I have never built a trebuchet but have seen several being built. I would
like to point out that the ones that were most effective were built on a
design used by Edward "Longshanks" of England against the Scots. It had a
swinging counterweight box that you could put rocks, dirt, sand, or other
material into to whatever mass you wanted. King Longshanks couldn't have
told you why, but the design he used imparted more force to the projectile
and was more accurate than a counterweight fixed to the throwing arm. It
has been a long time since my classes in school, but here's the way I think
it works. It has been theorized since the Rennaissance that gravity
accelerates all things constantly at the same velocity. This was proven on
the moon when one of the astronauts dropped a hammer and a feather at the
same time and both hit the surface at the same time. On earth that figure
is 32 feet per second per second or 32 feet per second squared. By using a
swinging counterweight you, in effect, lengthen the time that the
counterweight is in free fall, thereby imparting a greater velocity to
imparted to it. This allows more force to be exerted on the object being
propelled because force equals mass times velocity squared. Anyway, King
Longshanks used his trebuchet to bring down castle walls in Scotland. There
was an excellent Nova Special on this sometime ago. It was highly
interesting. I am looking forward to reading about your baseball chunker.
However, I would advise caution. Always be aware of what is down range, and
use a tapering jig next time you cut tapers. Have fun.
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