How to make a crossbow out of wood

Updated April 17, 2017

The crossbow has been around since the time of the Roman empire, but gained popular use in Europe during the Middle Ages. Crossbow usage also spread across China during this period. Seen as an improvement on the longbow because it was easier to load and fire, crossbows were often less effective in battle. Still, they remain a widely recognised medieval weapon and can be created at home for use in renaissance fairs or just backyard fun.

Arrange the pieces to make a "T" shape. Nail the wood together.

Hammer one nail into each end of the shorter piece until it sticks out about 3 mm (1/8 inch). This is where you will be attaching the drawstring, so make sure the nails are secure even though they are not fully hammered into the wood.

Attach the elastic band to the nails. Make sure the band is straight to ensure accuracy when firing. The band should also be stretched taut between both nails to supply the necessary firing tension.

Glue clothespin onto the stock. Clothespin should be centred on the drawstring's maximum stretch point as it will act as the trigger. Allow glue to dry completely.


Always wear safety goggles when working with a hammer and nails.

Things You'll Need

  • 600 by 50 mm (2 foot by 2 inches) piece of wood
  • 900 by 50 mm (3 foot by 2 inches) piece of wood
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Rubber or elastic band
  • Clothespin
  • Wood glue
  • Safety goggles
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About the Author

Mo Mozuch has been writing professionally since 2005, when he began graduate school at Duquesne University. As a writer and editor he has won several awards, including the Columbia Scholastic Press Award for On-Going News Coverage in 2006. He has worked for College Prowler and been featured on