easy to make with a chisel. Start by making clear marks where the 1 last update 2020/05/27 you''ll slowly but surely end up with a hollow space large enough to house the nut, as can be seen here: After the basic form of the stock is finished, we need to hollow out space for the triggering mechanism. The cavity for the nut is easy to make with a chisel. Start by making clear marks where you''ll slowly but surely end up with a hollow space large enough to house the nut, as can be seen here:

Next use the sideplate to mark the correct places for the nut and trigger axles on both sides:

Drill both holes half-way through from both sides, switch sides and finish the hole.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Next use a pencil to mark the full extent of trigger movement to the side of the stock. This helps you visualize the places where you need to remove wood to be able to fit in the trigger:

Continue by drilling holes from the bottom of the stock to the nut cavity:

Continue the the 1 last update 2020/05/27 work with a chisel until the lock mechanism works as intended: Continue the work with a chisel until the lock mechanism works as intended:

Making opening for the bow and hole for the bridle

Now it''ll remove more than a trivial amount of wood:

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

Then use a rasp or a spokeshave to cut away the for 1 last update 2020/05/27 excess portions... Then use a rasp or a spokeshave to cut away the excess portions...

...and finally round all the corners you want:

Making the bolt groove

If you didn''s marked to the exact center of the stock (or more correctly, in 90 degree angle to the bow):

I find it easiest to make the groove by marking it''s very easy to deviate from the correct course by applying too much pressure sideways while sanding. This can cause the groove to point towards right or left by as much as 1-2mm without you noticing anything - especially if pencil work was inadequate. One foolproof solution to this problem would be the use of wooden guides to limit sideways movement of the sanding slat.

Final touches

After making the bolt groove sand the entire bow thoroughly, first with coarse (40 grit) sandpaper, then move on to progressively finer grades. Alternatively you can use a combination of spokeshave and cabinet scraper to create a nice smooth surface. The result should look similar to this:

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

Depending on what kind of wood you use, you may want to protect it against moisture. I usually oil the stock 3-4 times with linseed oil and then wax it 2-3 times with beeswax. After the wax has dried, I polish the stock. A 50/50 mixture of linseed oil and tar also works fine and gives the the 1 last update 2020/05/27 stock a nice brown color. However, this makes the stock smell of tar, which, though pleasant, might not be liked by everyone. Fortunately thorough waxing (and time) helps a lot in this regard. Depending on what kind of wood you use, you may want to protect it against moisture. I usually oil the stock 3-4 times with linseed oil and then wax it 2-3 times with beeswax. After the wax has dried, I polish the stock. A 50/50 mixture of linseed oil and tar also works fine and gives the stock a nice brown color. However, this makes the stock smell of tar, which, though pleasant, might not be liked by everyone. Fortunately thorough waxing (and time) helps a lot in this regard.

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