Introduction: Cross-bow - Cross Country Ski Bow, If You Prefer..

Picture of Cross-bow - Cross Country Ski Bow, If You Prefer..

Today I decided not to go to my worksite.

I'm the boss and I'm the only employee, no-one was bothering.

I just needed a break, today. A longer weekend. A piece of freedom. Some rebellion, maybe.

And so I stayed at home.

Great I felt.

Sometimes you just have to do what you want.

Instead of installing the hammock, making a fire & drinking beers all day - sounded awesome, though - I decided to muck out my workshops.

And the day ended with a nice bow.

Let me tell you all about it.

Step 1: Growing Up

Picture of Growing Up

On the picture you see 1% of all the rubbish I decided not longer to stock.

'Never throw away anything' is a useful way of life, but after only 2 years you start to realise you're living on a dump.

So, because I didn't want to put my signature on the other 50% of the divorce documents, haha, I decided to be a grown up man for one day.

At least in some way.

A particular way.

And not the whole day.

What didn't look useful - in that kind of mans point of view - went out.

It didn't feel bad, being someone like that. I rediscovered my workshops and I realised how contraproductive it was saturating them with all that 'useful stuff'.

But then I found those cross country skis.

And instantly I became a kid again.

Step 2: Two Become One

Picture of Two Become One

I kept those skis since I wanted to turn them into a bow.

You know, some day I say someone do something like that and that day I decided that one day I'd do something like that, but different.

That day was now.

I wanted to make a bow like that, but I didn't want to spend days on it.

I just wanted a short, light, bow & a few beers.

So instead of making a fancy handle I wondered what would happen if I fixed those two skis directly together.

Worth trying, no?

So, if you want to give it a try yourself, get those skis & cut them at 65 cm from the tip.

A miter saw may be helpful.

Step 3: Mind Powers

Picture of Mind Powers

Get some heavy aluminium (3 mm) and cut 2 plates of about 30 cm each - did you know btw you can easily cut them with a wood saw? I discovered today. Today I did things my way.

Drill 6 holes right in the middle of one of those plates & clamp it to the downside (the flat side) of those skis.

Use the drilled plate as a template & drill all the way through those skis.

The mind is the best friend of the muscle.

Step 4: More Mind Powers, and a Clamp

Picture of More Mind Powers, and a Clamp

Since the topside of those skis is slightly inclined you need to bend one of those alu plates in the right shape, before drilling it.

2 blocks, 1 clamp.

You just burned 0 calories.

Step 5: A + B

Picture of A + B

Get those skis nicely aligned - wood profiles may help - and unite the whole with button-screws.

I told you I would get it all as simple as possible, today.

Step 6: Sanding

Picture of Sanding

Clamp the proto-bow in a vice and reduce the width of the middle - unless you're name is Hulk - big hands, you know.

Worth knowing: most knife handles have a thickness of 20 mm. Comfort counts. Also for a bow. So you'll need to reduce things a bit to hold that bow nicely in your hand.

I went to 30 mm. Fair enough.

Worth feeling: the sanding makes the alu so hot that it melts the protective coating of the skis. Screw those bolts a bit more & discover why I didn't use glue.

Step 7: Arrow Launchpad

Picture of Arrow Launchpad

Use the same sander to excavate a nice resting spot for the arrow. This spot is situated right above the center of the handle and goes almost to the middle. The more you're away from that middle the more the arrow will deviate from it's path.

I know it, since I tested the bow without that cavity.

Still searching that arrow...

Note: when you're right-handed it's better to make this cavity on the left side of the bow, and not on the right side like this one. Consider this one as a left-handed bow, if you want. I just made it this way since my left eye is - unless my glasses - just a bit better than my right one, and so I'm shooting as a left-handed archer...

Step 8: Notches

Picture of Notches

Don't forget.

For the rope, you know.

Step 9: Serenity Now

Picture of Serenity Now

Mount the rope - I used simple 3mm paracord - and have fun shooting.

Paracord is quite elastic. For this type of bow it's rather an advantage since the bow itself is quite rigid.

Okay, it's not a monster, but who told you I wanted a monster to shoot a few arrows at sunset?

Serenity now.

It feels great, at my great surprise by the way. It turns out to be just the perfect bow for some easy-peasy target shooting, alone or with friends. It's a real pleasure to shoot at a target distance of 10 m. The arrows penetrate nicely the target without passing through it like with a heavy compound bow.

I've always been a compound bow archer. I enjoy shooting at 25 m and hear the satisfying sound of arrows touching each other when they hit the target - 'bunch shooting', you know. But sometimes you just don't care about Swiss precision. Sometimes you just want to shoot & have some beers without the risk of killing somebody.

For that kind of entertainment, this is the right bow.

Enjoy it, and let me know what you're experiences are with it.

Step 10: Facts & Numbers

Picture of Facts & Numbers

The bow weighs about 700 g - 1,9 lb.

Its draw weight is rather weak - some 8 kg - 17 lb.

Using downhill skis would probably increase the draw weight, but make the bow heavier.

Again, I didn't need a monster - I already have this one.

As member deluges said 'it's not a deer hunting bow, it's a beer hunting bow'. Good one!

I also added a smaller rope to use my quick release. Handy!

Step 11: Improvements

Picture of Improvements

My first shots were acceptable - for a bow like that - but not too accurate.

If there's a problem, just solve it.

I added a sight - a leftover (spoon handle) from another project 'never throw anything away' you know - and results became better.

Better was not good enough.

The way I mounted the sight - with that wing-bolt at the wrong side of the bow - influenced the string and deviated the arrows. So the fixation got reversed and results became better, again.

'Better results' in archery means the shots became more 'grouped'.

The sight wasn't the only problem. Also my hand was kind in the way of the string and so I added 'bumpers'.

And then those results became interesting. Shots are getting more & more grouped and this bow is becoming very interesting at 10m target distance.

Better every day. I'm glad with this project.


Murdoch51 (author)2016-11-25

Hey bricobart, I like your approach to building your cross country ski bow. After reading through your build stages and the results of your draw weight test I was able to come up with a solution for making it a much more formidable bow. Good work. Murdoch51 (Real men wear kilts, all others just get dressed)

bricobart (author)Murdoch512016-11-27

Hi Scotsman you really made me curious! Show me what you have - without raising that kilt, though...

buckmeisterq (author)2016-08-11

You always inspire me - thanks for sharing this instructable. Your projects, writing, and sense of humor are just brilliant. I wish I could joke and pun half as well as you in my 3rd language, please do keep up the excellent work!

bricobart (author)buckmeisterq2016-08-13

That's a lot of good things in one compliment. Great to hear that these projects not only bring negative emotions to the surface and there are some members who really get the message I'm trying to send, sometimes. If you build with your heart, only good things can happen. Have a great day my friend.

bricobart (author)2016-08-08

I should have called this Ible 'crossfire' - must be the first where there's more to do about style & form than about the project itself..

Come on mates, we're all on this site because we're all builders & makers, because we prefer the craft above the mainstream & because we're inspiring each other.

So, what about making a bow? I wanna see those 'I made it' buttons!

chutneygray (author)2016-08-02

I was not able to get passed the abusive cis-normative sexism and the horrendously inaccurate title for something that is not a crossbow.

DewayneC3 (author)chutneygray2016-08-03

Not too bright are you? Let me explain the intentional play on words... CROSS country ski made into a BOW. Take out all the words between CROSS and BOW....

RobertP231 (author)DewayneC32016-08-04

Well, Dewayne, we can compare IQs, college degrees, professional credentials and GRE scores sometime if you like. I'm pretty confident I'll fare comparatively well in the brightness category. But let me explain something about the English language you seem to be overlooking. If the title had been "cross bow" or "cross-bow" (two words), that might have been a great pun. But "crossbow" (one word) is a real word with a specific meaning, so if you write it that way, the droll humor is lost and it simply becomes an incorrect description instead of a successful pun. A small criticism, and one offered inoffensively (unlike your sarcastic reply). Peace, out.

bricobart (author)RobertP2312016-08-07

Thanx for your constructive comment by showing the importance of ' ' (spaces) & hyphens. The intention was 'great pun', the execution could have been better. Let's go for the hyphen. And the beers.

RobertP231 (author)bricobart2016-08-07

Bricobart - It's all good, friend. I'm a scientist by profession, so I do tend to take things rather literally, and since I also teach, I'm a bit of a stickler for grammar. But I appreciate attempts at humor, even corny ones (my dad was a great one for that), and don't pretend to be amywhere near perfect at it either. So keep on punnin' yo!

bricobart (author)RobertP2312016-08-08

Again, thanx for the input. The writing is as important in making ibles to me as the building, but despite that - english is only my third language - errors occur and when this throws people into the curtains I'm tending to get seasick. So, let's stick to that controversial cross-bow and let's have a virtual beer together. Cheers mate!

DewayneC3 (author)RobertP2312016-08-05

Oh did I hurt your little feelings by pointing out how obvious his play on words was? Perhaps because you made the same mistake? I see you are trying to impress us all with your self estimation. I however was not directly comparing myself to her just pointing out a stupid mistake and arrogant assumption... the same you made. You have compounded your stupidity with even more wrong information. Puns or plays on words do not follow the rules you ascribed to them. It was a simple little joke in his title but not simple enough for some it seems. Furthermore, it is clearly not a longbow. From Wiki:
A longbow is a type of bow that is tall—roughly equal to the height of the user; allowing the archer a fairly long draw, at least to the jaw. A longbow is not significantly recurved. Its limbs are relatively narrow so that they are circular or D-shaped in cross section. Apparently all your little pieces of paper do not make you immune from stupid mistakes. Though my BSEE and hard won dose of common sense in the Army and throughout my life will stack up just fine against your bloated ego. Man up... admit you made a mistake.

RobertP231 (author)DewayneC32016-08-05

Wow, Dewayne, talk about having a chip on your shoulder and needing to chill out. You need it more than she does. You're the one trying to impress people by throwing your weight around and hurling insults for no reason. It cuts no mustard with me. I'll compare my 25 years in the Army with yours any day, and if you really want we can compare accomplishments there, too. Common sense and service time apparently didn't teach you anything about courtesy or decorum in a public forum, or behaving like an adult. People who behave like you reveal their own insecurities because they have to insult others to make themselves feel good about themselves. I would never have tolerated your behavior in one of my NCOs, so I recommend counseling at the nearest VA center to help you get over yourself. Then when you grow up a little, we can trade war stories as fellow vets. Until then, I've no interest in further exchanges with you. Have a good life, and try to be kind to others. You reap what you sew in this life, and in the next. Peace, out.

salazam (author)chutneygray2016-08-04

Don't bother explaining he'll just delete your comments. He doesn't want to learn. Trust me, I've tried. Some people are better with their hands, others with their minds.

bricobart (author)salazam2016-08-04

You again. What to say. I didn't delete ANYTHING - I'm not the only one to have access to this page. Ask the yellow robot if you want answers and stop those medics, they make you paranoid.

salazam (author)bricobart2016-08-04

Oh okay, I TOTALLY believe you. It's not like you had anything to lose by having a free and democratic debate on this page. Oh except that your views were bigoted and sexist and have no place on this site? How hard is it to say you cleaned something without assigning a sex to it? You could have just said you stopped being lazy, but no you had to get chauvinistic. Peace out dude.

bricobart (author)salazam2016-08-05

Better a different opinion than no opinion - my point of view. For what it's worth, I never deleted one single comment on this site - not mines, not others - since 'shame' is something I don't know. Big Brother's watching, and if something becomes too 'not nice' you bet it will be deleted. Whatever. Yes I could have said it differently - which I did after a conversation with my wife, who felt that 'there was space for interpretation'.

Whatever, let's stick to that bow & make it better.

And btw, chauvinistic is 'liking your country a bit too much', which is definitely not the case in this project..

salazam (author)bricobart2016-08-06

Everything I said I tried to be as understanding and constructive as I could. If you didn't remove my comments then your minions of closed-minded troops did. Flagging my comments simply because they disagree. Either one could be the case, it doesn't matter now. I'm responding now in spite of this because it seems to appear you want dialog.

This isn't about censorship or political correctness. It's about being fair. Kids come to this site to learn and expand their mind. What appears to you to be some off-the-cuff harmless remark about cleaning is actually reinforcing gender stereotypes to the impressionable. Imagine if what you said was racist? Sure, it would be great if we could all lighten up have some thick skin and see it is a joke, however that's not what this website is for. I feel when educating the public (you become a teacher when you make an instructable), it's important to be unbiased and nondiscriminatory when presenting knowledge.

This wasn't some kind of personal attack and you should stop viewing it as such. Like I said, I love your project and I think you do great work. Sometimes we just need to drop the ego and take in a little criticism because no one is perfect and we can always make ourselves better. This was purely my intention from the beginning, to help you view the world in a broader stroke. I obviously didn't do so well as no matter how nice or diplomatic I wrote, you still took offense to what I was saying. This was not my intention.

Sometimes however, in the presence of new light, it takes our eyes a minute to adapt. Our minds similar: we are naturally resistant to change. So used to thinking a certain way for so long that we don't even notice it anymore. It's important to evaluate our thoughts from time to time as they may even betray how we really feel. I don't really think you're sexist. But what you said was. I just wanted to tell you why so you would understand.

bricobart (author)salazam2016-08-07

Read & approved. The fool is the one that doesn't change or refuses to question him/herself. I always agreed with that statement but despite that I know there's new mistakes to make in this life, and thus more opportunities to live to learn & move forward.

I often forget the power of written words - and the ease of getting wrong interpreted. It's nice to write between the lines, but doing that you're raising the chance of not getting read as you wanted to. Those kids in mind, I'll keep that in my mental backpack.

Keep on building. The good stuff. Bart.

deluges (author)salazam2016-08-04

From glancing at your projects and comments, you seem to belong in neither category.

deluges (author)chutneygray2016-08-04

Wow how about a nice tall glass of chill the hell down to begin with?

Your cause is just but you defend it extremely poorly, therefore making both you as a person and your cause look bad. You don't need to fight that hard, you can use common curtesy and start constructive discussions. I'm the first to defend the feminist cause and freedom of gender for everyone. But I don't think the way you express yourself serves any other purpose than mere provocation. And bart is an amazing dude from what I see of him. So let's all relax here.

bricobart (author)deluges2016-08-05

Thanx for your support my friend. These discussions have gone way too far, you're totally right.

To avoid these frictions in the future, I've decided to put that red flag on every new instructable. Political correctness is a pain.

Let's stick to that bow and make it better!

bricobart (author)chutneygray2016-08-02

No matter how I turn this comment, I just don't get it. Can you explain this a bit better?

RobertP231 (author)bricobart2016-08-03

Don't let it bother you. She appears to be a transgender activist, and while their cause is noble and just (to end bigotry and discrimination against transgender people) some of them are overly sensitive and occasionally go massively overboard on their political correctness demands. So don't worry about it.

She IS right about one thing, though. What you built is a longbow, not a crossbow. A crossbow is a small bow attached perpendicularly to a rifle stock, and is aimed and fired like a rifle. Great job making your longbow, though.

deluges (author)RobertP2312016-08-04

Robert here has some wise words

RobertP231 (author)chutneygray2016-08-03

He said nothing that is sexist. Going through life with a chip on your shoulder and taking offense where none was intended does nothing to help your cause, and in fact hurts it. It only alienates people unnecessarily, and makes for an unhappy life. So chill out a bit, and live and let live. You'll be much better off for it.

ardrhi (author)2016-07-31

Ok...First let me say that it's a very interesting project, and the cover picture is amazing. The project is a great reuse of old stuff that otherwise would probably find its way into a landfill somewhere. Better to turn at least part of it into something useful!

But the TITLE needs some work, for the simple reason that it's misleading. "Crossbow" has a specific meaning, and that ISN'T A CROSSBOW. I get the pun, believe me, but it still has my inner pedant banging on the inside of my skull, screaming that it ISN'T A CROSSBOW!

So, good 'ible. But the title makes those of us with a touch of OCD want to start hand-washing and counting the lines in the wood-grain.

bricobart (author)ardrhi2016-08-01

Do you think I should review the title of my next fancy I'ble? 'Golden retriever' - Golden Arduino-based Car Key Retriever?

deluges (author)bricobart2016-08-04

Haha there you go man don't let them literal-no-sense-of-humour-2016-internet-warriors tell you how to do things. Some people just don't get that things can exist a little bit outside the scope of comprehension. Freedom of speech! And beer hunting crossbows for everyone!

bricobart (author)deluges2016-08-05

Beer hunting crossbows for everyone, whuha!

RobertP231 (author)bricobart2016-08-04

Nah, don't change a thing there, bricobart. I really like that pun, and it's not likely to be confused. Keep on keeping on, Brother!

bricobart (author)RobertP2312016-08-05

Thanx Robert! At least there's still a bunch of people left with the same out-of-the-line-spirit. I like it, you bet I'll go on!

AdrianCherry (author)ardrhi2016-07-31

Seconded. I'm so glad it's not just me.

dnaworks (author)AdrianCherry2016-07-31

Thirded, particularly as there are jurisdictions where bows are perfectly legal but crossbows are not (or at least, heavily regulated). I choose to focus on the pun and find my happy place :)

mstroven1 (author)2016-08-02

great job

bricobart (author)mstroven12016-08-02


vdubschnupp (author)2016-08-02

Never let the easily offended silence your freedom of speech, in any form.

I actually have an old set of skis, that I've been saving to do this with. This way is much more simple, than the ways I've seen it done before. Saving this one, to do it this way!

bricobart (author)vdubschnupp2016-08-02

That's exactly how I thought about this project. No hours of woodworking, just straight on solid fixing!

Thanx for your support, btw..

bricobart (author)2016-08-01

You should try that archery thing one day. And those beers.

Positive attitude.

Tecwyn Twmffat (author)2016-07-26

nice! might have a go at this myself one day.

bricobart (author)Tecwyn Twmffat2016-07-27

I was wondering, does it ever snow on your island? Or are you only getting this stuff by lost icebergs floating by?

Tecwyn Twmffat (author)bricobart2016-07-27

It does snow here about once every 5 years so, yes, mostly we construct ski slopes by hacking big chunks off passing icebergs.

bricobart (author)Tecwyn Twmffat2016-07-27

Awesome! I don't know if it's related to those beers I've had, but it sounds like a crazy idea to start a brewery on one of those icebergs. ICEBEER!

Tecwyn Twmffat (author)bricobart2016-07-28

Yeah man - let's do it!

bricobart (author)Tecwyn Twmffat2016-07-29

I've heard about a big chunk that's breaking off Antarctica. The biggest challenge will be to filter those penguins out of the water...

Tecwyn Twmffat (author)bricobart2016-08-01

Yeah I really hate it when the ice melts and my skis get stuck inside penguin carcasses. Very messy!

bricobart (author)Tecwyn Twmffat2016-08-01

Sometimes it even becomes Ross-y...

DeanP2 (author)2016-08-01

You are very expressive. The project was interesting in itself, but your writing style adds a lot.

bricobart (author)DeanP22016-08-01

Thanx Dean, glad you enjoyed it!

NZarcher (author)2016-07-31

you lack of PR skill is only exceeded by your lack of archery knowledge


About This Instructable




Bio: I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.
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