Woodworking Plans

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Introduction: Wooden Desktop Trebuchet

The trebuchet is a medieval invention originally designed to lay siege to fortresses and castles. The largest of them could hurl immense stones hundreds of yards. Now you can have one to play with in your own home. The whole device stands about foot tall when unloaded and flings various things ten feet or more. Moreover, this is a nice introductory woodworking project that you can do with mostly basic tools. Make sure to check all of the images. A lot of the details are in the notes there.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials
3/8"" Hardwood Dowel
3/16"" and 3/16"" square is sold in three foot pieces. You might get away with just two if you adjusted the size of a couple of parts, but you''re going to need pieces of the following dimensions:

2 x 6"" Short frame sides - Part B
1 x 7"" Frame extension rails - Part D
2 x 4.75"" Long diagonal supports - Part F
2 x 2.25"" Launch ramp support blocks - Part H
1 x 7.5"" Lower Arms

Parts D, F, and G need 45 degree miters cut on each end as shown in the picture. The length measurements are, of course, along the long side.

As for the long diagonal supports (Part F), you''t mind it being hard to get the arm out, you can just drill a hole a little bigger and thread the axle straight through the hole.

Step 5: Frame Assembly - Part 1

You might be able to get away with just gluing all of the parts together but I pinned it all together with glue and poplar dowel; it''re really bored, you could precut a bunch of little 3/8"" lengths of dowel and tap them in. Then you wouldn''ve got them. My craft sticks weren''s all together, you can mount the uprights to the rest of the frame. The frame extension rails run right along on top of the main frame rails. Just glue and pin them in place. Things are starting to shape up.

Step 6: Frame Assembly - Part 2

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Now here''t use a lot of pressure or you''ve got some patience, you could glue the parts in place and let it dry before pinning.

Step 7: Throwing Arm Assembly

The arm is easy. The for 1 last update 2020/06/02 lower arms overlap the upper arms by about an inch and a quarter. You just need to line it up and glue it together. Then you need to drill out the axel holes. The axels will be about an inch and a half apart. It''t do the blocks, at least glue a couple of sticks down flat so your projectile doesn''ll need a weight. It can be just about anything, coins, batteries, stones, etc. What I''ll throw a small binder clip about ten or twelve feet at a height of about four and a half feet. A twelve ounce weight gets a height of about six feet or so with a comparable increase in distance. At a pound or more, it gets to be more than you can practically use indoors unless you''ll need a heavier counterweight to get the same distance.

Once you get something together, hang your weight from the the axel between the lower arms of your trebuchet.

Finally, find something to shoot. I haven''re trying to throw.

The arm is easy. The lower arms overlap the upper arms by about an inch and a quarter. You just need to line it up and glue it together. Then you need to drill out the axel holes. The axels will be about an inch and a half apart. It''t do the blocks, at least glue a couple of sticks down flat so your projectile doesn''ll need a weight. It can be just about anything, coins, batteries, stones, etc. What I''ll throw a small binder clip about ten or twelve feet at a height of about four and a half feet. A twelve ounce weight gets a height of about six feet or so with a comparable increase in distance. At a pound or more, it gets to be more than you can practically use indoors unless you''ll need a heavier counterweight to get the same distance.

Once you get something together, hang your weight from the the axel between the lower arms of your trebuchet.

Finally, find something to shoot. I haven''re trying to throw.

Step 9: Fire!

To fire your trebuchet, drop your arm into the uprights and hook the loop at the end of your projectile over the pin at the end of the throwing arm. Pull the arm down and place the projectile in the trough. When you''t go so smoothly, you may be able to do a few things to help it. If your launch is too high or too low, you can adjust your pin or the length of the cord on your projectile.

And there you have it. The whole thing is probably over engineered but it looks nice and works well. In fact, if you wanted to get crazy, the thing could probably hold pretty much as much weight as you could fit though the uprights, easily five pounds or more.

Thanks for looking. This is my first Instructable so I hope it''re having a blast.

0
Pierred43

3 years ago

Hi Is it possible to have the measurements in metric?

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Chrisb24204

4 years ago

For any guys that do shotgun reloading, mix bird shot with melted wax for the weight. You can then make the weight whatever shape and size you want, without worrying about melted lead fumes, since wax melts at a much lower temperature. Anybody that''m talking about

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doodoo123

8 years ago on Introduction

could the 1 last update 2020/06/02 you give me the sizes of wood i would need to make the trebuchet in double the size. thanks
could you give me the sizes of wood i would need to make the trebuchet in double the size. thanks

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james.c.andrus

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Multiply x 2. 3/8 x 2 = 3/4.

0
Assassin4627

7 years ago on Introduction

wow this comment stream is the most epic and longest i have ever seen.

1
sing1ejack

7 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for the materials & sizes. To speed things up and simplify it a little I took the side braces off. It still works ok: the uprights are pretty stable, though not as solid as they would be with that third outside brace.

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r-philp

7 years the 1 last update 2020/06/02 ago on Introduction 7 years ago on Introduction

My son and I just finished building a trebuchet base in your design. It came out quite well. We made some modifications; We doubled the scale. I was able to make a sling pouch out of denim that released properly. I added a catch to the throwing arm, so I can be cocked, loaded, and finally released by pulling the catch. A bucket of pennies provides the counterweight, although I think we''re going to build a really big one outside next!

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tulekah

10 years ago on Introduction

WARNING!!! nobody seems to have mentioned that TIRE WEIGHTS contain CADMIUM to harden them. CADMIUM vapor released by melting tire weights is far more dangerous to life than plain lead fumes. I nkow of at least two cases of near-fatal heavy metal poisoning of mountain man types casting flintlock balls from tire weights!!! Me, i used pennies for me weight, easy to fine-tune the range by adding or subtracting a handfull.

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Thundermoon99

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

yes but penny fumes also release zinc oxide

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Rangemaster42

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I have melted tire weights in order to cast bullets for more than thirty years. Provided you do it in a well ventilated area there is no danger involved. Tin and antimony are used to harden lead in wheel weights. Cadmium is mostly used for battery plates WHICH SHOULD NEVER BE USED and for cable sheaths.

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I am Silas.

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for You could also use dead batteries for weights.

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ilpug

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

or a bunch of nuts. the kind that go on bolts, that is.

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rabbitkillrun

10 years ago on Introduction

All of the above is for wimps. I use my bare fists. 

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Armestam

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for  All of for 1 last update 2020/06/02 the above is for wimps, I use none of the above. All of the above is for wimps, I use none of the above.

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rabbitkillrun

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

None of the above is for wimps. I use Australia. 

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Gksarmy

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Australia is for wimps. I use the Earth.

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rabbitkillrun

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

The Earth is for wimps. I use the Milky Way. 

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red211

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

the milky way is for wimps. I use my steel toe boots