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How to Build a Tabletop Catapult

Launching an aerial attack? Build a small, tabletop catapult to help your projectile assault get off the ground.


  • Step 1: Screw an eye hook into the catapult arm 3 inches below the free end. Screw another eye hook into the front of the catapult in the middle of the base. Make sure it lines up with the hook on the catapult arm.
  • Step 2: Once the rod is secure, position the arm in the middle of the catapult. Wrap tape around the rod on either side of the arm to hold it in place, making sure the wood can still pivot freely.
  • Step 3: Build a basket for the catapult. Fold 1-inch creases into opposite sides of the poster board square and cut 1-inch incisions an inch in from either edge of the creases. Fold the flaps up, then fold each section to create a box with the flaps inside, and staple to secure it.
  • Step 4: Glue the basket to the catapult arm so that one of the sides meets the eye hook. Allow it to dry, then string a rubber band between the 2 eye hooks. Load the basket with ammo, pull back the catapult's arm, and fire at your target. Bombs away!
  • FACT: Though the first catapult in Europe was built in the 4th century BCE, the mathematical theory explaining how it worked was not developed until at least 100 years later.
  • TIP: Place glue into the depressions to help secure the metal rod.
  • Step 5: Drill slight depressions on the inside of each side of the upright, 1 1/2 inches above the base. Slide the metal rod through the hole in the 12-inch piece, which will be the catapult’s arm, and place its ends inside the depressions in the uprights.
  • Step 6: Screw a non-angled piece of 6-inch wood perpendicular to the 12-inch piece, so their bases align and its side lies flush with other 6-inch piece's angled edge, forming a right triangle. Glue the 6-inch pieces together to complete the base and upright section. Repeat the process to make a second identical side piece.
  • Step 7: Use the protractor to draw a 45-degree angle on both ends of a 6-inch piece of wood. Saw the wood on the angled line on both ends so that it looks like a long, thin trapezoid. Then, screw one end to the end of a 12-inch piece of wood, so the two pieces are flush with their corners meeting.
  • TIP: For added hold, nail the back end of the upright where it meets the angled wood.
  • Step 8: To attach the 2 sections together, screw one piece of 6-inch wood perpendicular to either end of each 12-inch piece. Screw a third 6-inch piece midway up the sloped pieces, and screw the last 6-inch piece to the opposite side of the upright pieces' top ends.
  • Step 9: Cut a straight 6-inch piece from the coat hanger using wire cutters. Then, with a drill bit that's slightly larger than the resulting metal rod, drill a hole through the remaining 12-inch piece of wood, 1/2 inch from one end.
  • : This is a toy, not a weapon. Never aim at someone's eyes or head.

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