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Barry's Trebuchet


I have seen a lot of trebuchets and built quite a few including a ten footer that slings rocks quite a distance. And without a doubt this trebuchet is one of the most beautiful I have seen. It was built by Barry and my thanks go to him for sharing this with us and sending me the pics! Well, Barry is a carpenter and he applied his skills to this project with remarkable results. He has some great advice for us on treb building and how he made this one. Here is what he has to say:


Inspired by your site, I took on the challenge of building a trebuchet! I am a Canadian Carpenter posted here in Afghanistan. The body is made of purple heart, while the tower and arm are of oak. The wheels are of a local wood found here in Afghanistan, I'm unsure of it name. The counter weight is made of 3" steel stock, I epoxied Purple heart to make it look like a barrel of sorts. As I don't have access to an accurate scale I estimate the weight to be about 4kg. I added a feature of an adjustable finger, this saves me from bending the finger to adjust the angle. as this is my first attempt at building a trebuchet, I relied on the works of Donald B. Siano, "Trebuchet Mechanics". I'm proud to say the trebuchet is constructed using very little metal. All joints are glue and dowel. Now to answer the big question, Does it work? Absolutely! I made wooden "Heads" from 1" dowel stock and am able to fire them at unsuspecting Electricians over 50' away. I'm sure once I am home and have access to an accurate scale I can give more detail about weights and ranges. For now, Electricians and Plumbers must duck!

Barry and his trebuchet


Side view of the trebuchet

The release pin

Rear view of the trebuchet

pinned wheels


How to make a catapult book cover

The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery - Nice book that shows you how to build ten different catapult projects, moderate wood working and pvc piping kind of stuff. Good book with complete instructions and materials lists.

Backyard Ballistics

Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices Want to get a little more creative? This book is off the hook!

Wooden trebuchet

The Miniature Trebuchet by Timberkits

The trebuchet was the ultimate artillery weapon of the medieval period and early renaissance. A large and unwieldy weapon, it was typically built on-site during battle, and tuned to lob great weights - such as the carcasses of rotting horses and pots of burning pitch, over the castle walls and onto its inhabitants. Precision carved by computer controlled machinery for guaranteed fit and accurate joinery. The detailed instructions include loads of photos of each step of the construction process, tuning tips and safety notes. Included in the kit are four wooden projectiles, all the necessary components for the sling, trigger, and counterweight bucket as well as all the parts for the kit. The only thing you'll need to supply are 88 pennies for counterweight and a few simple tools - Scissors, a ruler, a utility knife, wood glue and a few rubber bands to hold the pieces together while the glue dries. Manufactured by RLT Industries