PVC Bow UK Spec – Building a PVC Bow in the UK by VOG (VegOilGuy)
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PVC Bow UK Spec – Building a PVC Bow in the UK by VOG (VegOilGuy)

August 15, 2019


HI YouTube, my name’s Geoff and today I’m gonna be talking about making the PVC bow if you’re in the UK. If you’re not in the UK this videos not going to be much use to you really. I’m gonna be talking about the pipe that’s available in stores in the UK. Now if you’re here the chances are you’ve already seen wonderful videos by people like Backyard Bowyer who makes fantastic poser nothing but
PVC piping and you thought you’d like to have a go. I know I did. It’s really cheap way making a very effective bow. It’s a brilliant way introducing yourself to
the hobby and maybe making bows for kids or
something. Cheap economical way of getting started in archery. I popped along to my local DIY store and tried a number of pipe and
let me tell you no… they’re not schedule 40 and that piping is of course the sort that people like Backyard Bowyer are talking
about. It’sthe american piping. Er, UK piping is just is not up to the task. I tried it and it doesn’t work it really doesn’t. I tried
22mm piping roughly the equivalent of 3/4 inch and it just didn’t take well to heat treatment. Kind of melted and didn’t change shape. I tried 32mm harder piping the solvent weld stuff and that did respond well to heat treatment it took a nice shape but failed under tension. No good. It just doesn’t work the same. So I really need schedule 40. I thought, not a chance! Then I spotted a link on a video by Backyard Bowyer a UK company selling it. I had a look and to be honest it was very expensive. And I thought NO… You should be ashamed of yourselves! Just way too much money. But with a bit of searching I managed to find coleparmer.co.uk Here’s a link I have NO affiliation to this company. I don’t know them from Adam, I really don’t. I just happened to find them and thought,
let’s give it a go And so I ordered schedule 40 pipe and here it is Wow! is it different! It is so different
anything we have the here is this country. Normally, that is, because these guys ARE selling it! which is great. The stuff you typically find is the UK is just no where near as good. It’s much thicker pipe. It’s very nice piping. It’s quite heavy in comparison to ours. I like it. It’s well made. It’s so resilient it’s wonderful. It really is good stuff. It didn’t cost the earth. (costs shown) You have to buy a minimum of 4 lengths to make the postage worthwhile. That’s the only problem. But that makes four bows! Postage is a little expensive. It comes by courier. By having four lengths it makes this more economical. The whole lot was quite reasonable for 4 bows! Roughly £7 a bow! Not bad… So did it work? Yes it does work. You really can make about the PVC pipe in the UK. Schedule 40 really does make a nice bow. Let me tell you this bow is impressive. you cannot believe such quality for the price. It’s really quite easy to make. The PVC does change shape when you heat it… but videos like Backyard Bowyer will put you right. He can tell you better than I can There’s plenty of good links out there. But I will run through it very quickly. I made a little wooden jig… 3/4 inch spacing at one end to make a wedge shape Measure out according to instructions. Heat the pipe… then I pressed it with clamps. It becomes soft but very hot. Be careful! Use gloves Do both ends strong stuff Cut notches Add a recurve I used a paint tin and clamp. Add string and you’re done it’s fantastic really has surprised me if you’re in the UK if you want to make
one of these bows you can do it we should encourage people to stock this
stuff Please Like, Comment or Subscribe Thanks for watching try making one of these bows

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  1. Awesome video! I'd like to link to this video and add a link to the site you found, I think it'll help a lot of people. Thank you!

    I really like the asbestos hands comment!

  2. Hi Geoff,  great video, thank you.  After watching Backyard Bowyer's videos and wanting to try this I've come into the same issue as you.  I will be ordering off the website you mentioned but I have one question.  In your video you say that its 3.1mm thick but on their website its says its 0.113 (inches) thick.  Which looking that up equates to 2.8mm.  Im not being a smart a**e I just want to make sure I buy the correct one.  Can you confirm you bought the 0.113 inch thick one? Again Im really sorry at how my question comes across and its probably my error but would just like clarification before I spend the money on the delivery charges you mentioned. Any advice would be much appreciated as I'm itching to get started!
    Sincerely, Michael.

  3. Hi Geoff, thanks for finding the PVC SCH 40 pipe in UK, I've been looking everywhere and was about to buy some Class E, you saved me some cash and disappointment.
    So what string did you use and will you be painting the bow.
    Thanks again.

  4. I made a couple of PVC pipe bows from 3/4 inch class E PVC pipe, the walls are about 2mm but because its pressure tested for 15 bar, it doesn't crumple like the basic waste pipe. I have now ordered class 7 PVC pipe that have walls that 4mm thick on the smallest size they do. The companies I ordered the pipe from were (pipe stock) and (plastic pipe shop) both based in the UK with UK pipe specs.

  5. Slightly worried at folk stating that Class 7 pipe is the same in the UK. White sch40 pipe manufactured in the USA has different properties due to the type of UV stabilisers used. This makes the USA pipe more ductile and less likely to shatter and probably more suitable for bow making.

  6. The site you linked no longer sells the "Schedule 40 Pvc pile at 3/4"). Is there an alternative e.g. using class E or Class 7 pvc? I've looked everywhere and can't find anyone who sells Schedule 40 pvc…. :/

  7. Thanks for the heads up Geoff. I also seen the same video's as yourself and fancied making one but glad I came across your video first before I started buying useless piping.

  8. great video, i watched loads of backyard bowyers videos i made a wooden setup like yours but i couldnt soften the plastic enough and got brown scorch marks
    i used backyards bowyers hes 100llb plan for my 10 year old cousin but with hes pipe cleaner arms i thought it would be safer he might pull 10 or 15 max well 10 only 15 if hes had weetabix

  9. An excellent tutorial/ guide, I to was having exactly the same problem with the pipe here in the UK, takes a brilliant shape but them as soon as you try to string it it simply collapses. I shall certainly be dropping by coleparmer in the near future and spending some hard earned cash!! Once again a very well put together and extremely useful video 🙂

  10. Great vid thanks. I too popped along to my local [email protected] an grabbed a length of piping an it just melted to my workbench so I've ordered some sch 40 from plastic pipe shop so fingers crossed

  11. I see the guy sells them on Etsy trying to workout what to do. My situation in a rented flat with not many more tools than a hammer and screwdriver. I figure between buying the supplies and tools, I may be quicker and cheaper just buying one made by himself. Anyone done this?

  12. Found another UK supplier @ http://www.plasticpipeshop.co.uk/White-Industrial-Sch40-Pipe_c_1503.html. Comes in 3m lengths, in various diameters from 1/2 inch upwards. Prices mean that say that the PVC for making 2 Tim Piatek designed Ottoman War Bows at 42 Inches length each, would be about £21.00 delivery included. Nice! (FYI there seems to be a problem with the volume on this video. The level is really low, even when amplified. Don't know if it's a YouTube server problem though!)

  13. In the UK abxplastics appear to be selling schedule 40 and schedule 80, and category e and category f piping, which is an EU spec pipe that has similar dimensions to schedule 40 and 80.

  14. i tried with a £15 piece of yew wood and worked on it for most of holiday but it broke i fixed it and it broke again and now i cant fix it and all that time has been wasted , guess i learned stuff tho

  15. I did exactly the same before seeing this vid, luckily the pipe are cheep so it's not a waste of money just a waste of time

  16. Please can someone help me find a website that sells this stuff. The Cole Pamer place doesn't seem to have it any more and I just can't find a place that doesn't sell them for an arm and a leg

  17. I did the same thing, popped to b and q spent an hour over the hob, got a nice shape flexed it and it folded like a toilet paper tube

  18. just tried PEX pipe last weekend from Screwfix, not working, weak pipe it shapes, but when you put string on, the poundage loss in few draws then it stay at the bow shape……not worth it….
    will try this schedule 40 now.

  19. in Australia schedule 40 is actually called class 12. its pressure pipe with 3mm thick wall. its plumbing drainage pipe. not electrical conduit pipe.

  20. @VegOilGuy – I was thinking of doing this, but seeing as you seem to have it down and I only want one, could I just buy one off you?

  21. Try alcatheine pipe it's because it's for water so it's fairly tough but flexible im from Lancaster Lancashire

  22. Awesome video mate like literally everything in UK mate ANY items for building will always be made from the cheapest nastiest materials. I wonder how many people have tried making these bows in UK and then thought its like the dark arts as the materials we have here are crap……anyone planning to build a bow do it soon before the government bans that type of pipe or hikes the price right up. Great vid buddy.

  23. Hi. Looking at your experience with UK pipes why don't you try this.
    On 32 pipe put thick layer of solvent cement and stick it into 40mm pipe. Those pipe will form thick wall pipe.
    Some shops sell 50mm pipe. That might work with 40

  24. I'm still experimenting.
    I had SOME success simply by using our standard white piping as a sleeve for other materials, and so long as I dont try any fancy tapering or recurving, well I wouldn't call it good, but it works… up to a point.
    Bamboo canes inside the pipe (laid in opposite directions) will give you a really heavy bow, but I had one that was way in excess of 70 pounds… very heavy draw. But despite the draw, it shot more like a 15 or 20 pounder…. very slow release for all that weight, so not worth it.
    Fibreglass tent poles work much better, but fairly quickly take on the shape of the strung bow.
    Currently, I've abandoned that line of thought. I've opened up and flattened out one pipe, and cut it into strips. I have done the same with an ABS pipe, taking one strip of that and 2 of pvc, measuring them up (the ABS section only being about 80% the length of the pvc, and I've taped them together. So now I have a strip made up of 3 thinner strips, placed inside a pipe… aiming at a sort of composite construction. Tonight I'll apply the heat.
    I was simply thinking "Add more material to make up for the lack of thickness". I don't know how much heat I'll be able to transfer to this core section, but hopefully enough to make it malleable, but we'll see. If I can shape it successfully, I may also add expanding foam, with the primary purpose of keeping the core strip in a defined position such that its strength is transferred to the bow as a whole, rather than just wobbling about in the less compressed sections.
    If it works, I'll let you know.

  25. Nice one mate!
    Being faffed about by quite a few search engines, I'd almost given up hope, then stumbled across your handy wee video.
    Quite an eye opener, the difference schedule 40 makes just to the eye alone and now I have at least one source for supply.
    Much obliged to you!

  26. Any body else have problems with schedule 40 pipe breaking? Supposedly you are to hit it with a hammer first to ensure they don’t shatter. Mine all shattered. So I have not bothered to use them to make a now with. Bit of an expensive experience mistake.

  27. Still finding it hard to find schedule 40 here in the UK. The pipe shop online chat never responded once I mentioned sch 40 so left the site. Cole Parmer seems to be hard to navigate to what you need. So still looking for answers , Cheers

  28. A really great Video, just what we in the UK needed but the commentary was very soft could you turn the sound up please.

  29. Good video! I'm at the same stage trying to look for reasonabe prices 3/4 schedule 40 pvc pipe, unfortunately Cole Parmer has discontinued this pipe……

    Also driveway marker (the fibreglass rod) used to reinforce the tube is also hard to find in the UK. Any thoughts?

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