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Treb Jr. is an experimental 4' traction trebuchet. It was made from the remains of oak pallets used to carry plate steel to Digital Corporation. The arm is a young ash tree. The fulcrum came off a dead lawn mower shift lever. The pouch came from an old pair of jeans. Surprisingly, I did purchase some bolts and rope for this machine.

Here is a picture in the early spring being loaded with a milk jug partially filled with water. I'm standing to the right untying the last victim, and Kevin is standing behind the trebuchet.

We later learned that milk jugs do not make very good projectiles for such a small siege engine. At this time we were getting very unimpressive ranges, but most of our jugs could clear the tops of the neighboring trees. We used milk jugs because they were easy to tie to our throwing rope.


Here is another picture of my 4' trebuchet in mid-summer. It had been upgraded to have a sling which made the loading of the trebuchet much easier. This time we threw water balloons which gave us much better distances. Unfortunately the G-forces on the backswing often caused them to explode and shower the people behind us.

Since this picture we have moved to throwing soda cans, 20oz bottles, and small recyclable containers. With small stones we have achieved distances of up to 70 yards!

In the foreground you can see our cat Gwenevere walking dejectedly away. I guess she had been hoping for a ride in a catapult.


Here is a picture of me preparing for a toss, and also throwing a stone across a swamp in Maine. We achieved some impressive (but unmeasurable) distances across the swamp and into the forest on the far side. A typical toss went over those trees on the far side of the swamp.


A fun activity here is identify what pixel is the stone being tossed. Don't waste too much time though, as I have the original photograph and I can't find it there either.

I am often asked "Why a traction trebuchet, and not a counter weight powered one?" A counterweight can launch things much farther, but as this image shows, a traction trebuchet is much more interactive. That's one of the things that has caused me to drag this thing to 4 different states since it was first built.


Well, 70 yards wasn't enough for my brother Greg. Here he is at my folk's house showing how a leftover branch and his truck can be combined with the little treb to create a massive 7 foot jug tosser!

Even if I had the shots of the arm breaking into 3 pieces and flying about while the frame tried to flip over the edge of his truck upon us as we pull, I still don't think I'd put them on this web page. At least our projectile (1/2 gallon of water) went backward away from us giving us one less thing to worry about.


Here is a close up of the pouch used for Treb Jr. This is made of some denim jeans with holes cut in the ends to handle the rope. It seems pretty small, but it will hold a gallon and make it flip backward quite impressively.


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Twas' brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe...
Last Modified: 11/22/16