Picture of The Office supplies trebuchet
Bored at work? Build your own 3" trebuchet out of paperclips and throw balls of blu-tac up to an amazing 4 feet. WOW!!
Please excuse the number of steps. It is really easy and can be made within an hour and from bits lying around the office, hence very cheaply.
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Step 1: The tools and materials list

Picture of The tools and materials list
You will need:

1 pair of pliers (needle nose would be best, where available)
1 pair of scissors (yay for scissors)
8 paperclips
thin string/thread
Corrugated card (approx 6"X6")
Ballast (I used a bunch of batteries from our recycling box)
Rubber band

Step 2: Straightening the paperclips

Picture of Straightening the paperclips
Use the pliers to make the paperclips as straight as possible.

Step 3: Now shape them

Picture of Now shape them
At the very end of four of the paperclips, make an eyelet big enough to insert an ex paperclip through (but not much bigger).

At the other end, make a dog leg. Try to make it on the same plane/axis as the eyelet.

EDIT: Ignore the dogleg. Instead bend approximately 1/2" of the non-eyeleted end at right angles (90 degrees) to the eyelet. All will become clear very soon.

Step 4: The axle

Picture of The axle
Next, shape the axle. Make it so that the distance between the hooked ends is about 2". It should be wider than your intended ballast. The V shape (U shape in this case. Needlenose pliers are best for this sort of thing) must be central on the axle.

Step 5: The arm

Picture of The arm
Make an loop in another paperclip about 1/2" from the end. At the same end make another eyelet.
Make a small hook at the other end.

Step 6: The trigger

Picture of The trigger
A little hard to describe. Just look at the picture. The bump on the left is to pull. The loop on the right is there to catch the little hook on the arm.

EDIT: See the adjustment I made to the firing mechanism in the final step. It works so much better.

Step 7: The components

Picture of The components
Here's what you should have so far.

Step 8: Assembling the parts

Picture of Assembling the parts
Take the axle and insert it through the loop in the arm (not the eyelet) so that it sits in the V. I wrapped Cellotape around the axle either side of the V just to give it some thickness (so it doesn't slide all over the place).
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Cool, I made one of these at work, I used a D cell battery for the counterweight, and for a projectile I used a penny taped to a short piece of string, this string has a loop at the end and attaches to a hook on the end of the trebuchet arm. It can launch the penny about 10 feet with pretty good accuracy I was actually able to launch the penny into a cup. :) yes my job is very boring.
vincent75203 years ago
No video showing how to target you boss( left eye, and the face he makes when he gets it's on his sandwich at lunch time ???

Thank for the inst' anyway !…

you took this idea from another website you fail!!
Actually quite interested where you saw this. If it was the Discovery site, that was me. Anywhere else and they copied me.
No I didn't.
Redmonkey173 years ago
P.S. it makes it much more stable.
Redmonkey173 years ago
Instead of taping the two a-frame posts together, add an ex-paperclip support to make a tripod
Mustapha693 years ago
model magic also works
of course we all have PLIERS laying around the office
Why wouldn't you?
I carry at least a Leatherman Wave and a small swiss army knife with me always? He's not prepared?
Well, "someone" is not going to survive the zombie apocalypse. :)
I do...
:D its funny because its sarcatistly true
you could use the handle of the scisors as pliers
ductapeman4 years ago
dduuuude make a 1 paper tat u can fold up
this instructable would be 100% percent better if you added more measurements. i just grabbed eight paperclips out of my computer desk and got to work and my clips were to long so i had to guess my base measurements and the result wasn't pretty.
venom15394 years ago
and also, what size of batteries are those
venom15394 years ago
I've been trying to build a portable trebuchet so that i can bring it to school and shoot erasers during indoor recess but just having one is fine. Now i can shoot erasers at my friends when they come over.
steeler655 years ago
i wonder if it can be used with different sized paper clips becasue i cant ever find seven of the same paper clips
cut all of the paper clips to the size of the smallest one you have. unless it was ridiculously small... most pliers have a v-notch thing that allows you to cout wire so you can use that.
then cut the small paper clip to the size of the big one
Lol, how ridiculous.
No no, seriously, how can you cut a small thing to make it bigger? Maybe you misinterpreted my comment. Got any sarcasm left in you?
maybe... lol
Play nice people. (But I can cut a hole in a postcard that I can fit through. Maybe I'll Instructablise that one)
haha :D He probably mistook it as an offensive statement, but I don't want to take it further.
duct tape :P
MSM85 steeler655 years ago
Use The same length for the 5 that make up your A frames and throwing arm, and the others could be just about any size.  Mine works well with larger clips for the A-frames and arm, and smaller ones for the axle and trigger.
krusher294 years ago
i just used blunt scissors as pliers.
Alex Palfreman-Brown (author)  krusher294 years ago
That's what MacGuyver would do.
tip: use a pencil eraser
charris124 years ago
tip:the steeper the doglegs the beter!!
Capt. Kidd5 years ago
i made a full size trebuchet that uses a fishing pole mech to wind the rope back...
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