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Picture of 15-30lb PVC bows
we built these for scouts and they turned out pretty well, i was very impressed.

Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of tools and materials
what you need:
common sense (this is NOT optional)
tools-
 heat gun
 gloves
 a pot
 hack saw
 vice holder thing (you make this)
materials-
 3/4" PVC
 para-cord
optional but highly suggested:
 arm guard
 glove (your hand is the arrow rest and if your shooting arrows with feather flechings, it can be painful.
 quiver
other:
 arrows (duh)
 
asadabdul5 months ago

Hi, very nice 'ible! How far from the tips is the mark for the recurves and what's the diameter of the pot? I'm making this bow but still struggling with the best shape for the recurves. Thanks in advance and forgive my poor english.

my wookie (author)  asadabdul5 months ago
dimensions aren't too critical, the tip marks are about 1 (2 or 3 centimeters) inch away (assuming you mean for the string?) and the pot can be anywhere from 8-12 inches (20-30 centimeters) just don't make the bow too long a friend of mine did that and he only got about a 10 pound draw weight

Thanks a lot! No, I don´t mean the string nocks but the total lenght of the recurve :). I don´t think that the lenght of the bow it's gonna be a problem, mine is 44", but my recurves are 6" long made with a 6" diameter pot, that's a very deep curve! I can't even brace the bow! LOL. Maybe with a little deflex it will work. Thanks again!

rbclima10 months ago

How long is that pipe? I guess ...1.5m?

my wookie (author)  rbclima10 months ago

prety close mine was 4 feet so 1.2 meters if you want a heaver bow make it shorter, bigger means more leverage so weaker

Nice job!
EmcySquare2 years ago
This project is great, moved the "PVC BOW MAKING" a step further.
Two small words of advice:
1) Describe what type of PVC pipe you use. Here in europe we have "thin walls" for passing electric wires in (too thin), and "heavy walls" for high pressure wather (way too thick). Looks like in the states you have something in betwwen that works quite better.
2) The "Vide Holder Thing" is actually a "JIG". Look at the picture where you put your knee on the 2x4 to gradually flat down the limb: you can see that the handle is making a notch, this will cause that very spot to be a weak link in the structure of your boy, for the step is concentrating a good part of the tension/stress. You might take it out in step 6, but it would be bettere not to have it at all.
Keep up the great job.
my wookie (author)  EmcySquare2 years ago
ya, i'm not the one who came up with "vice holder thing" someone just called it that and it stuck.as for the type of PVC, its just 3/4" 480 PSI sprinkler pipe.
my wookie (author)  my wookie2 years ago
of course i guess over in Europe thy don't need sprinklers so its probably not very common.
Hahahah... we got sprinklers here. We use 'em in a different way: the pipes are black and flexible. I found out it's all abut "grade" of the pvc pipe:
- grade 20 : electrical conduit
- grade 40 : sprinklers
- grade 60 : (green) house wather tipes
forgot one thing: in order to avoid that "notch" you simply need the sides of the wood vice to be as tall as the pipe
l8nite2 years ago
there have been several pvc bow instructables and I've been thinking about making a limber for a small crossbow I found but I would need to flatten part or all of it. I really like the jig you created for that purpose. What kind of range do you get with the bows? Have you tried using other types of cordage to see if you get different results?
my wookie (author)  l8nite2 years ago
we were shooting at a 20 yard range and they worked pretty well, as for other types of cordage no we haven't, but i do have a real bow string i'm gonna try next time we go down to the range.
my wookie (author)  my wookie2 years ago
for a cross bow id suggest using a thicker pipe though, maybe 1-1 1/2"? i'm making a ballista with some 2 1/2" but that's probably a little overkill for a cross bow.
I need to check my possibillium piles to see what sizes I have. The crossbow is a midsize about 18" long (nice for small game) so I don't think I'll need something real big but it's cheap enough to try several diameters and lengths..now to find the TIME....
I need to check my possibillium piles to see what sizes I have. The crossbow is a midsize about 18" long (nice for small game) so I don't think I'll need something real big but it's cheap enough to try several diameters and lengths..now to find the TIME....
If you want an arrow rest just cut a slightly angled notch in the PVC where the arrow should rest. Fill the hole with some expanding foam, cut excess off, then put a bit of bondo over the foam and sand till smooth. Might not be the prettiest but it'd get the job done.