Inspired by all the creative minds here on instructables, I made a ping pong catapult for my kids to play with.
Several 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch dowels (about 7 or 8). The longest piece is 12 inches long.
2 paint stirrers
several zip ties
2 aluminum pipes (1/4 inch in diameter) 4 inches long. These were from an old wind chime i had laying around. Metal isn't necessary. Sturdy plastic might work (like the straw found inside a windex bottle)
8 small screws that i salvaged from junk in the garage.
1 tiny cup that sugar free drink mixes come in (like the 2 quart size crystal light powder)
various rubber bands
sturdy scissors or wire cutters
drill or dremel
optional tools used:
PING PONG BALLS! (or cotton balls, or wadded up paper, or...?)
Step 1: build the base
build the base.
The length of the base turned out to be the length of the longest dowels (i'm too lazy... er... i mean, i was trying to be efficient!)
The width of the base turned out to be the width of the small aluminum pipes (from the wind chime)
So, the cross member dowel measures 4 inches, making the outside width of the base 5 inches (4" + 1/2" + 1/2" = 5")
I put the cross members at the ends of the long members to make it look neat and trim, but this proved to be problematic, since the screw split the dowels, forcing me to drill holes instead of simply screwing in the screws. if you move the cross members in a little, you might be able to skip the drilling.