How to make a Crossbow: 9 Easy Steps To Construct A Perfect Crossbow

Did you always wanted to have a crossbow but could not get one? So, how to make a crossbow? Here are very simple steps in which you can make a crossbow right at your home.

Before delving into the details, let us first see the basic parts of a crossbow. It consists of a horizontal bow. This portion stays mounted on a stick. This part is called a stock. It is the part that shoots bolts at the target.

Nowadays, the compound crossbows are more popular. The reason is that they are more energy efficient and owe this to the face that has a string attached to a pulley. This makes it easy on the part of the archer to draw the string with more power.

So gather all the supplies and you are ready to make a crossbow right at your home.

First, Things You Need

  • Pinewood
  • PVC pipe
  • ​Nylon string ball
  • ​Miniature steel pulleys
  • ​Duct tapes
  • ​Duty ties clips
  • ​Foam
  • Wood screws
  • PVC/wood glue
  • Wood stain or varnish
  • Thin dowel
  • Bench clamp
  • ​Wood rasp
  • ​Different grades of sandpaper
  • Power drill
  • ​Ballpoint hammer
  • ​Pencil
  • Hand saw
  • ​Wood saw
  • Hacksaw
  • ​Chisel
  • Wood rasp

Gather all the supplies before you start the work. It is important to have all the stuff at one place. Otherwise, you will have to hunt for each thing and your building experience will be pathetic.

​Making a Crossbow from the Longbow

How to make a crossbow? Let’s Start

1. Making the Stock

For the stock, you must ensure that you have a comfortable enough length. Use pine wood and cut it in the dimensions 38 inches, 2 inches, and 2 inches. Find the suitable length for your hands and mark it. However, do not go beyond 1 meters.

Now, using a saw, cut off the extra pieces and shreds of wood. Make sure you have taken all the safety measures like safety goggles and are performing all the work in a well-ventilated area.

Making the Stock1Making the Stock2

2. Making the Trigger

Making the Trigger1Making the Trigger2

Take the stock in your hand and find a spot you would like to make the trigger. Mark a rounded rectangle there and it should be approximately 4 inches by 1 inch. Use a chisel, wood rasp and, drill to cut out the area, but do not split it. Then finish it using a sandpaper.

Making the Trigger3Making the Trigger4Making the Trigger5Making the Trigger6

3. Making a Groove

This will be required to hold a string. Thus, the latter will rest in a horizontal direction across the hole. Using a chisel, make a 1/8 inches groove in front of the hole you made previously. Using sandpaper, remove all the sharp ends.


Now, find a mark that is at the center of the end of the wood but at the most distance from the string groove. Mark a straight line and make a carving along that. Sand to make it smooth.

Making a Groove

4. Making the Grip

Now take another piece of pine wood and cut it around 8 inches in length. Using PVC glue, stick it to the bottom of the stock you had created. Let it dry.

Now you are done with the structure. Just use something to guard the wood against harsh conditions. You can use varnish, or wood stain, or some wood sealer.

5. Making the Bow with a PVC Pipe

Take a 1” PVC pipe and cut it in 36” length. Make a groove so that a small wooden screw can fit in. Attach pulleys to each end of the bow and feed the string through them. Using wire ties, attach them.

Making a PVC Crossbow without a  Cocking Tool​

6. Threading the String


Now you are going to thread a nylon string through the two pulleys. This will help you to fire the crossbow accurately. To achieve this, secure one end of the thread to the wooden screw. Now bring it across the pulley to the right end and hoop it in around the axis of the pulley. When you are done looping it around the pulleys from both the sides, bring it back to the right side and tie it to the right wooden screw. However, be cautious not to pull the string too tight otherwise you will not be able to extend it when you are aiming for the target.

Threading the String

The next and last thing that remains to do in the string is to check if it is accurate or not. Tug the string that is emanating out of the pulleys. The PVC pipe will then bend similar to a bow. If this happens, you are good to go. Otherwise, you will have to start again.

7. Attaching the Bow and the Stock Together

Now that you have the wooden stock and the bow, it is time to fit them together. Use a chisel to slice a rounded shaped groove at the end of the wood stock. The pipe should fit in the groove. Therefore, make sure that is deep enough. Repeat by trial and error and continue till the bow gets a perfect fit. There should not be any movement whatsoever.

Attaching the Bow and the Stock Together1Attaching the Bow and the Stock Together2

Now, use a duct tape to safely attach it to the stock. Make sure that the firing string that comes out of the pulleys is on the top of the wood. The other strings should remain at the bottom else they will hinder the actual firing process.

To check if what you did was perfect or not, draw the firing string backward and notch it on the rectangular hole. If it stays there, it is fine. If it does not, you will need to make a deeper groove so that you can hold the string.

8. Making the Trigger System

Making the Trigger System1Making the Trigger System2

You will need a thin piece of pine wood, perhaps 1 inch, to create the trigger. Make an L-shape on the wood. The horizontal edge must be smaller than the box that is carved for the trigger. Next, you will want to cut it out and sand it till it is smooth.

Making the Trigger System3Making the Trigger System4

After that, use a chisel to carve 1/8 inch channel across the shorter edge of the L-shape. The carving should point outwards.

Making the Trigger System5Making the Trigger System6

Drill a hole above that edge, in the corner. It should be big enough so that the nail fits in. This is the nail that you will use to attach the trigger to the stock.

Making the Trigger System7Making the Trigger System8

Now, you need to put the L shape trigger inside the rectangular hole with the groove upwards and L forward. Also, there should be enough space so that the trigger moves without hitting the back of the hole. Fix it with a nail.

Making the Handle and the Butt

The handle is the part that you will hold so that the crossbow is steady when you pull the trigger. Cut 8 inches of pine wood. Send it to make it the shape of a handle.

Now, use a PVC or wood glue to attach this to the stock. Let it dry for an hour. After that, hammer a few nails so that the handle stays firm and does not come off.

The butt should be padded enough so that it becomes comfortable when you make a shot. Otherwise, you might just end up getting hurt. Use some foam at the end of the stock that you keep on your shoulder.

And your crossbow is ready! However, there are some important things that you must do before taking it out for the actual hunt.

Making the Handle and the Butt

9. Test It!

Having done all of this, now you should move on to test the crossbow. It is better to remove any flaws that might have crept in at this point of time, than repenting over a lost target.

Get the right sized bullets for your bow. Either buy some or make your own. In case you are interested in making your own bullets, cut a dowel and make a notch at one end so that it will hold the string.

Next, set up a target so that you can test if your crossbow hits the right place. Do ensure that it is away from people otherwise you might end up hurting them.

Use a cardboard box or pieces of paper. Draw circles on them to mark your place to hit. Keep a distance of 65 to 100 feet between you and the target. Now shoot and check if you are hitting the right marks.

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Warnings to adhere to

Here is a set of warnings that you must follow. Shooting is a sport but it turns fatal when some innocent gets hurt by it. Therefore, do not shoot in public places. You will end up hurting people.

These weapons are known for bodily harm. So use with lots of precaution. If you are a kid or a teen, do it under the supervision of an adult. Also, you do not want to be breaking any laws.

Therefore, check with your local authorities who will guide you when and where you can shoot and which places and times to avoid. And most importantly, never ever use this crossbow to shoot a person. The death of an animal with a crossbow is instant, but a person will die a very slow, painful death.


Thus, this was a brief overview of how to make a crossbow right at your home and save a lot of money that you would spend otherwise. Make sure that you follow all the steps carefully and do not break any laws.

If you liked the process and tried it, do share your experience with us in your comments.

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