Sunday, June 4, 2017

7A-10 PVC RE-Curve Bow

            My Maker Project was to create a PVC re-curve bow. I chose this project because I love archery and making bow and arrows. I was inspired by one of my summer camps last year, Make a Bow by Trackers. We spent a week in the wood shop, sanding down and cutting wood for our bows. While I was gluing down the backing for my bow, I saw a pile of strangely bent PVC's lying in the corner. They were homemade PVC re-curve bows, melted down, flattened and bent. Ever since that day, I have thought of PVC very differently, and was inspired to try and recreate it for my Maker Project. Here are the steps I used (or would of used) to create the bow:

  1.  Cut the PVC to 5 ft
  2.  Mark:
    1. The center of the PVC
    2. 3 in from the center on either side (the handle)
  3. Find a piece of wood (around 1-2 in in height, 2.5 in long, and 4 in wide)
  4. Drill/hammer two screws/nails into the wood, each sticking exactly 1 in out, and placed 3/4 in from the edge on both sides.
  5. Heat (using a heat gun) thoroughly from the edge of the handle to the end of the bow.
  6. Once satisfactory, position the finished wood over the PVC, the nails/screws aligned with the edge of the handle.
  7. Push down hard on the wood until the PVC tapers into a flat end. 
  9. Reheat from handle to end, and bend over large cylindrical object (depends on how much curve you want)
  11. Heat handle, and squeeze to fit your hand with a glove.
  12.  Sand/saw the ends to a triangular point
  14. Cut diagonal notches on the ends, pointing toward the center of the bow
  16. Take bow string and string bow.
           One challenge I never overcame was time. I never finished my project in time because my math teacher recruited me to help him prepare for the ERB tests. I still learned valuable things though like dealing with time management, using a heat gun, and more about the physics of PVC. I engaged in the design process by empathizing with the user. The handle was originally designed to be customized to the person it used. You would heat up the handle and the mold it to your hand shape using a heat resistant glove. If I had more time, I would have finished flattening out both edges, curving them, and attaching the string. My advice to people doing this project, is do it safely and thoroughly, you want the bow to reach its full potential! Watch the tutorial I used here! Thanks!

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