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!
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Londonbrig012 months ago

Did you just make this part yourself? Is it aluminum?

u left out like half the info I need
Vidar_76 (author)  scientist801 year ago
I don't mean to be rude but it's a kind of failsafe - when you are old enough to read an instruction and figure out the not so obvious parts you are old enough to use a crossbow. Be patient. ;)
josuchav1 year ago
I can't see how exactly you attach the enforcement loop, though I'm sure the site won't appreciate posting copyrighted materials, but could you maybe explain it in a bit more detail?
Vidar_76 (author)  josuchav1 year ago

Sorry for a very late reply.
I found parts the book scanned on:


This picture maybe explains how the string are made:


No worries, and thanks for the links.

Whythisguy2 years ago
Wow how long did it take you build this? Also how much money did you spend on parts?
Vidar_76 (author)  Whythisguy2 years ago
It was a few years cinse i built it but most oft the parts was stuff i had laying around. The rattan part was 2 meters long and i think it costed aprox. 10€. The stock was made from a larger piece of ash that i gotten from i friend, the metal part was free but the box of spring costed maybe 15€.
Im unsure about the time it took but if i made it today it would be two days of actual work, its hard to say. The rawhide and glue has to dry and so on så its a lot of time spent waiting. Best way to find out is to start building ;)
morfmir2 years ago
har du nogle billeder af boltene den skyder med?
Det ser ud til den er over 10 år gammel nu, hvordan holder den? Kan den stadig skyde?

Jeg under mig over at der ikke skal være en form for rille på toppen for at holde bolten på rette kurs.
Vidar_76 (author)  morfmir2 years ago
Armborstet är tyvärr inte kvar i min ägo men senast jag hörde av ägaren så fungerade den gott. Har tyvärr inga bilder på bultarna, dom var ca 30-35 cm långa och 8-10mm tjocka.

På de äldre, främst 14-1500-tal, armborst som jag har sett så har jag aldrig sett någon ränna. Tror att det är viktigare att bågen drar rakt.

Tack för din krympburksinstruktion, har använt den i min undervisning!
fenrisilver5 years ago
This is probably the best crossbow instructable on the site. The bow you made loos amazing, and I really like how sophisticated you made the stock, with a trigger and everything. I'm not so sure about using rattan as a material though. At my karate class some of the teachers have staffs made of rattan, and I know that if they take enough abuse, they can shatter.
Vidar_76 (author)  fenrisilver5 years ago
Thank you!
Everything will sooner o later shatter.. I guess that the difference is that your karateteachers were hitting the rattan instead of just bending it. Just lika metal wood vill bend to a certain point and then start to deform och break. Bu using a quite long bow the bending per cm (or inch) gets less than with a shorter bow.
The rawhide in front of the bow will make the break less dangerous. Usually the wood vill loose some strenght instead of break when old.

(and without a stock and lock it would just be a bow ;) A stock with a stiff bow and som rubberband is a slingshot, not a crossbow. There seems to be a lot of confusion.)
I used to fight in the SCA society of creative anachronism. We used rattan for our swords for when they eventually break they break without sending shards into someones face, so rattan is actually a good choice from a safety point of view
Vidar_76 (author)  iminthebathroom2 years ago
I actually got the rattan from my SCA-friends, their use of it as svords, poleaxes and bows inspired me to try it on my crossbow.

By they way - i saw that almost 25 thousand people has seen my 'ible. Thats insane. Don't you have anything important to do? ;)
 What if the slingshot (under your definition) has a mechanical trigger?
Then it would be a very obscure and cool invention they used to call the "slurbow" it was a crossbow with a barrel for slinging lead balls to kill small game.
And they just /had/ to pack gunpowder in there
nice finished project! im thinking about making one of these, but im probably going to use a different kind of bow for a budget. i probably will stray from the design a lot, but i never could figure out how to make a lock, so i never pursued this project. now i know how i could make one ;)
Couldnt u use a crossbiw string for the string?
Vidar_76 (author)  ILIKETORTLES3 years ago
How do you mean, a crossbow string? The one i use is a quite typical crossbowstring.
Were did you get the trigger I want to make this for a costume for Rennaciase fairs already hayve the chain maile thanks

Vidar_76 (author)  SasquatchKid3 years ago
Hi. The trigger was made from 12x12mm iron bar. Welded together and shaped with a hacksaw and filed to proper shape. Try and ask your friends /parents and see if someone can help you make one.
jaylan773 years ago
is there any other types wood that would be sutable for the bow
because i cant find ratan
nice crossbow crazycreator187, looks nice, i think ill make one like yours! how gooda accuracy and range does it have?
wy not? looks pretty biesty
thanks, the accuracy depends on how straight your bolts(arrows) are and what sort of fletchings are on them. As fro the range that also depends on the bolts but if you shoot it straight up the bolt goes out of sight and stays in the air for 10-15 seconds. as I said further up, if you want me to I could probably take the crossbow to pieces (none of it is glued) and make an instructable.
I have just finished a crossbow, it uses a roller nut trigger, has a pine stock with 25 by 25mm square tubing, the bow is made out of a leaf spring.
That is a great looking job,I'd love to have designs for that.
I could probably take it all apart and make an instructable if you want, It would be more of a guide than step by step instructions.
Vidar_76 (author)  CRAZYCREATOR1874 years ago
It looks really nice!
How heavy are the bow?
do you mean weight or pull back weight?
kool invention i want oooooone
PastTheVoid5 years ago
A bit big for opening bottles. Not really the right shape either.
Vidar_76 (author)  PastTheVoid5 years ago
Have you tried? :)
Sometimes you'll just take the first hard thing thats closest to you. I consider it a useful skill to open a bottle with anything laying around.
 Now this is what you call a vintage crossbow! or real crossbow... ah whatever, I'll just say this: This is the sum of all DIY Technology ever developed in the 21st century!
wouldn't you need a slot across the top of the stock for the fletches on the bolt to run in? nice crossbow
Vidar_76 (author)  CRAZYCREATOR1875 years ago
Thanks! And no, the bolt has only two fletches so its no problem.
not true i have 2 and they both have a track 
Vidar_76 (author)  abadfart5 years ago
There are many different ways to solve this problem, since this was a crossbow that was supposed to have some historical feeling to it and most historical crossbows i have seen had two fletches i choosed that solution.

ok both of mine are from the 60s and later 
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