One big factor in the efficiency of the trebuchet is the location of the pivot point on the swing arm. The free plans for this project recommend you drill several holes so you can experiment with this factor. I recommend you screw and glue all the parts together for maximum strength. Of course everything is just recommended and you should feel free to modify anything you like and substitute anything for the parts you have available.
The Free Trebuchet Plan is located at the bottom of this page:
If you came to this webpage directly from a link or a search engine: This Trebuchet plan is the plan that accompanies the tutorial on how to make a trebuchet. The tutorial takes you through all the steps, complete with lots of pictures, on how to make the Little Dragon Trebuchet. . You can find the assembly tutorial here: The Lttle Dragon Trebuchet (There is also a video of the Little Dragon firing off)
I have also put a larger version of this trebuchet plan on a clean webpage so you can easily print it out. Here
About the Trebuchet Plan
There are a couple of things I want to point out about the plan:
- The Red Marks are screws or nails and glue. This shows how the different parts of the trebuchet are affixed to each other
- Dotted Lines - if you are not familiar with blueprints the dotted lines represent parts that are behind other parts.
- The plan points out the location of the pivot point. This is four inches (4") from the counterweight side of the swing arm. This is a location that worked well for my trebuchet but you may want to tinker with this. How heavy your counterweight is has an effect on this.
- The Pivot Point: is the axle from a toy car
Here is the Trebuchet Plan:
Want to build a bigger, better, more powerful or fancier siege engine? There are some great books available to you. These books, available at Amazon.com, will help take your trebuchet or catapult building to new heights! Pun intended!
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: 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!
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
Wooden Trebuchet Kit
This is a replica of a hinged counterweight trebuchet that was used during the middle ages. The details have been pared down to make this as simple as possible. Everything you need to assemble and launch is included with the kit: wood glue, bouncy ball, pre-cut and pre-drilled wood, vinyl pouch, trigger and fully illustrated instructions. With a full counterweight box of rocks, batteries, coins, or anything else you can launch the bouncy ball 30ft! Have fun launching dog treats, parachute army men, blueberries or anything else. It's a great learning experience with its hands on building and simple but in-depth physics. This kit has won science fairs, been used for summer camps and after school programs, featured in "Best of" shopping magazines, in-class demonstrations and more. It's fully adjustable release pin makes it the most customizable mini trebuchet for sale. Use it to learn about medieval siege weapons, physics or to destroy your building block castle.