How to Build a Trebuchet

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How to Build a Trebuchet

How to Build a Trebuchet

If you want to build a miniature version of a trebuchet, here is a set of simple guidelines.

Things you will need

You would first need to gather some wood and stuff for your trebuchet such as:

  • 2 small triangular pieces of wood, about 6 inches
  • 1 18 inch ruler-like stick or wood, about an inch thick
  • 2 14 inch ruler like stick or wood, about an inch thick
  • 2 12 inch ruler-like stick or wood, about an inch thick
  • 3 6 inch ruler-like sticks or wood, about an inch thick
  • Something heavy. This would serve as the counter weight. (You can use rocks, heavy lead washers, coins or anything you think could be of just the right heaviness for a counterweight)
  • A piece of scrap cloth
  • Small screws and nails
  • Hooks (the ones that look like question marks)
  • Wires or nylon cords
  • Cardboard
  • Masking tape or packaging tapes or electrical tape
  • Metal pole about six inches (this should be strong enough to support the weight of your counterweight)

If you have the aforementioned materials, place one of the 14 inch piece of stick or wood on its side (horizontal).

Making the Trebuchet

Measure about 4 inches from its end then mark it.

Attach one of the 12 inch piece of stick or wood to where you have marked in an upright manner (vertical). This would now look like a letter “L”.

Afterwards, connect the triangular piece of wood to the horizontal and vertical pieces of wood (the apex of the triangle should be aligned right to where the vertical and horizontal pieces meet). This would now look like a slide or a diagonal shape on one side (you may use glue and screws).

Next, assemble the other pieces of 14 inch, 12 inch and triangular pieces of wood so that it would make a replica of what you have just done. The measurements used for the first one should be exactly the same as the second one. This will now serve as the sides of your trebuchet.

At this point, connect both sides together. First, place a piece of the 6 inch wood on each end of the horizontal wood. Fasten them by screwing the 6 inch wood onto their ends, then screw another piece of wood right next to the vertical pieces (right behind the triangle). This would look like bridges connecting the two sides. You need to make three bridges (two on both ends and one next to the vertical wood).

Then, measure and mark two inches from the top end of both the vertical pieces of wood. On the spot you have marked, create a hole on both pieces of the wood (you may use a drill or punch a nail to make the hole).

Next, lets make the arm. First measure and mark three inches from the end of the 18-inch piece of stick. Then, create a hole from where you have marked. You can add holes (of about an inch from one another) if you wish, change the distance that your trebuchet can send projectiles.

Afterwards, put a hoop hook at the very edge of the 18-inch wood (this would make it look like a lightpost). Then, set a nail on the other edge.

Then, secure the counterweight (you can tape it up or wrap it). Tie a string around it (you can tape the string on the counterweight so that it does not loosen, but just keep enough excess string). Use the excess string and tie it very securely to the hook.

Next, make the pouch (where you will put your projectile). Do this by folding the cloth and tying the outer points of the cloth (keep the excess string, and just try to make it look like a small bag or pouch). Fasten and secure the string to the nail on the edge of the arm.

Then, insert the metal pole through the arm. Afterwards, assemble and fasten the arm to the two upright pieces of wood by inserting it to their holes.

Next, glue the cardboard to the base of the trebuchet.

Launching a Projectile

Now, you have a trebuchet! To launch a projectile, just put it in the pouch (the counterweight should be in a raised level), and RELEASE!

Trebuchet Image Gallery



  1. Bostons Group said,

    on October 30th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I dont know what to do. What is the difference between a German thing and a French thing.


  2. a person said,

    on June 1st, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    it could do with some pictures

  3. Jeremy's Group said,

    on February 16th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    okay, well we dont know what were are really doing here so i think we need your help a little bit. please and thank you.

    jeremy’s group
    xoxo ily