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