In this Toolbox segment, William Gurstelle introduces us to unique load-release devices like the panic snap and the pelican hook which he applies to his giant trebuchet.

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6 thoughts on “Maker to Maker – Load-Release Devices on MAKE: television

  1. This was interesting, but left off the explanation of how the panic snap was integrated into the trebuchet. I had to pause the video and study and think a little while before I figured it out what must be going on: the sliding sleeve of the panic snap was wrapped with wire, and a lead brought from that, and fed thru a ring to make it pull in the correct direction. Pulling on that wire caused the sleeve to slide and the panic snap to release. That should have been made clear in the video.

  2. Good demo of these mechanisms, but I had to cringe several times while watching it. When I first started messing around with trebuchets over a decade ago (thanks to the TV show “Northern Exposure”), almost everthing I read said the same thing: don’t put any part of yourself in the path of the arm or counterweight of a cocked trebuchet.

    Mr. Gurstelle (and his camera operator) both violate this first tenet of trebuchet safety — our host even uses his body on top of the arm while cocking it. NOT very safe, and definitely not a technique to teach anyone else.

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