Introduction: Trebuchet (working) Model Step by Step Free Plans and Instructions

Hi There,

My name is Jeroen and I live in Holland. I am a low profile hobbyist mainly building models or just things from wood. Mostly I use just a picture to build the model by creating my own drawings.

This year after a family break in France I have seen a huge Trebuchet I was impressed by it's power and simplicity. After discussing with my kids to build one (small scale) together I started to search the web. I ended on wikipedia where you can find a picture of an impressive model of a trebuchet and decided to build one with my kids.

I found out that this model is also available to purchase on line (179$). However my challenge has always been to build something on my own. I used the picture above to create the building instructions and set the dimensions of the model since the building plans and instructions of this model can not be found on the internet.

To build this model I used only wooden strips 12mmx12mm and round wood of 6mm, thin rope and glue. The material costs for this model will en up around 25$. Next to this I decided to build this one without nails or screws. So everything interlocks and was attached by wooden pins (and some glue).

Tools: Sander, multi tool, vertical dril, battery screwdriver and some general small tools.

I will try to provide everyone with all the tools to create one on your own. Any tips, comments or requests are welcome since this is the first time I use a Blog, thanks and have fun.

Step 1: Trebuchet Base Plate

The Trebuchet Base plate:

Well the thing is,... I decided to create a blog on this Trebuchet when I was already done with the base plate. I will try to explain as much as possible. I created a basic plan for this specific item.

Since all corners are exactly 90 degrees this item is rather easy to make. No nails were used and all pieces are connected by interlocking connections fixed with a wooden pin.

Since this piece is was already created the moment I started the blog I am not able to show you exactly how I have done this in this specific item. However I am able to show based on other pieces I have created for this model showing the same technique but on an other part.

How to create a interlock connection: So keep in mind that the pieces used are different then the base plate, however the technique is the same. In case you would like to receive detailed photo's or if you have a question, just let me know.

Always cut both pieces you want to connect exactly halfway. Once done both pieces, it will be a perfect fit.

I use a screw bench to hold the wood in the correct depth. This way I can perfectly chisel away the wood without taking off to much.

Once the pieces have been cut you are ready to create the connection. First make some wooden pins. I use roundwood of 6 mm in diameter. To drill the hole I use a wood-drill of 5.5 mm. To avoid any cracks in the wood just make a subtile point at the end by using a sander. Then fix the pieces and drill a whole to both pieces. When the hole is drilled apply some glue, put in the wooden pin and use a hammer to gently force the pin in.

The connection has then been made and should look something like above. Then you use a fine saw to cut off the pins and use the sander to smoothen the surface. If done correctly the baseplate should be similar as the following detailed pictures.

THe base plate is then finished. Since I would like to create this model as authentic as possible I have used a mini power tool to batter the wood so it looks like real trees has been used (downscaled) to create the wooden pieces. Maybe a little bit overdone, however I think it will look great once finished.

Eventually this model will be painted with a dark transparent paint.

Again if you need more details, just let me know. Next step are the wheel supports.

Step 2: Trebuchet Main Support 2x

The following part needs to be build 2 times. THe drawing is included. I think this one is not hard to create, however it will take you some time to build. Good luck and let me know if you need help.,....

Step 3: Trebuchet Wheel Support 2x

Trebuchet wheel support x2

These 2 parts will hold the wheels. The wheels will be positioned between the wheel supports and the main side supports. When you have created these parts wait with drilling the holes. I did and this was not wise to do. This since the hole needs to line-up on all 4 parts (2x wheel supports and 2x main supports) so it is easier to drill the hole to the 4 pieces in one go.

Step 4: Trebuchet Holde Drilling Through Main and Wheel Support

Drilling the hole through the 2 wheel supports and the 2 main supports holding the Trebuchet boom and the Trebuchet wheels.

The most important thing here is to perfectly line up the 4 support pieces (main and wheel supports)  before drilling the holes. If perfectly lined up, it will not be a difficult task.

The axle for the Trebuchet wheels can then be placed to see if it fits.

The hole for the main boom axle will be done similar. Just line up correct and drill the hole in the middle.

NOw we need to set the width of the main supports on the base plate and make sure you know the space between the to pieces. The 2 main supports will be connected through round wood. I used 6 pieces of wood. The holes for these I did the same as the previous pieces. Just line up correctly before drilling the holes.

Once done, I drilled some small holes at the roundwood pieces that come out on the side. In that hole I pushed and glued a smaller wooden round piece to add some detail.

As you can see I have "battered" the wood. some think it is ugly, I personally think it gives something extra once the model is painted. So it is up to you. Next step is connecting the main supports to the base plate, good luck.

Step 5: Trebuchet Connecting Main Support to Base Plate

This is a great step since this is the moment the Trebuchet is finally getting somewhere. It is starting to actually look as a Trebuchet. Connecting the main supports to the base plate is not difficult as long as you line up properly. I used again wooden pins to attach it all together (and some Glue)

Once done leave it for an hour or so to settle the glue. Do not yet attach the wheel supports to the base plate, we will do this after the wheels have been finished.

(some pictures of the result/details will follow later today)

Step 6: Trebuchet Side Wheels 2x

Now we can start on the wheels. These are not hard to build. Below you will find the plan for this however, just see what size could fit your model best. One remark,.... if you want to pain the model later on,.... just pain this wheel before assembling. It will be tough to do so once the wheel assembled. I used ply wood 6mm and round wood of 6mm to create this piece. Good luck.

I used a piece of wood and drilled a hole in it through the length. This will set the width of the wheel. I also used 2 smaller pieces and inserted these between the main support and the wheel and between the wheel and the wheel support on the side.

Keep in mind that eventually the wheel must be fixed to the axle. The axle will eventually hold a rope that will be used to lower the trebuchet boom.

Use a rubber band to hold the wooden pins in place.

Once the wheel is finished, then the side support will be attached to the base plate. Also eventually we will ad some rope to all the connections to give it a more authentic look. Good luck.

Well, here I am again. Finally the snow is gone and the temperature in my Garage is lowered to a acceptable level :-)
Today I will finally continue the build of my Trebuchet. I have finished the 2 wheels and fixed them already on the base plate together with the wheel supports. Today I will make some turnaround and detailed pictures and these will be uploaded today.

Sorry for break, but I hope some of you will start building your own trebuchet soon.



Step 7: Detailed Pictures of the Work in Progress So Far.

Step 8: Trebuchet Side Support / Ladder

Hi everyone. After a while I am ready to finish the Trebuchet. Sorry for keeping everyone waiting for such a while.

Now it is time to create the side ladders. Just use the standard wood as used on all the previous steps. The length of the wooden beams isn't exact science. Just cut a rough piece and sand it back until it fits.

I have roughened the surface to make it look more authentic and old.

Then create the steps. I used 4cm round wood pieces of 6mm in diameter. Per stairs I have used 10 steps

but you can change it by using more or less distance between the steps. I used about 1,8 cm of space in-between. To use the exact distance I just used a piece of scrap wood to place in between.

To create the slot for each step I used a round grinder so the round steps would stay in place. The stares are connected with a small dot of glue.

Step 9: Trebuchet Boom

This piece will have a plan but I can create it once finished, sot the plan will follow shortly.

Step one:

Glue 2 beams on each other (2x 40 cm). Let the glue set overnight to make sure it is hardened.

Following steps, just follow the picture flow. the measurements are at this stage not that important.

make changes if you wish. Just make sure the Boom and the axle move freely and that the boom is aligned with the centre of the slide.

Good luck.!

Step 10: Trebuchet Slide

So now it is time to create the slide. I think this is the most ugly part on the trebuchet. This since it has a large surface making it less "old" and "authentic" however it is needed to make this trebuchet actually work. The dimensions of the slide depends on the distance between the first (front) and the last (end) connection with roundwood between the 2 side support parts. Just make sure that the first and the last pieces of roundwood are visible so the rope that will be used to connect the rope between the boom and wheel axle. Just take a look att the pictures and you will understand. My slide has the following dimensions: 7 cm wide and app. 40cm long. the base of the slide is standard 5mm plywood. I just used some weight to make sure the glued connection was strong. good luck. (can't wait to shoot this model,...:-)

Step 11: Trebuchet Release Meganism

Well this step is getting more interesting. For this step it is not important to exactly copy my steps. So you can mage some changes here without an affect on the final result. Just follow the pictures. If you have questions, just let me know.

Work in progress.........

closer and closer to finally shoot the thing,... :-)

Step 12: Trebuchet Rope Rigging


The rope rigging on the wheels took me a moment to figure out. First I have just drilled a small hole in the weel. I have put the rope through te hole and locked it by making a knot bigger than the hole. After that I just tried to make the rope rigging as realistic as possible. I am sure you probably can do a better job. I have tried to make some pictures to show how I have done it.


Same as the wheels. Drilled a hole and locked the rope by making a knot. See pictures on how It turned out. Again it does not matter how, just do it in a way you think it looks cool and authentic. (do send me som pictures on how you have done it,...)

Step 13: Additional Info (in Progress)

Step 14: Building Plans