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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: 2 new bows for TV drama         Reply with quote

Hi All,

I have been working with a BBC drama based in the early 16thC, that is being filmed at the moment and will be broadcast next year. I have been supplying archery equipment and teaching the actors to shoot and also supplied these two bows.

The first bow is based loosely on a bow belonging to Emperor Maximilian. and dated around 1480 I think. The original is a very notable bow because it has a bow length of around 600mm/24" and has a draw of over 150mm/6" which is unprecedentedly long to my knowledge. The original was spanned by a cranequin whilst my version uses a goats foot lever.

My reproduction has a cherry stock with horn and bone pinstripes and a bone deck. The nut is antler and the string linen. The bow itself is covered with linen and painted and is 350lb.

The second bow is styled after central European and German bows of the mid to late 15thC. It also uses a steel bow, but this one has been clad to make it look like a composite bow. This of course has an impact on performance and reduces bolt speed by around 10-15%, but as this bow is 350lb, there is still enough power left to count. The stock is cherry and the detailing is horn and bone and it has a steel nut. This bow is also spanned with a goats foot.

The bow is lashed in place with dyed hemp cords and has a plaited detail over this. I wanted to put pompoms on this bow but the TV people said no.

As the astute amongst you may have noticed both these bows are around 40-50 years out of date, but as they are being hired for a small budget I had to make bows that would be easily saleable afterward - commercial realities I am afraid.

I hope you like them.

They will be available for sale later in the year or early next year.

Tod



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www.todsworkshop.com
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun, 2014 12:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work on the bows. Are 16th century crossbows difficult to sell then? If so, why?
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Martin Francis




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun, 2014 1:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very pleasing Tod......

Then you had to go and say that they would be for sale later. I must try and come up with a term for this sort of deferred torture..... I mean I don't NEED another crossbow...

Martin
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Marik C.S.




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Nice work on the bows. Are 16th century crossbows difficult to sell then? If so, why?


I doubt they are difficult to sell in general, but certainly more difficult than 15th century ones. If your target demographic is larger it's easier to sell stuff. There seems to be simply more 15th century reenactment around that would benefit from having beautiful crossbows.

Though with these beauties there are few places that wouldn't benefit from having them.

Europe - Where the History comes from. - Eddie Izzard
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jun, 2014 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There was a revolution in trigger design from around 1500 -1560 and so by the end of this period triggers went from two components to 6 or 7 and the complexity went up exponentially; and so the cost. This is always difficult in that the bow looks basically the same form the outside, but has a great deal of investment on the inside and so costs more.

Added to that, the late medieval period is a popular period all over the world, so has a much bigger market than 16thC.

In a nutshell a 1480's bow will sell much faster than a 1520's bow

Tod

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Mike Capanelli




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jun, 2014 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

God I love that pinstripe bow. If it goes on sale in February I can tell you where my tax return is going.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jun, 2014 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
There was a revolution in trigger design from around 1500 -1560 and so by the end of this period triggers went from two components to 6 or 7 and the complexity went up exponentially; and so the cost.


What was the benefit from this change? Was it related to a change in typical draw weights or suchlike?

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jun, 2014 12:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote
Quote:
What was the benefit from this change? Was it related to a change in typical draw weights or suchlike?


I would get out the drawings from Payne-Gallwey if I could find the book (all packed away at the moment).

In early systems the nut rotates and the trigger bares directly on this. If you get the trigger pivot position too low and the trigger can become a hair trigger, especially with a little wear. Too high and the trigger 'self locks' and you have to overcome a vector of the load of the bow to shoot = very heavy trigger. The face angle of the sear itself also influences both of these and to a minor point so does the trigger spring. The upshot is that you always have to err on safety and have a trigger that does not want to go off on its own and at higher poundages this can make for heavy triggers.

It was realised around 1500 that putting further stages in the trigger chain could still allow for a secure trigger, but reduce the required load to pull the trigger very significantly. A great step forward, in essence to the principle of triggers now, but this comes at the cost of complexity.

Of course much experimentation was done and so there was quite a while where triggers that we would consider very ungainly were in use where you had small pins that you inserted into the bow to reset sprung trigger components or small levers or knotted cords were pulled to reset these parts. However, the result was that you could put maybe 2000lb load through the trigger system and have a crisp, reliable and light trigger pull.

At some stage (after my primary interest) maybe around 1650? this was all worked through and multi part triggers became 'fully automatic' in that they would open and close as required without any parts to reset.

The stylistic cues given by the simple rotating nut trigger carried on for hundreds of years, so that hunting bows in the 1700's still have what looks like a conventional long trigger bar, which is in fact a fixed guard to the small more normal looking trigger protruding from the bottom of the stock.

Tod

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Paul Mortimer




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Jun, 2014 12:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work Tod, as always.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 05 Jun, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
There was a revolution in trigger design from around 1500 -1560 and so by the end of this period triggers went from two components to 6 or 7 and the complexity went up exponentially; and so the cost. This is always difficult in that the bow looks basically the same form the outside, but has a great deal of investment on the inside and so costs more.

Added to that, the late medieval period is a popular period all over the world, so has a much bigger market than 16thC.

In a nutshell a 1480's bow will sell much faster than a 1520's bow

Tod


I would guess that the Latchet Crossbow trigger mechanism is also a complex one compared to the earlier two components ones ?

Just a theoretical design non-historical question: The Latchet Crossbows seem to be a late development and mostly used for small home defence crossbows, and maybe for use on horseback, but could the design be scaled up for a full sized military crossbow ?

Historically, by the time the Latchet Crossbows where developed the use of full size military crossbows would have been mostly replaced by firearms so there would have been little motivation to make large, and very expensive to make, Latchet Crossbows ?

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