Crossbow Toy




About: We celebrate creativity on the southern Oregon coast at our store, the Electric Hospital, and outdoors where we enjoy the wonders. We might be sewing with a long arm robotic quilting machine in the morning a...

This was not exactly an Instructable where I give you the tools, materials and plans needed to make a clever project. This started without a plan other than to make a toy for a grandson. I created a long bow for his older brother and thought the four year old needed a boy toy that required less skill to use. I began with a 2X4 four feet long.


Step 1: Materials and Tools

Since there was not a plan. I began with all the usual suspects for building a toy on the patio. This included a 2X4, screw collection, duct tape, cord and some tools. Tools used were a band saw, portable jig saw, electric drill, screw gun, scissors and bench sander.

Step 2: Dice and Slice

Cut a 2X4 about the length of a toy bow. Slice a thin board off the 2 inch side. Cut a section of 2X4 the length of the stock for a 4 year old.

Step 3:

Make the bow first and tie a cord for a string. Test the flexibility of the bow to decide how long to make the stock and arrows. OOPS. You now know the limit to stretch a Douglas Fir bow. Go find a more forgiving wood. Yew, Cherry, Maple and Ash are all better choices for the bow.

Step 4:

Start over on the bow with a section of Yew wood. Cut notches for the cord. It is not necessary to do any tillering on a cross bow as both sides of the bow are symmetrical.

Step 5:

Cut the bolts (3 arrows) from the center section of the 2X4. Cut a notch the distance the bow string will pull easily.

To create a channel for the bolt to slide in the center section is screwed in half the distance of the thickness of the bolt below the top stock.

To make the trigger pull toward the handle I crafted two levers. The rear one lifts the string and the front one pushes it up. The first trigger had the grain wrong so I replaced it with plywood.

The handle is attached below the rear lever and is reinforced when it attaches to the back of the stock.

Step 6:

Sand off the edge of the channel the bolt slides in to make the string easier to release.

Assemble the parts and make fletchings for the arrows out of duct tape. The fletchings are only on two sides.

Give the gift to the grandson and enjoy the fun defending the fort from wolves and dragons.

P.S. Craft a second crossbow for the big brother.



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    7 Discussions


    5 months ago



    2 years ago

    my some loves your bow, I tried making it for him but I failed. I was wondering if you would sell it me me or make me one. I want 4 darts with it aswell thanks

    1 reply
    Dr. JoeShabraiz10

    Reply 2 years ago

    What problems did you have making a crossbow? The key is to not give up.


    3 years ago

    That is one dense and straight grained 2x4. It is almost too pretty to cut up.

    Thanks for the 'ible. This looks like a lot of fun (for you and the kids).

    2 replies
    Dr. JoeJobar007

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for looking at this unInstructable. We grow trees tall dense and straight here in Oregon. (Kind of like me).

    Jobar007Dr. Joe

    Reply 3 years ago

    You must visit better lumber yards than I (I'm in Oregon as well). Even the CVG Fir I bought to build my boat didn't that that dense of growth.


    3 years ago

    I need one! Nice Instructable!