Areas in the Crossbow Shop:

Crossbows, and other Crossbow related items we build
Reproductions of Period Crossbows, 10th-16th c.
"Combat" Game Crossbows
The Combat Crossbow Book
Replacement Crossbow Strings
Bolts (or Quarrels)
Other Accessories
Feast Crossbows

Feast crossbows are also known as "Baby" or "Mini-" Crossbows.
Other accessories include belt hooks to draw heaiver crossbows and quivers for bolts. 

(This is from the original site)

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Crossbow terms:

Quarrel or Bolt; the projectile fired by the crossbow, looking very much like a short, fat arrow for a hand bow.

Prod; the actual bow part of the crossbow. In period crossbows this would be constructed from wood, wood and sinue, wood and horn composite, horn composite or steel. In our crossbows, steel, aluminum or fiberglass are the most common. We build mostly bows with steel prods, with some covered aluminum prods as well.

Bow Irons; a system of metal clamps and wedges to hold the prod in place, but allows the prod to be removed for storage or travel. Bow Irons are heavy and expensive additions, but worth it if you intend to travel with the crossbow much at all. Many modern crossbows feature some variant system of bow irons, not all of which allow the prod to be easily removed.

Bound In Prod; A method of mounting the prod to the stock using heavy linnen or hemp cord to very firmly tie the prod in place. This method can not be broken down for storage or travel. Most light sporting crossbows have Bound In Prods, and this is the standard option for our crossbows.

Stock or Tiller; The wooden body of the crossbow. This section of the crossbow has the prod mounted to the front end, with the lock mounted about 1/3 to 1/2 way along the tiller. The trigger will project from the bottom of the tiller somewhere under, and often behind the lock. On most modern crossbows, the tillers are made of aluminum, fiberglass or carbon fiber.

Lock (or sometimes catch or latch); The mechanisim that holds the crossbow string drawn until the trigger is pressed. Most locks in the middle ages seem to have been of the rolling nut or rolling block style, with the notch lock being the next most common. Several other variations of lock also exist.
Reproduction Crossbows

Here you will find full size, Quarrel (or Bolt) shooting crossbows;
Most of these styles of crossbow stocks are common in the Middle Ages in Europe.
A complete list of options and costs is at the end of this section.
We use the Watson System of crossbow stock style definition. More information on that soon.
The Type 1 Crossbow

The Type 1 Crossbow stock is a relatively simple, tapered stick. It seems to have appeared somewhen prior to the 9th Century C.E. somewhere in continental Europe. This is the crossbow that William the Bastard (later known as William the Conqueror) brought with him to England in 1066 (along with quite a number of short hand bows). It is this very bow that will eventually evolve into the very ornate hunting crossbows of the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries, though it will be heavily altered.

Prod mountings can be either bound in or bow irons, and the lock could easily be either a notch lock or a rolling nut lock. If the lock is a notch lock, the prod should be bound in, not mounted with bow irons, if one is trying to stay authentic. The crossbow illustrated above is an ash type 1, with a notch lock and an bound in prod.

The Type 1 can be shaped in a number of subtle variations; flat sided and somewhat blocky, octagonal, or with a flat top and a rounded belly.

Other options can include a top overlay of different woods, metal or wood side plates with a rolling nut lock, sights and more.
The 2C

This is a very common crossbow shape, appearing in a great number of illustrations, miniatures and paintings. Several survive in muesems, although they are often overlooked next to the much more ornate hunting crossbows. These crossbows (along with the 4E below) seem to have been extremely common for military usage in the High Middle Ages, and are quite popular with re-enactors and collectors.

The Type 2C has flat sides with gently tapering tillers, and tend to be about 30" to 32" long.

Options can include a top overlay of different woods, metal or wood side plates with a rolling nut lock, sights and more. I have yet to see any evidence of the 2C being built as a notch lock, and indeed the stock shape almost precludes the normal trigger system generally seen with the notch lock. Therefore, we do not build the 2C as a notch lock (rolling nut lock only at this time).

The 2C shown above is American black walnut, with all black steel hardware and bow irons. It has a steel prod, with a draw weight of about 75lbs.
As it is equipped, the cost is $325+shipping (US funds).
The Type 3 - Itailian Crossbow

The Itailian type 3 is built on the style of many large crossbows that survive in muesems and private collections. The normal type 3 is fairly long,
The 4E - Flemmish Arbalest

The Flemish Arbalest (4E) is a commonly appearing 'bow in manuscript illuminations and paintings. It is a large, blocky crossbow designed as a military weapon. They tend to be simple, unlike the ornamental hunting bows seen in most muesem collections.

Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey's book, "The Crossbow" (Dover 0-486-28720-3, $17.95 us.) features this crossbow prominently. Note that many of the 4E's I have seen are fitted with Bow Irons to hold the prod in place, not Bound In as in the upper photo.

This particular crossbow's stock is usually about 32" long, made of red oak with a walnut top deck. It has a 75lb draw steel "Gladius" prod
The Type 6

The Type 6 has long, flowing lines and a large size. They are common on the Continent from the 1400's on. Many have survived the ages and are currently on display in muesems all over the world.

The Type 6 is a decendant of the Type 1, with a more hollowed out area on the bottom of the stock behind the bindings and in front of the lock. Also in this family of crossbows are (not pictured) the Type 5 and Type 7. The Type 5 is the crossbow most commonly seen in collections and muesems, as these short stocky crossbows are often very ornate and are easy to use from horse back whilst hunting.
Crossbows for Middle Ages Combat Recreation Games

This is a Pattern I build for use in Middle Ages combat reenactment games, such as the SCA plays.

It is based closely on a Spanish Slurbow, with minor modifications to stock shape to better mesh with the much wider upper tube required for this crossbows projectiles. The stock is basicly a short, simplified 4E, as above. For an example of a slurbow, see Payne-Gallway, p.129, fig. 84.

Instead of a quarrel, as a normal crossbow fires, or a ball as a slurbow fires, it fires a projectile built of a plastic golf bag liner tube tipped with a tennis ball to about 40m. These are often described as "Missiles that OOZE through the air...", they are slow and somewhat unstable, though quite safe to be struck by, delivering a sound thump. My 'bow is the most accurate and usable combat crossbow firing these projectiles I have ever seen. These missiles are acceptable in all regions of the SCA, although many locations allow lower draw weight bows and crossbows to fire special, safe "stick" missiles build on normal fiberglass arrow shafts.

If you are playing in the SCA, or an equivalent group, and are not allowed "stick" arrows, then this is the crossbow for you. It shoots upsided down, on its side or steeply downhill without the quarrel falling from the track. You can run with it and not loose your quarrel, allowing "run and gun" tatics. It is designed to be loaded by a person in full gauntlets, with the crossbow setting against the hip as it is cocked, and can easily be loaded without looking at the bow. This allows the shooter to look around for targets, and prevents being blindsided as one is loading their weapon.

Sounds too good to be true? It is not! I have spent 3 years developing this pattern to the fullest extent. With the crossbow loaded, the shooters hand holds the stock, using the hand as a wedge saftey to prevent accidental misfires into the backs of ones own forces. The lock is a simple notch type, which resists fouling from battlefield crud and cocks much quicker than a rolling nut type of crossbow. Yes, the notch is not as accurate as a rolling nut on stick arrows... With golf tube arrows, the projectile is such that the 5% decrease in accuracy is not even a factor. I can shoot anyone I choose, square in the face out to about 35' with a 90% chance of hitting a 4" circle. And I don't practice, by the way. The stock is short enough to get the crossbow out in front of your helmet and sight it like a rifle.

The book, "On Constructing Iain's Combat Crossbow" is being worked on for it's Second Edition, and should be avaiable soon.

I wrote the book specficly to build the above crossbow, but much of the information applies to building standard (arrow shooting) crossbows as well. It is geared toward someone who has a little woodworking experience, with explicit instrucions for those who have only a little bit of experience!

If you wish to order the book, it is $10.00 american, shipping included anywhere on the North American continent. Drop a note or e-mail for shipping anywhere else. Our mailing address and eletronic address is:
109 Union st.
Hart, Michigan USA 49420
Feast (or Mini-, or baby-) Crossbows

"Feast Bows"are miniture, notch lock, 4E's in most details. They have a standard notch lock, a bound in steel prod which has about a 5lb draw, and are made to shoot mini-marshmallows, grapes and such. Most of them are oak, but a few are made in beech, maple and on very rare occasions, american black walnut (which is a special order). All feast crossbows are finished with a hand rubbed oil finish to bring out the grain of the wood, and protect them for many years.
We STONGLY recommend NOT shooting anything hard or dangerous out of these! During the 15th C. in the courts of Italy, these very crossbows were banned, as the courtiers were shooting nuts about and injuring the ladies of the court. Not wise when one could loose their head for such tomfoolery.
Our Feast Crossbows can be ordered by sending us e-mail from this page. Click on the link below, your email program will open and you can send us a note telling us you want one (or three, or twelve...). There will be a quiz though... You will have to send us your shipping address, name, zip code and such. We will send you confirmation that we have them in stock, or when we can build your feast bows for you. Of course, you will have to send along a valid e-return address for confirmation. Then we box up your feast crossbows, and ship them to you when your check or money order arrives!
Each feast crossbow is $20.00 (US), cash, good check or money order, plus actual shipping costs per crossbow, in the continental US.
Sorry, we can not at this time accept credit cards.
Please note that this is a price increase, effective 15 July 2001 for both the cost of the bow and shipping. We simply could not keep selling the mini-bows at 1996 prices any longer... It saddens us to have to raise the price, but we feel that the quality, finish and range have all increased substantially since 1996, which more than offsets the cost increase. We thank you for understanding.
E-Mail Us!
Or you can do it via the courier system (that is, the Mail) by sending us your name, address (with zip code!) and a check to:
109 Union St.
Hart, MI. 49420
Make checks payable to: J. P. W. Griswold.
Crossbow Strings
In the above two images, you will see a close up shot of the end of one of our standard crossbow strings, and a shot of three strings laid out. In the image of the three strings only about three fifths of the string is shown, from the end to just beyond the center serving.
String A is our standard string, made of tan B-50 Dacron with dark brown serving and ends. These standard strings are made for our crossbows up to 100lbs draw.
String B is our heavy, period style string, also made of tan B-50 Dacron with dark brown serving and ends. (In the above image, the string is shown with our discontinued tan end binding - we no longer do this style, as the new bindings look and perform better.) These strings have heavier skeins, making them both stronger, and look more like the strings seen on period crossbows. We suggest these strings from 75lbs-175lbs, and they can be made even stronger upon request.
String C is our new colored, standard style string. Here it is shown in red B-50 Dacron, with serving and bindings done in black. Other colors will soon be added to the site, although some color combinations will not be available, as B-50 is produced in a limited spectrum at this time. You may e-mail us for quotes on special color combinations.
Costs for the strings (which includes shipping):
Style A - Tan with Dark Brown serving and ends. $7.50 e.
Style B - Tan and Dk Brown, period style. $12.00 e.
Style C - Color standard strings (only Red and Black is avaiable at this time). $10.00 e.
Bolts or Quarrels
Bolts (or Quarrels) are now avaiable!
We offer a bakers dozen (13) bolts with 100 grain steel points, fletched in our choice of colors for $25+shipping (US funds). We will attempt to accomodate special color requests, but may not be able to fill all color requests at this time. We will let you know if we do or do not have the colors you request avaiable if you provide a vaild e-mail address for us to respond to.
Bolt shaft colors avaiable are:
Bleached White, Dark Red Oak, and Ebony.
Current fletching (feather) colors include:
Black, Purple, Red, Yellow.
Other fletching colors will be added soon.
Other accessories

Coming soon!

All content, images and such, Copyright 2002 J. P. W. Griswold. Last page update 30 January, Y2K+2
Several thing are built in the IronAngel woodshop, in the rear of the Forge building. Clicking on the links below will take you to the area corrosponding.
Crossbows - Chests and Boxes - Furniture



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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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