A Complete Guide On How To Make A Crossbow From Scratch

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Crossbows are among the most popular bows that are available on the market. There is a wide array of crossbows that you can choose from. However, if you want to have a unique and customized crossbow, you can easily create one. If you love DIY and are thinking about making your crossbow, here is a complete guide on creating a durable crossbow with the use of supplies from your local hardware store.

What is a Crossbow?

A crossbow is a weapon used in various shooting activities like archery and hunting. It has a horizontal bow mounted on a stick called a stock. The crossbow shoots a special kind of arrow called bolts. The modern crossbows are compound crossbows that have stiffer limbs to make the bow more energy-efficient. A string is attached to a pulley system for easy drawback and increased power when firing the bolt.

✅ Video – What is an assassin’s crossbow, and how does it work?

A crossbow is a favorite weapon used for archery and hunting. Check out the video below to find out what an assassin’s crossbow is and how it works.

What are the Parts of a Crossbow?

Before anything else, you need to know the parts of a crossbow so that you can create one perfectly. The following are the main parts of a crossbow and their functions.


The bow is composed of the limbs and the string. The limbs will serve as the arms of the crossbow. They are curved and highly flexible. These limbs are attached to the stock; it is where the potential energy is stored. It determines the force that the bolts will have when fired. There are two types of designs that you can choose from, which are the compound and recurve crossbow.


The stock is an important part of the crossbow where the bow and all other components are attached. The stock enables the shooter to easily hold and maneuver the crossbow to take the perfect shot. The ideal stock is ergonomic and has good positioning, enabling the shooter to have a good grip on the bow.


The trigger is located in the stock and is responsible for firing the bolts. It retains the string when the crossbow is cocked and releases it when pulling the trigger. Pulling the trigger of the crossbow is the same as pulling the trigger of a rifle. The difference is that the crossbow holds back more weight because of the tension that comes from the string. A trigger should be crisp and clean when pulled. It should also hold the string in place to avoid accidental release of the bolts. Most triggers h a safety mechanism to avoid accidental firing.


The bolt ate the arrow of the crossbow. They are much smaller as compared to the typical arrows. They have a notch and fletching located on the butt, which helps them fly easily. The bold should be compatible with the crossbow to have an accurate shot.

✅ Video – The Parts of a Crossbow–and Crossbow Terminology!

For an in-depth discussion of the different parts of a crossbow and how it can affect the overall performance, you can watch the video below.

What Kinds of Materials are used to create a Crossbow?

There are different kinds of materials that can be used to create a crossbow. Manufacturers usually make use of fiberglass due to its flexibility and strength. Others use steel to make sure that the crossbow is durable. On the other hand, if these materials are too challenging to be used when creating a crossbow from scratch, you can use materials such as PVC pipe, bamboo, and wood.

✅ Video – Materials used in modern crossbows

Check out the video below for more information about the different kinds of materials commonly used when creating a crossbow.

Materials Used in Making a Crossbow from Scratch

We will create a crossbow from two main materials for this particular guide, which are PVC pipe and wood. Below is a list of the materials that you will need when making a crossbow from scratch. These materials are purchased from your local hardware store, or you can also order them online.

  • PVC pipe
  • Wood
  • Knife
  • String or Rope
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Chisel
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood rasp
  • Wood glue
  • Dowel
  • Feathers
  • Screw

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make a Crossbow from Scratch

Step 1 – Building the limbs.

  • Cut 38 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter of a PVC pipe.
  • Measure 1 inch from both ends of the pipe and drill a hole through it.
  • You now have a pipe with holes at both ends where you can attach the string later.

✅ Video – Making the limbs

Watch a video below for a demonstration on how to build the limbs of a crossbow.

Step 2 – Building the Stock

  • Use a wood plank that measures 2 inches wide, 2 inches tall, and 38 inches long. (You can use hardwood)
  • Hold the plank as if you are holding a crossbow and mark the area where it is comfortable to place the trigger.
  • With a drill and chisel, create a rectangular hole on the marked area that measures 3 inches long and ¾ of an inch wide.
  • Locate the center of the stock and make a channel of around ¼ inch deep from the front end of the stock to the hole that you have made for the trigger.
  • Make sure that the channel is wide enough to place the arrow without being restrained when fired comfortably.
  • Drill a hole around an inch away from the front end of the stock, making sure that the limbs that you have created from a PVC pipe fit perfectly into it.
  • Create a grip by attaching a plank of wood at the back end of the stock using wood glue.

✅ Video – How to make a crossbow stock

The video below demonstrates how to make a crossbow stock. Click the play button for more information.

Step 3 – Building the Trigger

  • With a saw, cut an L shape that measures 1 inch wide, less than ¾ inch thick, and with the height of 3-4 inches from a wood plank.
  • Create a channel of around 1/8 inch at the center traversing the outside part of the L shape’s width.
  • Drill a hole near the L’s intersection where you will later insert the screw and attach the trigger to the stock.

✅ Video – How to make a crossbow trigger

The video below discusses how to create a crossbow trigger using springs, aluminum, and other moving parts.

Step 4 – Building the Bolt

  • You can use a dowel to build the bolt.
  • The bolt’s length should be longer than the distance from the trigger to the front end of the bow.
  • Sharpen one end of the dowel and put a notch on the other end.
  • Glue feathers opposite each other on the notched end.

✅ Video – How to make crossbow bolts

In the video below, you can watch a step-by-step guide on creating crossbow bolts that will perfectly suit the kind of crossbow you have.

Step 5 – Assembling the Crossbow

  • Insert the PVC pipe on the hole at the front of the stock.
  • Make sure that the PVC pipe is centered and secured.
  • Tie the string on both ends of the PVC pipe where you have made a hole making sure that the pipe slightly bends.
  • Place the trigger on the rectangular hole in the stock and screw then together, making sure that it is loose enough to be pulled without breaking.
  • Pull the string on the trigger and slip it on the groove of the trigger that you have made.
  • Place the arrow on the string.

Congratulations, your crossbow is ready to use!

✅ Video – How to make a crossbow

Below is a video of a complete guide on how to make a crossbow from scratch. Watch the video below for a complete guide.


Q1: How much does it cost to create a crossbow from scratch?

It depends on the kinds of materials that you use. The average cost would be under 50 dollars, which is way more affordable than purchasing a ready-made crossbow.

Q2: How long does it take to finish making a crossbow?

It depends on your building skills. If you are handy when it comes to measuring and cutting materials, it can take a few hours to finish a crossbow.

✅ Video – How to make a PVC crossbow

If you are interested in creating a crossbow but only have PVC pipe and wood at home, here is a guide on creating a crossbow using PVC. Watch the video below for more details.

Q3: What can I use for the string?

You can use twine for the string of the crossbow. Make sure that it is a high-quality twine that does not easily break.

Q4: Can I use the crossbow for hunting?

No, the crossbow that you made from simple materials does not have the necessary power and features to kill prey. You can use the bow for target shooting.

Q5: Is it hard to make a crossbow from scratch?

It depends on your building skills. If you are used to building using wood and other construction materials, it will be easy for you. On the other hand, if you are not that familiar with measurements, you might find it hard to make a crossbow.

The End

You have reached the end of this post that tackles how to make a crossbow. We hope that we have provided you with the necessary information to inspire and help you create your own crossbow. It is a fun and exciting project to do with your family and friends. Being able to make your very own crossbow will leave you with a deep feeling of satisfaction and pride. If you find this post helpful, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading!

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