Instructables
The trebuchet is a medieval invention originally designed to lay siege to fortresses and castles. The largest of them could hurl immense stones hundreds of yards. Now you can have one to play with in your own home. The whole device stands about foot tall when unloaded and flings various things ten feet or more. Moreover, this is a nice introductory woodworking project that you can do with mostly basic tools. Make sure to check all of the images. A lot of the details are in the notes there.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials
3/8" Hardwood Square
1/8" Hardwood Dowel
3/16" Metal Rod
Jumbo Craft Sticks
Wood Glue
Heavy Stuff as a Counterweight

Tools
Saw
Miter Box
Ruler
Sharp Knife and/or Chisel(s)
Drill with 1/8" and 3/16" Drill bits
Clamps

You can really make this project out of just about any type of wood. I chose poplar because it's cheap and sturdy. Most big hardware stores will also have oak and occasionally maple. The design is stout enough that you could make it out of something softer like basswood. In fact, it's probably not a bad idea if you don't have a sharp narrow chisel and you're going to be carving the joints with a knife. These measurements call for just a little over six feet of it. Most 3/8" square is sold in three foot pieces. You might get away with just two if you adjusted the size of a couple of parts, but you'll almost certainly have to recut a couple of pieces so you might as well just get three sticks.

1-40 of 194Next »
wow this comment stream is the most epic and longest i have ever seen.
sing1ejack2 years ago
Thanks for the materials & sizes. To speed things up and simplify it a little I took the side braces off. It still works ok: the uprights are pretty stable, though not as solid as they would be with that third outside brace.
155_0350_2.jpg155_0349_2.jpg
r-philp2 years ago
My son and I just finished building a trebuchet base in your design. It came out quite well. We made some modifications; We doubled the scale. I was able to make a sling pouch out of denim that released properly. I added a catch to the throwing arm, so I can be cocked, loaded, and finally released by pulling the catch. A bucket of pennies provides the counterweight, although I think we're going to look for an aesthetically pleasing rock.
It took two days to complete, with my son doing much of the cutting, drilling and gluing.
Thank you for writing such a clear instructable. The joinery was a classy touch too!

We're going to build a really big one outside next!
minitreb.JPG
tulekah5 years ago
WARNING!!! nobody seems to have mentioned that TIRE WEIGHTS contain CADMIUM to harden them. CADMIUM vapor released by melting tire weights is far more dangerous to life than plain lead fumes. I nkow of at least two cases of near-fatal heavy metal poisoning of mountain man types casting flintlock balls from tire weights!!! Me, i used pennies for me weight, easy to fine-tune the range by adding or subtracting a handfull.
yes but penny fumes also release zinc oxide
I have melted tire weights in order to cast bullets for more than thirty years. Provided you do it in a well ventilated area there is no danger involved. Tin and antimony are used to harden lead in wheel weights. Cadmium is mostly used for battery plates WHICH SHOULD NEVER BE USED and for cable sheaths.
You could also use dead batteries for weights.
or a bunch of nuts. the kind that go on bolts, that is.
doodoo1233 years ago
could you give me the sizes of wood i would need to make the trebuchet in double the size. thanks
brainspater7 years ago
Me i use a cannon.
bazookas are for wimps, i use laser-injected ninja super amazing rocket lazerbeam -coolwhip sword gun grenade cannons from outer space...
jamalk Jake_C5 years ago
laser-injected ninja super amazing rocket lazerbeam -coolwhip sword gun grenade cannons from outer space are for wimps i use lightsaber+force choke lol kidding
Jake_C jamalk5 years ago
lightsaber + force choke is for wimps, i use bagels
bagels are for wimps, i force my enemies into spontaneous combustion.
Forcing enimes into spontanious combustion is for wimps, I kill them through the medium of dance.
medium of dance is for wimps, I also use studio 100 music. seriously, that stuff is lethal.
studio 100 music is for wimps. I use a Laser Canon Graphted to my chest that Explodes my Enemies into candy.
a Laser Canon Graphted to my chest that Explodes my Enemies into candy is fot total wimps. I use a strong, undetectable poison.
strong, undectable poisons are for wimps. I use long repetitive comment threads to distract my enemies while i aim my laser cannon graphed combusting candy bagel laser-injected ninja super amazing rocket coolwhip laserbeam lightsaber sword forcechock gun grenade cannons from outer space shoop-da-whoop bazuka trebuchets...
you know, all this time I do not get a comment on mine, and just as i thought this very morning : " hey, I still do not have a comment on mine! how strange!" and, of course, I get a comment the same day. so, here it comes: long repetitive comment threads to distract my enemies while i aim my laser cannon graphed combusting candy bagel laser-injected ninja super amazing rocket coolwhip laserbeam lightsaber sword forcechock gun grenade cannons from outer space shoop-da-whoop bazuka trebuchets are for wimps... I do not use that, because I do not have enemies...at least not enemies who know where I live, and who really am.
not having enemies is for wimps. I use bananas.
bananas are for wimps... i use pacman to eat the banana, then the big dot then eat all my enemies...
Using pacman to eat the banana, then the big dot then eat all my enemies is for wimps. I use Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris is for wimps. I eat spinach like popeye.
Eating spinach like popeye is for wimps. I use the Athena orbital defense network's ion cannon. muahahaha
 Using the Athena orbital defense network's ion cannon is for wimps. I just surrender.
Surrendering is for wimps. I use pacman.
 pacman is for wimps and doesn't ensure everyone's death
I use miley cyrus's party in the usa song guarenteed 100% lethal
Fashim tim_W5 years ago
miley cyrus's party is for wimps.. I use Hand Held Midgets
mr. T pittys you all!
my comment fells claustrophobic
Not as much as mine. :S 
The end.
the end is for wimps i use the begining

The beginning is for wimps, I use all of the above.
All of the above is for wimps. I use my bare fists. 
 All of the above is for wimps, I use none of the above.
None of the above is for wimps. I use Australia. 
Australia is for wimps. I use the Earth.
The Earth is for wimps. I use the Milky Way. 
1-40 of 194Next »