Warning: A catapult is a weapon and should be handled carefully to avoid injury.
- 3 in. x 1/4 in screw with locking washing and nut
After we finished playing around with our catapult, we decided go bigger. So using some old pieces of 2x12s that I had laying around we created a catapult large enough to launch tennis balls a couple houses up the street. It turns out that Catapult v2.0 also worked well as a kind of pitching machine. Anyway, here's the video:
The only thing that's left now is to slap a couple of bicycle wheels on this thing so my son can haul it around with his PowerWheels Jeep. I wonder how well this would launch snow balls... Anyway, do be careful when using the catapult, especially when handling the arm; when tightened up, the arm store enough potential energy that, when released, is enough to break bones or cause other injuries. In other words, keep your hands away from the throwing arm at all times!
If making a catapult from scratch just isn't your thing, there are some easy, build-it-yourself kits from places like ThinkGeek or CatapultKits.com. Personally, I've found that my son enjoys building things as much as he does using them.
That's it for now; back to being a Daddy...