Introduction: Desktop Popstick Catapult
This is my third instructable and definatly the longest, i made this with my dad and im proud to say i enjoyed making it with him. and guys please just go easy on us, if you enjoyed the instructable please say so!. thanks
In this instructable I will be teaching you how to make a fully operational popstick catapult! this can be made within 10-15 minutes and will easily impress others! can be used at the office, home or at school! These catapults are a great little project to do with children to keep them occupied throughout the holidays as well as a great school project!
the best part about these little hurling devices is that no design has to be the same!! I will show you and example later on.
also if anyone has a mod made to this please let me know! I would love to see what ideas people get while making these!
Below I only view one of the possible layouts, the rest is entirely up to you.
Step 1: Making the Base
for this project you will need:
-A good pen preferably a felt tip pen
-hot glue gun
-scissors (or sharp shears)
-pair of pliers
-thin twine or string (if you cannot find any good string use the string from teabags, they work really well)
-metal wire that is reasonably thick eg coat hanger wire ( you will see why soon)
-lighter (again you will understand later)
-rounded top screw (only use if your making the same one as me in this instructable)
OK! if you have all these materials ready then lets begin! I suggest a large working bench with plenty of space.
To begin you will need cut the following lengths of popsticks:
3x 6cm (two need to have one side rounded like in pic)
2x 7cm (both need to be round on one end)
2x the ends of a popstick about 1cm x 1cm.
now to begin the constructing of the base of the catapult :D
WARNING: you will be using hot glue here and throughout the instructable. dont let your kids use it without parental supervision as it can lead to extremely painful burns. please be careful.
Begin by marking out 5.5cm down your two 10cm pieces, this will be were your support beams are located (the two 6cm long rounded pieces).now take your two 5cm pieces and glue them to each end of the 10cm popstick (opposite side of your marks made 5.5cm in. see pic 3 and 4.) then glue your second 10cm popstick to the ends of the 5cm pieces. see pic 5.
Step 2: Reinforcement of the Base
now because the base will be under quite a bit of pressure you want to make it far more sturdy.
for this bit you will need the four pieces of the 5.5cm long pieces of popstick and you will be gluing them on the bottom. I would suggest glueing two near the edges and two closer in the middle. if unsure of what I mean just take a look at my pictures and you will get the idea instantly ;)
Step 3: The Support Beams and the Brace
Now we are almost finished with the whole catapult frame. this bit has alot of pictures, but thats so you get the idea of whats happening.
all you need to do here is glue the two 6cm long pieces with the round end to the base. do this with the round end facing up at a 90 degree angle. The pics are pretty much self explanatory but ill explain anyway. next you will need the two little squares or ends of a popstick and glue them right at the front of the catapult as shown. then glue your two 7cm popsticks at an angle from the front of the frame on top of the little ends of the popstick, to the top of the support beams. as shown below. then glue the last 6cm piece accross the support beams and well... thats the catapult frame complete :D.
but were not quite finished. you still need to do the arm and the strings... wont take too long. promise.
Step 4: The Throwing Arm and the String!
This is it! the final step! and you will be throwing wads of paper, airsoft pellets, really anything that will fit!!! lets get this done!.
Now I dont know how many of you know what a torsion catapult is, but its pretty much a catapult powered by tightly wound string which winds around the throwing arm causing it to tension further when you pull back the throwing arm and once released the arm will shoot straight back up against the brace. But be careful here, it can be the most frustrating part of a catapult. If the string is to tightly wound it will snap and leave the catapult powerless but its very easy to fix.so please jus wind it enough to send the arm quickly returning to the brace when pulled back and no more.
anyway on we go:
for this bit you will need a gas stove or a lighter. I would recommend a gas stove as it is quicker and easier, however I will be using a lighter. now measure about 1 cm away from the support beams and mark it. then measure 0.5cm along the width of the popstick. see the pictures this will explain everything
sorry for the bad quality of these 3, its getting dark now so I really need hurry.
now to make these holes you need you wire from a coat hanger and a ligher or gas stove. PARENTS/GUARDIANS: this part includes alot of heat and hot metal! so please do this for your son, student, reltave or bob from down the street. now thats out of my system lets do this. turn on your gas stove or start up your lighter and hole one end of the wire in the flame until red hot. then quickly push it against where you have marked out and the wire should burn straight through and leave a nice little hole. repeat for the other side.
Step 5: The Final Step!
Now dont get me wrong this is the last part, but it can also be the most figedy. now you remember the teabags i mentioned at the start? ok you need them now. you will need 2-3 (or more depends on what you want) take the tag off of the tea bag completely. now turn the tea bag upside down and tear the bottom off, you will see the string threads through, pull the string completely out of the tea bag and dispose of the waste, all you need here is the string. do this to all of them. then one at a time. fold the string in half and cut. do this to all your strings.
now you need to tie a knot in the end so you are left with a loop like in the pics. do all of them like this. now get a paper clip and unfold it twice, follow the photos for help. kind of hard to explain the next part so just look at the pictures and if you have any problems let me know.
after following all the photos you are done! mines a little bit off center but that wont really affect it. i would recommend this one over the other one i built. and remember.