This next video shows a longer stretch of the cocking sequence.  Click here, 20110429170026(2)

Because operating this winch is a full on chore for an old fat guy with a sore back, it follows that the mechanism is probably perfect for a couple of stout young lads with muscles.

Firefly has always aspired to be a plausibly authentic design  based on the Orsova artifacts.    Clearly a machine this large would have been a crew served affair.   If I am ever going to get to the bottom of all this,  I am  going to have to recruit a crew or attempt to deduce the probable man/seconds it would take a crew of necessary size to cycle between shots.  Until I can locate a crew,   I fear that photo ops and philosophical meanderings will be the limit of the hand winch’s usefulness.

The hand winch requires a force of about 93 lbs. on the end of it’s 67″ lever to rotate it’s 2 1/2″ drum against 5000 lbs of draw weight.  In the sense that the hand winch was intended to be operated by at least two individuals,  I am very pleased with it’s current performance level and have no plans to make it more amenable for one person to operate.   That task can be better accomplished by the miracle of electricity.  Sustained testing by yours truly,  will require the 12 volt Warn winch.

61 Responses to “Without secants.”


  1. Pat B says:

    Just what I was thinking. Once you’ve established how a man-operated winch might work, there’s no need to knock yourself out using it every time you load and fire. Let your electric winch take the strain. But before you do, how about taking the force readings I suggested off your dynamometer? I would say one reading every six inches of draw would be enough, starting just off the rest position. It might be easier to hit each position exactly with the manual winch.

    How are the arms holding up? Any protesting squeaks or hideous groans?


  2. Nick says:

    I am eager to get to the readings you are speaking of. The springs need to get over the slushy’s and firm up a mite first. I should be into that next week. I will attach the dynanometer then.

    The limbs are fine so far. They are only pulling 3000 lbs or so. The bolt I am shooting is what I call a waggle tail. It becomes aerodynamically unstable after 30 yards of flight and the tail goes into a radical corkscrewing motion. It is like a flu-flu arrow and has it’s advantages for test firing the machine. Curiously, of the 5 shots I’ve made with these waggle tails, all five of them have slapped into my dirt bank that is sixty yards away within a one foot circle. I’m thinking I’ll make some accurate, longer bolts with bigger fins, and see what she’ll do for a group then.


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