How To Make A Crossbow With Simple Household Materials

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Have you ever wondered how the medieval weapons of old were made? You may have caught yourself asking How To Make A Crossbow.

Though fairly uncommon even back then, their primary use was that of a weapon that could pierce metal armor at a long range. Its bolt ammunition took a long time to load, but the results could be devastating.

The history behind all these medieval weapons has piqued my curiosity for a long time. It is a passion to try rebuilding them in a manner like the Dark Ages. I’ve built bows and swords alright. However, the crossbow is a personal favorite for its avant-garde nature and the sheer power it packs.

What You Will Need

Obviously, a crossbow is not something you can make from tools and equipment you find in the house. Therefore, you have to go out of your way to find these at your local hardware or convenience store.

  1. 2×4, 3 feet long pine lumber boards.
  2. 1-inch, 3 foot long PVC pipe.
  3. Nylon string or other elastic string.
  4. 2-inch and 4-inch wood screws.
  5. 2-inch wood nail.
  6. Metal contraption pulleys (small ones).
  7. Wood glue.
  8. Sandpaper.
In total, rummaging through my house and taking a visit to the nearest Home Depot had the total cost of all these materials well under a hundred dollars. Remember, there are no alternatives to the materials listed.

Let’s Get It Going!

Step 1: The Stock

  1. Measure out the stock with your arm by holding it like you would hold a gun, and find the ideal length. Next, mark this, and this will be your trigger position.
  2. At this trigger grip area, chisel out a 4 inch by 1-inch hole all the way through the wood.
  3. The bowstring requires somewhere to rest. Make a small groove near the front of the chiseled area on both sides of the hole.
Make the groove to hold the string
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  1. From the chiseled hole to the point where the arrow exits the crossbow, make the channel for the arrow to travel through.
PRO TIP: Remember, every time you make a cut or groove in any wood, sand it with sandpaper. It will make it much smoother.
  1. Your grip is made by simply using one of the larger blocks of leftover wood and gluing to the butt end of your crossbow. Adjust it with your chisel and whittling knife for your comfort.

Step 2. The Bow

  1. Make your PVC pipe 35.5 inches with your cutting tools.
  2. On both sides, chisel a very small notch, and use your screws and 2-tie clip to attach the small metal pulleys.
Thread the string
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  1. At the end of your stock (the exit side), make a cut large enough for the PVC pipe. When it is centered, screw on the pipe with your wood screws.
  2. Take your string, tie it to one end of the pipe, and loop it through the pulley and eventually to the wood screw on the other side of the PVC. Make sure it wraps, and there are two layers. To achieve this, ensure one is under the stock, and the firing string that fits in the small groove made earlier.
  3. So far, your crossbow should look like this:
Test the bow
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Step 3. Trigger

  1. Cut out an L-shaped block of wood from your extra wood. Though it should be a little less than an inch, it can be adjusted so that it fits nicely into the large 4×1 hole.
  2. At the angle of the L, drill a small hole clean through the block. This will allow the block to move for your hand.
  3. Turn the L upside down, so that the long part is underneath the stock. However, keep this in place with a nail.
Attach the trigger
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Wrap-Up on How To Make A Crossbow

Did you enjoy this simple crossbow tutorial? I personally enjoy making these because it combines my love for complex medieval weapons and teaching by allowing me to help others build in easy steps.

Of course, the one you have just made is much smaller and less powerful than a real crossbow, but it utilizes the exact same mechanism and can be built in a few hours.

What would you like for me to help explain how to build next? Did you think this tutorial was too easy or too hard? Let me know in the comments, and share this with your friends if you enjoyed it.

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