Simple games are often the most fun and this catapult game has proven to be just that. We wanted to create a game that took a little skill, was easy to make and could be easily replicated. All three categories have been checked for this toy. We have had a blast playing with it so far and I think the adults might be getting more joy out of it than the kids.
If you are the video watching type, here is a short video showing how we did it. If you’d rather read and look at some pretty pictures, there are details and images below the video as well.
If you want to make it, here’s what materials you’ll need:
- 1/8″ Hardboard (thicker may work also) – scraps should be plenty
- Hardwood or Pine Board scraps
- Short Screws
- Wood Glue
- Acrylic Paint
Also, here are the tools we used:
- Table Saw
- Ruler or Tape Measure
Beginning Measurements & Cuts
The first image shows all the dimensions for the towers and the catapult. They are pretty simple and straightforward and honestly, they can be adjusted however you see fit. This isn’t rocket surgery… at least I don’t think it is, because I am not a rocket surgeon.
Anyhow, I started out by making a 2″ x 2″ block of oak that I planned to use for the fulcrum. I cut this down on the table saw to get those dimensions. Then I marked a line from corner to corner and ran it through the band saw to get to triangular pieces that then had a 45 degree angle. I left them long for now so I could get the width measurement a little bit later.
I cut two (2) 11″ strips out of a piece of 1/8″ hardboard that were 1.75″ wide. I then crosscut those so that I had a 5″ and 6″ piece. Keep in mind that while everything is being made that you will need to double every piece so that you have two sets when done.
After I had those cut out, I laid that across the oak fulcrum to get the correct width and then cut it to the correct dimension on the band saw.
I also cut two small strips of a piece of scrap walnut that were 1/2″ x 1/8″. This will be the rest for the projectiles. This can be made out of anything; even more hardboard.
Now, everything is cut out for the catapult itself. We’ll get to assembly in a later step.
Making The Towers
The towers, as with most of this, can be made out of some scrap wood. I used some old pieces of a headboard from a bunk bed. These were ripped and jointed until I had long pieces that were .75″ x .5″. These were then crosscut into the following pieces (lengths for one set):
- 1 @ 6″
- 1 @ 5″
- 1 @ 4″
- 3 @ 2.5″
These will make up the towers for one player and each player will have a matching set. So, you will need to double the numbers above.
Initially these were going to be made out of pieces of dowel, but we quickly discovered that they were too light to actually knock the towers over. So, instead we made these .5″ x .5″ x .5″ cubes out of the same wood from which we made the towers. Make as many as you like. We made 12 of them.
Also, now is a good time to sand every single part that can be sanded. We won’t bore you with pictures or video of that process. Blah!
Assembling The Catapult
Assembly of the catapult, much like the rest of this project, is pretty simple.
The fulcrum gets glued and clamped 2″ back from the front of the bottom panel, which is the 5″ long piece of hardboard. The small piece that is 1/8″ x 1/2″ gets glued and clamped 1″ from the end of the 6″ piece of hardboard. Let them set for a bit before moving onto the next step. Maybe 30-60 minutes.
The 6″ piece of hardboard that has the projectile rest gets attached to the fulcrum. It gets attached on the side that has the longer part of the base protruding. It is attached by drilling two holes and driving in two screws. Make sure these are short screws. The reason for these being screwed in, is in case the firing or launching board ever breaks it can be easily replaced.
Test it out and see if it has some spring to it. If it does, you’re good to go.
How you want to paint them is entirely up to you. We just painted them with opposing colors of white and blue. The tips of the towers were painted and the entirety of each catapult was painted to match. Acrylic paint worked great for this.
That’s it. These really are more fun than they might appear. The way we plat it is pretty simple. The two players are about 6-8 feet from each other. The towers can be set up however you’d like. The first one to knock down the opposing players towers wins the game. A typical usually lasts about 10 minutes or so.
At the end of the video in step 2, you can see us play it a bit.
If you make it, we’d love to know how you enjoyed it or maybe even see some pictures.
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