Following the creation of my first experimental PVC bow, which was a somewhat complicated design that fired Nerf darts, I wanted to expand on that and make more, better bows. I made two others over the course of a few months after the original.
I'll give a short description of the first because it already has it's own post. It fired 8 Nerf darts around 40' and could shoot extremely fast because they were in a mag on the side. The draw weight is very very light, probably around 5 lbs but a very smooth draw nonetheless. It's only real problem was the T joint in front having stability issues and falling apart :/
I decided that making a bow to fire Nerf darts worked, but was a little complicated and had problems. I then decided to put my bow making skills into making a bow that shot...(suspenseful pause) arrows! It still has a very light draw, probably around 8 lbs, and can fire an arrow 70-80'. Not too impressive, but still something to go off of.
Edit: Just after writing this review, I messed around with it to get a feel for the power. Woe is me, it snapped in two! Too funny :)
The third (some perspective issues in the pic)
After making the first two I wanted something with a bit more power. So instead of constructing it out of the thinner, more flexible CPVC, I made it out of beefy manly PVC! Also, it's exactly 5 feet tall and has a very long draw, as opposed to the others. It feels like you're using a real bow, not a toy. Draw weight is roughly twice the second and three times the first, at somewhere around 15 lbs. Not too tough by any means, but now it has some decent force. I haven't been able to find max range yet, but given the draw, I'd assume somewhere around 120-150'.
One of the more interesting parts of this bow is the arrow rest. I made it out of a simple paperclip but it works quite well and I haven't had any problems. The nock is a bead with duct tape underneath and the grip is also duct tape :) Can't go wrong. I learned from the second bow and made this one's cable tie to the ends differently. On the first two I kinda guessed, cutting notches and drilling holes in whatever way worked. On the third I made it so a loop on the end of the cord slid into a notch at the end of the bow. The important part about that is it can now be unstrung, releasing tension, a must have for any half decent bow.
So there you have it. I showed you some different bows I have made, and each for less than $10! Now you can go try yourself. It's a lot of fun and very rewarding to experiment like this - and to learn from your mistakes.