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.)

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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

View more articles by John Edgar Park


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