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Secrets to a flat chiseled recess?

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  • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
    More of a if I don t break out my router.. question than anything else. Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in an enclosed
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 26, 2006
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      More of a "if I don't break out my router.." question than anything
      else.

      Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
      an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
      carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
      I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..

      Is it a question of needing a different set of chisels (maye the cranked
      neck chisels like Lee Valley sells), a different technique, or a
      different period tool entirely? (because while I can come close with a
      forstner bit and cleaning up the sides, I'm trying to be period..
      otherwise I'd use the aforementioned router).

      For an example of the type of channel I'm trying to carve, see:

      http://tracker.googlepages.com/crossbow.gif

      Where the lever enters the wood stock and has about a 2" wide, 20-degree
      channel to the release nut.

      Thanks,

      -Liam
    • kjworz@comcast.net
      Would the recess have been flat and smooth in period, or because it wasn t seen, it would be rough-but-fuctional? Let s assume it was flat and even, or at the
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 26, 2006
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        Would the recess have been flat and smooth in period, or because it wasn't seen, it would be rough-but-fuctional?

        Let's assume it was flat and even, or at the very least that is the way YOU want it done. The period way to do this would be with good, proficient work with the mortice chisels. Getting where you can with the paring chisels. Where you can't, yes, crank necked chisels are a possibility.

        But you need more ideas....

        Other period methods you could consider.

        Files and rasps. They've been around since Egyptian times. I believe Mastermyr Chest had a few so it is definitely deep period.

        Plane makers floats. Gunsmiths also use these, and that would be particularly relevent since this is a recess for trigger lock on a wooden shooting stock. If gunsmith suppliers aren't available to you, the traditional way to make a float is with a old file. They are essentially rasps with a wide full width tooth vice many poity teeth across its width.


        --
        -Chris Schwartz
        Silver Spring, MD

        -------------- Original message ----------------------
        From: "Bill Schongar (bschonga)" <bschonga@...>
        >
        > More of a "if I don't break out my router.." question than anything
        > else.
        >
        > Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
        > an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
        > carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
        > I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..
        >
        > Is it a question of needing a different set of chisels (maye the cranked
        > neck chisels like Lee Valley sells), a different technique, or a
        > different period tool entirely? (because while I can come close with a
        > forstner bit and cleaning up the sides, I'm trying to be period..
        > otherwise I'd use the aforementioned router).
        >
        > For an example of the type of channel I'm trying to carve, see:
        >
        > http://tracker.googlepages.com/crossbow.gif
        >
        > Where the lever enters the wood stock and has about a 2" wide, 20-degree
        > channel to the release nut.
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > -Liam
        >
      • Haraldr Bassi (yahoogroups)
        There is another possibly period solution, and that is to make it in two pieces. You then have complete access to make your internal mechanisms and bond the
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 26, 2006
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          There is another possibly period solution, and that is to make it in two
          pieces. You then have complete access to make your internal mechanisms
          and bond the two sides back together when you are done.

          Other tools to look at are woodcarvers gouges as they often come in
          weird little sizes. But I think the two piece solution is likely the one
          they would have used with a cover plate over the opening as a second
          alternative. I would think that time would be of the essence on these
          and so designs that called for hundreds of hours of painstaking chisel
          work would have been deprecated in favor of putting a big enough hole
          through to get the rod to work the nut.

          Haven't built one myself so really can't offer further advice.

          Haraldr

          kjworz@... wrote:
          > Would the recess have been flat and smooth in period, or because it wasn't seen, it would be rough-but-fuctional?
          >
          > Let's assume it was flat and even, or at the very least that is the way YOU want it done. The period way to do this would be with good, proficient work with the mortice chisels. Getting where you can with the paring chisels. Where you can't, yes, crank necked chisels are a possibility.
          >
          > But you need more ideas....
          >
          > Other period methods you could consider.
          >
          > Files and rasps. They've been around since Egyptian times. I believe Mastermyr Chest had a few so it is definitely deep period.
          >
          > Plane makers floats. Gunsmiths also use these, and that would be particularly relevent since this is a recess for trigger lock on a wooden shooting stock. If gunsmith suppliers aren't available to you, the traditional way to make a float is with a old file. They are essentially rasps with a wide full width tooth vice many poity teeth across its width.
          >
          >
          > --
          > -Chris Schwartz
          > Silver Spring, MD
          >
          > -------------- Original message ----------------------
          > From: "Bill Schongar (bschonga)" <bschonga@...>
          >> More of a "if I don't break out my router.." question than anything
          >> else.
          >>
          >> Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
          >> an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
          >> carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
          >> I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..
          >>
          >> Is it a question of needing a different set of chisels (maye the cranked
          >> neck chisels like Lee Valley sells), a different technique, or a
          >> different period tool entirely? (because while I can come close with a
          >> forstner bit and cleaning up the sides, I'm trying to be period..
          >> otherwise I'd use the aforementioned router).
          >>
          >> For an example of the type of channel I'm trying to carve, see:
          >>
          >> http://tracker.googlepages.com/crossbow.gif
          >>
          >> Where the lever enters the wood stock and has about a 2" wide, 20-degree
          >> channel to the release nut.
          >>
          >> Thanks,
          >>
          >> -Liam
          >>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Joe Vilar
          Bill, I don t know if this is the best way, but it is the way I do it and I have done a few crossbows. After drilling at he angle I need to set the trigger, I
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 26, 2006
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            Bill,
            I don't know if this is  the best way, but it is the way I do it and I have done a few crossbows. After drilling at he angle I need to set the trigger, I mark the rectangle I want on the top and the bottom and begin carving away with chisel. I use offset chisels ("L" shape handle) as well as a normal one. 1/8" works well for me, very sharp and there old one very long. Now the difference is that I re-sharpened one the offset chisel and the cutting edge is on top. It work excellent to get the wood off the top part of the trigger. I also work from both ends, carving from the top as well as the bottom. My trigger set op is also very similar to the one that you sent. I hope this helps

            Bill Schongar (bschonga) wrote on 7/26/2006, 11:29 AM:


            More of a "if I don't break out my router.." question than anything
            else.

            Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
            an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
            carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
            I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..

            Is it a question of needing a different set of chisels (maye the cranked
            neck chisels like Lee Valley sells), a different technique, or a
            different period tool entirely? (because while I can come close with a
            forstner bit and cleaning up the sides, I'm trying to be period..
            otherwise I'd use the aforementioned router).

            For an example of the type of channel I'm trying to carve, see:

            http://tracker. googlepages. com/crossbow. gif

            Where the lever enters the wood stock and has about a 2" wide, 20-degree
            channel to the release nut.

            Thanks,

            -Liam

          • Siegfried
            Hey, someone finally talking on my topic ... (Crossbow maker/researcher here) A number of things: A) Don t do the cut the bow in half and glue it back
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 26, 2006
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              Hey, someone finally talking on my topic ... (Crossbow maker/researcher here)

              A number of things:

              A) Don't do the 'cut the bow in half and glue it back together' ...
              well, DO do it if you want to. But it's not period. I've not seen a
              single extant period crossbow (and I've seen 'a few') that was done
              that way.

              B) There is a 'simpler' solution. Most extant crossbows that I have
              seen don't try to have a 'small' bottom hole, like you are. If you
              have a much longer hole, you gain two things: 1) It's easier to make,
              since it's mostly vertical. 2) it gives you more room to thread the
              trigger into.

              B.1) In fact, they often then would do that, and then bend the
              trigger in a 'Z' shape to hide the fact that the hole was that big.
              Or would even glue a plate of wood to cover part of the hole
              afterwards.

              C) It can be rough inside, noone will see.

              D) I will let you in on my own preferred method of cheating:

              Mortising Machine. Ahh It makes sweet sweet work of making the
              trigger socket.

              Siegfried


              On 7/26/06, Bill Schongar (bschonga) <bschonga@...> wrote:
              >
              > More of a "if I don't break out my router.." question than anything
              > else.
              >
              > Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
              > an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
              > carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
              > I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..
              >
              > Is it a question of needing a different set of chisels (maye the cranked
              > neck chisels like Lee Valley sells), a different technique, or a
              > different period tool entirely? (because while I can come close with a
              > forstner bit and cleaning up the sides, I'm trying to be period..
              > otherwise I'd use the aforementioned router).
              >
              > For an example of the type of channel I'm trying to carve, see:
              >
              > http://tracker.googlepages.com/crossbow.gif
              >
              > Where the lever enters the wood stock and has about a 2" wide, 20-degree
              > channel to the release nut.
              >
              > Thanks,
              >
              > -Liam
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >


              --
              _________________________________________________________________________
              THL Siegfried Sebastian Faust - http://crossbows.biz/
              Barony of Highland Foorde - Baronial Archery Marshal
              Kingdom of Atlantia - Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshal for Target Archery
              http://eliw.com/ - http://archery.atlantia.sca.org/
            • AlbionWood
              Bill, You re close to the answer with the cranked-neck chisels. Woodcarvers use chisels that have a bend near the end, called grounders or spoon bit,
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 26, 2006
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                Bill,

                You're close to the answer with the cranked-neck chisels. Woodcarvers
                use chisels that have a bend near the end, called "grounders" or "spoon
                bit," "spoon gouge," or "front-bent spoon." They have a shallow sweep,
                so the edges don't dig in, and the bend allows you to reach over the
                obstruction to get into the recesses.

                There's a special chisel for cleaning out and levelling the bottoms of
                mortises, called a "Swan-neck" chisel. It's basically the same idea,
                but made to lever out the waste at the bottom of a mortise, so it has a
                thick shank and straight sides like a mortise chisel. They are
                generally heavy-duty tools, unlike the carving chisels.

                Although I don't think I've seen a medieval example in a museum, I'd be
                really surprised if they weren't used in the MA. All you have to do is
                take a regular chisel of the correct sweep and width, heat it up, bend
                it to shape, quench and re-temper. Piece of cake after you've done it a
                few times. Get a good bladesmith to show you how to read the colors.
                Then you can bend your chisels around to whatever shape you need! Or,
                if you're in a hurry and don't have time to work your way down the list
                of 338 new things you need to learn, I guess you could just buy one.

                Cheers,
                Colin

                p.s. The drill-and-pare method is certainly period, only instead of a
                Forstner use an auger or a spoon bit.

                Bill Schongar (bschonga) wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
                > an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
                > carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
                > I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..
                >
                > Is it a question of needing a different set of chisels (maye the cranked
                > neck chisels like Lee Valley sells), a different technique, or a
                > different period tool entirely? (because while I can come close with a
                > forstner bit and cleaning up the sides, I'm trying to be period..
                > otherwise I'd use the aforementioned router).
                >
              • James W. Pratt, Jr.
                Fist cut the hole for the nut. The tickler need only come into the bottom 1/4 inch of the nut hole. Then cut the recess for the tip of the ticker so that it
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 26, 2006
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                  Fist cut the hole for the nut. The tickler need only come into the bottom
                  1/4 inch of the nut hole. Then cut the recess for the tip of the ticker so
                  that it will just clear the sear(sp) on the nut and allow the nut to spin(
                  you can go back and make it deeper later when you have the tickler in place.
                  Next layout where the tickler will go through the stock. A strait ticker is
                  easyer than an "S" shaped ticker. next take your chisels and drills(a long
                  drill is nice) and remove wood until the ticker will slip into place. If
                  the stock is not too deep you may only have to cut and relieve only a
                  vertical hole to the back edge of the recess at the bottom of the nut hole.
                  The only time you have to do a lot of angled work is with a very deep stock
                  with a heavily curved tickler. A chisel for cleaning the bottom of
                  mortises in 3/8 inch would be nice.

                  James Cunningham
                  Who only has to cut a small groove for a top lever
                  > Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
                  > an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
                  > carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
                  > I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..
                • Dragano Abbruciati
                  If I were trying to accomplish the recess you are looking to create using only the period tools of which I am aware, I would use a very very sharp short blade
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 27, 2006
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                    If I were trying to accomplish the recess you are looking to create using only the period tools of which I am aware, I would use a very very sharp short blade knife.  I would look at the project as a carver would instead of as a furniture maker would.  I have successfully carved a channel from the side through to the end of 1x1 piece of oak.  It took about 3 hours to carve the 3" channel.  Slow, but exactly what I needed.
                     
                    Dragano

                    "Bill Schongar (bschonga)" <bschonga@...> wrote:

                    More of a "if I don't break out my router.." question than anything
                    else.

                    Are there any useful tricks for getting a flat, even recess/mortise in
                    an enclosed space with irregular edges? Specifically, I'm trying to
                    carve out a recess for a crossbow trigger, but because it's a small area
                    I can't get the chisels at the angle I want..

                    Is it a question of needing a different set of chisels (maye the cranked
                    neck chisels like Lee Valley sells), a different technique, or a
                    different period tool entirely? (because while I can come close with a
                    forstner bit and cleaning up the sides, I'm trying to be period..
                    otherwise I'd use the aforementioned router).

                    For an example of the type of channel I'm trying to carve, see:

                    http://tracker. googlepages. com/crossbow. gif

                    Where the lever enters the wood stock and has about a 2" wide, 20-degree
                    channel to the release nut.

                    Thanks,

                    -Liam


                    Do you Yahoo!?
                    Next-gen email? Have it all with the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

                  • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
                    ... I wish I knew. :) I m making the flat and even assumption, to ensure the lever moves smoothly within the recess.. ... Very cool, I ll have to look around
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 31, 2006
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                      > Would the recess have been flat and smooth in period, or
                      > because it wasn't seen, it would be rough-but-fuctional?

                      I wish I knew. :) I'm making the "flat and even" assumption, to ensure
                      the lever moves smoothly within the recess..

                      > Plane makers floats. Gunsmiths also use these, and that
                      > would be particularly relevent since this is a recess for
                      > trigger lock on a wooden shooting stock.

                      Very cool, I'll have to look around for some - I have a gunsmithing
                      catalog (midway) at home, but I hadn't look through with an eye to
                      tools.. thanks!

                      -Liam
                    • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
                      ... This is how the cross I d purchased some time back was made, and definitely seems an easy way to approach it for quickly getting it done. For an A&S piece
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 31, 2006
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                        > There is another possibly period solution, and that is to
                        > make it in two pieces. You then have complete access to make
                        > your internal mechanisms and bond the two sides back together
                        > when you are done.

                        This is how the cross I'd purchased some time back was made, and
                        definitely seems an easy way to approach it for quickly getting it done.
                        For an A&S piece I'm looking at making I've still been trying to find if
                        it was done in period, but since experimenting with 3/4" glued up stock
                        is cheaper, it's definitely the way I'll at least start out with to try
                        out designs.

                        Thanks,

                        -Liam
                      • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
                        ... Thanks for the tip! I ll definitely give this a try.. -Liam
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 31, 2006
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                          >I don't know if this is the best way, but it is the way
                          > I do it and I have done a few crossbows. After drilling at
                          > the angle I need to set the trigger, I mark the rectangle
                          > I want on the top and the bottom and begin carving away with
                          > chisel. I use offset chisels ("L" shape handle) as well
                          > as a normal one. 1/8" works well for me, very sharp and
                          > there old one very long.

                          Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely give this a try..

                          -Liam
                        • Bill Schongar (bschonga)
                          Hi Siegfried ... Ah, your site has been in my bookmark folder for a while as one of the someday I want to be able to make something like these! scrapbook.
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 31, 2006
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                            Hi Siegfried

                            > Hey, someone finally talking on my topic ... (Crossbow
                            > maker/researcher here)

                            Ah, your site has been in my bookmark folder for a while as one of the
                            "someday I want to be able to make something like these!" scrapbook.

                            > A) Don't do the 'cut the bow in half and glue it back together' ...
                            > well, DO do it if you want to. But it's not period. I've
                            > not seen a single extant period crossbow (and I've seen 'a
                            > few') that was done that way.

                            Good to know, thanks! I have a piece of full-size oak I've been saving
                            to make a nice stock, and that's the one I want to do as close as
                            possible to period..

                            > B) There is a 'simpler' solution. Most extant crossbows that I have
                            > seen don't try to have a 'small' bottom hole, like you are. If you
                            > have a much longer hole, you gain two things: 1) It's easier
                            > to make, since it's mostly vertical. 2) it gives you more
                            > room to thread the trigger into.

                            Ahhh, this would definitely be easier. Especially if I get some
                            mortising chisels and corner chisels to clean it up, I could put an
                            inlay in the bottom extra spaces..

                            > D) I will let you in on my own preferred method of cheating:
                            >
                            > Mortising Machine. Ahh It makes sweet sweet work of making the
                            > trigger socket.

                            Heh - for shallow grooves I'll sometimes break out the biscuit joiner.
                            Haven;t quite gotten the shop up to nice toys like that though..

                            Thanks for all the info!

                            -Liam
                          • Siegfried
                            ... Well, given that 90% of the woodworking I do is crossbows. I don t really have the shop all set up THAT great. But the mortising machine was integral in
                            Message 13 of 13 , Aug 1 1:30 PM
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                              > > D) I will let you in on my own preferred method of cheating:
                              > >
                              > > Mortising Machine. Ahh It makes sweet sweet work of making the
                              > > trigger socket.
                              >
                              > Heh - for shallow grooves I'll sometimes break out the biscuit joiner.
                              > Haven;t quite gotten the shop up to nice toys like that though..

                              Well, given that 90% of the woodworking I do is crossbows.

                              I don't really have the shop all set up THAT great. But the mortising
                              machine was integral in speeding up crossbow production. Just for
                              those trigger sockets.

                              Oh, and my wife bought it for me for Christmas one year ... gotta love her!

                              It makes a 'rough but not extremely rough' socket ... I take a file
                              and file down the sides until it's smoother, nothing for the trigger
                              to catch on, but it will still have the sterotypical mortising machine
                              'wavy' effect (from the bit sticking out a bit from the chisels, and
                              making little grooves), and then call it good.

                              > Thanks for all the info!

                              No problem!

                              Siegfried

                              --
                              _________________________________________________________________________
                              THL Siegfried Sebastian Faust - http://crossbows.biz/
                              Barony of Highland Foorde - Baronial Archery Marshal
                              Kingdom of Atlantia - Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshal for Target Archery
                              http://eliw.com/ - http://archery.atlantia.sca.org/
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