This was not exactly an Instructable where I give you the tools, materials and plans needed to make a clever project. This started without a plan other than to make a toy for a grandson. I created a long bow for his older brother and thought the four year old needed a boy toy that required less skill to use. I began with a 2X4 four feet long.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Since there was not a plan. I began with all the usual suspects for building a toy on the patio. This included a 2X4, screw collection, duct tape, cord and some tools. Tools used were a band saw, portable jig saw, electric drill, screw gun, scissors and bench sander.
Step 2: Dice and Slice
Cut a 2X4 about the length of a toy bow. Slice a thin board off the 2 inch side. Cut a section of 2X4 the length of the stock for a 4 year old.
Make the bow first and tie a cord for a string. Test the flexibility of the bow to decide how long to make the stock and arrows. OOPS. You now know the limit to stretch a Douglas Fir bow. Go find a more forgiving wood. Yew, Cherry, Maple and Ash are all better choices for the bow.
Start over on the bow with a section of Yew wood. Cut notches for the cord. It is not necessary to do any tillering on a cross bow as both sides of the bow are symmetrical.
Cut the bolts (3 arrows) from the center section of the 2X4. Cut a notch the distance the bow string will pull easily.
To create a channel for the bolt to slide in the center section is screwed in half the distance of the thickness of the bolt below the top stock.
To make the trigger pull toward the handle I crafted two levers. The rear one lifts the string and the front one pushes it up. The first trigger had the grain wrong so I replaced it with plywood.
The handle is attached below the rear lever and is reinforced when it attaches to the back of the stock.
Sand off the edge of the channel the bolt slides in to make the string easier to release.
Assemble the parts and make fletchings for the arrows out of duct tape. The fletchings are only on two sides.
Give the gift to the grandson and enjoy the fun defending the fort from wolves and dragons.
P.S. Craft a second crossbow for the big brother.