Instructables

How to build a catapult

Okay so in my 4th hour class, Conceptual Physics, our teacher instructed us to get into groups of three and build a catapult that would be able to launch a golf ball. After watching a catapult /trebuchet, it sort of inspired us and gave us an idea of what our teacher was looking for in our catapults. He had us to choose if we wanted to do a catapult or trebuchet, but we chose catapult, because a trebuchet seemed too complicated.
 
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Step 1: Getting Started...

Well of course you can't start building a catapult without equipment involved. You must grab enough wood for your catapult and tools; such as screws, hammers, handsaws, rulers, springs, etc. (you get the idea).
You need to know how big you want your catapult and how much wood you might need. You also might want to see how much weight your catapult might carry, if it's too big, you might want to get some assistance. This is where you use a ruler and begin to measure it. You must need a flat base that at least touches the ground. The measurements must be exact so no mistakes will interfer when you're putting it together.
 

Step 2: Building, Screwing, & Hammering

Once you've got all the measurements correct and no mistakes are in the way, then you're ready to start screwing nails and building your catapult. Please do not do this alone, you might injure yourself (which is percisely why our Physics teacher wanted us to work in groups). Anyways, you must put the base together before getting a head start with the arm. Don't worry if your base isn't quite exactly touching the ground at an even position (trust me, ours wasn't either). If this happens, you must add some sort of support on the side that makes your catapult tilt. When your base is finally ready and supported, you may start with the arm. The arm however must have a good displacement so it could have some good and approving direction.
lgls grw
As I view this pic, runs chills down my spin. DO NOT EVER PLACE ONE"S HAND in front of a power drill controlled by another operator. What ever that is being achieved can be done with out getting the hands in the middle of the action. Take a few more moments and figure it out to not jeopardize one safety.
Be safe and go home to mama as well as you were when she saw you last.

In high school my wood shop teacher had only one arm and when he spoke of safety about/around high speed cutting tools, everyone listen and it stuck. No, he didn't lose the arm in a shop event, lost during the war but some reason it meant more due to he had to function missing a limb.
overblast3 years ago
If I used this to launch a pile of snowballs at my neighbor's snowfort, would it hurt if it hit them, or cause damage to their car or house?
ikeike403 years ago
how far does it throw?
 I'm gonna have to say your catapult has better size to range ratio than mine. Try prefabricating the catapult.
ungaru4 years ago
 the reason why your golf ball didnt go so far is that your arm was pretty short;
using a longer arm (of course not a huge one) would provide the catapult with a massive amount of force(you could even double that 25 yard distance)
thalia7 (author)  ungaru4 years ago
yea...we were alittle short on wood so we were stuck with a small arm
but thanks for telling me. I somehow had a feeling it wasn't going to go far...but it's all good I guess.
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