Making Bows and Arrows

Well . . . not the arrows, just the bow.  (I found someone to donate arrows; homemade arrows are no good.)  After much research on the Internet, trial and error, and the final product of seven bows, I give you:  directions for making your own make-shift bow from PVC pipe.  In 2010, this costs less than $6.00 per bow.  If you have never done archery, this is good for practice.  I made these for my students, so they could be like the stout yeoman of merry England, Henry V, Robin Hood and Maid Marion, Susan Pevensie, Artemis, Camilla, and the like.

  • One 5' long PVC pipe, 3/4" in diameter
  • Woven (not twisted) 3/16" nylon cord, about 6' long
  • Two washers, 3/16" in diameter
  • Black electric tape
  • Foam insulation, 3/4" in diameter or slightly larger, about 4" long.
  • Saw
  • Electric drill with a 3/8" bit
  • Pencil
  • Sand paper
  1. Measure and mark a line 3/4" on each end of the PVC pipe.  Make sure these lines are in line with each other.
  2. Drill a 3/8" hole at the base of each line.
  3. Saw notches along the 3/4" lines from the end of the PVC pipe to the hole, on each side.  You will have to whittle away at these new notches to make them each 3/16" wide. 
  4. Sandpaper the edges of the new notches.
  5. Reinforce the pipe just below the hole with black electric tape.
  6. Mark the center of the PVC pipe.  Just below this center line make a grip with 4" of foam insulation.  Tighten and fix the grip with four bands of black electric tape.  The top of the grip should line up with the center line:  when you aim the arrow, the tip should rest at the very center of the bow, atop the grip, just above your hand.
  7. String the bow:  thread two washers onto the nylon string.  Make a tight knot in one end of the string.  Pull this through one notch on the PVC bow.  Inside the PVC pipe there should be a knot, the washer, then the hole.
  8. Then, using your foot to bend the bow, determine where to make your final knot on the other end of the string.  There should be 6-7" from string to bow's center.  Determine where to knot the string on the other end to achieve this.  Then, making sure the 2nd washer is below your knot, knot the string tightly. 
  9. Keep the string long with a 3rd knot at the end, so you can unstring the bow when you are not using it.  It makes the string last longer.
That's it!  Get a haybale and have fun.  Don't shoot your eye out.



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