Toy Trebuchet

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Project by Aaron McCain posted 02-27-2012 04:43 AM 4367 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw the plan for this toy trebuchet in the May 2011 issue of Wood Magazine and knew I would build it for Christmas. I actually built three, and they didn’t quite get done for Christmas. Here are two of them. I’ve already sent the third to my brother after the birth of his second daughter. I figured with all those x chromosomes running around in his home he could use a testosterone inducing toy that does nothing more than fling things across the room. It actually flings peanut m&ms and pistachios very well. I think our best is about 25 feet.

They are made up of a hodge-podge of wood I had laying around the shop: maple, mahogany, and oak. Didn’t get around to finishing them, I had thought to wipe them down with BLO, but have had too much fun tossing food around the house.

My 9-yr old son is quite pleased with his gift, as you can see. We started with a small bouncy ball at first, but it doesn’t go quite as far as the pistachios do. Here is a video of it in action:

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117229 posts in 3718 days

#1 posted 02-27-2012 04:48 AM

Very cool ,I can see why your son is pleased

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2447 days

#2 posted 02-27-2012 04:58 AM

Thats cool, I saw the project in the magazine, but my daughter picked out the carpenters tool box in another issue, oh well at least she is interested in building it with me, thats good enough.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3378 days

#3 posted 02-27-2012 11:20 AM

You’ve started something! Now it’s time to build a bigger one…

Google ‘Punkin Chunkin’ for more results. There are a lot of videos on You-Tube as well.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Skylark53's profile


2676 posts in 3201 days

#4 posted 02-27-2012 01:25 PM

Fun project and sure to be well used.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 2461 days

#5 posted 02-27-2012 01:27 PM

Great job, I build a catapult last summer for my kids.. they launch tennis and golf balls for the dog to chase. I always wanted to build a trebuchet and maybe this will get me going on that.

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 2432 days

#6 posted 02-27-2012 02:02 PM

This is great! I love trebuchets. When I was 13 I made one with 2 paving bricks for the counter weight and use it to launch golf balls over the barn.

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 2479 days

#7 posted 02-27-2012 04:24 PM

Ok, so now I have to build this too …
So tempting. I bet this will drive my daughter nuts when I teach the grandson to use it … ! I could have been a much calmer father if I only knew I would have a chance to build something like this to get back at the daughter one day … HA.

I am very interested in the way the video was made. Very professional. Can you give us some tips on how you did it?

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3829 days

#8 posted 02-27-2012 04:45 PM

Nice project and a happy Son besides : ) Good job , Dad !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Aaron McCain's profile

Aaron McCain

125 posts in 2980 days

#9 posted 02-27-2012 05:51 PM

@nomercadies: The video was shot on a small point and shoot digital camera and the editing was done using one of the templates on iMovie. It took about 5 minutes to put together. In general I’m not a fan of Mac computers, but they manage/edit photos and videos so much better than a pc. So we have a Mac to run the digital media and a PC to do work with.

View NormG's profile


6251 posts in 3145 days

#10 posted 02-28-2012 01:10 AM

What a great toy

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View nomercadies's profile


590 posts in 2479 days

#11 posted 02-28-2012 04:23 AM

Man! What a difference between what I can do with MovieMaker and the product you offered. Shame on PC’s

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

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