Homemade Mod Shop – FDG:B1

Hello boys and girls!

Today makes somewhat of an interesting occasion. Next weekend the Canberra and Southern NSW Dart Tag group is running a Game of Thrones themed game and the lord has called for archers. I’d been thinking about it for a while but I really should get around to making some form of homemade and what better excuse than to kick off with a bow. They’re easier than most other homemades as they don’t require a catch and are therefore comparatively simple.

Props should also go to Asianassassin325’s RSCB bow on OzNerf at this stage. It’s funny how things work out but I didn’t actually intend to build something so similar. I started off by simply picking out PVC joiners at Bunnings and figuring it out in my mind as I went along. Once I got home I decided to have a quick browse around the forums to see if anything similar had been done. Turns out that not only had it been done, but that I’d actually read the thread only a few months prior. I’m guessing I’d taken some ‘inspiration’ from Asianassassins’s build by this point.

One last thing before we kick off that I’d like to add; please don’t build this bow. It’s actually kinda bad. You’ll notice that the title of this post is the FDG:B1. Curious as to what that means? It stands for FoamDartGoodness:Bow version 1. The implication there is that there will be further revisions based off what I learned on this one. And by that, I mean I’ve already made the FDG:B2 and it’s both cheaper to buy the materials for and more robust. I’ll be doing a write up on that relatively soon, but for the time being please just think of this post as ‘inspiration’ for your own works.

Ok, enough talk, lets get to it!

Tools/materials required…

~2m 15mm PVC pipe
15mm PVC fittings; 2xTee, 1xRight angle, 2xEnd cap
~500mm of 40mm PVC pipe
40mm PVC end cap
40mm-20mm PVC reducer
20mm-15mm PVC reducer
~100mm of 16mm conduit
~100mm of 20mm conduit
32mm bath plug
Small bolt, nut and two washers
PVC solvent
Strong glue
Hot glue + gun
Electrical tape
Modelling putty
Knife
Heat gun
Dremel with cutting + grinding attachments
Drill + assortment of bits
Mallet/hammer
Needle nose pliers
~2m of some variety of wire (something to use as the bow string)

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Most of the components.

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All right, lets start by making the plunger head.

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Pry the pull ring off with a pair of pliers.

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Push the centre button out.

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Grab a 15mm PVC end cap.

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Drill a hole in the centre of it, the same diameter as your bolt.

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Grab the plug, end cap, nut, nut bolt and washers and assemble them in this order.

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Like so. Make sure the nut/bolt is done up tight.

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Same thing, different angle.

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Fill this space with hot glue for additional support.

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Now set it aside to dry. We’ll finish this part later.

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At this point some of you may realise that I in fact bought the wrong reducer. Pressure rated pipe is different to non-pressure rated. Dang.

Oh well, can’t be bothered going back to Bunnings so lets make this work.

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I cut off the 32mm side of the reducer.

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Got a rough idea of how it would fit with the 20-15mm reducer.

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Attacked it with a heat gun and mallet and made it fit.

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Then did the same to one end of the 40mm PVC to flare it out a little.

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Allowing the cut up reducer to fit.

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See, fits…

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Aplly some solvent to all three pieces and hammer together.

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Same thing, different view.

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Work out how much of a draw you want your bow to have and cut the 40mm PVC to be a little longer than that. I my case I went with ~700mm.

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Cut three ~40mm lengths of 15mm PVC.

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Glue one in to the front of the plunger tube.

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Another to the front of a tee piece.

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The third to the top of the same piece.

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This is then what we’re aiming for.

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Grab a small piece of something. Could be pretty well anything provided it fits inside 15mm PVC.

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We’ll need to to sit roughly here, except inside the fitting.

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Like so. You want it to act as a blocking point for air continuing forward, but not to impede airflow upwards.

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View from the front of the tee piece.

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Grab some modeling putty and seal off around the forward part of the tee. We’re ideally looking for a nice smooth transition for the air coming from the back of the tee, through the top.

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Make sure that no air can escape forward, it all has to go up. Test this by covering one hole and blowing in the other; if air escapes, find the leak and plug it.

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Now got back to the front and fill the PVC with hot glue. This both helps secure the blockage we place before and makes absolutely certain that there’s no forward leakage.

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Now glue the adapted tee piece to the front of the plunger tube.

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Like so.

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Then add another tee to the front.

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Like so. Make sure that this one is perpendicular to the last.

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Back to the now presumably dry plunger head. Glue the end cap to a length of 15mm PVC.

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Insert it in the plunger tube and measure ~70mm past the end of the plunger tube. Take the plunger head/rod out and cut here.

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Cut a piece of 16mm conduit a little longer than the width of your fist.

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Drill a hole right the way through the plunger rod, ~25mm in from the end.

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Dremel out the hole until you can fit the 16mm conduit through it.

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Like so.

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Glue on a 15mm end cap.

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Reinsert the plunger head/rod and we’re most of the way there.

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Cut two pieces of 15mm PVC to an equal length for the arms. The length here will play a part in determining the strength of the bow. I ran with 700mm.

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Cut two pieces of 20mm conduit, ~40mm long.

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Heat up the end of each of the arms enough to force the piece of 200mm conduit.

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This will help with strengthening the bow string mounting points.

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Drill two small holes right the way through the PVC and conduit.

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Do the same to both arms obviously.

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Ok, so I may have skipped a photo or two here but you should be able to figure out what went on. Glue the arms to the tee piece at the front of the blaster. Then run your chosen bow string from one arm, through the conduit handle, to the other arm.

Tada! One bow.

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You’ll then need to sort out some variety of barrel. I did all of my testing on this bow with a simple right angle bend into nested 16mm conduit, but the long term plan was to run a RSBC or possibly a hopper. We’ll see how that pans out.

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Here’s how the wiring ended up. I used an insulated copper wire as it was lying around, but turns out to be a decent choice as it’s still enough not to pull through just like this.

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With the excess simply wrapped around until I figure out where it needs to go.

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That’s about it folks. My first functional homemade with many more to come.

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