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.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

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).
1-40 of 232Next »
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.
vincent75202 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
(removed by author or community request)
This has suddenly taken a very sinister turn. I'd just be worried about what form the revenge would take.
(removed by author or community request)
20ft?!? That's a great range. I should really retrieve mine from it's box and start an office war.
War of the classrooms >=P.
one time my teacher braged that he was better than all of the school so we had a "teacher vs. kid" day
you idea got me sent to the princabal monkeyshoe10but ithink it was woth it
Well if its worth it =P
my problem was miss tattletale was in fromt of my target and i nailed her in the forehead (or was it her butt i can't tell the differance)
thats mean and insulting.
I made a cross bow out of pencils, a alligator clip, rubber bands, and duct tape in 8th grade. It could shoot a gold fish like 20 feet and a half a pencil about 30+! It was good cause it was pretty small and I could make goldfish explode on the bus drivers windshield teehee.
 goldfish! ur mean!
he's talking about the cheesy craker not an actual fish
Every exploded goldfish means one KARMA point taken away from you, lose your 100 points and something very bad will happen... Save your KARMA, don't launch goldfish from crossbows!
Is that supposed to be a reference to Fallout 3? If it was that was a good one.
Isn't the fallout limit -1000? (Very Evil)
BTW, love Fallout 3!
uhh yeah gold fish are a type of food.... Real gold fish would be hard to put in the cross bow and they would move too much. Good idea though
no they don't flop but they splat (my bro still has not forgivin me
ive done that 4 years with pennies and never been caught ( i dont know what i did but i can hit the windshield siting in the back with my sertroid mini crossbow)
 i  finally made mine working good all i need is ammo and i w)ill see you on the battle field (i didn't have batteries so i tied up some paperclips hoping to get better weights so i can use the paperclips an trebuchet supplies hey we could make a game out of paperclip men and make paperclip swords and bows to wage a full scale battle with infantry and archers and catapults it will be so cool!
(removed by author or community request)
Mine is made from steel I-beams. JK
mine is a laser sword, with guns on the side, that shoot more lazer swords!! lol
1-40 of 232Next »