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The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow5511

    The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

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    cowscankill
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    The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by cowscankill on Mon May 21, 2012 3:10 pm

    I may be new to crossbows specifically, but I'm definitely not new to building and design. If you have any suggestions for me, feel free to throw them at me!

    I don't know if I'll become a regular member here because archery is one of my many hobbies, but seeing that Ivo invited me here, I suppose I can start off by sharing my latest weekend project.

    (and for those of you on EA, this is copy and pasted Razz)

    Bet you haven't seen something like this! After experimenting with my PVC recurve bows, I figured I could scale down the size, mount it on a wooden stock, and have a simple crossbow built. But wait, that's not fun! And mixing materials bothers me. I'd rather the whole thing be one material...
    Thus began the building challenge: to build a crossbow without metal or wood. The only part exempt from this was the trigger, because I highly do not trust using a plastic pin to hold the massive force behind this thing.
    After 19 hours, I completed my personal challenge. Not bad for a weekend project, eh?

    Here I present the Synthetic Crossbow MK I, medieval style.












    Overall, I would say it is a build well done! No money spent - all of it was from scraps. If I did buy the parts, it would probably be around $5. I love cheap builds!
    Here's a list of the materials and parts, starting from the front:
    - Stirrup - 1/2" PVC pipe flattened and bent to shape. Has a small connector made from 3/4" PVC pipe and hot glue.
    - Prods - Tapered 3/4" PVC pipe with a 1" pipe coupling, which is bound to the bow with about 14 wraps of polypropylene twine.
    - Bowstring - Countertwist bowstring woven from polypropylene twine with some beeswax.
    - Body - Two guides made from 1/2" pipe glued onto 1" pipe for support. The trigger section was ground out afterwards and a 3" ring of pipe was shaped to brace the back of the body.
    - Nut - 6 layers of plexiglass hotglued together and carved to shape.
    - Trigger - 4 layers of flattened 1/2" PVC pipe glued and ground to shape. Also, three rubberbands attached to the front of the body via a small 1/2" PVC clip reset the trigger.

    I've never experimented with PVC and plastics before, so I thought this was a huge success. I love the feel of the trigger being solid plastic, as opposed to bulky wooden ones and cheap cardboard ones I have made in the past (cardboard = models). Here's a close up of the trigger piece in the making:



    I'll hopefully be posting a video by tomorrow. Somehow random thunderstorms came out and now it's too wet and dark to film. Be sure to check back for it's power and such!

    If I happen to make another synthetic crossbow in the future, it will definitely have a stock and handle and possibly a recurve on it. That should be fun to experiment with.

    Any questions? I'll be glad to answer them.
    Also, I notice it looks messy with Sharpie and printing all over it. I might just leave it that way. Wink

    -CCK

    Ivo
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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by Ivo on Mon May 21, 2012 4:45 pm

    Hey, honestly...you surprise me. Very Happy

    At first we were just talking about PVC prods, but when you said "build the entire crossbow out of it", I kinda just sat back saying "no waaay Laughing ". Still though, just for kicks sat down and drew up a few sketches of possible ways of mounting my trigger into a PVC pipe. Gotta say...we think alike, because what you built - I, have on paper. Only difference is a trigger box instead of a roll nut. Very Happy

    Glad to hear you're in for a more complex build with a wooden stock, because the trigger I have for you is more of that level.

    As for your bows, if it's not too much to ask, perhaps you can include them in your video with the crossbow. Most people here (and pretty much everywhere) have no idea how far PVC bows have advanced in terms of tillering. The tech behind tillering them is simply brilliant and is the kind of news worth spreading.

    Thank you for sharing this build with us.

    Think I need to make a separate forum for these, as PVC is a whole other realm and needs it's own section for further discussion.

    Ivo

    PS: AS for throwing some ideas at you...well, if you're happy with the medieval look then disregard what I'm about to say, but if not so much...

    ...you can mount a wooden butt stock to the protruding main pipe and get a more Winchester feel out of it. Smile





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    Todd the archer
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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by Todd the archer on Mon May 21, 2012 5:06 pm

    Well,............ since you brought it up here are some of my PVC bows I have made.







    Todd

    cowscankill
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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by cowscankill on Mon May 21, 2012 5:20 pm

    @Ivo - I tried to make a trigger grouping in a sandwich of plexiglass for easily mounting into the bow, but my nut was freaking huge. And looking at it now, it still is. But it's great for over-sized arrows. I'll be ready for the wooden version when you give me that trigger Wink

    @Todd - Those are some really nice PVC bows! Mine don't look anywhere near as nice.

    EDIT: Here's a video for those of you who haven't seen PVC bows at all:


    I'd also recommend checking out Backyard Bowyer on Youtube. He's the PVC bow guru.

    Antho
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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by Antho on Tue May 22, 2012 3:50 am

    Wicked CCK! drunken

    And Todd, that's straight up art! cheers

    I hated the idea at first (mostly because of crap I saw on youtube), but I can see now. cyclops

    Antho




    chaz
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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by chaz on Tue May 22, 2012 2:30 pm

    Yep, hadn't even started my first x-bow build and found myself picking up some pvc pipe today........................... What the heck ..............looks to be nearly immediate gratification



    Chaz

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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by Todd the archer on Tue May 22, 2012 3:31 pm

    Thanks guys, the best part is it is so cheap it allows for a lot of experimenting.



    Mine are not kids bows either, they draw 50 to 65 pounds depending on which style and shoot a 485 grain arrow over 160 fps at my 27" draw.



    The down side I don't know how they might hold up cocked for an extended time, like wood might take excessive set.



    Todd

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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by stoneagebowyer on Tue May 22, 2012 4:00 pm

    Todd, your workshop is amazingly clean! Are you okay Smile

    You are getting some nice numbers from that PVC "horsebow."

    I too am thinking of messing about with PVC piping. I picked up this nice little book, Making the Impossible Bow, a guy in Hawaii wrote it, and some good instructions and data in there.

    Todd, I guess the only way to find out about set is to cock or brace one at full draw and then see what happens.

    Cowscankills, great suff. Thanks for sharing it here.

    Dane

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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by Todd the archer on Tue May 22, 2012 5:01 pm

    Sorry about my shop, I promise it won't stay that way.



    Nick is the man when it comes to making these bows (I have his book on the kindle).



    You need to check out his youtube videos, he has done alot more since his book.

    Here is one of a pistol crossbow he made

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWheHsz8G2M&list=UU_U6Yek0YgKHN_A-iTAwZbg&index=7&feature=plcp

    Todd

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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by chaz on Tue May 22, 2012 5:54 pm

    Todd,

    Once again blown away by how nice your pvc bow is. Today I aquired a3/4 and a 1" piece of pvc both about 51" long. Would the 1" piece make a suitable bow? And what would the formula be for length and the bow tips? Looks like a real fun project! As for your shop, surely you, just cleaned it up for the photo shoot ! You definitely need to be sufficiently razzed about that ! Actually you are probably just a neat freak. However I don't know how you do it, your work is impressive and your shop hygine is too.



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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by Todd the archer on Wed May 23, 2012 2:59 am

    Thanks Chaz, I make my tips or siyahs as they are called any where from 4" to 8" long but you can go longer or shorter. The angle they are set at effect how stable or how tricky it is to have everything line.



    The last bow I made (the white one pictured) has 8" siyahs and uses a 38 1/2" long piece of 1" PVC pipe. Draw weight came out to 50 pounds at 27". Just unstrung the tips are about 1/2" foward of the handle.



    Todd

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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by Ivo on Wed May 23, 2012 4:04 am

    Funny how the horsebow craze *always* comes back. Smile I think I still have a few laminated horsebow kits from Atillas Archery laying around somewhere. Anyone remember those? Very Happy

    And with PVC, it's been long coming. The tech is fascinating and in a way even revolutionary. Believe it was Bear Archery who first thought of a molded compound bow limb that has all the proper geometry in it straight out of the mold and does not require additional milling. Think I even posted that article here somewhere. scratch



    and that's Mr. Junior Moderator Laughing ...that pic was a while ago, he's a big guy now.



    What would be really cool is to make a form to press these PVC limbs. A little oven for heating the PVC and a form to press the pipe into shape. I say the form is cool because it gives one the ability to press some interesting geometry into the limbs (ie. ridges, offset flats, string bridges, concave back)...and one I'm most interested in is - How does a full plastic siyah hold up? anyone try that?

    Ivo

    PS: Set in the PVC.....plastics man. Surprised

    As cool as this whole thing is, that is definitely going to be the draw back. Considering how easy it is to form these bows with heat...the same way energy they put out will make them droop. That's probably one time when we'll come back to un-stringing the bows after shooting in order to keep them crisp. So having a form might be a good idea, giving one the ability to re-heat/re-press the limbs if needed, but still won't give them the immortality we wish them to have.




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    cowscankill
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    Re: The Synthetic Plastic Crossbow

    Post by cowscankill on Fri May 25, 2012 11:41 pm

    I wanted to post these videos a few days ago, but I haven't been on my laptop. And apparently my desktop has serious issues with not being able to login to several websites... including this one for no apparent reason. But that's beside the point.

    Here's some video footage on the crossbow:



    Enjoy Wink

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