This step by step guide shows you how to make your very own pistol crossbow out of wood and PVC. I made 2 styles, a military style and a steampunk style. Both have the same basic building plan. The only power tools you'll need are a drill and an electrical jigsaw, making this project ideal for someone without expensive machinery. However, it does require a little bit of woodworking experience so I wouldn’t recommend it as your very first project. But don’t worry, you don’t need a woodworking course to pull this off.
The draw weight of this crossbow is about 13 pounds (= 6.5 kg), which is on the low side, but it shoots straight for about 10 meters (approx. 10 yards). It was designed to shoot at close by targets, so it does the job well. If you wanted to make a more powerful version, I mention some suggestions in the video.
Measurements are in metrics, so convert centimeter to inch by dividing by 2.54 and convert millimeter to inch by dividing by 25.4.
Disclaimer: I cannot be held liable for any injuries that may result from making or shooting this crossbow.
Step 1: Watch the Video
Everything is explained in the video. The building plan is linked below. These are the materials you'll need (without the obvious ones), in order of appearance:
- pine wood of 4 x 9,5 x 50 cm
- wooden dowels of 8 mm diameter
- wood glue
- pvc pipes: if you can get your hands on 25 mm pipe with 3 mm wall thickness (in US, that would be 3/4 inch schedule 40), that would be perfect. If not, take 2 pipes and fit them into each other, with the bigger pipe 25 mm diameter 2 mm thick and the smaller pipe 20 mm diameter 1 mm thick.
- heat source e.g. heat gun, barbecue, stove top
- electrical jigsaw
- wood rasp
- hand saw or table saw
- wood chisel(s)
- high quality plywood (without voids between layers)
- sandpaper (80, 120 and 400 grid)
- nuts and bolts (bolts should be at least 4,5 cm long)
- small spring (for example from a pen)
- polyester body filler or another kind of filler (e.g. bondo)
- 3 mm thick polypropylene rope (or other strong rope that doesn't stretch)
- tent peg or big nail (for bolt tips)
- strong glue e.g. construction adhesive
- duct tape
Good luck!! Let me know if you successfully made one.