Thomas’ Army of Knock Down Catapults

Viewer Project - By Thomas Kolleck from Champlin, MN
Added on January 6, 2015

This small army of miniature catapults came to be for my son’s 5th birthday party. My wife thought that it would be fun to let every guest walk away with something memorable. Since the Party Theme was Knights and Dragons, catapults seemed like a fitting choice. But they had to be something that could be assembled (otherwise it would not be fun according to my better half).

Rather than going online and buying a bunch of pre-fab catapults, I opened my mouth and said “I can build these myself”. Well, I did get them done at 3 a.m. the day before the party, partially due to procrastination but mostly due to completely underestimating the amount of time it would take.

After building a somewhat crude prototype, I decided on the concept of the slide in side walls that are held together by the wheel axles and the pivot and stop shaft. After completing the base and side walls, I found out that the walls on the sliding joint were too thin and could easily break just by pushing the side pieces together which happened when I inserted the “stop” shaft for the catapult arm. Luckily I was able to save the project by making supports to prevent lateral loading on the joint, which were the only pieces that needed to be glued to the base plate. The rest is held together by the “keyhole” joint and the axles and shaft.

Overall, they turned out great and the kids had a lot of fun with them during our long range shooting contest.