PVC pipe bow.

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PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:31 pm

Using PVC pipe to make a bow is not very prehistoric in any way but will make a cheap and fun bow without any real tedious tillering, they are vitually indestructable and waterproof. If one limb collapses you can just heat it up again and reshape although this is best done before painting.
You can get schedule 40 pipe in the UK but it is far too expensive, so I've used 1 inch Class E or PN15 which has wall thickness of only 2.5mm but will make a bow that will pull around 25 pounds, Alternatively you can get 1 inch class 7 pipe which has a wall thickness of 5mm. I odered some of this from a local pipe centre and they had it delivered and then couldn't find the pipe when I whent to pick it up! So I've not had the experience of making a more robust bow." />So here we have heat gun, plank of wood to squish the bow limb on, a flannel and the tapering jig which is a bit of old plywood with two 1 inch high blocks glued on and a piece of pine to reinforce the ply and stop it from bending. This should have been made from a plank, but this was all I had!

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:02 pm

This pipe comes in 6 metre lengths, so cut it down to four 1.5 metre lengths and that will make four bows! Mark out the centre and then 2 inches out either side for the handle. In the pic here I've marked out two more lines at 4 inches making the handle longer and the limbs therefor shorter to get a little more power from it. Both work, I've tried them both." />
Heat one limb at a time making sure not to overheat any one part and when the plastic gets really floppy get the top flattening jig and line it up to the handle marks and kneel on it for a few mins untill it cools right down. Here both limbs have been flattened.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:07 pm

Then heat up the handle and pinch it the other way to the limbs using the flannel, I added some reflex here in the pic which I later took out, It lead to scary stress concentrations in the limbs." />

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:09 pm

" />
The tips where marked out to 6 inches and this part was heated and pressed around the cooking pot to make some recurved tips.


Last edited by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by grendel on Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:22 pm

Looks really nice. Better than mine. I used 35mm pvc round tube
 from Wickes for a fiver.

Got the idea from this vid. Not quite the heat sculptured prehistoric beauty you made, more a Mary Rose longbow.


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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:49 pm

" />
Here's how the tips of the bow are shaped: First taper the ends to a broad point with a belt sander or similar, you will have gaps like these, not to worry...

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:56 pm

" />
Heat up one side and open up, then sand the inside surfaces to form a key for some hot glue, this should state on the packaging that it will glue PVC and be relatively cheap. Just use the stick with no gun and heat with the paint stripper heater and smear liberally inside.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:00 pm

" />
Then heat up the flap and glue and squish flat using some cloth to protect your hands from any oozing hot glue. Hey presto, gaps filled and the upper surface in this pic forms a nice shallow groove for the string to nestle into. Just file some nocks from here and string...


Last edited by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:04 pm

" />
Nocks filed and the whole thing finely sanded for painting, use PVC (or "plastic") paint straight from the can; or like in this pic seal with halfords plastic primer first and then spray.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:42 pm

" />
After painting they start to look like a halfway decent bow, the green one now has a handle wrap and the final string. Horray for cheap plastic pipe alien

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by grendel on Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:25 pm

Any idea of the pull weight?

Also you seem to have a new business there.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by the barnacle on Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:30 pm

they look very smart - great work.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:59 pm

He he, thanks. The red one pulls 25Ib and the green with the slightly longer non-bending handle pulls 27Ib so they are not likely to pull your arm off! Good fun back garden twangers I'd say.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:01 pm

I'll chase up the thicker class 7 pipe and see what that can do at some point.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by grendel on Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:04 pm

would a thinner pipe inside a thicker one work?

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:15 pm

Yes, although getting a good fit is a problem, the one inch sizing is the internal diameter so the outside diameter varies according to the class of pipe, There is loads of clips on youtube from the "backyard bowyer", Nick Tomihammer who it seems invented these bows, but they are using different grades of pipe that you cannot get over here unless you want to part with £50 for an oversized bit of plastic macaroni.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:26 pm

At last all those folk that say that you cannot get Schedule 40 pvc pipe for making bows in the UK are wrong, check this place out:http://www.plasticpipeshop.co.uk/White-Industrial-Sch40-Pipe_c_1503.html
I have made one bow in the same style as the bows above from 1" pipe and it pulls a whopping 50 Ib! Next time I'll get some 3/4" pipe and try some wood siyahs for the bow tips.
The delivery was very quick from the stockist and I have nothing to complain about, also they sell at a reasonable price.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by grendel on Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:31 pm

I can't help thinking, when you complete a few PVC longbows, you should then persuade some Frenchmen to make some PVC 15th century armour and get together on an Astro-turf field for a battle re-enactment.

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:59 pm

Like a plastic Agincourt! I have been marking the back of the wooden longbows  I've made with "This side towards the French" rather than just marking "back"!

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Re: PVC pipe bow.

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