The FIRST EVER (Free) COMPLETE GUIDE FOR CREATING YOUR VERY OWN FLOATING ARM TREBUCHET
Of this size, anyway. When i was looking for a good set of plans for a floating arm trebuchet, i couldn't find a single free one. I know that a lot of people share my frustration in not being able to find free plans- so I wanted to create the first one. This is a guide that will show you exactly how to build one. As always, let me know if there is anything I can do to improve it-and I will add a video after I figure out how to.
I had a school science project (not fun) so I wanted to make it fun by building something cool. My friend and I previously made a catapult that was 7 feet high, and threw a baseball 40 ft. It was pretty bad. So this is a way to make up for that. The height of the channels is 8 feet, But the arm rises higher than that in its resting position. The arm is 7 feet. The short arm/ long arm ratio is what I was testing, and the different ratios are 2:1, 2.5:1, 3:1 and 3.5:1. I won't tell you which one was the best yet, although you can probably guess. The counterweight is about 36 pounds, but the big, wide wood piece (the short arm) was probably around 20 lbs. I'm still not quite sure... The total cost for me was around 130$. I don't think it was more than that.
If you want more information on how a floating arm trebuchet works, there are plenty of videos on the internet.
I would visit Ron Toms's site, he's the inventor of this type of trebuchet.
I want to apologize for not having very many pictures of the building process, but I made sketchup models, so hopefully they will help. There are several things that could be improved, which are listed on the last page. The first good throw was about 206 feet, although the trajectory was way too steep, to the point where we could not see the baseball. So, I'm guessing that a baseball would go in excess of 300 feet! And that's with only about 50 pounds of counterweight. A 1 lb projectile would probably go about the same distance. Trust me, it's powerful. We just need to fix the pin and find the best sling length. The sling length is also probably not perfect. I'm still tweaking. Most throws went either straight down or backwards. The backwards throws were caused by a glitch in the guide system for the arm as it falls. The pin was also previously a double-headed nail and a keychain ring. The ridges in that ring would sometimes get caught on the two heads of the nail, which we think is the reason for the downward throws. So, you should include in this project the turnbuckle pin system, which is based off of this trebuchet: http://www.trebuchet.com/10101
The entire thing took me about 2 months to build, but I wasn't working on it every day.
The diagonal 2 X 6s that attach to the longer drop shannel diagonals were not included in this instructable because they were a lot of trouble to add to it and I don't think they were really needed or worth it.
Always be careful; never fire it around windows or people.
Also, be very careful with the trigger. When you pull it out, it tends to fly towards the person pulling the trigger very quickly. Always hold the rope at the very end and jump out of the way after you pull it.
Oh but wait before you do...Remember to look at EVERY SINGLE ONE of the picture notes. I'm sure they'll help you a lot...
Credits: (Yes I just had to)
My mom and dad for paying for (almost) all of it
and for putting up with a messy cluttered garage
My friend, Michael, for always helping me with the loading and firing.
My neighbor and.. older friend, Joe, (He's an adult) for giving me tips on building the thing, especially the trigger design. He always believed it would work, unlike my dad. But my dad payed for most of it so I can't complain.
Coby helped move the trebuchet back from school (His grandpa has a pickup truck) and also helped me load and fire on one of the testing days.
Thank you to everyone that helped.