Juggernaut is our first large scale throwing machine. We used this
design for our experiments for 1.5 years. That time culminated in
attending the 1998 World Championship Punkin Chunk
After using a 4' trebuchet for the last two years, at last a traction
trebuchet large enough to climb in, which we have called "Juggernaut".
It acquired this name since it was designed to throw 1 gallon jugs,
and competes with pumpkins. (That would be the NOT part.) Here we
see my brother Greg attaching a tree limb to the fulcrum. We
eventually created a much better arm (the one that was designed for
this frame). At the time of this photo, however, we were too psyched
to wait and immediately went out to throw some stuff.
Juggernaut was designed to fit mostly in my truck. This explains the
small solid triangles, and the tension ropes used to hold the thing
together. The whole thing breaks down to 5 8' beams, 2 4' beams, 2 3x5
triangles, and a coil of rope. Items not pictured here include the
14 foot arm, and two 5' chute sections.
Our first toss. Greg and I are pulling on the limb, as Kevin watches
the OJ jug fly majestically backward into the fall foliage.
This arm lasted for two throws. After the second reverse-toss, an
onlooker pointed out that the arm was bending. Intrigued, we reset
it, and Greg started pushing on the arm to make it bend. "Hey, check
this out..." Sproing Sproing CRACK! Oh well.
Posing before a long day of tossing, Roger and Kevin stand with the
newly created, never before tested arm, throwing pouch, and chute.
This image is nice because you can get a good idea of the dimensions
when related to a couple of normal humans.
Here is a shot post-toss. We had just thrown half a gallon of water,
and you can now see us looking up in horror wondering if we are about
to be struck down. Notice the big splat marks very near the trebuchet
from earlier activities. Fortunately, the object in question went
Here is a shot early on in a launch, but later in the day when it
started getting dark out. Three of us are pulling, (Roger is behind
the mailbox) and we got 1/2 a gallon to go about 40 ft.
It starts getting dark out early in the winter. You can just see the
lines as the gallon swings to the left in this image. I post this one
for artistic reasons.
After a long day of throwing water, Roger begins to disassemble the
trebuchet by taking down the throwing arm. Being enthusiastic tossers,
we had continued to throw things late into the evening.
We did a lot of experimentation with pouches for Juggernaut. This
pouch is the third one Amy
had made for us for this machine. She sewed some old green army tent
canvas into this shape, then we added the grommets on either end. We
use quick-links to attach the pouch to the machine because we tend to
swap pouches in and out depending on what we are throwing. We still
use this as our `small' pouch for 20oz soda bottles, and smaller
We had pulled out grommets, and tore many of our green canvas
pouches. When the 1998 punkin chunk came closer, we gave up hoping
to have a green pouch that would last, and made this one. We bought
two basket ball nets, and linked them together with a bit of clothes
line. We use the quick-links to easily swap this pouch in and out.
Here we are after the arm came falling down upon us. I am holding a
piece of the treb which can be seen flying off in the
We journeyed forth to the basement, gathered our implements of
construction, and reattached the offending piece with bigger screws.
To prevent further breakage like this in the future, we trimmed the
arm on April 22nd so it can now pass between the posts in the frame
Here are a couple shots of the trebuchet in mid throw. You can see
that we are getting an early release, causing our objects to have a
very high release angle, and not promoting forward distance. This is
something we hope to correct.
For more on Juggernaut, see the 2001 History Channel Chunk when we
resurrected her to be filmed by the History Channel!