Last week I found an impressive slingbow build on you tube where an ingenious lad made an arrow shooting sling shot (aka Slingbow) using exercise bands and my favorite .... Wait for it ... PVC pipe.
Naturally I had to try this so this is my version of the Backyard Armory's Sling bow build.
Step 1: Materials
Most makers will prolly have nearly everything you need to make one of these PVC slingbows. If you have to purchase all materials and have a local hardware that will let you buy the pipe and tube by the ft, you can pull this off for around $5. If you want to get fancy you are looking at around $20.
Materials needed for a PVC Slingbow:
- 9" length of 1" dia. schedule 40 PVC pipe
- 2ft Surgical tubing or exercise strap tube
- 1ft of rope- para cord or any nylon rope around 1/8" will do fine.
- Small zip-ties (can substitute rubber bands)
- Paint to finish coat
- scrap piece of cloth ~2"x3"
- rubber high voltage splicing tape
- cutting tool to cut PVC pipe
I used PVC scissors and a Japanese style saw
- Heat gun or stove eye
- Not required but very helpful is a pair of needle nose pliers
Step 2: Overview of Scope of Work
The pic above says it all but.This slingbow project from 30,000ft is that we are going to split one end of our pipe down the center and use a heat gun to mold 2 limbs from the split halves.
As archery arrows do not nock well into rubber tubing our cordage will be our arrow nock. This rope will joint 2 sections of our elastic tuning to complete the slingbow.
Step 3: PVC Prep
Cut the pipe to a length of around 9"
Mark the circumference of the pipe, Measure from one end 3.5" then use the printing along the side of the pipe to be your 1st slitting line.
Next use a rectangle of paper
Step 4: Form the Slingbow Limbs
Use some gloves or a pot hold for this next step (along with common sense.)
Using your heat source heat the split section of the pipe. Don't keep the pipe still roll it and shift back and forth to get a nice even heating.
The pipe will become like a cooked noodle when ready to form. For those that have never heat formed PVC before. Practice with a scrap price of pipe to get the feel for how the pipe softens and how to handle it when soft.
Once ready to form flip it over and spread the 2halfs and make a T on a flat surface. Hold it there until it cures in place.
After the slingbow limbs are Flat reheat away from the split and roll the ends of the limbs to make a pass through for your tubing.
The final step shaping the limb profile to give it a sort of "W" profile. See final pic above.
Step 5: Make the Tube Strap
Cut 2 sections of your tuning around 9" each.
Make 2 separate figure 8 knots in your cordage trim the extra rope from the body of the knot. These will be our ball stops for the attaching end of the tube. With this in mind you could use a bead or a ball bearing of similar diameter and these would prolly be easier to insert in the tube end than the cordage was for my build.
Next insert the knot just inside the throat of the tubing section. Use a small zip tie as seen above to secure the knot. This will be our friction stop.
It is not necessary but I also wrapped the end of my tube with fabric and secured it with rubber splicing tape. This is intended to be a scrub guard for the tubing to prevent failure due to tube being torn.
Step 6: Insert Bands and Make Arrow Nock
Take the 2 bands created in the last step and thread through 'eyelets' in the end of the limbs.
Take a ~2" length of cord and tie knots in each end as seen in the pic.
Join each limb band with this length of cord, like the previous step of making the strap ends squeeze the knots into the respective tube ends and place a binding tie between the knot and the tube end.
Step 7: Finishing Up
To complete this slingbow build simple decorate, be careful and have fun.
I painted mine black and wrapped the limb ends with rubber splice tape.
An optional step I omitted was shaping the handle. It does add to the comfort of the slings grip but is not essential for function. After step 4 (forming the limbs) just reheat the the handle section. Once the slingbow handle is soft using gloves or an oven mat/heavy cloth grip squeeze the handle to give it a custom grip.
That's it!! Now you are prepared for slingbow fishing or the zombie pandemic which ever comes first.
With that in mind this slingbow is not a toy and can cause serious injury if not used responsibly.