October 13, 2005
UPDATE: download this as a SketchUp model here.
This Trebuchet is a small (10ft/3m throwing arm) version that uses a bucket filled with bricks/stones for the counterweight. The crucial component here is the sling- made from a diamond of leather stitched to two cords. One end of the sling is tied to the end of the throwing arm, the other has a loop tied around it which is slipped over the throwing arm. When you release the trebuchet, the arm swings around and flicks the sling around. At some point, the loop slides of the end of the arm, and the object you are throwing (rubber chicken, rotten lettuce,water balloon, tennis ball etc..) is released. Not much else to say that is not obvous from the picture, besides this: make sure that your entire supporting structure is very solidly braced or guyed, otherwise you may find the entire thing collapsing after a few shots. Also, if the sling releases early, the projectile can either go straight up, or backwards, so make sure that you have cleared a safe area behind and in front of your position. anything to the left or right is generally safe.
This is a projectile weapon, with a potential range of 100m/300ft. DO NOT aim this at anything you do not want to hit. DO NOT load any hard objects (bricks etc.) into it. REMEMBER your cone of danger extends in front of and behind your trebuchet