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Old 10-24-2012, 02:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Building a trebuchet

Have any of you folks built a trebuchet?

I am building one for a competition and I'd like to see what other folks have learned from positive and negative experiences to make their machine run optimally. Whether it be dimensions, materials, structure, or other factors that input into the physics of the trebuchet.

I already have some kind of plans drawn up, but I don't have hands on experience of using one to actually know what has to be what, what the weight should be, how to make the hinge strong, yadda yadda.

I'll be launching 5-10 pound pumpkins and don't have the materials to make a giant war machine. I've looked online, but it's mainly just videos of a bunch of rednecks chucking pumpkins (I guess that's going to be me, right

I'm looking for something around this size, maybe a tad smaller." width="644" height="390">" />">

Any help is appreciated!
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Last edited by Bigtuana; 10-24-2012 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Lets talk about this. I think a paintball trebuchet could be done. Load it up with a pod or two of paint (not the pod) and release it. IT woud not have to be very big and could be aimed towards the center of the field.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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built a couple 4ft trebs and one 12ft which was a very good design. I can try contacting the person with the plans for the 12ft one. It was strange and worked well.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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funny you ask .. I'm building 2 tonight for cubscouts ... mini jac punkin chunkin
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
AKA Doughnut Holeschtein
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i found a site that covered the physics someplace .. The bookmark is on the other pc ..
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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these guys seemed to have good results.

"The Insensible" - a counterweight trebuchet

has instructions

manageable size and made with very basic tools
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Building the Trebuchet part 1: the Base

See the links on the left side of the page
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh I built one last year, it was small and launched cherry bombs, it twas awesome!
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: cape may, new jersey

i built one years ago, took a while to get the 'timing' just right, it's a balance between arm length, weight, rope length, and release hook angle. easier to time a cocker. here's an old vid of it with 'late timing', releases late, shooting the 5 pound weight into the ground:

trebuchet Video by ian - Myspace Video

edit: and some heavy math:
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some links:

The Algorithmic Beauty of the Trebuchet

Trebuchets, both big and small

There are loads more... My experience has been to get the ratio on the arm correct for the best firing characteristics. I use 11 foot thorwing arm to 1 foot counterweight arm, with a sling of 4 feet. YMWV


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