How to Make a Non Elastic Knex Shortbow

Introduction: How to Make a Non Elastic Knex Shortbow

For a long time I've been building Knex bows, with one thing in common. They were all terrible, using elastic bands as a string. But I have finally made a good Knex bow without elastic for a string.

It works exactly like a fyberglass, or wooden, or any other good bow. The power comes from the frame instead of the string. It can withstand a respectable amount of tension and fires a light, fletched kebab skewer with a good amount of force.

Step 1: You Will Need:

3 grey rods
6 yellow 'Half snowflake' connectors
6 green connectors
18 small white rods
10 medium yellow/dark grey rods
12 white 'Snowflake' connectors
26 small blue rods
4 orange connectors

Find more as you need them if I have miscounted. (I'm only human!)

A tub of dental floss
Bamboo kebab skewers
Gloves (For comfort, as the string is very thin, and can cut into your fingers)

Step 2: The Frame (Step One)

Make what you see in the images six times.
Thats 3 for each end.

So you'll have something like this:

Step 3: The Frame (Step Two)

Make this once:

Step 4: The Frame (Step Three)

Putting it together: Follow the diagram.

Do this twice, using 3 for each end.

Step 5: The Frame (Step Four)

Putting together the two ends: Follow the diagrams

Step 6: Making the String & Stringing the Bow

I don't have a definite perfect way to make the ultimate bowstring, and it is usually trial and error until I am satisfied with my string.


I will upload a picture of my bowstring, and you will see the loops on each end. I use my doorknob as a spacer-type device, and tie the loop off three times.


This is the hardest and most delicate part of the whole build. You must bend the bow just enough to allow the loop to wrap around the snowflake (Demonstrated in the diagrams) and then seal the loop by snapping a yellow rod in (I've used grey).


Pluck the bowstring when the bow is strung. Does it make a nice, high pitched twanging sound? If so, you've done it! If not, you might want to try and take an inch off the string.

Step 7: Viola! All Done!

Now you're a fully certified Knex archer. Marvel at the power you have, and at how far your bow will stretch back, and propel a kebab skewer through cardboard and other such things.

Cut notches into the back of the kebab skewer-arrows for the string to rest in.

Perhaps search for a 'structable on how to fletch home-made arrows? Your choice. I make some fletchings out of paper and cellotape earlier and was amazed at how straight the arrow went. As long as something guides the airflow, you've got a better arrow already!

I have very steady hands, and even I cut my finger open whilst trying to make the notches. Don't injure yourself!

Finally, NEVER, under any circumstances point this weapon, (Yes, its not a toy anymore, it is a potentially lethal/dangerous weapon now!) at any living creature, human, or object you do not want to damage.

Only use this bow to shoot a target for instance. If using blunt Knex arrows, always be careful is firing at anything, including people. These will not kill, but could take an eye out/bruise somebody. You've been warned!

Please feel free to add any constructive criticism, tips, and maybe a good system to make that perfect bowstring every time!

Leave any feedback in the comments box.

Happy building!

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    13 years ago on Introduction

    Hey hope its ok.. but im using your bow is one of my instructables... but im giving u the credit for making it.. is that ok? =I oh and I modded the bow... First I added a orange connector in the middle of the bow to keep the arrow steady and made a finger rest thingy on it so your fingers dont get in the way when aiming or firing the arrow.. and I have found a place to put your arrows at... here are the pics..


    I made a bow that shot wooden skewers. One day a small flaw caused a gray clip to block the path of the skewer. It shot out the side of the gun and into and almost through my finger.
    Point of this story. notice my pun Is that if you shoot a wood skewer be careful.


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the comment, and I'll bear it in mind. However, I'm such a bad shot that most of my skewer-arrows end up hitting the wall, becoming blunt and unable to get through human skin. I've been lucky so far, and I'll probably check my bow for any flaws that might end up as dangerous.