Instructables

How to Make a Desktop Viking Catapult (with a bonus wargame to play).

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The other main types of siege engine (trebuchet, torsion catapult, slingshot) are already well represented on Instructables, but we don't seem to have a Viking Catapult.

Inspired by a combination of Scout lashing activities and the books of William Gurstelle, combined with the need to rescale for a classroom or club activity, I present The Desktop Viking Catapult.

 
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Step 1: Materials

You will need:

  • Six bamboo skewers
  • At least eleven elastic bands.
  • A small plastic pot or bowl.
  • Something to cut the bamboo - wire-cutters work well.
  • Ammunition (dried peas, paper pellets etc)
  • Space to play.
  • Opponents to battle.

Step 2: The Frame.

First, trim the points off the skewers. Safety firsty, don'cha know.

Use three of the skewers to make a triangle. Lash the joints together with elastic bands.

Thread two more skewers into two of the joints of your triangle, then bend them together and lash that joint with another elastic band.

You should now have a diamond-shape, with a bend in the middle (see the third picture).

Cut the last skewer in half, and lash the halves between the two parts of the diamond shape.

Stand the frame on one of the complete triangles - it should look like a mangled pyramid.

Step 3: The Firing Mechanism.

The ideal ammunition carrier is a shallow bowl or pouch.

You can use a small plastic pot, such as a trimmed-down film cannister, or use a small plastic funnel.

Drill three holes in the edge of the carrier, 120o apart (that is, spread evenly around the edge of the pot).

Fasten an elastic band to each hole with a Lark's Head hitch, then tie the other end of each band to the middles of the skewers that make up the frame. You could even use a round-turn and two half-hitches, but if your bands are short, you can just hook them behind and around the ends of the side-braces.
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alxolex3 years ago
Thanks for the nice 'ible! My 6-year-old loves his new toy :)
IMG_6454.JPG
Kiteman (author)  alxolex3 years ago
Haha, that's great! Thanks for posting the picture!
i made this 'ible and it worked great! i didnt have any film canisters so i got a bottled water top and wrapped some elctrical tape, folded it and then got a hole punch and got some holes and chopped off the extra. i used a paintball and fired it using three fingers and it flew at least 50 feet!
Kiteman (author)  NinjaOrange71592 years ago
That is awesome - thanks for sharing.
giike32 years ago
you can also use hair bands i tried it with my wife's
Kiteman (author)  giike32 years ago
Haha, I hope you asked her first!
I made an even tinier version,out of toothpicks and rubberbands...
and it works as you say it does thanks for posting!
Kiteman (author)  boomboombaby2 years ago
You're welcome - could you post a photo?
Tree Hugger2 years ago
you should post a video of it in action:) I can't wait to try it!
famousguy2 years ago
That is very cool.How will you use mass and volume
and all those stuff?
Kiteman (author)  famousguy2 years ago
Sorry, I don't get your question.
LucDaRocka13 years ago
im making a lifesize one with bamboo that grows like crazy down the street...... its gonna shoot water balloons
Kiteman (author)  LucDaRocka13 years ago
Make sure you post photos!

actually now i changed my mind and im gonna build a triangular clubhouse outta bamboo... so thanks for the inspiration!
cool instructable and can i do this with pencils instead of skewers?
Kiteman (author)  patriots88883 years ago
Of course you can - it will just be smaller.
It will be smaller, but stiffer. So it will last you a long time!
hamsTheMan3 years ago
woooh east alglia ftw ( icant spell) where abouts u live? , btw awsome catapult
Kiteman (author)  hamsTheMan3 years ago
Way in the East of Suffolk.
im in suffolk are u in norlfolk?
Kiteman (author)  hamsTheMan3 years ago
See where I said I'm in the East of Suffolk?

That's all the details you get.
cool, near felixstow?
im near bury st edmunds
hamsTheMan3 years ago
hahaha dont put the pot thing on and use straightened paper clip with a bent end, IT GOES MILES PLEASE TRY, GOES THREE TIMES AS FAR!!!!!!!!!

-------------------------AWSOME---------------------------
Kiteman (author)  hamsTheMan3 years ago
If you're aiming at folk, make sure they're wearing goggles...
please try making the steps a bit more understandable may be in sketches but still this are very good
Kiernan4 years ago
Nice, its late rite now but tommarow im going to build a giant one and use military grade bungie cord that I have laying around.
SSRT Kiernan4 years ago
Surgical tube would be better :)
i tried something similar with surgical tube and after about two hours of playing outside with it the sun rotted the tube and i about put my eye out so i would be careful with that idea.
Where'd you get military grade bungie cord?
wait, you just happen to have military-grade bungee cord lying around?
Yeah, I got it from American Science & Surplus I just looked and it dosen't appear that they sell it anymore
Kiteman (author)  Kiernan4 years ago
That sounds cool. Why not post your own Instructable about it? Remember - plenty of photos.
bears03 years ago
thanks, finaly something on instructibles i have the stuff to build
Kiteman (author)  bears03 years ago
You're welcome!
fartnocker4 years ago
 its funny cuz my mom lets out a scream that sounds like chubacka when chess peices wiz by her head at lightning speed
Pardon me, but why do do you use chess pieces as ammunition?
he hates chess
and,stone wqork better.
meistheman4 years ago
I hope this works, I have a school project where I have to shoot three quarters glued together from a catapult powered by rubber bands. the quarters have to go over a 5-foot wall that is 6 feet away, then another 4 feet and hit at least within a 1-foot radius of a dinner plate, if we hit the plate, the teacher buys a pizza   

What a waste of three quarters
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