Flattened PVC Pipe Bow Build Along

Discussion in 'Archery' started by outdoorsintx, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. outdoorsintx

    outdoorsintx Scout Bushclass I

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    I thought I would show how easy the steps are to get a functional PVC bow following the directions from backyardbowyer (Nicholas Tomihama) on Youtube.

    To start with I also bout Mr. Toihama's book "Simple PVC Pipe Bows" on Amazon. Here is a link:
    http://www.amazon.com/Simple-PVC-Pi...8&qid=1353788111&sr=8-2&keywords=pvc+pipe+bow


    Step 1:
    Cut the Pipe to length. In this case I started out with a 5 foot length of 1 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe and removed 2 inches to get a total length of 58 inches which should give me a 40-45 pound draw at 27 inches which was the request of my brother for whom I am making this bow.
    [​IMG]

    Step 2:
    Find the center and mark lines 2 inches on either side to make the handle area.
    [​IMG]

    Step 3:
    Heat the limb with a heat gun.
    [​IMG]

    When the limb is flexible along its whole length it is ready to be flattened.
    [​IMG]

    Step 4:
    Clamp the limb in using the adjustable flattening jig in the Backyardbowyers Video on youtube.
    [​IMG]

    Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other side...

    Then move on to form the handle.
     
  2. outdoorsintx

    outdoorsintx Scout Bushclass I

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    Part 2: Flattened PVC Pipe Bow Build Along

    Step 5:
    Form the handle using pot holders and the heat gun.
    [​IMG]

    Step 6:
    Mark 6 inches from each end for the recurves.
    [​IMG]

    Step 7:
    Heat the ends one at a time and recurve them around a suitable pot.
    [​IMG]

    Step 9:
    Cut the nocks.
    [​IMG]

    Step 10:
    String with Polypro string from the hardware store.
    [​IMG]

    All the tools required to make this bow are shown in the picture above. It took me a total of 45 minutes from beginning to end and the resulting bow pulls 46 pounds at 27".

    I have made several of these now for my kids and family members. They have ranged from 18 pounds at 25 inches to 60 pounds at 28 inches. They are great little target shooting bows. We take them out to my parents freshly mowed hay fields and play archery golf going from hay bale to hay bale. Good times are had by all.

    Thanks for looking.
     
  3. Lapsa

    Lapsa Tracker

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    Very nice work! The bow looks fine!

    Do you think it can be used to hunt?
     
  4. b-mac

    b-mac Scout

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    That's freakin' cool...gonna try this with the kids!
     
  5. bharner

    bharner Guide

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    That's pretty stinkin' awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    Tapatalk ate my spelling and grammar.
     
  6. Crafter

    Crafter Scout

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    That is cool!!! thanks.
     
  7. Crafter

    Crafter Scout

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    That is cool!!! thanks for sharing.
     
  8. outdoorsintx

    outdoorsintx Scout Bushclass I

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    I have never tried hunting with it but there are a couple of youtubers who claim to have successfully hunted with a PVC bow.

    Seeing the penatration I am getting on my target at 20 yards with a simple 100 grain target tip, I can imagine that an appropriate point for the desired game could be effective. Definitely small game can be taken.

    Backyardbowyer on youtube has a video that covers an 80 pound bow out of 1 and 1/4 inch schedule 40 that looks to be a monster.
     
  9. nothinghead

    nothinghead Guide Bushclass I

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    Incredible. Do you see any rhyme or reason to the draw weight? Is that something you can set as you go?
     
  10. outdoorsintx

    outdoorsintx Scout Bushclass I

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    In the book I mentioned in my first post there are tables for draw length and desired weight that tell you what length and diameter of PVC to use. I find it to be accurate within +/- 3 pounds so far.
     
  11. The Dude

    The Dude Scout Bushclass I

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    Anyway to fashion a rest on it or just keep shooting of of the hand?
     
  12. rasp181

    rasp181 Scout

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    Great tutorial, thanks!!
     
  13. outdoorsintx

    outdoorsintx Scout Bushclass I

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    Check out Backyardbowyer's videos on YouTube. He has a video on how to make a rest out of a piece of scrap PVC. I just shoot off the hand myself.
     
  14. Darkstar

    Darkstar Tracker

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    That bow is awesome, great use of commonly available resources
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  15. Paveglass

    Paveglass Scout

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    Now THAT is an enlightening post. While many focus on "vintage" bushcraft employing natural materials and skills for enjoyment in the outdoors or survival skills, others consider more modern options for survival and bushcraft using materials not available to those who lived a century ago. The combination of the two offers terrific options for skill development and personal improvement. Why not knapp an arrowhead from the bottom of a bottle, why not use a modern firesteel, a hobo stove has tremendous potential if you can find a tin can, or even the ubiquitous blue tarp. One steel pot would have been the most valuable item in a paleo-indian village and I do not work to carve a cup or a spoon because I can get one. They are fun and interesting but I find this particular example of bushcraft ingenuity combined with modern resources to be a terrific mix of vintage and modern. Waaayy cool!
     
  16. AK49

    AK49 Tracker

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    Thats awesome.
     
  17. Trekon86

    Trekon86 Guest

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    Too cool!

    PMZ
     
  18. Pappy Frank

    Pappy Frank Supporter Supporter

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    I have read about these and watched a few videos. The only question I have is cold weather, does cold effect it? I have heard they become brittle in the cold and break easily.
     
  19. Holmesmade

    Holmesmade Guide

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    According to the Backyard Bowyer videos I've watched, the grey (schedule 80, I think) pvc is more resistant to the effects of cold and shouldn't cause a problem.

    You may have to step up the diameter a bit to get an equivalent draw weight and it might take a set a touch easier, but you can heat it back up and reform it pretty easily. There's a video or two about fixes and tweaks on the you-tube channel.

    Really, the biggest concern in building these seems to be absolutely sure you don't scorch or burn the pipe.
     
  20. Holmesmade

    Holmesmade Guide

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    He definitely reacted to the chrono results with that one! I kinda wonder if he underestimated the bow and shot through his target! The video ended rather abruptly.
     
  21. JRW87

    JRW87 Tracker

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    I work with PVC pipe alot and find boiling water makes it pliable for hand bending.

    Sent from my GT-S5570 using Tapatalk 2
     
  22. outdoorsintx

    outdoorsintx Scout Bushclass I

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    Yes, any heat source that gets the pipe warm enough. You can even use the eye on an electric cook top or your Coleman camp stove. It is just important that it not get too hot such that the pipe is scorched.
     
  23. Arctictough

    Arctictough Scout Bushclass I

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    Something else to go on my To-Do List...
     
  24. stubbornbull

    stubbornbull Tracker

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    this is fricken cool to see how you thought of making a PVC bow. i've seen a few threads n vids here n there, but i really do prefer your method. you did take it to another level rather just ramming/jamming different sizes of pipe together.

    i see in step 3 that you heat the pipe until its malleable enough to bend, and it looks like you have the process down. heres the but, but if the you encounter the pipe 'folding' or 'kinking' instead of bending while still holding its 'roundness', try plugging or capping the ends of the pipe so the hot air inside-stays inside and thus holding the pressure against the pipe and any crimping/kinking/folding. that is if you didnt know this already. ive laid so much pipe in my military days that it just stuck with me how manipulate PVC.

    again, nice job throughout your whole process!!!
     
  25. RidgeBummer

    RidgeBummer Tracker

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    Man thats really cool never seen that before i will haveto give this a try think i have some pvc out in the barn lol
     
  26. funkja

    funkja Scout

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    golden comment right there.. most of my pipe laying was in college.
     
  27. Pete in Alaska

    Pete in Alaska Tinder Gatherer

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    It may be noted that if one stays with a "Long Bow" style in leu of the Recurve, adds an inner 1/2 pic pipe (inside the 3/4" outer tube) into each arm which would go over a 3/8" fiberglass survey rods that are fitted into the internal Handel then heat, flatten and form the ends. One ends up with a bow of 75 to 80 pound draw. Have made these from to time, I've found it to be a perfect fishing bow. I've hunted small game with one effectively too. In my travels we have passed this low tech along several times in South America an Africa.
    If your building one in the states one can get all the parts at HD or Lowes.
    It's a simpler solution, not as elegant as a recurve but not as time consuming or detail exacting. Just another option. The draw weight can be reduced by shortening the leant have of the fiberglass rod.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  28. denizen

    denizen Tracker

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    That is very clever. Nice work. Thanks for posting.
     
  29. sidmand

    sidmand Bacon is food duct tape

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    PVC makes a decent bow, it should certainly not be discounted as a worthwhile project. They are a little hand-shocky due to the weight of the limb tips and just the material in general. But, they do work, and you can make a hunting weight tool in less than an hour!

    Also, if your into thinking about TEOTWAWKI type scenarios, think about how much PVC is going to be laying about.
     
  30. dingas

    dingas Scout

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    Here is one I made a few years ago. 50#@28", 60" long 1" pipe 20140417_201024_zps38veuraf.jpg 20140808_131923_zpsmeeafvgm.jpg As said, a little shocky but not bad, a lot of fun to make and shoot.
     
  31. BushBum

    BushBum Guide

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    Nice work guys great project. With unarguable results....gonna have to try it...thank you for sharing your skill and talents
     

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