Payne-Galwey recommends that the stock be cut from a single piece of hard wood such as beech to the following dimensions:
- D to F: 3 feet.
- D to H: 3.75 inches.
- Width at F: 1.75 inches.
- Thickness from D to E: 1.5 inches, then tapering 1.25 inches at F.
- D to C: 14 inches.
We followed his recommended dimensions approximately but cut the stock from two pieces of oak that will be fixed together later, which is not how stocks from the period of this design were in fact crafted. Target crossbows from much later periods, using complicated triggers, were made in this manner.
In shaping the stock, we were also guided by plans available from Alchem, Inc., which maintains a fascinating website covering fencing equipment, crossbow manufacturing, furniture and, oddly enough, Lake Erie shipwrecks. Not only do they sell bow irons, trigger locks and steel prods, but they also have available a template for crafting the stock. We were guided more by Alchem’s template and, as a result, our stock is probably a bit shorter than it ought to be. Bows of the fifteenth Century were generally quite long, causing Louis XI, of France, 1461-1483, to have his crossbowmen’s vizors cut short on the right-hand side of the helmet.
The ugly squares at the end of the tiller will be trimmed and shaped later, and, hopefully, the end product will be much improved. The recesses cut on the outer faces of each side fit brass plates that hold the nut and socket in place.