How to Build a Trebuchet

With a history that traces back date back to the medieval France; the trebuchet has a rich history as the king of hostile takeover of many a castle in the rich wine making region. Although they are anachronous by modern standards, trebuchets were formidable weapons that were used to tear down castle walls, sending the inhabitants running scared, cowering in fear or ultimately hoisting the vaunted white flags. The gory history notwithstanding, trebuchets are great engineering master pieces that were crafted with great skill and precision.

Consequently, woodwork enthusiast concurs that DIY trebuchets make a great statement of ones woodworking skills as it requires some bit of finesse to pull it off properly – on the professional level anyway. Thanks to this guide found here, woodwork greenhorns can accomplish such a feat with relative ease and in the shortest time possible.

Step 1: Settle on the design and gather the materials

Over the years the trebuchet designs have significantly changed, refined to improve efficiency and probably to increase mobility. There are many choices available but should you require additional and detailed plans, consult this comprehensive guide that offer trebuchet plans as well as detailed materials and tools required to build them. For this model trebuchet project, you only require a few wooden planks to create the bases, a couple a wheels and pocket screws. You also require a saw, drill and drill bits, measuring squares just to mention a few.

Step 2: Cut the wooden pieces to the required lengths, shapes and sizes


A trebuchet project typically consists of the base support, the swing arm and the shot sling. Cut all the base pieces to the required length keeping with the measurements indicated on the trebuchet plans. Based on the small size of the DIY trebuchet, you need to rip a piece of wood in to several thin pieces. The woodworking guide here offers detailed techniques as well as step by step instructions on how to accomplish this quickly and efficiently. Cut the upright as well as the base pieces using the most convenient saw at your disposal.



Step 3: Fix the base pieces together


Align all the pieces together so that the center piece tangentially connected to the bottom piece then fix the support pillar. The support pillars should join the center pillar at the same height, which provides added strength to the model trebuchet project. Place the 45-degree and 60-degree square on either side of the center pillar to determine both the height and the joining angles of the support pieces. Mark out the requisite angle and cut them out using a saw. It is helpful to cut all the pieces in a single cut to ensure the angle are perfect mirror images. Pile the pieces together while cutting to accomplish this.


Step 4: Make both of the base structures


Correctly place the now complete base structure together, determine the joint locations and predrill the screw holes. Given the small size of the trebuchet project model, predrilling holes reduces the chances of the wood splintering. Correctly align the pieces and run screws between them till they are firm and secure. Be sure to add some glue to the angled joints before running in the dowels for added strength. Repeat the procedure on the other set of the base column.


Step 5: Assemble the base pieces together

Attach the base structures to the central pieces by attaching same sized spaced, glued on either side, between them. This increases the size of the based, while offering increased stability to the trebuchet project. Hold the pieces firmly together and add a pocket screw if so desired.


Step 6: Add the wheels

The wheels should be added to an axle fixed to the central base frame to ensure that they have a turning capability. Determine the length of the axle and cut the wood pieces accordingly. Fix the both wheels to the axle and the then predrill the joint hole on the central base frame. Now join them together ensuring that the axle goes beneath the base frame. Repeat for the second set of wheels and ensure that the joints allow ample movement to reduce wear and tear.


Step 8: Fix the swing arm


Drill two hole on the tallest upright base pieces where the axle shall the swing arm shall be attached to the support frame. Be sure to adhere to the trebuchet plans measurements when drilling the axle hole on the swing arm. This ensures proper balance and swing of the arm. Drive two eye hooks on the other end and a fix the sling. Fix a weighted object on the shorted end of the swing arm then attach it to the base platform using the axle and ensure that it has a proper balance. Now you are ready to storm any model castles near you.

Here is the completed project.


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