Just for fun we built a small prototype of a trebuchet out of scraps of 2×2 that was lying around. The counter weight is a brick, the sling is made of duct tape and string and the release mechanism is a nail. Simple stuff. Rather surprisingly it threw a tennis ball a good 30′ or so.
This is the static result:
Here’s a short (10sec) video of it being demonstrated by a handy volunteer who happened to be passing.
Since it’s a prototype we need a short ‘lessons learned’ section.
* A drill press would have been really useful. I just can’t drill straight holes for the dowel rods by hand.
* The sling should be longer.
* The counter weight should probably be closer to the fulcrum.
We’ll have a go at doing that for part II. Whenever that will be.