Flametoad

Trebuchet

I have written a handful of posts about wanting to make a trebuchet. It’s just one of those cool things I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. I realized I wasn’t getting any younger, so I vowed that this would be the year. A couple months ago I spent half a day with a buddy working on a prototype, with the intention of using that as a basis for a bigger model. Unfortunately, time ran out and the bigger project was never started. Consequently, this year is the year of the prototype, and I hope to apply some of the lessons learned for a bigger, better model next year.

Let’s start with the overall design. Rather than take up a lot of room on the page, I’m created a captioned photo slideshow using Flickr. Browse through the images below to get an overview of construction.

Unfortunately, the rest of October and all of November went by without further testing, refining, or development. Two days before the designated launch date, I went shopping for weightlifting weights to use as ballast, and a better pivot rod since the 1/2" rod bowed under stress. Fortunately I found a 1" rod which held up much better.

The launch date was December 8, 2007, a warm December day. A humid breeze blew steadily from the south-east, and occasionally clouds made empty threats to bring rain.

Finally, here are a pair of videos of the mini-trebuchet in action. I think they speak for themselves.



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