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.
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.
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.
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.