Trebuchet 1


This was the very first trebuchet I have ever constructed.  It uses a hinged counterweight, which is composed of several 15 lb. stepping stones.  The total counterweight was around 85 pounds.  The throwing arm was a very small pine tree that I cut down.   The tree’s bark was chiseled off, holes were cut out for the axle and counterweight, and a small steel rod was inserted into the end.  The steel rod was the trebuchets release pin.  The axle for the machine was an old .75’’ steel pipe.  The final result for this trebuchet was 100ft. with a tennis ball, and a similar distance with a very small rock.

The trebuchet stands about 40 inches tall. I am inspecting the positioning of the projectile before a launch.
This trebuchet had a hinged counterweight composed of several stepping stones. The total counterweight was around 80 pounds. A hinged counterweight is desirable instead of a fixed counterweight. A fixed counterweight takes longer to fall, as the weight must travel in a circular path. With a hinged counterweigt setup, the weight falls in a nearly vertical fashion. Since the weight falls faster, the end result is increased throwing arm speed, which of course results in a further projectile launch.
Two A-frames were constructed from scrap wood. The throwing arm is a small pine tree. The axle is a hollow 1'' steel pipe. Grooves were then cut from the wood and clamps were used to secure the axle.
The trebuchet is ready for launch. The launch mechanism is composed of two eyehooks connected to the trebuchet's base, and one eyehook connected to the throwing arm. After the throwing arm is brought down, a pin (connected to a rope) is inserted between the three eyehooks. Once the pin is quickly pulled out, the trebuchet fires. The rope is twenty feet long so I can fire the machine from a safe distance.

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