How To Build A Folding PVC Bow Stand

By Justin ZarrJuly 14, 20167 Comments

Last year on a lazy Sunday I decided to build myself a bow stand out of PVC pipe.  I didn’t have a whole lot of ideas in mind of how to build it so I simply ran to the local home improvement store, picked up some PVC pipe and fittings and threw something together.  By and large it worked great.  However one thing always nagged at me about that design , which was simply the sheer size of the stand.  It’s relatively large, difficult to move around, and almost impossible to transport anywhere without completely taking it apart.  After staring at it on my deck for about a year I decided a more compact, folding PVC bow stand would be more useful.  So I set out to build one.

PVC bow stand comparison.

My new folding PVC bow stand design (left) is dwarfed by last year’s monster design. Both a fully capable of holding 3-4 bows without an issue.

The concept of this PVC bow stand is simple; build it so it takes up a smaller footprint when in use and allow it to fold up for easy transport and storage.  After sketching out a bunch of options I finally settled on a design that uses a square base instead of the H-shaped base of my previous design.  I also elected to use 1.25″ PVC pipe instead of 1.5″, which in hindsight was a bit overkill for this purpose.

Materials Used For PVC Bow Stand:

  • 2 – 8 foot pieces of 1.25″ PVC pipe
  • 4 – 1.25″ elbows
  • 4 – 1.25″ tees
  • 2 – 1.25″ caps
  • 2 – 1.5″ to 1.25″ reducers
  • 1 – 8 foot piece of 1.5″ PVC pipe
  • PVC primer & glue
  • 4 – 3/8″ square wire snapper pins

This design is very basic.  The rectangular base measures approximately 28 inches x 20 inches with an elbow in each corner.  Directly in the middle of one of the 20″ sides is a tee which holds the vertical support of the bow hanger.  This support has another tee on the top with two 8 inch pieces of PVC on either side and a cap on the ends.  The opposite side of the base holds an additional pair of tees which adapt to a pair of 1.5″ PVC pipes to hold the arrows.   These pipes are approximately 20″ tall.  I prefer the 1.5″ PVC for the arrow holders as I can fit a few more arrows into them when shooting.  The 1.25″ seems a bit too narrow for this purpose.

Unlike my last design I glued together all connections with the exception of the insides of the four elbows that hold the base together.  I want the entire bow stand to remain in tact during transportation so I wasn’t going to take any chances.  In order to hold the base together, and allow for folding, I used a pair of 3/8″ single wire snapper pins which go through both the elbow and the PVC inside of it.  The first pair of holes hold the stand in the open position.  A second pair of holes hold the stand closed when it’s folded up.  Note: I drilled the holes 7/16″ to give a little wiggle room and make the pins easier to get in.  Going exactly 3/8″ made the fit a little too tight for my liking.

Holes in PVC not lining up properly.

The biggest issue with this design is getting the holes to line up perfectly when pinning the bow stand together. Occasionally it takes a little work to get them to line up. However the benefit of being able to fold it down far outweighs this minor inconvenience.

Maker indicators on PVC bow stand

I used a black marker to create indexing indicators which make it easier to line up the holes when pinning the stand together. One set marks the open position, another marks the closed.

Another feature to note is that I angled the vertical post slightly back towards the inside of the base in order to put weight over the middle of the stand.  This prevents it from tipping forward.  I recently put 3 fully equipped bows on the rack with no problems whatsoever.  This upright support is approximately 35″ tall, which is plenty to keep your bow off the ground while still keeping the stand compact and light weight.

This new PVC bow stand design is plenty strong enough to hold 3 fully equipped bows without any problems.

This new PVC bow stand design is plenty strong enough to hold 3 fully equipped bows without any problems. The PVC support definitely bends a little, but it’s nowhere near breaking.

self taping screw in PVC elbow

Since the upright support is angled inward and takes the brunt of the bow weight I used some self tapping screws in addition to the PVC glue. I’m not sure it really needed them, but I guess you can never build it too strong.

So there you have it, folks!  My home-grown DIY recipe for a folding PVC bow stand.  It’s slightly more compact, just as stable, and a whole lot more portable than my last design.  If you have any feedback or recommendations of your own feel free to post them below!  I’d love to see what the other DIY’ers out there come up with.

PVC bow stand folded up

All folded up and ready to be put in the truck or stored away for the winter!

Justin Zarr
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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.
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