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My Half-Scale Medieval Trebuchet (Read 266 times)
Dawesome21
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My Half-Scale Medieval Trebuchet
Mar 1st, 2019 at 12:43am
 
Hello all,

Haven't done hand-slinging in a while.  Been very busy with this project.  Thought I would share it with you.  I've looked through some medieval sources and built this half-scale trebuchet with historical methods.  It's 33 feet tall -- 15 feet to the main axle.  On its best day, we had 1,500lbs in the box and threw a 16lb bowling ball 300 yards.  That was the craziest day of my life.  I'm totally suckered into it now.  I broke it over the winter, but I'm planning to fix it up and take it pumpkin chunkin' in the fall.  I'm also working on making a prototype netted sling for it, as opposed to the canvas pouch on the current sling.

Some YouTube videos:
Time-lapse of assembly:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78fLMejgZqk
Big launch day:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boE2dp3u1ss

And my stock photo of the machine as of last fall.  I named it The Black Widow.  Since I killed a big spider in the woodshop working on it.  But I'm still not sold on that name.  I suck at naming things.

Would love to talk about all things trebuchet.  Mostly into historical trebuchets though.
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: My Half-Scale Medieval Trebuchet
Reply #1 - Mar 1st, 2019 at 2:14pm
 
That is awesome!  I've been thinking about building one for a while.  No where near what you have there.  Just something small I can use in the yard.  Maybe this summer if I can find the time.

And I like the name.  You just need to paint it black Wink
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Sarosh
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Re: My Half-Scale Medieval Trebuchet
Reply #2 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 3:03am
 
Awesome ! Cheesy
I like how many people helped with the project, that isn't easy.

what's next?
how did you choose sling length, did you do different length experiments?

joe_meadmaker wrote on Mar 1st, 2019 at 2:14pm:
And I like the name.  You just need to paint it black

since they need to paint it black maybe they can call it red door, or rolling stone. Tongue
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walter
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Re: My Half-Scale Medieval Trebuchet
Reply #3 - Mar 2nd, 2019 at 11:50am
 
Nice! Why a netted pouch?
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Perseverence furthers
 
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Dawesome21
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Re: My Half-Scale Medieval Trebuchet
Reply #4 - Mar 3rd, 2019 at 5:00pm
 
Thanks!  It definitely isn't easy.  I spent a lot of time in 2017 figuring out how NOT to do things.  We rebuilt it in 2018, just this last fall, and that's when it actually worked. 

The sling length should be about the same length as the long side of the arm.  I used a sling way too short in 2017 and it didn't work well, but by simply increasing the sling length we threw maybe 50 % farther actually.

I want to figure out how to make a netted pouch mostly because they look cool I guess and give a real medieval vibe.  But also I'm thinking the net would reduce drag compared to my solid canvas pouch that I'm using right now.  And a netted pouch from natural fiber rope, soaked in water, would allow the launching of flammable projectiles.  I tried launching some burning things from the canvas pouch but the solid pouch doesn't let the flame breathe and stifles it.  Also, the canvas is a lot more flammable, so we had to be careful and really soak the pouch.

The name "Black Widow" really would fit well if we painted the frame black and the counterweight box with some red.  But paint costs more money and I like the look of the natural wood anyway.
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