Intro: The Snow Bow
The snow bow is a mid-range portable snowball launcher. It can launch projectiles up to 32 feet under ideal conditions which is very good compared to a variety of other home-made snowball launchers. It is important to note that you will need two people to use this device effectively. The shooting process is described in step 9.
As you can see from the initial sketch and the prototype, the bow isn't exactly as I had designed it; the main difference would be that the snowball-guiding tube was not implemented. This was because that the bow was not pre-stressed to the degree that I had intended which meant that the cup could carry the snowball all the way to the hole. A few more differences would be the fact that there are two bowstrings rather than one and that I have added a draw handle (yellow rope); these changes were mainly due to the availability of materials.
For this project you will need:
- Two wooden 1x2's cut to a suitable length (I cut them to 68" as this was the suggested bow length for a person of my description, you can determine your personal length by using this resource: (http://www.learn- archery.com/proper-bow-size.html)
- two additional wooden 1x2's about 6" long,
- duct tape,
- an empty roll of duct tape,
- a steel cable with an eye and stopper on one end and just an eye on the other, it should be roughly double the length of the two sized 1x2’s,
- a headless bolt that will fit through both eyes on the steel cable,
- two washers that will fit the bolt,
- two nuts that will fit the bolt,
- two 6' lengths of 1/8" diameter rope,
- a hose clamp long enough to go around the empty roll of duct tape (I combined two shorter clamps as I couldn't find one that was long enough),
- and a piece of cotton that's wide enough to go around the rope and about 4" long,
- a drill and a 1/8" drill bit (you could use a slightly larger bit if needed),
- a sharp knife.
Step 1: Prepare the Wood
To begin, drill a hole in each end of the longer 1x2's as shown in the first picture. Next, arrange the four wooden pieces such that the longer 1x2's are laid side by side in a widthwise manner and separated by the two smaller 1x2's which are also laid side by side but in a lengthwise manner; make sure that the ends of the longer 1x2s are lined up and that the shorter 1x2's are separated by about 1.5" and centered about the middle of the longer 1x2's. After the four pieces are arranged, center the empty duct tape roll about the middle of the square hole formed between the four pieces and trace along the edge to form a circle. Cut the wooden pieces along these trace lines and then arrange them as they were arranged before. You should end up with something similar to what is shown in the second picture.
Step 2: Form the Bow
Wrap the duct tape around the bow such that it will cover the two shorter 1x2’s. Ensure that the tape is not covering the circular hole by cutting any excess tape off with the knife. After doing so, the center of your bow should look something like what is shown in the picture.
Step 3: Wrap the Ends
Take one of the 6’ lengths of rope, put one end through one of the holes at an end of the bow and then through the other hole at the same end; squeeze the two planks at that end together, pull the rope tight and then tie a knot, locking the two planks together. Next, tightly wrap the rope around the bow until you run out of rope and then tie the loose end to a section of the rope that has been wrapped around the bow; take care not to wrap the very tip of the bow as this will interfere with the next step. Do this to both ends, as a result, they should look something like the end that is shown in the picture.
Step 4: String the Bow
Take the stopper end of the steel cable and put it between the tips of the two planks at one end of the bow, you may need a flat-head screwdriver or some other flat tool to pry the end open enough to insert the cable; note that the side of the bow that the stopper is located on will be the front of the bow. After fixing the stopper end to the bow, take the other end along the back side of the bow, past the hole in the center, and put it through the long hole on the opposite limb of the bow. Then, floss the cable into the tip opposite to the tip that the stopper is attached to and run it along the back side of the bow to the tip that the stopper is in. Now you will have to lean the bow against a table so that the front is facing down and the rope binding the planks at the tip where the stopper is located is touching the edge of the table; once you have the bow in the correct position, kneel on the middle of the bow so that it will deflect. When the bow deflects, floss the eye end of the cable through the tip of the bow so that the eye is right next to the stopper as shown in the first picture. To ensure that the eye end of the cable does not slip off, put the headless bolt through both eyes and fix them together by tightening a nut-washer combination onto each side of the bolt. When the step has been completed, one of the tips of the bow should look like the tip shown in the second picture and two lengths of the steel cable should run along the back of the bow as shown in the third picture.
Step 5: Prepare the Snowball-Holding Cup
To form the cup that will hold the snowball, take the empty roll of duct tape and cover one end with duct tape. Ideally, you should cover the all of the cardboard with duct tape, just ensure that one end remains uncovered.
Step 6: Attach the Cup to the String
Attach the cup to the two lengths of steel cable by duct taping each length of cable to the outer edge of the cup as shown in the first picture; ensure that the cup is lined up with the hole in the center of the bow. Squeeze the two lengths of cable togeather at about 18 in away from both sides of the cup then wrap them in a good amount of duct tape. Once this has been done, tighten the hose clamp around the empty roll of duct tape as close to the cable as possible; this will keep the cup from deforming. Once this step has been completed, the cup should be attached as shown in second picture.
Step 7: Attach the Draw Handle
Tie a length of rope around the two pieces of duct tape that are holding the two cables together in a way similar to that shown in the first picture. Make sure that the rope is held tightly against the cup as this is what you will be pulling back on and if it’s loose you won’t be able to pull it back as far.
Step 8: Install a Grip (optional)
Wrap a piece of cotton around the middle of the rope and duct tape all around it. This will make repetitive use much easier on the user's hands.
Step 9: Fire Away!
Hold onto one side of the bow by grabbing either the top or bottom piece of duct tape (so that the cable doesn’t hit your fingers) and have a friend hold onto the other piece of duct tape on the opposite side of the bow; to better explain this, the two ways that the bow could be shot are displayed in the picture. Basically, if one person were to hold the bow in a green area then the other person would have to hold it in the other green area and the same idea goes for the red areas. Once the bow has been properly gripped, load a snowball into the cup, pull back on the draw handle, aim, and fire away!