This weekend, I went back to the garage and pulled out the catapult.
I had picked up more wood, and this time around, had a reinforced frame knocked together in no time, with extra bracing all around to ensure that the torsion engine (also known as the 'really tightly wound rope') wouldn't crack the frame again.
No problem, right? I had the rope looped back through in a second, and began the winding. Yeah. The frame wasn't the problem. The rope was.
Just a hair past where I had it last time, the rope split. No problem, I thought: I'll use a cotton line twisted double for extra strength.
When all else fails - do what the Romans did: Go for nylon.
This one lasted no problem, and I was able to get a good tension going. I also figured I'd let the sling hang over the edge of the retaining wall to give our ammunition/potato good clearance.
With a little tweaking, we had this one hurling potatos 20 meters or so, and I think I can get a bit more out of it with a some adjustments of the sling mechanism. The neighborhood kids all came by and took a turn as well (which was great, because otherwise, it would've been me having to chase those potatoes, and that would be Quite Wrong). By the twelth or fourteenth launch, though, the whole thing was starting to shake itself apart on every throw. I kept having to bang the braces back together, add more nails, etc.
This weekend, I'll head down to the DIY store for some metal strapping to brace the joints.
And then? Then we'll go hunting for Visigoths...
Who knew science could be so much fun?
Click below to see a the 4 year old Critter operating a catapult.