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Homemade Crossbow with Decorative Leather


 Above and below are photos of a homemade crossbow which were posted on Facebook (I don't know who the original creator was). What is interesting however is how they used decorative leather on the crossbow limbs and also on the foot stirrup.

I also really liked trigger, as it looks like it was handforged out of iron. Altogether this is awesome looking crossbow. Just look at the stitching on the leather!



The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow, Part I

Stemmler Logo
A few years ago I found a broken Stemmler recurve bow in the garbage at the Toronto Archery Range.

At the time I decided it was worth salvaging. Possibly to repair it or turn it into something else.

Years later, I am currently working on a new project to turn the old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. Hence the title: The Homemade Stemmler Crossbow.

Part I. It is going to take multiple posts to cover this story. Subscribe to Project Gridless if you want updates for when more posts on this subject appear. I will likely do a video of the finished crossbow too, so you can also subscribe to Project Gridless on YouTube.

My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can unlocked from their position and be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is eventually a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Below you can see the two broken pieces of the Stemmler, and see where the upper limb snapped off from the previous owner. Was it old? Did the previous owner overdraw it? Who knows. We shall see what happens.



Using a saw, I trimmed the broken limb for a smoother edge. I then measured it compared to the other limb and cut it in the same location, so both limbs are now the same length.


I still need to epoxy part of the broken limb as part of it has delaminated.

I will also need to reinforce part of the working limbs, as putting pressure on that section without reinforcement could cause it to snap again. So the section of the working limb where it will be attached to the crossbow stock needs to be reinforced - I am thinking of using oak, and I am thinking I should reinforce both the front and back.

Once that is done I need to drill holes for bolting it to a mechanism for attaching to the crossbow. The mechanism needs to be able to be locked into position, and to be able to be easily unlocked. So I need to research possible designs. I am currently thinking of using a steel deadbolt approach.

I have a stock I was making for a different crossbow I could use. But I am also thinking maybe I should make a new stock just for this project, and use a different style of trigger mechanism this time around. Previously I have used a drop-pin mechanism, but now I am thinking I should try using a Roman-style rolling trigger.

If I do make a new stock, I think I will make this stock wider than last time by laminating two pieces of oak together. It will be more comfortable to shape the handle and stock.

I could also in theory use a spring-loaded trigger, but I worry the spring would not be strong enough. Plus springs get weaker over time, and I would prefer a mechanism that doesn't need a replacement spring years later.

I am thinking I will use a steel stirrup this time around, for faster reloading - and it will double as a bipod for more accurate shooting. I also want it to fold for easy transport too.

Brass sights. Yup. I wanna make a brass sight for this one. Should be fun. V-shaped sights.

Note

Yes, what you are reading above is basically a To Do List / Checklist for my own personal use. I find this is useful during the design process so I can plan out each stage of a project. Helps get it done faster by creating goals I can set and then do.

Crossbow Bowstrings

Question

"Crossbow Repair"
I need a new string replacement please call or text me at [phone number removed for privacy reasons].

Thanks
Lance 


Answer

Hello Lance!

I don't make crossbow strings, but I do know who does.

Go to Ballistic Bowstrings in Angus, Ontario.
http://www.ballisticbowstrings.com/

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
ProjectGridless.ca
Follow Up Email
Thank you!
Lance


Notes
So yes... I don't make crossbow strings for clients. But people keep contacting me asking me this same question or similar question.

Examples:
  • People looking for crossbow strings.
  • People looking for crossbow replacement parts.
  • People looking for crossbow repairs.
So yes, I do make my own crossbows - and I do repair compound bows. But I currently am not in the business of repairing crossbows. (And yes, there is a difference between crossbows and compound bows... and compound crossbows.)

And I do make my own crossbow strings, for my own private use. I do not sell them. Ever.
I also make / repair my own bowstrings, but I do not sell bow strings either.
So whenever people come asking for bowstrings (for regular bows or crossbows or compound bows) I always point them to Ballistic Bowstrings. For the following reasons.
  1. They make excellent bowstrings.
  2. They make all types of bowstrings. Regular, compound, crossbow. Custom jobs.
  3. Their prices are reasonable. Not cheap, but not expensive either.
  4. They are right here in Ontario. Not far from Toronto. And I prefer to support local craftsmen.

Regarding crossbow replacement parts...

I do buy old compound bows and take them apart for their parts. Typically I offer $15 to $25 for your old junker compound just so I can strip it for parts.

I am not *currently* in the business of buying / selling crossbows or their parts. Not yet at least. This might change in the future. But for now, just assume that I don't have any crossbow parts at all.

Regarding crossbow repairs...

I am not currently in the business of repairing crossbows either. I can restring a crossbow if need be, but I don't currently do any other kind of crossbow repair. I am focusing solely on compound bows. Not crossbows.

How do I know if my crossbow or compound bow is a junker?

Honestly, here is how you know:
Try to sell it.
If the only offers you receive are people interested in buying it for the parts, or if you receive zero offers period, that means it is not worth repairing and is essentially junk. At which point it really should just be sold for parts.

So if it is a compound bow, let me know and I can make you an offer.

If it is a crossbow, I am currently not interested. Maybe in 2020 I might change my mind and get into the business of repairing crossbows / buying junker crossbows for parts, but at present... nope. Not interested.
Also to anyone thinking their old junker is worth more than $25... nope. It isn't. Old junker compounds are basically a dime a dozen. And they are buyer beware too, as they are used and could have unforeseen problems. Getting $15 to $25 for your garbage is generous as I don't even use most of the parts. Most of them end up in a box, unused.


In other news...

I am currently working on a new project to turn an old broken Stemmler recurve bow into a homemade crossbow. My goal is to make it into a folding crossbow, so the limbs can be folded towards the stock for easy transport. It won't be very powerful (the original limbs were 45 lbs) and I am using part of the working limbs to attach it to the stock, so I am losing about one fifth of the working limbs. When it is a crossbow it will also be losing a good chunk of its draw distance, so I am expecting the final crossbow to only have a draw weight of 25 lbs - which means it will effectively be a toy crossbow.

But whatever. I am having fun enjoying my winter working on this project. When I am done I will have a "Stemmler Crossbow" and have turned a piece of garbage into a working crossbow.

Happy Shooting!

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