Intro: Cross-bow - Cross Country Ski Bow, If You Prefer..
Today I decided not to go to my worksite.
I'm the boss and I'm the only employee, no-one was bothering.
I just needed a break, today. A longer weekend. A piece of freedom. Some rebellion, maybe.
And so I stayed at home.
Great I felt.
Sometimes you just have to do what you want.
Instead of installing the hammock, making a fire & drinking beers all day - sounded awesome, though - I decided to muck out my workshops.
And the day ended with a nice bow.
Let me tell you all about it.
Step 1: Growing Up
On the picture you see 1% of all the rubbish I decided not longer to stock.
'Never throw away anything' is a useful way of life, but after only 2 years you start to realise you're living on a dump.
So, because I didn't want to put my signature on the other 50% of the divorce documents, haha, I decided to be a grown up man for one day.
At least in some way.
A particular way.
And not the whole day.
What didn't look useful - in that kind of mans point of view - went out.
It didn't feel bad, being someone like that. I rediscovered my workshops and I realised how contraproductive it was saturating them with all that 'useful stuff'.
But then I found those cross country skis.
And instantly I became a kid again.
Step 2: Two Become One
I kept those skis since I wanted to turn them into a bow.
You know, some day I say someone do something like that and that day I decided that one day I'd do something like that, but different.
That day was now.
I wanted to make a bow like that, but I didn't want to spend days on it.
I just wanted a short, light, bow & a few beers.
So instead of making a fancy handle I wondered what would happen if I fixed those two skis directly together.
Worth trying, no?
So, if you want to give it a try yourself, get those skis & cut them at 65 cm from the tip.
A miter saw may be helpful.
Step 3: Mind Powers
Get some heavy aluminium (3 mm) and cut 2 plates of about 30 cm each - did you know btw you can easily cut them with a wood saw? I discovered today. Today I did things my way.
Drill 6 holes right in the middle of one of those plates & clamp it to the downside (the flat side) of those skis.
Use the drilled plate as a template & drill all the way through those skis.
The mind is the best friend of the muscle.
Step 4: More Mind Powers, and a Clamp
Since the topside of those skis is slightly inclined you need to bend one of those alu plates in the right shape, before drilling it.
2 blocks, 1 clamp.
You just burned 0 calories.
Step 5: A + B
Get those skis nicely aligned - wood profiles may help - and unite the whole with button-screws.
I told you I would get it all as simple as possible, today.
Step 6: Sanding
Clamp the proto-bow in a vice and reduce the width of the middle - unless you're name is Hulk - big hands, you know.
Worth knowing: most knife handles have a thickness of 20 mm. Comfort counts. Also for a bow. So you'll need to reduce things a bit to hold that bow nicely in your hand.
I went to 30 mm. Fair enough.
Worth feeling: the sanding makes the alu so hot that it melts the protective coating of the skis. Screw those bolts a bit more & discover why I didn't use glue.
Step 7: Arrow Launchpad
Use the same sander to excavate a nice resting spot for the arrow. This spot is situated right above the center of the handle and goes almost to the middle. The more you're away from that middle the more the arrow will deviate from it's path.
I know it, since I tested the bow without that cavity.
Still searching that arrow...
Note: when you're right-handed it's better to make this cavity on the left side of the bow, and not on the right side like this one. Consider this one as a left-handed bow, if you want. I just made it this way since my left eye is - unless my glasses - just a bit better than my right one, and so I'm shooting as a left-handed archer...
Step 8: Notches
For the rope, you know.
Step 9: Serenity Now
Mount the rope - I used simple 3mm paracord - and have fun shooting.
Paracord is quite elastic. For this type of bow it's rather an advantage since the bow itself is quite rigid.
Okay, it's not a monster, but who told you I wanted a monster to shoot a few arrows at sunset?
It feels great, at my great surprise by the way. It turns out to be just the perfect bow for some easy-peasy target shooting, alone or with friends. It's a real pleasure to shoot at a target distance of 10 m. The arrows penetrate nicely the target without passing through it like with a heavy compound bow.
I've always been a compound bow archer. I enjoy shooting at 25 m and hear the satisfying sound of arrows touching each other when they hit the target - 'bunch shooting', you know. But sometimes you just don't care about Swiss precision. Sometimes you just want to shoot & have some beers without the risk of killing somebody.
For that kind of entertainment, this is the right bow.
Enjoy it, and let me know what you're experiences are with it.
Step 10: Facts & Numbers
The bow weighs about 700 g - 1,9 lb.
Its draw weight is rather weak - some 8 kg - 17 lb.
Using downhill skis would probably increase the draw weight, but make the bow heavier.
Again, I didn't need a monster - I already have this one.
As member deluges said 'it's not a deer hunting bow, it's a beer hunting bow'. Good one!
I also added a smaller rope to use my quick release. Handy!
Step 11: Improvements
My first shots were acceptable - for a bow like that - but not too accurate.
If there's a problem, just solve it.
I added a sight - a leftover (spoon handle) from another project 'never throw anything away' you know - and results became better.
Better was not good enough.
The way I mounted the sight - with that wing-bolt at the wrong side of the bow - influenced the string and deviated the arrows. So the fixation got reversed and results became better, again.
'Better results' in archery means the shots became more 'grouped'.
The sight wasn't the only problem. Also my hand was kind in the way of the string and so I added 'bumpers'.
And then those results became interesting. Shots are getting more & more grouped and this bow is becoming very interesting at 10m target distance.
Better every day. I'm glad with this project.