Introduction: MacGyver a Duct Tape Bowstring!

About: We are a home school group that has created a robotics team with 6 members involved in the team. We do several shows with a local Collage that has won IGVC several years ago. We mostly build sumo bots.

MacGyver a Duct Tape Bowstring!

Step 1: Step 1- First Things First! “The Idea".

Yes it’s a completely, 100% Duct tape bowstring! And you can make about 8 per a roll with an average roll of duct tape (60yd) and it works as well, if not better, than the nylon sting. I saw the MacGyver challenge and stated freaking out, since I am a huge fan / nerd, of the show (the original show with Richard Dean Anderson) and I started to come up with some ideas, but I was getting a bit frustrated with myself. So, I kicked back and watched some Mythbusters, (one of my favorite shows, besides MacGyver) and they made duct tape rope. At the time, I just so happened to have a bow laying around, so I thought why can’t you make a duct tape bowstring? It has very high elastic properties and more than likely would fire an arrow with ease! So I started to work.

Step 2: Step 2- Materials for Your Bowstring.

Duct Tape (duh!)

A Bow/ a piece of wood that you could make into a bow. (I’m not that good with carving wood)

Arrows/ Sticks, pointy rocks, and some feathers to make some arrows.

A stick or something to twist the duct tape.

“Swiss Army Knife”

A sick 1980’s Mullet

And some MacGyver skills. (Not required, anyone can do this.)

Step 3: Step 3- the Making of the String...

Traditional materials for bowstrings include linen, hemp,
sinew, silk, and rawhide. These materials are nothing like duct tape (it is just an adhesive tape, also known as man’s best friend, not a dog.) one of the biggest troubles to this project was how to make a strong rope-like strand of duct tape. Strong enough to hold about 70lbs. (31.7515 Kg. for those who use a mass scale that makes sense) So I did the most scientific way of doing it, trial and error, but luckily I got it on the second try.

First off my bow is 4Ft or (1.2192M for those who use a distance scale that makes sense) so I made my string about 5ft. or (1.524M) because I’ll be twisting it and it’s better to have too much than not enough.

First take your 5ft piece and fold it repeatedly until you have a long flat piece of duct tape about a quarter of an inch wide, and twist it a little. Then tear or cut with your trusty “Swiss Army knife” another piece 5ft long then roll the piece of duct tape to the other folded piece and roll them together. Then twist the now duct tape string using a stick. Or if you want to cheat you probably could use a drill and get it knocked out in a fraction of the time, (but MacGyver isn’t that lucky).

Step 4: Step 4- Tie the Knot.

Just tie a simple loop knot like in the pics below, then
wrap the knot with duct tape to secure in place. If you have amazing knot tying skills and have a better way of tying it please write me a comment.

Step 5: Step 5- Testing!

First I want to tell you I am not a professional archer by any means. And it took several try’s to hit a target. I don’t think it’s the duct tape that caused the weird directions the arrow makes, but with a little practice I was able to hit it. And I have a little comedic video of it in action!!!

I’ve only found one problem is that the string will stretch over time, so to fix this I just took the string off and moved the knot about 3 inches to add more tension to the string.

And there you go, you have assembled your very own Duct tape bowstring, so you can protect yourself from any villains or rabid animal trying to kill you!!!

P.s Don’t shoot anyone with an arrow just because that’s a really stupid idea. Please Vote: because I really want an awesome t-shirt!!!!

Don’t forget to follow: THE HEARTH ROBOTICS TEAM!

Happy Building!

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MacGyver Challenge

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MacGyver Challenge