How To Build A PVC Bow Stand

One of the more enjoyable aspects of archery, for me anyways, is the ability to constantly tinker with your gear.  Whether it’s something simple like installing a pair of colorful string silencers or something more complex such as walk-back tuning your new rig there’s always something to keep us tinkerers busy.

With the fall hunting seasons quickly approaching I’ve been doing quite a bit of backyard shooting lately and like many others I’ve been plagued by not having a good spot to hang my bow or hold my arrows.  Strapping on the hip quiver and resting the bow on the ground or a piece of patio furniture just wasn’t cutting it any longer so I decided to build myself a PVC bow stand.  What better way to spend an hour or so on a steamy Midwest weekend?

Now I’m certainly not the first guy to ever take on this endeavor, nor will I be the last.  A quick Google search for “PVC bow stand” will yield plenty of results with a variety of ideas including different shapes, sizes and of course colors.  For the purposes of my PVC bow stand build I went with a classic H configuration for the base and a T configuration for the bow support.  I’m not entirely sure why I chose this method rather than some of the rectangular shaped bases I’ve seen but it works just as well.  A quick trip to the local home improvement store and I had everything I needed for around $30.  I used predominantly 1 1/2″ PVC for this job and its plenty sturdy to hold 2 bows and a pile of arrows.

A quick and easy DIY archery project, this PVC bow stand safely holds 2 bows and a dozen arrows without difficulty.

A quick and easy DIY archery project, this PVC bow stand safely holds 2 bows and a dozen arrows without difficulty.

Material list:

  • 2 – 8′ sections of 1.5″ PVC pipe
  • 4 – 1.5″ tees
  • 2 – 1.5″ 90 degree elbows
  • 2 – 2″ to 1.5″ reducer
  • 1 – 5′ section of 2″ PVC pip
  • 4 – 1.5″ caps
  • 1″ self tapping screws (optional)
  • PVC primer & cement (optional)
  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Super glue

Tool list:

  • Tape measure
  • Hacksaw or reciprocating saw (I call it a sawzall, but you get the point)
  • Cordless drill (optional)
  • Bench vice (optional)

Fortunately working with PVC pipe is relatively easy and just about anyone can do it.  I like to put the pipe into my bench vice while cutting it as it makes it easier to have both hands free, however if you don’t have a vice it’s easy to enough to hold with one hand and cut with the other.  I find that a cordless sawzall makes the cutting job a little easier and for some reason I can get straighter cuts.  However a good old fashioned hacksaw makes quick work of the cuts if that’s all you have.

First things first I cut down all of my PVC piping and build the base on the garage floor.  The base requires the following lengths of 1 1/2″ PVC pipe.

  • 2 – 16″pieces
  • 2 – 18″ pieces
  • 2 – 8″ pieces

I used the 16″ pieces for the front of the stand and the 18″ pieces for the back.  I personally wanted a little extra room between my bow and the arrows so there was no chance of them clanking into each other as I took them in and out.  My bow stand is a little big so if you were looking to shave some weight and make the entire thing more compact you could safely trim 2-3 inches off each of the base legs.  However I feel the width of the base is just about perfect with the 8″ cross braces which are connected in the middle by a tee.

Yes, my bow and arrow setups are color coordinated.  WHAT OF IT?!?!

Yes, my bow and arrow setups are color coordinated. WHAT OF IT?!?!

Next I cut the piping for the vertical tee which holds the bows.  This too is made from 1 1/2″ PVC pipe.  The vertical support is 42″ tall and the hangers themselves are 12″ wide.  Height-wise it feels great however again if you’re looking to trim a little weight or space the hangers could easily be trimmed to 9 or 10 inches without issue.

For the arrow holders I used the 90 degree elbows on the back of the base followed by the 2″ to 1.5″ reducer.  This allowed me to make the vertical holders out of 2″ PVC which gives a little extra room for more arrows.  These holders are 18″ tall and hold 6 arrows without a problem.  I typically don’t practice with any more than that so it’s perfect for my needs.  If you wanted to you could expand that out to 2.5″ or 3″ PVC to hold even more.  Finally I capped the front support legs and the bow hangers and the PVC work was done.

A also drilled a few drain holes in the base of the stand, allowing water a place to escape since it will be left outside most of the time.

I also drilled a few drain holes in the base of the stand, allowing water a place to escape since it will be left outside most of the time.

In my particular case I want to be able to disassemble the stand for storage during the winter months so I opted to not glue a number of fittings.  I did glue the legs of the base to the tees and also the hangers to the tee of the vertical support.  I also glued the vertical support into the tee in the base.  However I did not glue that tee or the two on the sides of the base.  Instead I opted to run a 1″ self tapping screw through the tee and the pipe inside to hold the vertical post upright.  This will allow me to remove those screws come winter and fold the support down.

A self-tapping screw holds the base tees together and prevents the vertical support from accidentally falling over.

A self-tapping screw holds the base tees together and prevents the vertical support from accidentally falling over.

I also opted not to glue the arrow holders on just in case I want to change them later to something larger, possibly to use a 45″ elbow to angle them back for easier arrow storage.  Also, this allows me to remove the elbows for storage purposes.

Using 2" PVC for the arrow holders allows me to fit in a couple extra arrows without things getting too tight.

Using 2″ PVC for the arrow holders allows me to fit in a couple extra arrows without things getting too tight. Here you can see the 2″ arrow holder being reduced to 1.5″ to match the base. A single screw prevents the holder from falling over.

The final piece to my puzzle was using a couple pieces of foam pipe insulation on the tops of the hangers.  Although it’s probably not needed it will help protect the bows that are resting on it.  I used some basic super glue to hold these in place.

The foam pipe insulation ensures my precious bows won't take a beating while I'm getting ready for the season.  Although come October that may be a different story.

The foam pipe insulation ensures my precious bows won’t take a beating while I’m getting ready for the season. Although come October that may be a different story.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with the way my PVC bow rack turned out.  I’ve seen a few other folks out there come up with creative ideas for attaching small parts trays, can holders and other gizmos so I may continue to “upgrade” this stand as time goes on.  While I’ve seen photos of some pretty fancy painted or camo stickered bow stands I’m going to stick with white for now.  However I have a feeling my stand will be littered with the plethora of hunting and archery decals that are strewn about my garage looking for a new home.

If you have comments, questions or suggestions for improvement post them below!

Justin Zarr
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Justin Zarr

General Manager at Bowhunting.com
Justin has been bowhunting for more than 25 years, harvesting a number of P&Y whitetails in his home state of Illinois during that time.  He co-hosts the popular bowhunting show 'Bowhunt or Die' and is a frequent guest on numerous hunting podcast.  Justin lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago with his wife and 3 children.
Justin Zarr
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Comments

  1. Glen Ockert says:

    I made one of these today using your plans, except I used 1″ pvc. It was simple to do and turned out well. Most importantly it does the job well.

    Reply
    • Awesome! I contemplated using 1″ PVC instead but figured I would err on the side of making it a little too sturdy than not sturdy enough. I’m currently try to work out plans for another unit that is more compact and collapsible so I can transport it easily without having to take anything apart.

      Reply
  2. John S (Mpls, MN) says:

    Looks great, Justin! Building it this weekend for me and my 9-year-old son. Nicely engineered.

    Reply
  3. Chris Burghardt says:

    Thanks for the plans for this bowstand!! My family and I are huge fans of the show. I made one this weekend for my son and I to use in the backyard, thanks again.

    Reply
  4. Paul Godwin says:

    All,
    Thanks for the ideas. I was wondering about the weight though. Have any of you found it to be top heavy/unstable? Perhaps some rocks or sand in the base would work? Just thought I’d ask before building my own. Thanks, -Paul

    Reply
    • Chris Burghardt says:

      It is extremely stable,even with 2 bows hanging and nothing in the arrow holders, but some sand in the base would only help keep it in place. I never thought to add anything into the base because I will be moving it around and taking it apart for trips. Good luck with your build.

      Reply
  5. I just made one of your stands to your specifications and it worked beautifully. Thanks a lot

    Reply
  6. Nice design. I am thinking about building a couple of them: a cut down version for winter use in the basement and full size for outdoors. One addition I think I will add though will be some cup hooks or such in strategic locations for releases, range finders, binoculars etc. Maybe an allen wrench set.

    Reply
  7. Just built my archery stand using these instructions. What I changed on mine was instead of 1-1/2 tube on top to hold the bow I used reducers to install 3/4″ tubes. With 3/4″ tubes I slid on segments of a cut up water noodle giving a lot more cushion and easier to replace after the UV rays degrades the foam. I also used 3″ tubes for the quivers

    Reply
  8. I made this today using your plans but with a few changes because my Lowes store was seriously lacking supplies! I used 2″ for the entire thing so I didn’t need reducers. I also filled one side of the arrow holders with sand so my daughter’s shorter arrows weren’t squished together. I can always dump out the sand if it becomes necessary! Another thing I realized is my upright piece needed to be taller since we are using recurve sand not compounds. Great plans though, thank you!

    Reply
  9. Michael says:

    I think i’m going to build one of these. I’ll make it one of my Winter projects. I’d like to see your take on the PVC target bag holders.

    Reply
  10. Robert Furgess says:

    This is brilliant. I want to build one and was looking at furniture grade pvc as a material. Has anyone ever used it? It comes in color and states it is UV resistant so it won’t degrade in sunlight. I found these two suppliers: https://formufit.com and https://pvcpipeworks.com.

    Reply
  11. Copper Tips says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Our 4-H Archery Club in Upper MI successfully tackled this project last Friday night!

    Our supplies ran about $47 and it took about 45 minutes to build. Now to decide what color to paint it!

    Reply
    • developer says:

      That’s awesome to hear! Glad we could help!

      Reply
  12. John Torchick says:

    Timely project. I need one for an outdoor expo where I’ll be doing a PowerPoint on National Archer in the School Program. Thanks!

    Reply

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