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Of all the Medieval siege engines, the Trebuchet was by far the most accurate and complex. Trebuchets were capable of throwing 350 pound objects over castle walls. While in this Instructable we won't be making a Trebuchet with that much firing power, the design I will show you is capable of throwing a softball 50-60 feet with a 20 lb counterweight.

Video of me shooting the catapult:
(Sorry the video is sideways, I was having technical difficulties)


Step 1: Materials

The Materials that you will need for this project are as follows:

Cardboard! - You will need A LOT of cardboard for this project unless you are lucky like me and find some quadruple-layer cardboard lying around.

Glue - I used Gorilla Glue and suggest that you use the same.

(Optional) Clamps - If you are using Gorilla Glue, you will most likely need clamps to keep your pieces together while the glue cures.

Pipes/Rods - You are going to need pipes for the axles and joints. I used a 3/4 inch acrylic rod for the axles and 3/4 inch PVC pipe for the axle to slide through.

Washers - You will use these to reinforce the joints that will be holding the counterweight and the the "arm" of the catapult. I used washers with a 7/8 inch hole.

Drill+Drill Bits - Depending on the size of your axle, you will need corresponding Drill Bits to make your holes. I used 13/16 inch and 5/8 inch.

Newspaper - Newspaper works really well when you are making your patterns for the cardboard

Rope/Cord - This will be for the "sling" that throws the projectile

Denim/Canvas Fabric - Also for the "sling"

3/16 Inch Steel Rod - This is also for the sling and only needs to be about 6 inches long

You will also need something to cut your cardboard into shape. I used a scroll saw but a knife or other saw might work.

<p>great, well done</p>
<p>Thanks for this instructable. I could make a miniature version. ^^</p>
Ha, I was randomly looking for things to make on this site and I saw this on the cardboard guide and was like &quot;Is that a cardboard trebuchet?&quot;. This is truly amazing.
That was MY REACTION EXACTLY. With the then-instant addition of &quot;*CLICK*&quot;. <br><br>Fantastic. My wife is going to just LOVE it when I dive into making THIS. Great!
Thank you!
Very impressive - just though I'd comment because youtube now have an 'edit' feature that lets you rotate your video. Keep up the good work, I watched the huge treblochet at warwick castle hurling a flaming cannonball this weekend which is why my internet wanderings have brought me here!
I mean where do you put the counter weight?<br>
how can you add a weight to it?
funny. I have the same scroll saw.
neeto!!!!!!!
What is the biggest challenge you've had with building a Trebuchet?<br> <br> I'm building a book with tips on building a Trebuchet and would love any tips or advice you have from building a Trebuchet.<br> <br> Here is the survey form. I did a survey so I can have all the tips gathered from different forums in one place.<br> <br> <a href="http://members.flycatchergenerator.com/takesurvey.php?nid=460">Trebuchet Survey</a><br>
how tall is this trebuchet?
With the throwing arm extended vertically, its between 6 and 7 feet.
can you make a template?
well i could have a page with all the demensions but i don't think i could a make a print-out-"able" template
kinkos and ask about wide format printing. its expensive, though
This is a great tutorial!&nbsp; Thanks for the ideas!<br />
awesome, awesome awesome<br /> suggestions put some wood in crucial areas for stronger,(longer lasting) &nbsp;device , you could use old wall paneling for uter most layers or all the layers(you can cut with razor utility knife and do everything EXACTLY&nbsp;as you did here. it would be much stronger. <br /> <br /> I&nbsp;think your push pull on the release arm was sheer elegance (simple), and if you do wood make it threaded rod into a nut set in the wood/cardoard arm then you can simply make it longer shorter by turning it.<br /> <br /> thanks this was truely magnificent. My kid may want to build one, me too !!!
I made one out of wood with similer dimensions but double size I just fired it into a few houses over
thats a great idea! But don't use heavy wood on part c. use the heaviest avalable wood on the part a. for more power, lenghten part c

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Bio: I enjoy building and inventing; I love creating new things and improving on old ideas. I am a student at BYU and am studying under ... More »
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