How To Make A Crossbow At Home
While the current crossbows on the market are absolutely amazing modern weapons of war, they are not cheap to buy. If you enjoy making things on your own, you can save a fortune by making your very own crossbow at home.
Tools You Will Need
The first step is to get all of the pieces that you need.
The necessities include wood for the stock, a nylon string for firing, wood for the grip, glue, one-inch PVC pipe for the bow, wire ties, wood screws, small pulleys, nails, and duct tape.
You will also want to have a bunch of tools nearby, like a hand saw, safety goggles, pencil, drill, chisel, and a tape measure.
Making A Crossbow Procedure
Step 1. Cut the stock to fit your body
The best length is about 38 inches long. But, cut it to a length that is comfortable. Trim and sand the stock so it is safe to use.
Step 2. Create the trigger hole
Choose where you want the trigger and mark it on the stock. To do this, hold the stock as you normally would if it were a real crossbow. Decide where the trigger would fit naturally for your body and mark it on the stock.
You will need to cut a rectangular hole that measures about four inches by one inch. Then, you will need to use the drill to cut into the stock and a chisel to carve out the hole for the trigger. Smooth it out with sandpaper.
Step 3. Cut a groove for the string and for the bolt/arrow
The string groove should be about ⅙ of an inch deep. Eventually, you will put a nail in to hold the string. The bolt groove will need to be carved deep enough so it can rest on the stock. To make the groove the right length, measure with the bolts you plan to use.
Step 4. Make the grip
Cut a second piece of wood about eight inches in length and glue it to the bottom of the stock. You can wrap grip tape or something else around the grip to make it comfortable to hold.
Step 5. Seal the wood
The stock and grip should be properly sealed with a finish of your choice.
Step 6. Create the bow
The PVC pipe will be the arching bow on the crossbow. The bow should be cut to about 36 inches - the same as the stock. Then, to hold the string, cut little grooves that will each hold wood screws.
Step 7. Attach wood screws and pulleys to the bow
Screw the wood screws into the PVC pipe, then attach the pulleys with wire ties. The screws can be reinforced with glue because the pulleys will add a lot of force to them when the string it pulled tightly.
Step 8. Attach the string and test it
Thread it through the pulleys, then tie the string to the wood screws to create tension. Do not pull the string too tightly, or you will not be able to shoot effectively. But, to be sure that the string is tight enough, pull it gently to see if the PVC pipe will bend like a bow.
If your string is very thin, it is helpful to wrap the string a few times to add extra strength to it.
Step 9. Put the bow end into the stock
The rounded PVC pipe needs to fit into the stock, so it is best to carve out a rounded end for it to fit. Once you have the rounded end bit enough to hold the PVC pipe, use your duct tape to secure it tightly into place. The duct tape should not affect the strings at all.
At this point, it is a good idea to see if the string and the bow all work well. Remember the groove you cut in the rectangle for the string? This is where you should be able to pull the string back. The string should be able to stay there, in the notch you cut.
Step 10. Build the trigger system
You will need a piece of wood about one-inch thick to make the trigger. The wood should be cut into an L-shape so it will fit into the rectangular hole you cut into the stock. Once you have the shape cut, you simply sand it so it is safe to use.
The trigger will need a channel cut into the short end of the L so you can drill a hole that will hold the nail that will fit into the groove that will pop out the string.
Once you have the trigger system built, you should attach it to the stock. Sand everything to make it nice and smooth, so you do not get splinters while shooting.
Step 11. Craft the handle
Using a piece of wood that is about eight-inches long, sand it so it is smooth and comfortable to hold. Use glue to attach the handle right behind the trigger. After the glue dries, use a few nails to really secure the handle to the stock.
Step 12. Add padding
Some people like to attach padding to the butt. Use whatever you consider to be comfortable and secure it into place with duct tape. You can wrap the duct tape all around the material that you use.
Once you have everything in place, it is time to test out the bow. But first, you need bolts. Many people will buy them from their favorite outfitter, but you could also make them out of dowels with notches cut to sit on the string. It is also useful to have a target, which you can also buy from a store or you can make yourself out of cardboard or paper.
When you place the target, be sure it is far away from people, pets, or property. Load the bolt and fire it. If you did well crafting your crossbow, you might be able to get 50 to 100 feet of distance out of it.