No Tools, No Drilling, No Cutting, No Lumber, No Saw, No Hardware, No Need to wait for your allowance, Super Easy, Super Cheap, Fast Build.

You probably already have everything necessary to build this Trebuchet in your house right now.

It's made out of:
9 Chopsticks*
2 Toothpicks
3/4" or larger masking tape
2 rubberbands
3 paper clips
Something for a weight - I used a fishing weight 5.75oz or 166g - it could handle twice that though.

The complete tool list:

  • I used the better Bamboo ones you buy - 20 for 3.50 at Amazon. I didn't buy these, I've had them for years. They also make imitations of this style in hard plastic. They would probably work great also. The ones I used are 10.25" or 26cm. They are not fancy, no artwork or lacquer. This was an ideal length. You could probably use the free ones from take away, but they are shorter and lighter. You probably wouldn't be able to do quite as much weight, or fling as far. You could probably use lacquer ones also but they are expensive and it would be harder to keep it together as the tape wouldn't stick to the lacquer as easily. They are often shorter also. You could also try it with pencils but once again, they are shorter so you wouldn't get the performance that you get out of these chopsticks.

This video shows you what the finished trebuchet looks like.

This video lets you see it fly.

Step 1: Parts

These are the parts I used:

9 Bamboo chop sticks
3 paper clips
2 rubber bands
3/4" masking tape - wider is fine
2 toothpicks
some string
and a weight

The only tool I used was a pair of scissors. (you could probably use a pocket knife instead)

I don't have any plans or measurements except the chopsticks are 10.75" or 26mm. The weight I'm using in the video is 5.75 oz or 166g. It's a fishing weight. I tried a heavier weight but it goes 20' and hits the wall. My longest space in my apartment is 20', so I can't check right now how far it would go.

I also didn't try to tune it or see how much weight it could handle, so It might be capable of more.
<p>How do u tie the rubber band and the the paper clip together?</p>
<p>Can I use regular tape? What if I don't have paper clip can it still work?</p>
would bamboo skewers work?
hey , really a saver for my sci project , but i dun get y my trebuchet cannot shot ? the sling is a necessary? and short or long sling is better? thks
youThat's a COOL trebuchet.. I actually just had to build one the very next day that I saw this... I'm adding some pictures to show you mine, and as you can see I made some adjustments to your instructions (like using a cotton-string, and I used some tools like glue and a knife...)
Nice, good for a school project! lots-o-fun
You made one! Yay. I love that. It looks great. My tape let go after a few months. The string is an improvement. You made a lot of improvements. The X-brace on the front looks especially nice.
ur instructions ar great :)
Actually this treb is an ongoing project... Still trying to make it that much better or authentic looking.
I've added a release mechanism and a proper sling and a net. See pictures for details. In the net picture, there is projectile inside which is about one cm cube for LOW LOW trajectory and glued 4 of them together for a higher trajectory, my treb has a range of about 2 meters.
the toothpick support did not work well. i added a lower support. pencils work great I built it with me Amego
how far dose it launch?
if you used pencils inseatd of chop sticks would that work as well<br /> <br />
I don't see why not. Give it a try. It will be shorter but should work fine.<br />
Wow!! That is really cool!
Thanks<br />
what is the ammunition for this? <br />
It is the cap from a pen.<br />
This is pretty sweet i just made one except i didn't have toothpicks so i used extra paper clips (1.5 paperclips for a toothpick) and i used duct tape. mine throws up more than over though.
That's great.
My school hosts a regional competition for the National Science Bowl for high school students every year with the winner going on to the national competition in Washington, DC. This year I was in charge of finding some sort of competitive project for the teams to build and compete with during the lunch break. I chose your quick and dirty trebuchet and made a kit for each team. I made a few changes to your plans. I used 12" long 1/4" cut dowels instead of chopsticks since I didn’t have a cheap source of chopsticks. I did not give them rubber bands and instead they were to tape the paperclips on for the axle. They were given a 200 g weight with a loop of string taped to it for the weight. The projectile was a mini binder clip with a loop of string tied to it. The complete kit contained the 9 dowels, a roll of masking tape, 4 paper clips, the 200g weight with loop of string attached, mini binder clip with loop of string attached, your printed instructions as a guide and a sheet explaining the rules of the competition. It worked out quite well. The teams were given a copy of your plans as a guide and 20 minutes to build their device. The competition was they were to launch the projectile three times and it had to land inside a track 4’ wide each time. The distances of the two best of the three throws were added together for their score with a foul (outside the lines) counting as zero distance. We had 12 teams participate and the winner had a score of about 44.5 feet. They all had fun and I think learned something too.
That is so excellent. 44.5 feet! Wow. This makes me feel so great. That's why I make Instructables. Where is your school? Any video or photos? Thanks again.
Sorry I don't have any photos or video. I should have brought my camera along. I am a physics prof. at the Univ. of Arkansas - Fort Smith. We host a regional competition every year for the U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Science Bowl. ( <a rel="nofollow" href="http://nationalsciencebowl.energy.gov">http://nationalsciencebowl.energy.gov</a> )<br/>
Sounds fun id love to compete in sotn like tht
That's cool. I'm just really happy that you could use it and had so much fun. Thanks so much for letting me know.
I forgot to add that I also gave them toothpicks for the cross bracing.
actaully the part where i fit the broom in is difficult for me..so any suggestions?
I can<em>t know what is going wrong without seeing it. Can you post a photo somewhere?</em><br/>
acaully nevermind, I got it to work..sry for bothering you
No bother. Glad it's working.
I have a project due tomorrow and I am building this trebuchet. It is multiplied by 4 and tennis balls do not fly out of the sling. how do I make it work.
There is no way this treb can throw a tennis ball when increased by only 4x. The max a 4x increase can throw is the weight of two quarters.<br/><br/>A quarter weighed on my little cooking scale weighs 5.7g (2 to 3x as heavy as the 2-3g pen cap). Your tennis ball weighs 58g. 20 to 30x heavier than my pen cap. If you scaled this trebuchet up proportionately it would need to be at least 20x larger to throw a tennis ball.<br/><br/>Try throwing something that weighs less than 2 quarters and use a weight of at least 1.5 lbs.<br/><br/><ul class="curly"><li>This is not scientific measurements. It's just an approximation to illustrate the problem with your design.</li><br/></ul>Part of a project like this is doing the calculations. 4x size requires 4x the weight and can only throw 4x the weight that I threw. <br/><br/>Crumple up a single piece of paper and cover it with a little bit of aluminum foil and try to throw that. If it's still too heavy, tear the paper in half and try again.<br/>
I've been looking for good instructions on making a trebuchet or catapult. Yours is by far is the best explained and has the best photos. Very nice.
Thanks. I'm glad you like it.
its cool and all but there is a problem, a trebuche is supposed to use a sling firing mechanism and a counter weight. you only got the counter weight, no sling.
The sling is mounted on the pen caps that I'm flinging. It should stay with the boom in a traditional Trebuchet, but this way you just make a custom sling to fit what you want to throw. So the sling is there. It is the string at the end of the boom that holds the projectile.
ok thats what I meant I didn't notice the pen caps I was short on time and only saw your videos sorry about the confusion if you happened to think of a way to make a sling that stays attached that would be nice
good job
Thank you
oh.... it's a minature.... i thought it was a full scale model. but still this is pretty kick ass, you guys got the right concept. next step: FULL SCALE MODEL!!! WOOOOO
awesome i built mine out of knex and it gos about 16 ft
I can't figure out how to wrap the rubber band around the chopstick and the paper clip. The visuals don't help me much. Help would be appreciated since I want to do his with some students. It is step 4. Thanks for any information that is easy to understand.
To understand better try this: straighten a paper clip out until it is shaped like a "U". Put it around the chopstick, then just wrap a rubber band back and forth over the straight parts sticking out on either side of the chopstick. It will be harder to do, because the straight parts are so long, but it will be less confusing without all the other bends. It doesn't matter how perfect, or pretty or what pattern you use. Just wrap it so it holds onto the stick. The metal loop of the paperclip will be on one side; and the rubber band, wrapped back and forth, will be on the other. The axle is wrapped the same way as the U. It just has curved ends.
i noticed u said 26mm. did u mean 26cm. because 26mm would be really small
Yep, You got it, I'll fix it. I've been cooking in metric for a while, but just recently tried to always include metric length. I still can't imagine most of them in my head yet. Thanks.
Great and simple, just what my son ( and his father) needed for the trebuchet project for his gifted class. Thank you!
No Thank you. Now, are you ready for all the phone calls from the other Moms complaining about missiles whistling past their heads? Hahaha Have fun with it. I would suggest that you throw something like a ping pong ball. I'm afraid some child might - in an attempt to imitate my pen caps - and throw a whole pen, which could break and scatter ink. I should have thought of that when I was writing it.

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