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    PVC pipe prod: Normal or loose laminate?

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    Post by Bs1110101 on Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:41 pm

    With PVC being as cheap as it is, i'm thinking i want to make a crossbow using a PVC prod and cocked with a wippe, which of course leads to the question of how powerful a practically sized PVC prod could be made. Which made me think: A PVC prod normally is tapered by being heated and formed into the right shape, which makes the mass of the bow identical along it's length. Could an improvement be achieved by simply pressing the PVC pipe flat down all of it's length, and making a loose laminate prod out of the now flattened PVC? For a bow of the same length, what sort of difference in poundage should i expect? And for the same poundage, how much would the different mass distribution change the actual speed of a bolt being shot?
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    Post by kenh on Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:16 am

    I make PVC bows as well -- PVC Archry & Crafting on Google+.  If you try to make a loose laminate, you'll be seriously increasing the mass of the 'bow and not significantly increasing the draw weight.  PVC is HEAVY! You can "flatten taper" the pipe,  or cut out a long thin wedge from the tip ends to lighten the tips.

    Even with 1-1/2" PVC you're not going to need a wippe!  You'll probably not get more than 150#.  Nick's best is a 100# crossbow that lets you shoot arrows with nocks using a unique "top lock" which he designed
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    Post by c sitas on Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:23 am

    Kenh, is right on as per my findings. You 'd have to pray a lot to get even 150#.100# ya. I use a whippie cause it's easier than bending over for me. Nick ,has the perfect shape,but I can't seem to find a way to "get inside of it" to beef it up. It's useless ,as a flattened group.
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    Post by Bs1110101 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the help, is using two inch PVC still practical? What about schedule 80 instead? Or would the extra weight not make that worth it?
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    Post by kenh on Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:01 pm

    2" pipe is going to make 'way too wide of a flattened prod; and all Sched 80 will add is mass-weight.
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    Post by Bs1110101 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:20 pm

    By my math, wouldn't 2 inch PVC equate to 3.7 inches wide at most? That's thick, but should still work, right? 

    How else could i get a higher poundage from PVC? Or is it impractical and should i just track down better material to make a prod from?
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    Post by kenh on Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:27 pm

    3-3/4" wide prod is gynormous!!   If you want more than about 150# prod, you're going to want to use something other than PVC -- fiberglass chainlink fence tension bars will work, in loose laminate form, for well over 250# draw.
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    Post by Anatine Duo on Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:30 pm

    I've been wanting to flatten the pvc and glue it together to make a thick billet, 3/4" maybe, then width taper.  Kinda defeats the pipe idea but pipe is a cheap source of pvc.

    It glues fast... be ready with your clamps if you try this!
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    Post by Bs1110101 on Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:05 am

    Anatine Duo wrote:I've been wanting to flatten the pvc and glue it together to make a thick billet, 3/4" maybe, then width taper.  Kinda defeats the pipe idea but pipe is a cheap source of pvc.

    It glues fast... be ready with your clamps if you try this!
    Glue, or solvent weld? Because normal PVC cement is actually a solvent for solvent welding. Either way, seems like an interesting idea, but i'd be afraid of it just flat out shattering one day. 

    Anyway, i've ordered a few of those fiberglass tension bars, though i'm giving a prod from 2 inch PVC a shot for the simple reason that the hardware store was out of 1.5 inch PVC, not to mention PVC is cheap and i want to see if i can claim the record for highest poundage PVC prod. I think i'll save the fiberglass for the bolt shooter, and make the PVC prod into a stonebow or bullet shooter. Anyone know of a good guide for those?
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    Post by Anatine Duo on Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:30 am

    Yes I meant the solvent cement.  I've seen people make billets out of flattened pipe for all sorts of projects.  

    I can tell you mineral filled polyethylene decking will not work for a prod Wink  I didn't think it would but had to try.  Too bendy.  Looks good though.
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    Post by jocky on Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:39 am

    I also played around with PVC for a while. It is cheap, but I still managed to waste the price of an off-the-shelf 150lb fibreglass prod with my various PVC experiments. It was fun, and can result in a pretty dangerous toy, but if you want a serious weapon, I would personally recommend something other than PVC.
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    Post by c sitas on Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:10 am

    For those wanting to build a bullet bow , Geezer from here, can shed some light . Be careful. Jeep an older aquaintance on here,  that has passed away, also done some interesting work on the bullet bow. Just use the search here.From what I've read ,it's not as easy as it looks.
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    Post by kenh on Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:11 am

    You can get the Sir Arthur Payne-Galway book The Crossbow as a free download; this is THE definitive book on crossbows, actions etc as well as some siege engines
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    Post by banuvatt on Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:39 am

    You can try putting taped fiberglass rods inside the prod that will bump up the draw weight definitely. Also as someone above said try making the ends of the prod taper in width not only in thickness. You do this by cutting a v section in the middle heating up the beginning of that v. Get hot glue put it on both of the sides of the inside of the v. Press both of the sides together to create a singled taper piece. Go to the BackyardBowyer's Youtube channel he shows how to do this. This won't bump up the draw weight tapering it but it will make it faster also it will make it look better.
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    Post by c sitas on Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:02 am

    Hey guys, you can take three 3/8" fiber glass fence posts and make a bow that will easily pull over one hundred pounds. I've made several for the kids starting out shooting. at a cost of about $6.00.I just used a couple of plumbing fittings to hold them together.
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    Post by Andy. on Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:37 pm

    A PVC prod or hand bow can also be made snappier by heating and folding a shallow 'V' shape into its length, with the point or this fold on the compression face.
    Similar in profile to the commercially available spring steel limbs used on the cheap pistol crossbows.
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    Post by banuvatt on Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:28 pm

    I never heard of someone doing this to increase the efficiency of PVC pipe bows. I used to build PVC bows I heard of reflexing the tips to make it spring back faster. Cutting a slot at the end of the limbs in the shape of a v then heating the base of that v up so you could than put epoxy putty on both of the insides of that v. Then pressing them together to make the end back into one piece. I also heard of folding the tips, but never what you described by putting a shallow v throughout the bow. Do you have any examples of this on any bows or prods you worked on? I am curious to see what it looks like.
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    Post by Andy. on Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:23 pm

    No pics of PVC, but this more accurately shows V profile... https://www.asmc.com/Shooting-Sport/Archery/Crossbows/Pistol-Crossbow-Umarex-Mod-CF-105-p.html
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    Post by banuvatt on Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:37 pm

    I have one of those cheap chinese crossbow pistols, the plastic tip for the prod and the string broke. I need to get a new plastic nock tip and string for the prod.

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