|Project by bch||posted 02-14-2011 12:55 AM||3908 views||9 times favorited||10 comments|
This French/English style trebuchet is of my own design, if you discount the fact that I looked over many other designs to come up with this one, and this style was perfected centuries ago. Of the three model siege weapons I’ve created, this is by far the most successful. Firing this, it is plain to see why trebuchets were the best that we had come up with prior to the invention of gunpowder. I wish I knew how far it can throw, but it’s winter and I haven’t tried it outside yet. Inside it hits the walls or ceiling in even our biggest rooms. Given it’s adjustments I think we could get it to throw in the 30-50 feet range. We’ll see this Spring. Given how far it throws things, it really isn’t good for knocking down blocks that are 10 or 15 feet away, as we enjoy doing with the other siege weapons.
I made a little pine “rock” ball about an inch in diameter which it throws terrifically. For the kids I cut foam wine corks in half. I sewed the pouch out of a little scrap of felt I found in my wife’s sewing basket. Felt I think was the right material—you can stretch it with your thumb to form a pocket.
P1: The trebuchet cocked and ready to fire (I hooked the pouch over the end to hold it in this position so that I could take the photograph).
P2: The trebuchet in it’s relaxed position.
P3: This pin is what allows a trebuchet to release the projectile. When the arm swing approaches about 180 degrees from it’s starting position, the loop slides off the pin, opening the pouch and releasing the projectile.
P4: I wanted to make the toy educational, and adjustable, so I designed it to have an open bucket for weights, so that the children (and I!) could experiment with using different things as weights. Also, I wanted to allow them to change the folcrum, so I made it adjustable with three holes, as you can see in this photo. It’s amazing how much these two adjustments (weight and folcrum) change the trajectory. You can make it release with a very high arc, or, approaching horizontal.