Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Going Postal

My life for the past few months have not been what you would call low stress.  I have a lot of people worried about me and there was a comment at work saying "remember I was nice to you when you go postal." I really do not plan on going postal and I do not think I will.  I have a couple of stress relievers for me.  One being a family who loves me, a wife who supports me.  The second is a hobby that I enjoy that brings smiles to others.  From these two bring challenges, adventures and joys that outweigh the stresses of life.
However if I was going to go postal I would have fun with it.  This is my latest project.  I made five and I am not allowed to keep any in the house.  So I really don't know where they are going.  Maybe one will end up at work just in case.  In case you were wondering.  They are trebuchets, or medieval catapults. 

These are all made out of scrap wood.  In fact, there is no two made out of the same wood.  There is pine and birch in all, some have walnut, or poplar, or oak, or beech
The fun part of this challenge is making them work.  I have been trying to launch caramel squares and they have been going about 4 feet.  This is clearly unacceptable.  So now the fun is what works and what doesn't.  I have tried adding weight and removing weight.  Adjusting the pin angle and removing the brad head on the pin nail.  There is also changing the length of the string.  I have manage to throw a Sees chocolate ball 10 feet.  That is better but not yet good enough.  I am running out of ammunition, candy has it downfalls, so I hope I figure out soon.
The other fun part of this project is that I do not care about finish or how they look in the end.  There are pencil marks and rough edges.  I do not believe they looked like works of art back in the time they were used so why should they now?
One note, Hersey kisses tend to fly backwards.  I do not recommend using them.
Here are the safety rules from Wood Magazine where I got the plans (Katie stop reading here):
Where eye protection - "You'll shoot your eye out." I did while constructing them, does that count? Check out the video.
Never aim at a person or animal - Tell that to the demo video!
Do not launch metallic or sharp objects - It says nothing about Greek fire (flaming marshmallows).

As soon as I figure the optimal way to launch objects, I will be ready to lay siege.

By the way I do consider this a toy but not for the kids.

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