Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trebuchet


A year or so ago, a friend of ours took us out into his backyard to set off bottle rockets. He had built a launcher and then used 2 liter bottles as projectiles. We pumped up the pressure, pointed the rocket upward, and pulled the firing cord. The moment the first one launched I was in love. I believe I squealed and pleaded to do it again. I might have clapped in happiness too. Since then I've become fascinated with launching things. And my new favorite idea about launching things is a trebuchet. I want to build one.


A trebuchet is a form of catapult, a siege weapon designed to launch heavy objects at a significant distance with much force. What's not to love? The trebuchet uses a counterweight to send objects flying. So not only do you have the thrill of watching things fly but you add heavy weights to make the contraption even more dangerous. I have to imagine that full sized trebuchets injured more people in their operation than just with the projectiles they threw. But it doesn't matter, I'm going to build one. Although ours will probably only launch water balloons.


But in the meantime, Jeff and I decided to start small. We bought a ready-to-assemble trebuchet at Gen Con this weekend. We assembled it tonight and I have done little else but launch the balls that come with it, along with some dice, across the room towards our table. Currently it has a range of only a couple feet (think 6 to 8) but I think with some adjustment to the firing pin, I should be able to get much farther. The box says it could fire up to 25 feet away. It just takes some practice. Now to play with it and hopefully get some slow motion video of it working. I'm still going to build a big one, but in the meantime the little one makes me squeal with happiness. I'm such a geek.

video

2 comments:

Salt said...

Again!

Cat B said...

You remember don't you Lon?! You let me pull that string and I squealed. Thanks for introducing me to how wonderful projectiles can be. We'll have to come up soon to shoot off more.

And when I build my trebuchet, you'll have to come down.