Gift guide for the trebuchet and catapult maker

Gift guide for the trebuchet and catapult maker

We are pleased to publish the first ever gift guide for the trebuchet and catapult maker! MAKE columnist William Gurstelle put together everything you need to get started making your own giant-flinger, or as they’re properly called… trebuchets and catapults! You might ask why we’re putting a guide like this on MAKE, catapult kits sums it up pretty well… “Because the world needs good engineers and scientists, and because the kids who will grow up to become engineers and scientists need a way to get hands-on experience with physics, math and engineering”.

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The Art of the Catapult
Price: $14.95
The best book on trebuchets and other catapults? The Art of the Catapult, by William Gurstelle and published by Chicago Review Press. It’s full of great stories about catapults, science and lots of plans for models.

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Backyard Ballistics
Price: $14.95
There’s catapult plans and a whole lot of other interesting ideas in Backyard Ballistics, also by William Gurstelle and published by the Chicago Review Press.

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Trebuchet connoisseurs and history buffs will find much to like in Sir Ralph Payne-Gallweys 1907 classic work, The Book of the Crossbow. Despite the name, there’s a ton of information devoted specifically to trebuchets. Reprinted in 1995 by Dover Press, it appears out of print, although used copies are findable on used book websites.

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The Trebuchet Model TK3
Price: $60
The Trebuchet Model TK3, from Ron Toms Industries at is a cool desktop model, about a foot tall and swings a two and half pound counterweight.

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The Floating Arm Trebuchet model 300
Price: $150
The Floating Arm Trebuchet model 300 at is twice as big as the TK3 model above. The FAT uses modern physics to turn up the volume on an ancient classic. This machine can handle a 15 pound counterweight.

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Metal, lots of it
If models aren’t big enough, then it’s time to build the real McCoy. But, novice catapult builders often find that full size machines made from dimensional lumber like 2 x 4’s quickly crack and break. So instead, consider using steel. And, nothing says merry Christmas like 16 linear feet of 1/8-inch A36 hot rolled steel angle iron lying under the Christmas tree.

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Cow, moo…
Price: $5.00
Remember John Cleese portrayal of a sneering French soldier in Monty Python and the Holy Grail? What his catapult shoot at Arthur? Cows. And the biggest cow of all is the Charolais. Fetchez la Vaca!

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Pelican hook
Price: $20.00
Building a treb from scratch? The best way to trigger your trebuchet when under load is with a pelican hook. It normally used by sailors for untying their boats in a heavy wind, but great for precise trebuchet launching control as well.

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Cable pullers
Price: $50
The counterweight on a big trebuchet could weigh tons. You’ll may need help to pull the weight down. One possibility is to use
a cable puller, a ratcheting lever that can move most anything. They run from $50 on up depending on the maximum load rating.

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Japanese pull stroke saw
Price: $40.00
Catapult makers need the right tools for working with wood. A Japanese pull stroke saw is mighty handy for making those strong but intricate joints that keeps the big catapults from falling apart during a tough siege.

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Elmer’s ProBond Interior/Exterior
Price: $7.00
After you’ve cut your trebuchet’s joints with the saw, you need to fasten them together. And they need to be strong and
often, rainproof. That means glue is involved. One of the best wood glues is Elmer’s ProBond Interior/Exterior. It’s not expensive and widely available.

8 thoughts on “Gift guide for the trebuchet and catapult maker

  1. says:

    Awesome gift guide.

  2. seo website design says:

    You can also use stainless pipe products and tools for maximum endurance.

  3. 455 stainless bars says:

    wow! I like the Japanese pull stroke saw, never would I thought that a small saw of that size is capable of cutting through hard wood.

  4. stainless steel bars says:

    saw that pelican hook on television, I want to buy hooks like that but I don’t know where.

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