Trebuchet

Posted on by Kenny Cason
tags = [ trebuchet, wood ]

I love to build stuff with wood, and it has been way too long since I’ve done it. This project was to build a large trebuchet. The motivation started way back in my 8th grade wood shop class where I had the privilege to build a 18“x18”x18" wooden trebuchet. The bucket fully loaded with lead could hoist a golf ball almost the length of a football field! I have to thank both my Grandpa, who first nurtured my hobby of building and my teacher Mr. Hager for providing so much hands-on mentoring many years ago. By large I mean a 3x scaled version of my smaller trebuchet.

I have yet to test out the large trebuchet to it’s full capacity as I constructed it on my office’s outside deck which is located on a rooftop. While this seems like it would normally be an idael place to launch water balloons or dirt balls at innocent passer-byers, there is a police station two blocks away. The trebuchet has also not been fitted with feels or a powerful engine which makes running away pretty tough. I did however manage to hunk a small piece of 2x4 over a hundred feet with only the empty bucket weight. :) That’s a very good sign for tests to come. However any further or five degrees left or right would mean that my less than $100 project could become $1000 if I broke a window.

This is the original Trebuchet…

The rest of the images are the construction of the trebuchet. Originally I did not want to use a single nail and use only dowel with wood glue. While I was able to do this for many key parts of the base frame, it became too time-consuming given we were going to be moving offices in a couple of weeks. So what was meant to be a slow hobby project was rushed in 1.5 Saturdays. I’m still very satisfied with how it turned out, but will likely receive a bit of TLC over the next weeks :)
(Scroll to the bottom to see the finished model.)

Frame Base Assembled
First layer of stain, minus bucket

TODO: Finish staining when the rain gods decide to stop punishing me with rain everyday!

This is the final (unstained) model with a frame of 54“x54”x54“, and with it’s throwing arm full extended stands ~7’ tall!
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