How to Make an Ancient Roman Catapult

How to Make an Ancient Roman Catapult thumbnail
The catapult has been in use since Roman times.

The catapult was the main weapon of mass destruction of the ancient and Medieval times. It could hurl rocks at buildings and castles that could cause extensive damage. Mounted on wheels and pulled by a team of oxen, the catapult, also known as a trebuchet, could be moved where it was needed. For the time, it was a sophisticated machine that could terrify those having to withstand the rocks falling on them.

Things You'll Need

  • Plywood
  • Saw
  • Wheels and axles (axles should be 10 inches wide)
  • Stapler
  • 1-inch by 1-inch timber
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Rubber band
  • Teaspoon
  • Twine
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Instructions

  1. Making The Frame

    • 1

      Measure, mark and cut out a rectangle 9 inches long by 6 inches wide on a piece of plywood.

    • 2

      Cut two 9-inch lengths of 1-by-1-inch timber and nail it in place, one piece along each other, along the edge of the plywood catapult platform.

    • 3

      Measure and mark 4 1/2 inches along both the long sides. Cut two 3-inch lengths of the 1-by-1-inch lumber. Nail one securely in place inside the wood you’ve nailed to the plywood, with one edge of the wood up against the mark. Repeat the process on the other side, making sure the wood butts up against the mark.

    • 4

      Cut a 2 inch piece of 1-by-1-inch lumber. Fit it snugly between the uprights you’ve just put in place and nail it in place so it’s flush with the top of the uprights. On the half of the platform without the uprights, measure along 1/2 inch from the upright along the side piece, and 1/2 inch up from the platform, and mark, and repeat the process on the other side.

    • 5

      Turn the catapult frame over and measure in 2 inches from each end, and mark it. Staple the axles in place on the platform to make the undercarriage.

    Completing The Catapult

    • 6

      Fit a one-fourth-inch bit to the drill and drill through the wood side frame on the catapult platform at the marks you made by the uprights.

    • 7

      Poke a heavy rubber band through one of the holes and hold in place with a nail through the loop in the band outside the frame.

    • 8

      Twist the rubber band several times to increase the tension on it, and poke through the other hole and hold it in place with a nail through the loop of the rubber band.

    • 9

      Take a teaspoon and work the end of the handle through one of the twists in the middle of the rubber band. Pull the spoon back to the platform and release so that the spoon makes an arc, but is stopped by the bar across the uprights.

    • 10

      Hammer two small nails into the edge of the plywood on either side of the teaspoon. Knot twine around one. Hold the spoon against the uprights and tie the twine to the spoon where the handle meets the spoon. Leave a length of string behind that to pull back the spoon catapult and tie around the other nail. Pull the spoon back, put a marshmallow in it and release.

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References

  • Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

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