Tiny Catapults!




Introduction: Tiny Catapults!

Construct your own miniature siege engines!

Step 1: What You'll Need.

1. A couple of nasty looking boards.
2. A 1/2" diameter dowel.
3. A short piece of a 2x2.
4. A length of thin rope.
5. Two 1" wood screws.
6. A 1/2" drill bit.
7. A 3/4" spade bit.
8. A drill or drill press.
9. A table saw or circular saw or handsaw.
10. A miter saw or miter box or motorized miter box
11. Scissors.
12. A screwdriver
13. A lighter.
14. A pencil.
15. A roll of tape.
16. A ruler.
17. A miniature enemy.

Step 2: Preparing Your Boards.

First, use your table saw to cut your nasty looking boards into two 7 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles.
Once you've done this, tape the two boards together with the broad sides touching, then, with your pencil, mark the two longer edges: "top" and "bottom", and the two shorter edges "front" and "back".
Measure 1" up from the "bottom" and 2" from the "front" and draw an X. Next, measure 1" down from the "top" and 3" from the "front" and draw another X.

Next, with your boards still taped together, measure 1/2" up from the "bottom" and 1/2" from the "back" of the board and draw a V. Flip your taped boards over and draw another V in exactly the same place on the other side.
Last, measure 3 1/2" from the "front" and 1 1/2" from the "bottom" and draw a T. Do the same on the other side.
Fit your 1/2" bit into your drill.
Drill the Xs all the way through.
Drill the Vs to a 1/4" depth.
Drive a screw into each of the Ts so about 1/4" sticks out.
Separate the two boards.

They should look like a mirror image of each other.

Step 3: Preparing Your Dowels

Next, use your miter saw to cut your dowel into two 5 1/4" lengths and one 4 1/4" length.

Step 4: Creating Your Catapult Arm.

Cut your 2x2 to a 7" length.
Cut one end into a triangle shape.
With your 3/4" bit, drill a 1/4" deep hole on the end opposite, and the side perpendicular to the triangular end.
Drill a 1/2" hole toward the triangular end.

Step 5: Rope

Then use your scissors to cut a 26" piece from your length of rope. If you're using braided nylon or another synthetic like I am, you'll have to use your lighter to melt the ends so they don't fray.

Step 6: Assembling the Parts.

Now that you have all your parts, you can start to assemble your catapult.

Start by tying a knot in each end of your 26" piece of rope. I prefer to use a knot called a double half hitch for this.

Then attach it to the screws.

Next, pass one of your longer dowels through the smaller hole of your catapult arm.
Fit each end into the lower holes on the sides. This dowel will be a pivot for the arm.
Use the catapult arm to twist the rope around the dowel as shown. There should be a fair amount of tension.
Slip your other longer dowel into the upper holes in front of the arm to maintain the tension in the rope.
Finally, notch the shorter dowel into the shallow holes you drilled toward the back, and you're done. You now have a functioning mechanism with which to wage minuscule siege warfare!

Step 7: Embellish.

Don't stop there though. Embellish!

For more home-made wackiness, check out Pariahcycle.Blogspot.com

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    awwwwwwwweeeeeesommmmmmmme. will be making one of these and(hopefully/maybe) be setting it up on the roof at school. :)


    8 years ago

    Looks cool gonna make one
    Also easy to follow
    Good all round
    Favourited and followed


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea. I built a zillion rubber band guns for my kids, now I can build catapults for my grandson.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Pariahcycle,
    I built a couple of your catapults. Fun little project and my boys will have tons of fun to come as well.
    A few comments though:
    1) The upper dowel position didn't work for me. I had to move the upper dowel to be right above the lower one. Otherwise, the catapult would have thrown its ammunition (little foam balls in our case) only onto itself.
    2) I didn't have a string, and used multiple long rubber bands instead.
    3) I sanded the lower shaft so that the catapult arm would turn with less friction. Worked like a charm.
    Thanks for posting.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm glad you gave it a try, and thanks for letting me know about the problem with the hole position. I may have to double-check my measurements and edit the instructions.