This is the last of the random images tonight, I promise.
In October of 2005, my friend John held a pumpkin chunkin’ contest at his home in Valley Falls, NY. The rules were basic: Construct a device that could accurately lob a smallish pumpkin to a target. No explosives, compressed air, internal combustion, or other power source was allowed. Strictly a mechanically actuated device.
My problem was that while John’s house was in NY, mine was (is) in GA. It would be difficult to carry a large device on an aircraft and expensive to ship one. My solution: dig out all those boy scout lashing skills and build a trebuchet on site the day of the contest. Thankfully, John’s house has a lot of forest for the taking.
The device was a good first try. The hardest part was trying to fix the counterweight on the end of the throwing arm. I ran out of time to do a good job and ended up just hanging it from the end, which made the trebuchet rather inefficient. Nevertheless, it did fling pumpkins about 75% of the way to the target (at least when the release mechanism worked and the pumpkin wasn’t being hurled straight into the ground). Great fun!
You can see over there on the left Chris’ much more conventional, much more accurate and much more powerful elastic-band-powered pumpkin slingshot. That thing had some throw!