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Make a Miniature Ballista Part 3

In this part of the tutorial we use string or yarn to make the skeins of twisted string that power the ballista.


Part 1 of this tutorial is here



wrap the string

Grab yourself a bottle or can of about average size. I am using a V8 can. And wrap string or yarn around it ten times to form a loop. This is a skein.

I will show you this whole process to do one side of the ballista. But you will do it twice. Once for each side of the ballista.








The wrapped string

Here is the skein.








Tie a string on

Tie a string on it.








Put dowel in the loop


Now feed it through the set of holes on one side of the ballista. All the way through. Capture one dowel in the loop at the top , pulling it tight. This peg is an inch and a half long.










Put another dowel in

Then feed a peg through the bottom loop too. This peg is an inch and a half long.













Feed dowel through the skein

Now feed a two inch dowel through the center of the skein.













Twist the top


Now twist the top and bottom dowels so the skein tightens up and forces the middle arm out to the side like this.










Test it

Test the springing action of the center dowel. Twist those dowels so that center one has nice snap to it. If your dowels tend to slip you can push a toothpick into the foamboard to hold the dowels from slipping.






Dab of glue

You can put a dab of glue on it to hold it in place.








NextOk! Let's finish this ballista!

The Art of the Catapult

The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery

Whether playing at defending their own castle or simply chucking pumpkins over a fence, wannabe marauders and tinkerers will become fast acquainted with Ludgar, the War Wolf, Ill Neighbor, Cabulus, and the Wild Donkey-ancient artillery devices known commonly as catapults. Building these simple yet sophisticated machines introduces fundamentals of math and physics using levers, force, torsion, tension, and traction. Instructions and diagrams illustrate how to build seven authentic working model catapults, including an early Greek ballista, a Roman onager, and the apex of catapult technology, the English trebuchet. Additional projects include learning how to lash and make rope and how to construct and use a hand sling and a staff sling. The colorful history of siege warfare is explored through the stories of Alexander the Great and his battle of Tyre; Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Third Crusade; pirate-turned-soldier John Crabbe and his ship-mounted catapults; and Edward I of England and his battle against the Scots at Stirling Castle.


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