A while ago i searched Ible' for crossbows and found mainly K'nex thingys and stuff too badly build to be really useful for tagetshooting. (I am truly sorry if you made one thats don't fit this, please let me know)
This is a crossbow i built in 2002 for a friend. At that time i worked as webprogrammer so my skills and tools were not what they are today after teaching woodshop for the last three years. I see a lot of embarrassing mistakes i made but hopefully you'll avoid them.
At that time i mostly built medieval things so this was a nice change for me. I have the Payne-Gallwey-book and wanted to try something from the 17-1800 century chapters. My friend was going to use it for target shooting and live roleplaying (with blunt arrows of course) Using rattan limits the bow a bit but it still fun to use whitout it beeing so heavy its any actual danger.
The stock is made of ash and the bow of rattan, wrapped in rawhide for strength and waxed linen for protection.
This was made in 2002, way before steampunk as far as i know. If i would build it today i may have gotten more brass on it but i like a clean look (steampunk could be very nice but tend to get a bit christmas treeish) Since i bought my first camera while building there are some pics missing, due to lack of camera and experience in documentation. Hopefully you'll manage anyway. A exact copy would'nt be as fun to see as you own creation.
As usual - sorry for misspellings and bad language.
You will use axe, knife, powertools, hot wax mixed with turpentine and so on so use common sense. If you dont have any, lend some from a friend. It seems like some americans need a lot of these warnings. As i say to my pupils - if i warn you three times and you still hurt yourself, whos fault is it? ;-)
I suppose you all know that this is a sporting tool that in the wrong hands could be dangerous. Please be careful, dont shoot anybody that doesnt want it and use blunt arrows and proper protection when needed. For scandinavians: var fonuftig for f*n!
Step 1: Making the stock
First i started making a piece to try out how large the stock should be, where the handrest and trigger would fit. I'm sorry i can't give you any measurements, the crossbow is no longer in my possession. You will have to do some trial and error.
As you can see i didn't make the hole for the bow until it was ready and i could try i out to see how far it should be pulled to get the right strength. (normally you want as much as possible but my friend had a limit to ~25 pounds since he was going to use it for live roleplaying)
The stock was shaped with the tools i had available at the time - handsaw, electric drill and rasp.