Guest Author - MaryBeth Crabb
Need a child’s bow or a practice bow but don’t have much money? Follow these instructions to making a quick, dependable, useful practice bow.
5 feet of 3/4” PVC pipe
PVC pipe cutter
6 feet of 3/16” non-stretch nylon cord
6” foam pipe insulation
Camo or colored duct tape, color of your choice
¼” drill bit and drill
scissor or sharp knife
2 washers 3/16” hole in center
Roll of Strapping tape
1) Cut the PVC pipe to the desired length. The length of the PVC pipe will determine the bow’s draw weight. 2 ½'will be roughly a 40-45lb bow
Remember, you can shorten the PVC bow to increase the draw weight, however, you can’t add length so you can’t increase poundage.
2) Drill a ¼” hole through both pipe walls ¾” from each end of the pipe. Drill the holes parallel to each other, as straight as possible. Sand down any small burs that may appear.
3) Diagonally wrap the entire piece of the PVC pipe with the strapping tape, and then wrap the pipe again diagonally in the opposite direction. Do this twice; there should be four layers of strapping tape on the pipe.
4) Wrap the pipe now with the decorative duct tape.Using a scissor or sharp knife, remove the tape from covering the holes.
5) Mark the center of the pipe with a piece of masking tape.
6) Cut the piece of foam pipe insulation to 6” in length. Cut down lengthwise and slip the foam over the PVC with the end of the foam slightly under the center mark on the bow. Use the electrical tape and tape around the foam on each end. This will serve as the bow grip and arrow rest.
7) Cut a piece of 3/16” nylon cord 1 foot longer then the length of the pipe. Check the cord to make sure it fits the nocks of your arrows. Use a cord that won’t stretch.
8) Put the end of the cord through both holes in one end of the pipe. Lace a washer on the end and tie a knot in the cord, making sure that the know will not pull through the washer and pipe under tension. The washer should prevent the know from pulling through.
9) Lace the cord through the holes at the other end of the pipe. –Do Not Tie
10) * This step will require an additional person to help with construction* Pull the string and bend the PVC and nylon cord.Bend the pipe so that there is a 6-7 inch gap between the pipe and the cord. This is the Brace Height. Have your helper hold the bend in the pipe , lace on the second washer, and tie a knot in that end of the cord.
11) Check to make sure the knots are large enough and tight enough that they won’t pull through the pipe under repeated tension. *WARNING* just as with any bow, take care not to dry fire this bow, this could cause the cord to snap or the plastic to crack.
12) Mark the center of the cord with masking tape.
13) Attach a nocking bead or loop to the center mark of the nylon cord.
This bow should be used with target arrows with blunt metal tips.
Now you are ready to practice! Good Luck!