How to Make a Catapult - Your First Project

Many visitors to this website are interested in learning how to make a catapult. This interest is certainly easy to understand, after all, how could building an actual working replica of a medieval siege weapon not be fun and exciting?

The only "problem" with actually making a working medieval catapult is that many of the people who have an interest have no experience in engineering and have not built anything in the past.

For this reason, I will be focusing on how you, as a complete beginner, can successfully build a working model of a medieval catapult.

To accomplish this goal we will be taking full advantage of resources that are available which you may not know about.

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Before we continue... I need to point out there is always the risk of injury when you are dealing with any kind of mechanism that is hurling objects. Also, there is the risk of injury when actually building the catapult itself.

With these risks in mind, please only proceed to build your first catapult knowing that YOU are solely responsible for all risk and any injury to yourself and others that may result from you using the information I am sharing with you on this page.

I am NOT responsible, and I will not be held responsible, for your actions.

I know that last paragraph may seem a bit harsh but I had to warn you.

First, it is only being responsible to do so. I don't want to see you injure yourself or another person.

Second, I need to protect myself from the few people out there who look for opportunities to sue other people thinking it is just a form of playing the lottery!

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Okay, if you are still with me, knowing that you bear the full risk of proceeding, let us continue.

As I mentioned on the Build a Catapult page, the very first things you need to do when setting out to build a catapult is determine the type of catapult you want to build and decide if you want to tackle the project from scratch or use a kit to make the task a lot simpler.

For a complete beginner the choices are obvious. You should take advantage of a kit instead of tackling the job of designing and building your own catapult from scratch.

That still leaves you with the choice of what type of catapult to build.

At this point I want you to take the time to check out a fantastic online resource.

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Please note: If you buy anything on the site I am about to show you, I may be paid a small commission for "referring" you (and it doesn't increase your cost at all!). How cool is that? I finally found a way to help you and help me at the same time. Talk about a win-win!

Okay? This is pretty common online (I bet nearly every website you visit uses it) but most don't tell you! And a lot of them also just recommend any old junk and don't even bother to actually check it out at all. The great thing is any funds I receive helps me to pay for this site. If I am really lucky I might even make a profit one day! =)

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Alright, let's carry on.

This website will show you how to make a catapult a lot faster and easier than you may have dreamed possible. When you click on that link the site will be opened in a new window. If you have a pop-up blocker on please turn it off. Don't worry, after the site loads in you can turn your pop-up blocker back on.

Okay, go ahead and click on the link and take just 30 seconds to check out the items on that page and then come back here so we can continue. I'll be waiting. =)

Are you back? Great!

Now, I realize you are probably excited about Stirling Warwolf Trebuchet or The World Famous Floating Arm Trebuchet but my advice is to forget about those until you learn the basics of how to make a catapult.

Certainly they are both very impressive machines but we want your first project to be as simple as possible. Also, you have to consider the sheer size of those machines. Do you really want it taking up 1/3 of your living room?

Now let's take a look at the following items (these 5 pages open in a new window).

The TK3 Model Trebuchet Kit

Science Project Experiment Catapult Kit (S.P.E.C.K.)

Desktop Trebuchet

Desktop Onager

The Miniature Trebuchet

As you can see these are perfect for your first projects and they will provide you with a great working knowledge of how to make a catapult that actually works.

Some other nice features of these projects are the size and relative simplicity. These machines will not take up much room and they will be much easier to build due to the small number of parts and the weight of the parts.

Go ahead and make your choice of the three. Which do you want to build?

The two desktop and the mini project kits cost about $30 plus shipping & handling and the Model Trebuchet and S.P.E.C.K. cost only $59 plus shipping & handling.

If price is a concern then choose either the Desktop Trebuchet, Desktop Onager or Miniature Trebuchet. These three are the best beginner projects anyway. I only provided Experiment Catapult Kit and Model Trebuchet Kit as options for you to consider in the case you are really ambitious, already have some basic construction skills or have one or more people who are able and willing to help you.

Now, I do not know how old you are but here are my age recommendations for these kits.

The Stirling Warwolf Trebuchet or The World Famous Floating Arm Trebuchet are for people at least 18 years old.
The TK3 and S.P.E.C.K. are for people at least 14 years old.
Desktop Trebuchet, Desktop Onager and Miniature Trebuchet are for people at least 9 years old.

Using the requirements of cost and age you should be able to narrow down your choice.

After you have made your decision go ahead and take a look at the contents of the kit and learn a bit more about it.

When you are certain of your choice go ahead and make the order. Don't worry this is a trustworthy place who have processed dozens of orders for me with no problems at all.

Okay, are you excited? You should be! In just a couple of weeks time you will know how to make a catapult because you will have already built your very first working catapult. No longer will you be dreaming about it, you will have actually done it! And then you can move on to one of the other larger projects if you have the interest in doing so. Many people are happy just to have built one small working catapult while others want to go larger and build a sort of fleet of medieval siege weapon replicas.

So, what now?

Here is what I recommend that you do.

Take a close look at the requirements of your kit and spend the next few days getting everything together.

For example, if you do not have wood glue write that down. Once you have listed everything you need to buy (and this should only be a few inexpensive items) you will need to visit your local Walmart or other favorite store and purchase these items.

Next, decide on your work area. Where will you work on this project?

It is very important that you have a clean work area and ideally one where you will not be bothered by other people.

I realize you might think I am going a little overboard telling you these things but it really is important and makes a world of difference in how easy your first project is to complete.

Once you have accomplished these things...

  • Chosen your catapult or trebuchet kit
  • Ordered your kit
  • Purchased any items needed for your kit
  • Prepared your work area

... sit back, relax and smile.

You will soon know exactly how to make a catapult!