Jon With His Trebuchet

This budding young woodworker shares a catapulting interest.

SHOP OWNER: Dave Glackin
LOCATION: Columbus, IN

    With Father's Day upon us, I thought I'd send pictures of a recent father/son project I did with my 12-year-old son, Jon, for his Social Studies class.
    I had been thinking of building a trebuchet ever since those episodes on Northern Exposure a few years ago, so when Jon told me he wanted to build one for class, it seemed like a perfect opportunity.
    I based the design on several pictures I found on the Internet, but simplified it for easy screw-together construction. The material is mostly maple and a little cherry gathered from scraps and cutoffs lying around the shop. I turned them into dimensional lumber and sketched a basic plan, and then Jon did the rest.
Jon's Trebuchet

    Under my watchful eye, he measured and cut to length all the pieces using a miter saw. He used a cordless drill to drill and screw the frames together. He used the drill press to drill the holes for the steel rod we used for pivot pins. He also did the glue up for the main beam, used the band saw to trim some parts that wouldn't work on the miter saw, and used a brad nailer to assemble and attach the tray at the bottom.
    All of this was a first time experience for him and I am exceptionally proud of the way he handled himself and those tools. We both really enjoyed ourselves and I think this is just the beginning of a number of joint projects.
Jon's Trebuchet

    After a few trial firings and a little tweaking, the trebuchet will consistently fire acorns (our ammunition of choice since we have a number of large oak trees in our yard) a little over 50 feet. It really wowed the rest of his class when he took it in.

. . . Dave Glackin



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