The crossbow was a very powerful and precise weapon from the Middle Ages. It still intrigues us in this age as well. Today I will be explaining how to replicate a simple model of one these beasts using cardboard and duct tape.
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest
1. What did you make?
I made my own version of the infamous medieval weapon: the crossbow. I made it because I was interested in the Middle Ages and decided to try and see if I could make my own from scratch. I made it out of mainly duct tape and cardboard and it fires projectiles using an elastic band and a simple trigger.
2. How did you make it?
I got the idea for this project while contemplating about Medieval weapons. I then began constructing my model, drawing somewhat from a real crossbow on the Internet. I followed the general shape of a rifle/crossbow mostly, but had to adjust the design slightly to make sure that the weapon fired properly. I constructed this by myself.
3. Where did you make it?
I constructed this model in my study for use by my friends and I. It was intended mostly for recreational use and for display.
4. What did you learn?
I encountered a few problems during the building of my crossbow. The largest by far was adjusting the trigger. I experimented with several designs and decided upon the one with a small triangle cut out of it. The securing of the lathe was also difficult as well because of the high tension induced by the elastic bands. I tried taping it with duct tape, but that wasn't strong enough, so I settled on using an extra support of cardboard underneath to help sturdy the lathe. I think the part that I am the proudest of is the trigger system, since it is the most crucial part of the weapon and it took a while to fine tune. In the end, though, I think that I wouldn't have done anything differently other than maybe some more decoration, like paint.
Step 1: Materials
Gather the following materials:
- ordinary cardboard
- box-cutter or scissors
- duct tape
- elastic band
Step 2: Handle
Cut out a piece of cardboard that is about 19 by 13 cm. Fold to make three parts and then fold together and duct tape. This is the handle.
Step 3: Barrel
For the barrel, cut out a piece of cardboard that is about 33 by 15 cm. Fold into three parts and then fold together and duct tape. This is the barrel.
Step 4: Taping
Next, carefully wrap the barrel and handle with duct tape.
Step 5: Connecting the Barrel and the Handle
Then connect the barrel and handle, attach one end of the handle with one end of the barrel to form an L-shape. secure firmly with more duct tape.
Step 6: Making the Lathe
For the lathe, or long piece sticking out from the end of the barrel, take a piece of cardboard that is about 5 cm by 15 cm and fold it in half. Cover it in duct tape. Next place an elastic band in the fold. Then duct tape the two ends of the cardboard together to secure the elastic band.
Step 7: Attaching the Lathe
After finishing the lathe, attach it onto to the barrel lengthwise, using duct tape to secure it. For extra support attach a piece of underneath the lathe and the barrel with duct tape.
Step 8: The Trigger
For the trigger, cut a trigger out of cardboard that is about 13 by 3 cm. Cut a triangular piece out and then cover in duct tape. Cut a hole in the barrel, where the elastic reach is farthest, and insert.
Step 9: The Slots
For accuracy, make a slot with a pair of cardboard pieces (5 by 2 cm) for the projectile to launch through. Secure them with duct tape.
Step 10: Operation
To operate the crossbow, pull back the elastic band to the little piece of the handle sticking out. Insert a projectile (pen or pencil) into the slot and then pull the trigger to release the elastic, thus firing the projectile. It may take several attempts and some minor adjustments to get it right, but in the end you will have a fully functional, powerful weapon at your fingertips.