The Final Day

Last day of throwing at the Ranch was yesteday. The Trebuchet is currently mothballed, in pieces but we’re still holding our breath to see what happens on the E-Bay action.

There’s a rumor about Whole Earth picking it up, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Watch the video for all the good. (Warning: the video is sorta, kinda PG-13)

We be Ebay-ed

Alright, plan b-2.5, we’re selling this sunofagun on E-Bay. Also we’re doing what could be the final fling on Sunday, for those intrested.


Deanna Shot Video !
It’s oriented wrong so if someone knows how to change that please let me know. For now just tilt your head towardswise!!! Thanks to Jerome for turning our video the proper direction!

Update: sorry in the intrest of badnwidth issues i had to take this one down in favor of the current one. Click the link to view it.
Link to Cow Video


All the photos are up and can be found here.

We Are Mighty !!!!

We have flung! And we didn’t break it. More to come !

Success ! Sort of…

We started off well attaching the axel and throwing arm, shoring up the superstructure, and building a deck to support the weight while we mount it to the arm. Then we spent the next four hours wrestling the barrel of sand into place. That sucked.

After out first attachment scheme failed, we had to reset the weight on to the temporary supports we’d rigged to get it close enough to the arm to mount. We managed to drop it yet again before finally getting it relatively secure. As we finally started lowering the firing arm we realized the barrel probably weighs more like 900 lbs if it was lifting 350 pounds worth of us up in the air. oops.However we did finally manage to get the whole thing cocked and loaded up a test round.
We launched it (it throws off sparks when you yank the pin out of the trigger…. so cool), but the weight cause the whole structure to sag a bit, sending the barrel crashing onto our newly finished deck.

Solution: remove the deck. That probably wont happen for another week, but we’re pretty psyched that the thing didn’t blow apart on the first try.

Update: All photo’s are posted here

Absurd Weight

This guy could be our un-doing. We filled the thing with sand, with tthe intent of adding water to make it even heavier. That’s probably going to be a little over the top.
It’s about 600 pounds right now. That’s a lot of weight, maybe too much. We’re looking into plating up the throwing arm around where we bored the axle-hole through to avoid splintering at the thin points (anybody have some plate and carbide bits we can borrow ? )Anyhow our initial figures are indicating we could chuck a 10 pound object…. well, I don’t really want to let the world know how bad we are at math… lets just say plenty far.

The Sling

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about how the payload is supposed to attach to our slightly questionable throwing arm. Unlike a catapult which relies on a basket affixed to an arm, the trebuchet uses a sling something like the picture over to the left that I ripped off of a university website (apparently this is a pretty common mechanical engineering project). By using the sling, apparently you add a lot more omph to your siege engine. Like the equivalent of snapping your wrist when you hurl a baseball. It also allows for easy adjustment as you can shorten or lengthen the sling according to your firing needs.

Construction begins

With the power of the chainsaw, we have managed to cobble together a working superstructure, a throwing arm, and an absurdly heavy counter weight.

The whole thing has proved too be to heavy for us mere humans to move so we’re working on acquiring a flat bed trailer for hauling the thing down to the star party field for new years day hurling. The method Alan worked out of using leftover re-bar as nails has proven shockingly sturdy, so we’re feeling pretty ok about the structure itself not flying apart during the throwing. Though we’re probably not as confident about the throwing arm itself.
Alan also managed to salvage a very shinny axle from a scrapyard. The bastard weighs about 40 pounds and has a half inch wall thickness. If it breaks when we’re doing our inital heaves, it’ll be the least of our worrys.
Our current to-do list includes:

  • affixing the axle
  • devising a trigger mechanism
  • working out the payload trough
  • bracing the thing so its movable

Next Tuesday is our next available work day, and it’s possible we could have a working trebuchet at that point.
fingers crossed.

What the Hoo Ha ?

Mr. Vance and i have set out on a mission: to build a medieval siege engine, a Trebuchet, capable of flinging biodegradable ammo up to 600 ft across a field, for no very good reason.
We are dumb.

But it will be fun.Initial Sketch is here, and if anyone has a Carbon steel axle we could use please give us a holler. More updates after our first construction day this sunday.