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  • World's Simplest and Newest Trebuchet (Walking Arm Trebuchet)

    Thanks for the link! Regarding loading the big one, I take the weights off, stand up the trebuchet, and then put the weights back on, one-by-one. It sounds pretty labor intensive, and I guess it is, but compared to most of the other big trebuchets I've seen, it goes pretty smoothly. I've only had one scary moment. The first time I launched it, the stakes for my guy lines weren't long enough, and the trebuchet started to fall over as I was adding the 8th or 9th 45 pound weight. As I recall, I dropped the weights and jumped off my ladder, and the trebuchet fell semi-gracefully to one side.Right now it's up in my barn loft, but I will be getting it out again for pumpkin chucking one week from next Sunday. I'll get some video of the loading process then. I've thought about rigging up...

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    Thanks for the link! Regarding loading the big one, I take the weights off, stand up the trebuchet, and then put the weights back on, one-by-one. It sounds pretty labor intensive, and I guess it is, but compared to most of the other big trebuchets I've seen, it goes pretty smoothly. I've only had one scary moment. The first time I launched it, the stakes for my guy lines weren't long enough, and the trebuchet started to fall over as I was adding the 8th or 9th 45 pound weight. As I recall, I dropped the weights and jumped off my ladder, and the trebuchet fell semi-gracefully to one side.Right now it's up in my barn loft, but I will be getting it out again for pumpkin chucking one week from next Sunday. I'll get some video of the loading process then. I've thought about rigging up a winch to lift it up with the weights still on it, but it hasn't been worth the trouble.I haven't put much effort into trying to hit targets with it. I'm a science teacher, so I'm a little ashamed that I really haven't done much controlled scientific testing. I'm just not that self disciplined when I'm out shooting trebuchets. So while I may have some good ideas here, I may end up being only about 51% correct. That said, to get a lower trajectory I would first adjust the tuning string. In general the trebuchet shoots lower when the triangle is lower. You could also add an adjustable finger to delay or speed up the release. I think a shorter sling should also cause the projectile to swing around faster and therefore throw lower. Up to a point, I think adding weights should both increase projectile speed and lower the launch angle. I will say that when we tried throwing water balloons with it, we actually had a hard time hitting the house (and not throwing over it). That doesn't bode well for this being a precision instrument of destruction, but those water balloons are squishy and wiggly, and maybe that was our problem. Plus, the house was uphill.If I wanted to attack something tomorrow, I think I would start by making about a 6 foot trebuchet with 50+ pounds of counterweight, and I would throw projectiles the size of an apple. That would be pretty easy for me to manage manually and to aim at a variety of targets.

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  • World's Simplest and Newest Trebuchet (Walking Arm Trebuchet)

    Thanks! I hope it works well for you.

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  • World's Simplest and Newest Trebuchet (Walking Arm Trebuchet)

    Yes. And now she goes nuts any time she sees a trebuchet. Even more exciting than squirrels and chipmunks.

    Thanks!

    You're welcome!

    Good catch! I just edited the step with the weights to reflect their magnitudes (2.5 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb). They were listed on the supplies page but not in the instructions.

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    • World's Simplest and Newest Trebuchet (Walking Arm Trebuchet)
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  • World's Simplest and Newest Trebuchet (Walking Arm Trebuchet)

    Thank you! A lot of the credit goes to Dave Jordan, the guy who started the VT Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival. Each competitive division has a total weight limit for the trebuchet plus it’s counterweight, so there is a strong incentive to build light and seek simplicity. It’s a fun problem.

    Great! I’m a teacher, too. My engineering class is in the midst of their own trebuchet design project.

    Great idea! Thanks!

    Thank you! I would expect scaling down to work fine. I've been thinking of making a desktop version. Aside from the issue of the miniature sling and pouch, the trickiest part (I think) is going to be getting the triangle to dig in and not slide forward. The most simplest solution I can think of is to launch it on a mouse pad, and have little paper clip spikes that dig into the mouse pad. I just sent a quick model to the 3-D printer. I'll let you know if it works.

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  • World's Simplest and Newest Trebuchet (Walking Arm Trebuchet)

    We tried some water balloons today. The g's did destroy them. They sprayed all over before the pouch released. Then we tried some 12" balloons, but we kept them the size of regular water balloons. They survived the launch, and they broke when we hit the side of the house with them. Our yard slopes up toward the house, and we had a surprisingly hard time not throwing over it. Most of the balloons that went over the house survived the impact in the yard on the other side. I uploaded a video, but I'm not sure if it will work, since I used the "add images" button. If it doesn't work, I can use a YouTube link. The hail storm of balloons concept would take some work. I think you could do it with a large trebuchet and a bunch of tough balloons of the non-water balloon...

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    We tried some water balloons today. The g's did destroy them. They sprayed all over before the pouch released. Then we tried some 12" balloons, but we kept them the size of regular water balloons. They survived the launch, and they broke when we hit the side of the house with them. Our yard slopes up toward the house, and we had a surprisingly hard time not throwing over it. Most of the balloons that went over the house survived the impact in the yard on the other side. I uploaded a video, but I'm not sure if it will work, since I used the "add images" button. If it doesn't work, I can use a YouTube link. The hail storm of balloons concept would take some work. I think you could do it with a large trebuchet and a bunch of tough balloons of the non-water balloon variety.

    Thank you for the nice feedback! We're glad you're enjoying the instructable.

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  • World's Simplest and Newest Trebuchet (Walking Arm Trebuchet)

    That's a good question about water balloons. I suppose it depends on how tough the balloons are. I'll ask my son if he has some that we can try.

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