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The Little Trebuchet That Could

Building a Simple Trebuchet

Science of a Trebuchet
Building a Simple Trebuchet
Trebuchet Sketch
Construction Photos
Testing Procedures
Meaurements and Calculations
Beastly Changes and Discoveries
Birth of BEAST 2
beast 3
The Designers

Preparing the Base and Supporting Beams


  1. Cut a piece of pink insulation into a 10” x 10” square.
  2. Take 3 bamboo skewers and tie a length of nylon string around from top to bottom, and back.  Make sure blunt ends are together and sharp ends are together.
  3. Repeat step 2, three more times creating a total of 4 beams. (Note: These make the frame for the trebuchet)
  4. Mark off 1” from the blunt end of each beam.  This mark is the point of intersection where two beams are tied together with the nylon, creating an angle.
  5. With a felt marker, mark off an 8” x 8” square on the pink insulation.
  6. Stick each end of the beams into a corner of the drawn square of the insulation.
  7. Duck tape 2 bamboo skewers 1.5” apart at the centre of the insulation, serving as a track for the ball to glide through.

Making the Arm


  1. Use a wooden paint stirrer and attach a 4” x 2” x 1” Spruce wood to one end with a 2.5” screw.
  2. Using an electric drill, drill a hole big enough to fit a chopstick in. (Note: The chopstick will act as a pivot point).
  3. Drill another hole closer to the end of the arm.  Push half a chopstick into the hole. (Note: This chopstick will hold the counterweight).
  4. Bend a paper clip and duck tape it to the other end of the arm.
  5. Stick a chopstick through the other hole, creating a fulcrum.
  6. Place on top of the intersections of the beams and add the counterweight.


For help, please refer to the "Materials" page.

Photos of the various parts are included in the following pages.