Have you ever desired to weaponize candy? With the candypult you can keep a safe 6 feet distance from trick or treaters while maniacally launching candy at kids!
I used left over pieces of plywood that is 3/4" thick
Either a table saw or track saw (I also used a band saw and chop saw but these are not necessarily necessary)
Screwdriver and drill
Various sized screws
24” bungee cord
A 3” hinge (removable pin would be easier to use)
Two (or more) large screw eyes (I used 2 5/16th in.)
Strong packing foam
Black paint (I used Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover semi-gloss black, 1 quart)
Orange and Purple paint
90 degree corner clamps (4 is best but you can make due with 2)
A flat dolly is useful for moving the catapult
Step 1: Building the Base
- Cut two 3" wide by 2' long strips (These will be the front and back of the catapult)
- Cut two 3" wide by 3' long strips (these will be the sides)
- Using the corner clamps, assemble into a box
- Once put together, glue the corners, clamp, then use screws for extra support (do not use nails, they will pull apart!)
- Wait 20-30 minutes to remove corner clamps then sand with 220 grit (using a rotary sander is easiest but sanding by hand is fine)
Step 2: Building the Frame
- Cut two 3 1/2' long by 3 1/2" wide strips, these are the middle supports. (at this point, it is easier to sand individual pieces before assembling)
- measure along the inside of one of the sides of the base to find the mid point, then measure 1 3/4" from either side of that point (this is the width of the middle support) and mark.
- Use a scrap piece of wood and clamp it on the outside of the marked line, this will act as a guide for when you glue the actual middle support.
- Apply wood glue to the bottom of the middle support, clamp to the base (making sure it is flush with the bottom and the guide), and screw the pieces together! Once dry, repeat with the other side.
Step 3: Building the Frame Continued
- Measure the distance between the two middle supports (but do this at the base because that is the actual distance) and cut two 3" wide strips that length (for me it was 21 7/8" but it may be different for you!)
- Take one of the pieces and glue it to the top of the middle supports. Clamp it (but not very tight because it will bend the wood) and screw it in place.
- Repeat with the other piece but at the the middle height of the middle supports. (I did this step after I built the "A" frame but you can do it now)
Step 4: Building the Frame Continued
- Cut four 3" wide strips, these will make the "A" frame
- Lay the strip on the frame so that it reaches one of the corners of the base and goes to the top of the middle support and mark the angle that needs to be cut. Repeat with all four pieces.
- You can use a track saw or a band saw to cut the angles. Repeat for all four pieces.
- Drill holes for pocket screws at the top of the "A" pieces.
- Clamp and glue at the base the same way you did with the middle supports.
- I did not glue and clamp at the top of the piece. Instead I clamped it enough to keep it in place while I put in the pocket screws.
- Repeat with all four pieces and voila! We're almost launch ready!
Step 5: Adding the Bungee Cord
Note: I had started painting the frame already!
- Measure 7" from the bottom on both middle supports.
- About a 1/4th" from the back edge of the middle support screw in screw eye.
- It is easiest to first drill a small hole and them putting a screwdriver through the ring and using it to twist it in.
- Repeat on the other side and strap that bungee cord on!
- You can add multiple screw eyes at different locations on the base to give even more tension for the launch.
Step 6: Building the Arm
Note: During this part, I messed up and put the hinge in the wrong place. The pictures I am using show the wrong hinge location, please disregard that. The second image shows the correct placement.
- Cut a 3 1/2' long by 4" wide strip, this is the arm, and measure 24 1/2" from the top of the arm, this is where the hinge will be.
- Find the middle point on the middle cross bar, line up with the arm, and clamp it in place.
- Screw the hinge into place so that it opens as the arm is pulled back.
- Once the hinge is in place be careful to not let the arm fall back is it may pull on the hinge.
- Place the bungee cord across the arm and mark where the cord is. I used a few screws to secure the bungee cord.
- For the basket part of the arm, I used a disposable cup that I cut in half, but you can use anything from a cardboard box to a tupperware container, just screw it onto the top of the arm.
- Take the foam (I had a random piece from a package I got) and hot glue it to the inside of the top bar where the arm will hit. This will cushion the blow!
- You now have a functioning catapult, but lets take it one step further.
Step 7: DECORATING!
- Do three coats of the black paint, sanding with 320 grit paper in-between each coat (but not after the final)
- Using watercolor paper (because it is more durable than regular paper) I cut out some stencils for my decorations.
- Tape them onto the catapult and paint with the orange and purple paint! It may take a few coats.
Step 8: Creating Your Missiles
Of course you can just chaotically launch pieces of candy at people but if you want to make a nice little package you can do this!
- Take a piece of paper towel (or cut a white trash bag into squares and do the same thing) and place candy in the middle.
- bunch it up to make a ball and tie it off.
- Cut the tail part to make it look nice.
- Draw some eyes and you have a little ghost to fly through the air!
Step 9: The Finished Product
Participated in the