Model Catapult

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Project by bch posted 02-13-2011 08:38 PM 13005 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Building castles from toy blocks is only half the fun. Every child needs some siege weapons to then breach the enemy compound. Hence my first siege weapon. It throws a foam wine cork cut in half about 15-20 feet and knocks down blocks nicely. My son has a great deal of fun playing with it (when he can get it away from me—I’ve played with it a bit, too).

This is not my plan. I got this from a book at the library ( While it is intended for the junior-high or high-school age, it is a great read even for adults. I really enjoyed the history behind these designs. This is a roman design they called Wild Donkey which was credited with defeating an impenetrable enemy stronghold.

Not owning a lathe I was unable to turn a proper basket to hold the projectile. But after seeing Mafe, if I recall, turn on his drill press… I’ll have to get some turning tools and return to finish this properly.

P1: The Catapult
P2: This is the release mechanism I devised. It is a paperclip bent to be a hook, on a picture-frame eye-screw, with a string tied to it such that a pull on the string 90 degrees to the right releases the hook. You can almost see how I did the wheels. I cut discs from a dowel, drilled holes for the 1/4” dowels, and pinned them with toothpicks. It’s not top-notch woodworking, but I thought the design suited this project well.
P3: Here you can see the action. This is twisted rope, or torsion.

-- --bch

4 comments so far

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3264 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 08:45 PM

my favorite game when i was a kid was crossbows and catapults. i dont know what it is about building up a castle to tear it down by catapult it is so fun

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4166 days

#2 posted 02-13-2011 09:12 PM

My grandson wants one so your ideas will help.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View cranesgonewild's profile


344 posts in 2905 days

#3 posted 02-13-2011 11:23 PM

This would be great for office warfare. Attacking the cubicle next to you. That would be so much fun. However, my office is a crane. I guess I have other weapons of mass destruction.

-- I'm a Fungi --

View bch's profile


296 posts in 2686 days

#4 posted 02-14-2011 01:06 AM

It’s funny you brought up office warfare. The moment I built these I brought them in to show off in the office. I then bought this book, and we’ve built several in the office. Fun, for sure, but no where as nice as these wooden models.

-- --bch

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