Introduction: Pocket Sized Minty Catapult

This is my entry for the pocket size contest. This neat little catapult will launch mints or other fun projectiles in a medieval and discrete manner. It only takes about 10 minutes to build, and is really fun. Enjoy.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

All the materials and tools you need for this project can be found around your home.

Materials:

Tin (I used an Altoids Gum tin because it was small and compact)
Coat hanger
Rubber bands
Electrical tape (any tape will do)
Small piece of cardboard
Measuring spoon (or something similar)
Paint (optional)

Tools

Wire cutters
Hot Glue
Scissors
Pliers

Step 2: Freshen Your Breath...

Get you tin ready, whether that means eating the mints/gum, or giving it a good cleaning as you will be adding glue soon.

Step 3: Making the Tension Arm....

Cut a piece of wire hanger to your desired length. This will vary depending on the size of the tin.

You are going to bend the wire to fit as flush as possible in the tin, and have two notches on each side to hold the rubber band in place (see picture)

I used a pair of pliers and a small vice to get this step done. You may need to try a couple of times to get it just right.

Step 4: Cutting Spoons?

Take your measuring spoon and cut the handle to the desired length. I found plastic spoons to be the best option as they are quite light. You'll want the spoon to be approximately 80% the length of the tin to allow for movement.

Step 5: Holding the Arm in Place...

In this step we are going to make an insert that will fit over the spoon and in between the rubber band. This will allow for adjustments to the length of the catapult as well as aid in winding the rubber band.

To do this, cut a small piece of cardboard and wrap it around the base of the spoon. While still on the spoon, wrap a couple turns of tape for added strength.

IMPORTANT: Do not tape the cardboard to the spoon; you want to be able to remove the spoon. You want it to be snug but allow for movement.

Step 6: Getting Ready to Fire...

Remove the cardboard spoon holder from the spoon. Place a rubber band across the tin on the two notches made with the coat hanger.

Insert the holder between the rubber band and start turning. Make sure you turn in the right direction or the catapult wont fire.

Step 7: Bombs Away....

Insert the spoon into the holder and voila, you are finished. Load up the catapult and fire away.

It may take several tries to get your desired settings. Your shots will depend on three things. 1) the size and weight of your ammo 2) the tension in the rubber band and 3) the length of the catapult's arm.

I got some pretty good distance after playing with it for a while, and it is good fun.

I also made some small targets that fit inside the lid for when I can't find anyone to shoot mints at.

Have fun, and please make or suggest improvements and post your pics. Be careful not to hurt anyone or give them fresh breath.

Comments

author
cspurlin made it!(author)2013-11-02

I don't understand how you keep the rubber band twisted..? Or do you just twist it with the small cardboard thing in and then insert the spoon?

author
scooter76 made it!(author)2015-09-30

Because the spoon can make full rotations, the tension is kept in the rubber band.

author
swablo made it!(author)2015-08-25

does it even work

author
scooter76 made it!(author)2015-09-30

You bet it does......

author
emilolip made it!(author)2013-03-10

I know it said to turn it the "right" way but which way does that mean?
other than that my catapult seems cool, but it just doesn't work... :(

author
emilolip made it!(author)2013-03-10

I know it said to turn it the "right" way but which way does that mean?
other than that my catapult seems cool, but it just doesn't work... :(

author
madmea23 made it!(author)2011-12-11

When I made this catapult, it didn't fire very far, I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if it just doesn't fire very far...

author
kidkid108 made it!(author)2012-03-03

try winding the spoon part up.

author
yapoyo made it!(author)2012-09-28

Oh, it's you again! hello.

author
kidkid108 made it!(author)2012-10-16

hello!

author
aronmills made it!(author)2012-09-27

awesome and minty

author
miky19522 made it!(author)2010-03-19

im having a very hard time getting the rubber bands on

author
agent-0008 made it!(author)2012-07-10

how are you putting them on? all at once or 1 at a time? if all at once, dont. if 1 at a time, try using tweezers.

author
yousuffarooq made it!(author)2011-06-07

wait it looks like you live in the uk because of the plug in the glue gun so were did you buy altoids

author
Mutantflame made it!(author)2011-07-03

I live in the UK and I found them in a pharmacy by chance... So have a look around and you'll run into them soon enough. Hopefully.

author
I+am+in+the+shed%21 made it!(author)2012-03-05

Poundland sell them - if you have one near you.

author
DIYproductions made it!(author)2012-02-06

Umm...can you use a blinder clip instead?

author
bfk made it!(author)2011-11-26

Congratulations on your contest win. This thing is totally cool, and I'm off to get a tin of Altoids:)

author
Mauigerbil made it!(author)2011-07-26

Wow. Me gusta. I would use this to launch them in mah mouth. lol

author
rzheang made it!(author)2011-05-12

couldnt find any altoids.
nice post

author
muberblob made it!(author)2011-05-31

you can get the mints at a guardian drug mart

author
scooter76 made it!(author)2011-05-18

Tons online for sale, but I tend to put the word out and friends keep hold of them and pass them on to me..... All the best.

author
snipir made it!(author)2011-05-31

This is absolutely adorable!

author
oanderson made it!(author)2011-01-04

Love this, even better when you use a stationary tin, and just for those of you like me who don't have a hot glue gun, you can just use thick duct tape along the bottom, I put a roll of cardboard covered in duct tape along the bottom, that worked great as a break.

author
scooter76 made it!(author)2011-05-18

post some pics, would love to see others take on the project. Thanks for the positive comment. All the best.

author
oanderson made it!(author)2011-05-18

here are my two catapults, as soon as I saw the comment, I took the photo :)

P1000778.JPG
author
scooter76 made it!(author)2011-05-19

NICE!!!

author
oanderson made it!(author)2011-05-19

Thanks, with inspiration from this, I build a larger one from scratch out of meccano really powerful, I took it into school and it flings a mint imperial across the classroom, really powerful. I'll get some photos if you like.

author
A+flyin+muffin made it!(author)2011-02-25

Can you use the foaming gorilla glue if you don't have hot glue?

author
scooter76 made it!(author)2011-05-18

Should work fine. give it a go.

author
terminator300 made it!(author)2009-08-17

taking it in school might be fun

author
jwoo2023 made it!(author)2011-05-12

hit the teacher or principal!

author
unrealtron made it!(author)2010-06-16

Were I live there are no altoids.... But nice post!!

author
jwoo2023 made it!(author)2011-05-12

me neither but i used an eclipse tin the long one with a lid on the small side and put a long spring stuck it to a card board rectangle then loaded it in and gave it to my friend.... he opens it.... BAM! The cardboard piece and spring whack him in the face!

author
mason0190 made it!(author)2009-07-08

Maybe beans would make better ammo? They 1)are more aerodynamic and 2)more can fit inside the tin.

author
mcaldwell1 made it!(author)2011-04-28

your rite

author
scooter76 made it!(author)2009-07-08

i used Altoids as the ammo since I was using an altoids tin. The options for ammo are endless. Try one out and post some pics.

author
thetaco101 made it!(author)2011-04-19

Darn! My mom just threw my Altoids tin away I'll have to get some soon to make that.

author
wito31 made it!(author)2010-06-03

im going to use this to fire sneezing powder
muahahahhahahaha

author
thetaco101 made it!(author)2011-04-19

nice dude

author
CamillaLuvzMusic made it!(author)2011-01-17

I just made this, and its FRICKIN amazing!

author
tim1 made it!(author)2010-12-10

I thought of something, for the spoon to be powerful enough to go kinda far, it would pop the lid open, wouldn't it?

author
oanderson made it!(author)2011-01-04

It takes a lot more force to open the tin, but the spoon still has a lot of force

author
tim1 made it!(author)2011-01-10

thanks!!!!!! :)

author
oanderson made it!(author)2011-01-12

Now, if you haven't made one ... why not? these are great!!

author
Mr.Unknown made it!(author)2011-01-01

you could load it and close the box then ask your friend if he wants a mint. when he opens the box... : D ouch

author
Air_Assassin made it!(author)2010-11-22

Lolz santa is checking his list twice

author
cfurykid made it!(author)2010-10-14

my glue came loose
tip: if you want more of a ark when firing place the rubber bands higher up on the cardbord spoon cover thing

author
cfurykid made it!(author)2010-10-12

I DID IT!!!! EPIC FROZEN PEEZ ARE FUN

author
cfurykid made it!(author)2010-10-03

i failed, bad! my spoon was to big my coat hanger rack thing was to tall. il cut it down and get a dif spoon

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Bio: Jack of all trades, master of none. Father, husband, creator.
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