Introduction: DIY PVC Crossbow

Picture of DIY PVC Crossbow


This is an easy to do crossbow made from wood and PVC pipe that require only handheld tools.

This crossbow was designed to be easily dismountable so you can take it anywhere you want.

By the way, it's my first Instructable ever...

This Instructable was made for the “Hand tools only – 2016” and "Flat Pack" contests (be sure to vote).

A little bit of history...

Weapon making has always been a huge part of mankind’s history, better weapons often meant winning with less loss.The concept of the crossbow is simple: a bow on a stick. However, this invention completely changed the way we fight. This weapon, unlike more traditional medieval weapons such as sword or bow, requires much less skill and physical strength to operate. In contrast, a bowman may take a lifetime mastering the bow where a crossbowman could master his weapon in weeks or even days. Even if crossbows are nowadays considered only hunting weapons, various countries still use crossbows in their military forces. The modern crossbow is a light stealth weapon with an astonishing lethality. China’s police used modern crossbow during the 2009 riots in Xinjiang.

Step 1: Materal List

Picture of Materal List


You’ll need:

  • Wood and plastic saw
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Woodworking Clamp
  • Handheld drill
  • An 1 – 1/8 hole saw
  • 2 x bolts and nuts of about ¼ inch
  • About 4 Washers
  • PVC pipe
  • Paracord
  • 2 x eyebolts + washers + end nuts
  • Wood
  • Bead
  • Wooden round stick
  • Wood wick

  • Sand paper

Step 2: Making the Body

Picture of Making the Body


  1. Cut 1 piece using the measures on the plan without the holes.
  2. Use the first piece to draw the second.
  3. Cut the second one.
  4. Clamp them both together.
  5. Drill 1/4 inch holes at the position indicated on the plan.

Bolt support

Cut the piece according to the plan.

Assemble the Bolt support

Put screws where te Xs are to hold the bolt support in place then drill the 1 inch hole at the front of the crossbow. Be sure that the bolt support is aligned with the rest of the body of the crossbow and to predrille your hole.

Step 3: Making the Mechanism Part

Picture of Making the Mechanism Part

Making the pivot

Cut the piece according to the plan.

Making the trigger

Cut the piece according to the plan.

Step 4: Assembling the Mechanism

Picture of Assembling the Mechanism

Assembling the mechanism

  1. Put bolts in the two holes - See picture 1.
  2. Put a washer on each bolt - Picture 2.
  3. Put piece to their respectives positions - Picture 3.
  4. If the pivot touch the bolt support, sand the support.
  5. Put a little screw as a stopper so the trigger stay at a comfortable position - Picture 4.
  6. Put another washer on each bolt - Picture 5.
  7. Screw the bolts flush to the top washer.
  8. Put other body part on top - Picture 6.
  9. Screw the bolt.
  10. Put the final nut on each bolt.

Step 5: ​Bow Support

Picture of ​Bow Support

Making the bow support

Cut 2 pieces according to the plan.

Clamp both pieces together and drill the hole with a 1 - 1/8 saw hole

Assembling the crossbow

Align the hole of the support with the one on the body and secure it with screws.

Repete with the other side.

You can help yourself with the PVC pipe.

Sand down the corners of the support so the paracord don't stay stuck.

Step 6: The Bow

Picture of The Bow

The bow

Cut 33 inch of PVC pipe and drill hole at both side.

Put the eyebolt on one side, add spacers (washers), then an end nut.

Tie the paracord to the eyebolt.

Slip the bow in the body's hole, sanding may be require.

Make a loop at the other side of the paracord.

Bend the bow and split the loop in.

The crossbow is now finished.

Step 7: Bolts

Picture of Bolts


Cut 10.5 inch of a 5/16 inch round wooden stick.

Tape the bead at the end.

Step 8: Fire

Picture of Fire


Pull the paracord back on the pivot (See picture 1).

Place the bold.

Pull the trigger.


Step 9: Dismount When Not in Use

Picture of Dismount When Not in Use

Dismount when not in use

You can easily dismount the crossbow by untying the paracord at one end, unscrewing the eyebolt and slip out the PVC pipe out of the body of the crossbow. Then, you can use the paracord to tie the bow to the body.


the modder (author)2017-10-02

not bad but if u want to shoot something over the tree use something like an air gun or spud gun i`ve done it before and all it does is fall off ur cross bow

daytona675 (author)2016-06-23

what's the range of this crossbow? I want to build one to fire a cord up through a tree so I can draw a rope through and round the trunk about 20 metres up to attach a tensioner to it so when I fell it it will fall in the right direction?

WillG36 (author)daytona6752016-07-02

If you are using the measurements I gave, you can reach 20m with a relatively light bolt. If you have to shoot a charge up in a tree, I would recommend to increase the draw distance (distance between the bow and the trigger mechanism). Let me know if it works ;)

BossyRangs (author)2016-04-12

Great Job! Especially if it's your first Instructable. I made a pistol crossbow a while back, and I also used PVC as prod:

You made me think about making an improved version, and a better Instructable too (this one is just video)

Dr. Joe made it! (author)2016-04-10

I made one like this for the grandson.

The trigger was a little different.

WillG36 (author)Dr. Joe2016-04-11

Great idea ! I love your design !

I made mine to resemble medieval crossbow. I inspired myself by traditional pivot-lever trigger system on medieval crossbow.

It is always a pleasure to see how others have built similar project.

Have you inspired yourself of a gun trigger?

MattC121 (author)2016-04-10

Well done, a quick to build, simple and functional design.

Megmusique (author)2016-04-10

Wow ??

Megmusique (author)Megmusique2016-04-10


JulianAzz (author)2016-04-10

GREAT crossbow!

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-04-10

Awesome DIY crossbow

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