Nothing Says Christmas Like A Siege Weapon

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Project by ChuckV posted 12-26-2011 08:57 PM 8593 views 17 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sons have been asking for a trebuchet for a long time. When I saw this project by William, I decided that it was the one. I like the idea that it is a dedicated TENNIS BALL trebuchet. That means that we should not be flinging eggs, tomatoes, chickens, the cat… We will see.

The trebuchet was completed yesterday, Christmas day. It was not a surprise because my sons had been helping me with it all along. It was completed at about 4:00 and we had to try it out. But, it was a bit cold and starting to get dark. It was obvious that it still needed some fine tuning, so we decided to continue today.

The key to getting good results is the angle of the brad at the end of the arm that controls when the projectile will be released. It took me a while to figure out that I was also having trouble because the brad that I used had too big of a head on it – filing the head off was one of the big breakthroughs.

For the counterweight, I am using 20 pounds from an old weight set.

William: Thank you so much for posting yours and for your helpful PMs.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

35 comments so far

View Elyjah Thomas's profile

Elyjah Thomas

48 posts in 3595 days

#1 posted 12-26-2011 09:35 PM


-- K.I.S.S Keep-It-Simple-Stupid!!! my moto!!

View ajosephg's profile


1898 posts in 4808 days

#2 posted 12-26-2011 09:54 PM

Now, that’s a serious Treb.

-- Joe

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4803 days

#3 posted 12-26-2011 10:49 PM

Cool toy

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5161 days

#4 posted 12-26-2011 11:05 PM

Judging by the expression on your kids’ faces, this thing must be fearsome. Let’s hope the goat does not become a target! Congratulations on a successful build. Sustainable warfare is now a possibility and the defense budget can be cut.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4824 days

#5 posted 12-26-2011 11:15 PM

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3732 days

#6 posted 12-26-2011 11:53 PM

It’s probably for the best that my brother and I didn’t have access to one of these when we were kids! We screwed together a bungie cord powered catapult that came apart after about a dozen launches. Violently, I might add.

Your kids are lucky to have such a cool dad.

-- Brian Timmons -

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4349 days

#7 posted 12-26-2011 11:59 PM

There are definately no secrets when the little munchkins are around the shop. Nice WMD….........

-- mike...............

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 4353 days

#8 posted 12-27-2011 12:26 AM

Nicely done, great project for Christmas.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 4727 days

#9 posted 12-27-2011 01:08 AM

lol, i remember in junior high physics class we had to make a catapult or treb, whatever we wanted…goal was to fling a ping pong ball the farthest. my dad, being tim the not-so-toolman taylor, helped me pick out hardware….i ended up with a Garage door spring on a 10 lb wood contraption, that was Scary to load…when released it would fling itself into the air and almost crush the ping pong ball…later i found out it launched 5 lb rocks much better! lol the kid who ended up winning had the most simple design, and it was rubber band powered

View glue4you's profile


164 posts in 3727 days

#10 posted 12-27-2011 01:15 AM

I will block access to this project in my (internet) router. My son must not see this ever :-)

Daddy likes it a lot …

-- Alex ----- Bavaria in Germany

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4045 days

#11 posted 12-27-2011 02:55 AM

Very Cool.
They have a real one full size at Warwick Castle in England that the fire daily to amuse the tourists.
The day I was there they were tossing balls of “Greek Fire” about a quarter mile.
The kids ought to have a great time.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View ChuckV's profile


3439 posts in 4774 days

#12 posted 12-27-2011 03:05 AM

Thank you all for the great comments.

shipwright -
I had to ask my 9-year old to remind me about what “Greek Fire” was. He is full of information about its history and use, including the belief that one of the ways to extinguish it was with urine.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 4216 days

#13 posted 12-27-2011 03:08 AM

Excellent project, that must have been a lot fun to build. Hide the baseballs!

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4089 days

#14 posted 12-27-2011 04:34 AM

You’ll have hours of fun with it. My kids and I still pull ours out from time to time.
As for objects other than the tennis balls, I think the most fin we’ve had with “foreign objects” was with water balloons. Get the ones from Wal-Mart or Fred’s Dollar Store with the little nozzle for the end of a hose. They are about the same size as a tennis ball and go a long ways.
Eggs are unpredictable in their projectile path. I think this is because of the size.
Baseballs, with a little fine tuning on the brad, will actually fly further than tennis balls.
We haven’t figured out a way to get a cat to hold still long enough. (joking people, I would never do that).


View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3674 days

#15 posted 12-27-2011 04:54 AM

Double duty toy, first learn how to measure, cut, and fit wood parts together. Then have Awesome fun.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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