The length of the handle of the lever is 2 ft. It tapers from a diameter
of r in. at its rounded end, to a width of 1 1/4 in. and a depth of 1 1/2
in. at its fore-end.
The wide hinged piece pivoted to the handle, is 9 in. long to its swivel-pin,
its total length being 10 in.
This piece is 2 1/2 in. wide and 1 in. thick. It is slightly curved,
fig. 106, opposite page.
The 1/4 in. swivel pin by which the hinged piece is attached to the
handle of the lever, is 6 in. from the fore-end of the latter.
The metal hook to be seen in the fore-end of the handle, swings loosely
in a small cavity. The 1/4 in. pin for this hook is 4 1/2 in. from the
pin on which the flat piece is hinged.
This form of lever for stretching the strings of small crossbows with
steel bows, was no doubt suggested by the ancient goat's-foot lever. It
is, however, in some respects a more convenient device than the goat's-foot
lever, as it pushes the bow-string of the crossbow to the catch of the
lock instead of pulling it there, and also works without friction.
Levers on this principle, made of metal, are used with Continental target-crossbows
at the present day. See fig. 156, p. 217.
How to Use the Lever to Bend the Crossbow, Fig 106, Opposite Page
The metal hook of the handle is slipped into the small iron loop fixed
at the fore-end of the crossbow. The rounded notches in the short props
of the swinging part of the lever are then rested against the centre of
the bowstring, fig. 106.
The left hand grasps the crossbow near its fore-end, and the butt of
the stock is placed upright upon the ground.
It will be easily understood that by now pressing the handle of the
lever downwards with the right hand (fig. 106), the bow-string will be
forcibly pushed along the stock, till it reaches and is gripped by the
catch of the lock.
The lever being then removed, by unhooking it from the fore-end of the
crossbow, the weapon is ready for use.
The bolt is arranged on the surface of the stock as shown in fig. 89,