Building a catapult is perhaps one of the most rewarding things that a hobbyist can ever create. The good thing is that it does not have to be expensive. It only takes a few pieces of wood and some rope and you’re done! Sounds easy doesn’t it?So how to build a catapult that works well?
Of course when you are building a toy catapult then everything is fine but if you are building a large one that can actually hurl a couple of pounds upwards needs more solid and sturdier parts.
Building full size catapults require industrial grade cords and building woods that are specially treated not against wear and tear but against insect infestation.
But going back to how to build a simple catapult, working on a desktop or toy catapult require basic equipment like a few strips of wood for the arm, a heavy base where the catapult can be rooted, and some rope or twine (works best) and a few nails.
The first part is to create the arm which can hold the “bowl” or payload, then the swivel mechanism to hold the arm and let it flex back and forth. Once you have joined the two, then you can attach it to the base via glue or nails – whichever is stronger. All that’s left is to pull the arm back, load it and release.
The flexibility of the wood arm gives the spring power. In case the soft wood is unavailable, you can use any household spring – you determine the softness or hardness of it, and use that as the power for the arm. Lets move further on the topic of how to build a catapult.
Many people have used clothes pins as their power arm and some even use automotive springs to create a stronger throw. But one thing you have to remember is that when you upgrade one part of the catapult, the rest have to match as well. It’s like putting a strong engine in a car that has sub standard parts. The car won’t run well. Same goes for any catapult. If the spring is too strong, it might rip the catapult from its base. So in this case the base has to be more secure or heavier.
Hobbyists sometimes argue on using more metal than wood in their design. That is fine but if you consider the way they catapults were made before, then it would be 95 percent wood and perhaps 5 percent nuts and bolts assembly. What held the machine together was rope and more rope.
So if you are building one and you want to go back to using a traditional feel, then the best is to go wood and rope. If you want to make it last longer and perhaps carry a bigger payload, then more metal is really needed.
The more you know about hot build a simple catapult, the more you might want to use and create more versions like the Trebuchet or Onager. These versions need more practice and more sturdy parts for they really strain each parts with force. You can learn many things other than how to build a catapult for you also learn to build on human friendships.
Certain principles of geometry and physics can inspire learners to know how to build a catapult. The Â· strength of catapult structure will depend on the angles made through the sticks or materials to stand as the frame. Right angles or 90 degree angles make a stronger foundation than any other angle. The accuracy of the shot will depend on the position of the material to be projected, while the speed that the projected material take on the air will depend on the distance of the catapult from the target, the weight of the projectile material, and the angle at which the material takes off. If one wants to know how to make a catapult, he or she should remember that all parts, including the projectile, should be proportional to the size of the torsion springs or the elasticity of the rubber band.
Knowing how to build a catapult begins with deciding on the size of the catapult. Popsicle sticks make a good frame material for catapults that will be used by children. Masking tape or strings can hold these sticks together. Pieces of wood and a few screws or nails will be needed if one wants a catapult that measures more than a foot in length and width. The sticks or the wood should have the same length. Two or more rubber bands or any elastic material can be used for the arm of a small catapult. A coiled wire or torsion spring should be used for large catapults. Lastly, a lot of patience is needed while building the catapult. A popsicle stick catapult may take 30 minutes to complete but a larger catapult will demand a couple of hours.
One could know how to build a catapult frame with a little knowledge of right angles or perfect triangles. The base or frame of the catapult can be a square or triangular-shaped platform. One can easily make a square or even a rectangular base with right angles. Form a 90 degree angle by putting the ends of two sticks together. Secure the sticks together with tape. Wood and other materials can be secured with nails or screws. Make another 90 degree angle with two other sticks or wood, and then put the two 90 degree angles to face each other. Secure the two newly formed 90 degree angles in order to complete the square. Four 90 degree angles should have been formed now.
On the other hand, a perfect triangle or an equilateral triangle base can be formed by putting the ends of three sticks or wood together. Sticks or wood of exactly the same length will easily form three 60 degree angles. Secure the materials together.
One knows how to make a catapult of strong firing capability when careful attention is given in making the catapult arm. Two sticks or wood are needed for the arm. Bore a hole on one end of each stick. Secure the stick ends together by inserting a wire through the holes. A hingle can be used for large catapults. Connect the catapult arm to the base through tape or nails. The remaining task now is to set up the springs. For a stick catapult, secure one end of the rubber band on the free end of the arm and the other end of the rubber band to the stick that is standing at right angles to the base. Secure another rubber band to the free end of the arm and then secure it loosely to the base. The rubber bands will make the arm lie at a 45 degree angle. For large catapults, the spring coils should be secured on both sides of the arm base. One would be successful at knowing how to make a catapult when the projectile material on the free end of the arm shoots up in the air.