The crossbow was originally designed as a weapon. The string on the bow is capable of storing an incredible amount of energy, but also takes an incredible amount of energy to draw. Some crossbows need the help of a machine or device in order to draw the bow back. It would be extremely difficult to make a crossbow that powerful, but you can make a small crossbow at home with household items. With just a little bit of time, you can build a miniature crossbow for one-handed target practice.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 pencils
- Hot glue gun
- Bic ballpoint pen
- Binder clip
- Rubber band
Hot-glue the two pencils together. The unsharpened writing end of one of the pencils should be pressed up against the eraser of the other. Put a beaded line of hot glue on one pencil and press it to the other.
Use a ruler to find the middle of the pencil assembly. Mark the middle with a marker or felt-tip pen. Put a nickel-sized dollop of hot glue on the centre of the pencil assembly.
Take the chopsticks, which should still be fused together, out of the package and press them to the dollop to make a cross with the pencils. The top of the cross assembly should be the tapered ends of the chopsticks. Press the chopsticks to the pencils where the tapering ends and the body of the chopsticks become uniform.
Turn the cross assembly over and hot-glue another set of unbroken chopsticks on the exact opposite side, reinforcing the neck of the crossbow. Glue the ends of the chopsticks together, at the base, for security. Then let all the hot glue dry for about 20 minutes.
Hollow out a Bic ballpoint pen. Pry the writing end off using your fingernails and pull out the ink tube. Pull the end cap off.
Secure the hollow pen tube to the assembly. Place the pen tube so that it is flush with the tapered end of the chopsticks and tape the pen down using duct or electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the pen and feed it through the space between the chopsticks making up the body of the crossbow. Tape the tube in at least two spots, top and bottom.
Remove one of the metal wings from the binder clip using your fingers. Hot-glue the side of the binder clip missing the wing to the base of the chopsticks. The mouth of the binder clip should face the pen tube, and the clip will serve as the trigger.
Cut the rubber band in half using scissors. Pinch the ends of the band in between the pencils at each end of the pencil assembly. Approximately one-half inch of band should stick through to the other side.
Hot-glue the end of the rubber band into the pencil assembly. Let the hot glue dry for about 20 minutes. Reinforce any joints you might think are weak with more hot glue, such as the binder clip trigger.
Pull the rubber band down to the binder clip. Open the binder clip by pressing down on the metal wing and feed the rubber band into the clip. Feed a wooden barbecue skewer into the pen tube and load it into the binder clip against the rubber band.
Aim the crossbow at a target and open the binder clip. The rubber band will release and shoot the skewer at the target. You can hold the assembly and press the clip with one hand.
Tips and warnings
- Be extremely careful with the crossbow. The skewers are capable of penetrating skin and causing eye damage. Never shoot at another person; use it only for target practice.
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