A crossbow uses a simple structure to store an incredible amount of energy in the drawstring. Some weaponized crossbows require the strength of your leg, a machine or a special tool to pull back the bolt into firing position. To make such a crossbow would take expert skill, special tools and shop space. You can, however, create a less powerful mini-crossbow using items commonly found in your home. The drawstring will be a rubber band and the trigger will be a binder clip.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 pencils
- Hot glue gun
- 2 prefabbed sets of chopsticks
- Binder clip
- Rubber band
Line the two pencils together, side by side, with the writing end of one corresponding with the eraser end of the other. Bead a line of hot glue on one side of a pencil and press the pencils together.
Use a ruler to find the exact middle of the pencil assembly and mark it with a marker or felt point pen. Put a nickel-sized dollop of hot glue on the centre of the pencil assembly in order to glue the body of the crossbow into place.
Take a set of prefabricated chopsticks (the kind found at restaurants that must be pulled apart at the base) and, without breaking them apart, glue the chopsticks to the pencils to form a cross. The top of the cross will be short, consisting of only the tapered part of the chopsticks.
Turn the crossbow over and glue another set of unbroken chopsticks to the other side in the exact same manner. Glue the bases of the chopsticks together with hot glue to make the body of the crossbow. Let the glue dry for about 20 minutes.
Empty a Bic ballpoint pen by prying off the writing head with your fingernails. Pull the ink tube out and pry off the cap end. The hollow pen tube will be the firing chamber.
Line the end of the firing chamber up with the pointed end of the chopsticks. Tape the firing chamber down using duct or electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the pen and feed it through the open space between the two sets of chopsticks, and tape the chamber down in at least two spots.
Remove one metal tab from the binder clip by pressing the sides of the tab until it releases from the base. Hot glue a nickel-sized dollop to the tab-less side of the binder clip and press it to the base of the chopsticks to correspond with the firing chamber. The mouth should open up straight toward the firing chamber and the clip will serve as the trigger.
Cut the rubber band in half using scissors. Pinch one end of the rubber band in the space between the two pencils at one end of the assembly of what will serve as the bow string. Do this so approximately a half-inch pops through to the other side, and do this for both sides.
Glue the band ends in place using the hot glue gun. Don't be shy about using a lot of glue to reinforce the bow string. This is a good time to reinforce the whole structure with more glue in any spot you deem necessary, such as the base of the binder clip, and let all the glue dry for 20 minutes.
Put a barbecue skewer through the firing chamber, press it against the rubber band bow string, pinch the bow string and skewer to pull it down to the binder clip and clip the end of the skewer into firing position. Aim the skewer at a target and press the metal tab on the binder clip to release the projectile. The clip serves as a reliable trigger.
Tips and warnings
- The crossbow can be dangerous; never shoot at people.
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