Make a desktop catapult

Make a desktop catapult



Let’s face it, nobody needs a medieval siege weapon on their desk. Or do they? I recently decided that the lack of catapults in our brainstorming sessions at work was negatively impacting our ability to be creative. So I decided to remedy this. My friend Bill Gurstelle is the dean of siege weapons, so I chose to build a modified version of the Roman onager-style catapult from his book The Art of the Catapult. Using only pine, twine, pegs, glue, and a re-purposed night-stand drawer pull, I was able to build a great looking, fun, and functional desktop catapult.



Dremel Multi-Max oscillating tool with wood blade, sander attachment, and sanding pads.
Drill or drill press with 1/8″, 3/16″, and 1/4″ bits
1″x1″x48″ length of pine. You’ll use 40″, but it’s good to have extra for
error and kerf.
3/4″x3/4″x10″ length of pine. You’ll use 8″.
3/4″-diameter x 8 1/2″-long wooden dowel. Sold in various lengths, you’ll cut to size.
3/16″-diameter wooden dowel. You’ll need to cut four 1 1/2″ lengths.
1/4″x1 1/4″ hardwood fluted dowel pegs (20)
Small bowl, tablespoon, or other suitable projectile cup 1 1/2″ diameter, with screw for mounting
Wood glue
Wood stain and foam brush (optional)
Carpenter’s square with 45-degree angle gauge
Dust mask
Safety goggles

MAKE_DownloadPDF_icon.gifDownload the Project PDF
(Right click to save the PDF to your desktop.)


John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He builds project for Adafruit Industries. You can find him at and twitter/IG @johnedgarpark

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