How To Make Crossbows & Bolts

There are several great reasons why a lot of people are looking for information on how to make crossbows. Sure, it probably just started with fascination for ancient weaponry. But they soon realized that they don’t have to be content with seeing them in movies based on older times. You can easily focus that fascination and use that to make your own crossbow.

Why make a crossbow?

Since you have no plans of going to war with it, why would you want to make one? Some people make them just because of curiosity. They just want to know if they’re able to make one. On the other hand, it can be considered as a hobby. This is especially true with people that are fascinated with ancient weaponry. After all, there’s nothing like having your own rather than just seeing them on the wide screen.

But majority of people who are interested in making their own crossbows are hunting enthusiasts. Sure, you can hunt with a rifle. But where’s the fun in that? You can also choose to spend hundreds of dollars on a crossbow. But where’s the challenge? There’s nothing like taking down a huge buck using a crossbow that you made on your own.

Before you get down to business, here are the parts of a crossbow that you will make on your own:

  • Prod
  • String
  • Stock (aka Tiller)
  • Trigger
  • Bolts

So if you’re going to think about it, it’s just a five-part project so it’s really easy. It’s true that it’s more complicated if you plan on using it for hunting. You may need to do some trial and error to get the precision and power that you need. But just to get you started, you can learn how to make crossbows that are very simple right now. You want to know the best part? You don’t have to go out of your way to gather the materials needed. There’s a good chance that you have everything that you need. If not, a short trip to the hardware store can take care of it. Let’s take a look at each part and know what materials are needed and how to make it.


The prod is the part that holds the string. In most store-bought crossbows, this is where you get the power. Pulling back the string will create tension on the prod that you’re going to use to launch the projectile. But for this project, the primary purpose of the prod is to hold the string to make it simpler. Just take out a two-foot wooden block that’s about 2 inches in width. Hammer in one nail on each end making sure that they form an imaginary parallel line to the prod. Make sure that the nails are sticking out around 1/8 of an inch.


For this project, the string will do the job of launching the projectile. Just to give you an idea, smaller homemade crossbows can be made using a rubber band as string. For this project, any strong elastic string or wire will do. Tie up the ends to the prod by tying each end to each nail tightly. Make sure that there’s no slack on the string.


Take a three-foot long wooden block that’s the same width as the wooden block that you’re using for the prod. Make a rectangular hole that’s about 1 by 1 ½ inches in size. Make sure that there’s a hole on the stock that’s top to bottom. This will house the trigger and this is where you’re going to pull the string to. Now hold the stock as you would normally hold it when you’re aiming it. Chisel out small indentations on each side of the rectangle. The indentations should be on the end of the rectangle that’s near you.


There are a lot of ways on how you can do this. But for this project, you just need to turn two pieces of wood into a letter L. One should be a little over 1 inch in length while the other one should be over 2 inches. You can attach them together using wood glue.

Putting them together

Mark the center of the prod and attach the stock there using nails. You should have something that looks like a “T”. Insert the trigger inside the rectangular hole in the stock and keep it in place by driving a nail through the side of the stock with the trigger in the middle. You should be able to press one end of the trigger and the other end should stick out on the top of the stock. This will release the projectile.

Making the bolts

The bolts are the projectiles that you’re going to use. The easiest way to make them is to buy a pack of dowels and sharpen the ends using a sharpener. You can attach feathers on the other end to improve its aerodynamics. You can also use chopsticks. But for serious bolts, you can make them using aluminum.

Now that you know how to make crossbows and bolts, you can practice shooting with it. They can easily go through cardboard and even soda cans so be careful. You can do a field hunting test and they can easily take down smaller animals. So make them today and experience the challenges of using a crossbow.