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Doug
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This one was a rush project for an event my family was hosting. It was a murder-mystery dinner party that was a Big Top circus theme, and the murder weapon was a medieval crossbow. I had long ago wanted to make the crossbow in Scrollsaw Woodworking & Crafts magazine Issue 49 from 2012, and this was the excuse to do it. https://foxchapelpublishing.com/scroll-saw-woodworking-crafts-issue-49-holiday-2012.html

This thing is big. For scale, the base of the 'castle' is 10" x 18", and the length of the bow is close to 3 feet long. I had just a couple of days to make it, so I took the pull out plans from the magazine to the copy center to copy it on the blueprint sized copier. Not only isn't that an expensive experience, but it took 20 minutes for the copier to warm up and go through all of it's self checks before I could make my copies. It would have been cheaper to order another copy of the magazine! I got home and started laying out my stock, I had planned to use some aspen that I had which would have been perfect. I started planning the stock to match the dimensions required on the plan, and when it was done I started laying out the cuts. That's when I realized something was wrong. Sure enough, there was an error in the plan and the stock was now MUCH too thin. (the good news is I have some perfect material for Christmas ornaments now....)


Plan B - Poplar. I have a lot of it, so I planed some down to 3/4 inch and started over. With the body done I switched to the trigger and guard, and used some Brazilian cherry that I had which was already 3/8 inch thick, and it worked beautifully. I used a very old pine shelf for the bow, and put some weathered oak stain on the edges to mask the fresh cut look of the wood. The scrollwork on the sides is 1/4 inch Luan plywood. The castle and knights are more Poplar, with a mix of black and aluminum spray paint on them.

The project took a little over 2 days, and the painting was finished by my oldest a couple of hours before the event.

It was a big it at the event, and the bow shoots surprisingly accurately. The long deck of the bow gives a great sightline down the length of the rubber band, you just have to aim a little lower than you think. Once you shoot it a couple of times you should have no problem hitting your mark at 15-20 feet. The small machine gun in the one picture was a Steve Good pattern which I cut out forever ago (https://www.routerforums.com/wood-scrolling/16719-thanks-lot-bob.html#post138205)

One knight did suffer a broken foot during the evening's play, but I didn't get too broken up over that. Big problem now... what to do with it? It's a fun toy to play with, but it's huge!
 

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give it to the kids to play w/...
won't be long before it's broken or you'll be forced to take it away from them and trash it...
 
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