Looking for a thrilling and educational DIY project to fill your leisure time? Bungee cords are versatile tools that can aid in organisation, fitness, and countless creative uses around the home. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to build a catapult using bungee cords – an ideal activity for school holidays or fun family projects. You’re sure to have a blast as you learn how to make a catapult out of wood, bungee cords, and a couple of other tools!
What you’ll need to build a catapult:
Two x 7.5-inch-long pieces of wood
Three x 14-inch-long pieces of wood
Two x 24-inch-long pieces of wood
One x 28-inch-long piece of wood
One x 10.5-inch-long piece of wood
Two x large, strong eye hooks
20-30 long screws or nails
A cup (to hold your projectile)
Four x 20-24-inch bungee cords
A dowel or pipe that is about one-inch thick and 12 inches long
Chisel with mallet
How to make a catapult out of wood and bungee cords
Want to know how to build a catapult that shoots up to 10 metres? This wooden catapult is powerful, sturdy and, most importantly, fun to use! So, follow our 10 steps to learn how to build a bungee cord catapult.
1. Drill holes at the end of your wood
Let’s start by taking the two 24-inch-long pieces of wood. On one end of each piece, mark about 3.5 inches away from the edge. Then, drill a hole with a 1-inch diameter at each marked spot. This ensures that both pieces are identical, which is crucial for a sturdy catapult.
2. Mark and chisel the wood
To create the launching mechanism, measure 5.5 inches and 8 inches down from the end of the wood with the drilled hole. Make precise marks at these points and then proceed to saw halfway between them, creating a thick base. Use a chisel and mallet to remove the excess wood, giving your catapult a smooth finish.
3. Make your base
Assemble the base by securely screwing the 7.5-inch-long pieces of wood to the corners of the two 24-inch-long pieces. For stability, ensure that the 7.5-inch pieces are on the inside, while the 24-inch pieces face outwards, placing the marked areas on the outside.
4. Attach the legs
With the base in place, take two 14-inch pieces of wood and make a mark 2.5 inches from the edges. Carefully cut halfway in and chisel away the excess wood to create notches. Now, screw together the two 14-inch pieces of wood to the notches of the two 24-inch pieces from the base.
5. Add a horizontal plank
Next, drill the 10.5-inch piece of wood to form a horizontal line to the top of the 14-inch pieces. Make sure the plank lines up and that it lies attached on the inside.
6. Cut the angle
From there, take the third 14-inch piece of wood and cut two angles on it. These angles will allow both ends to be drilled and firmly attached to the base and the horizontal plank above, reinforcing your catapult’s strength.
7. Add the catapult slinger
To enable the catapult’s launching action, grab the 28-inch piece of wood and drill a 1-inch wide hole through one end and through the side.Insert the dowel or pipe through one side of the base, then through the hole of the 28-inch piece of wood, ensuring it remains central to the dowel. The dowel should then be inserted through the other side of the base, aligning the 28-inch piece with the angled wood above.
8. Drill in the eye hooks
Drill one eye hook to the bottom of the angled piece of wood, facing the ground. Next, drill another eye hook into the slinger piece of wood (the end of the 28-inch piece), with the hook facing the end.
9. Paint and customise
Now that your catapult is taking shape, let your creativity shine! Custom paint your catapult in any colour you like, and add patterns, stickers, or text to make it uniquely yours.
10. Attach the bungee cords and cup
Finally, attach the bungee cords and hooks to the drilled-in eye hooks. Glue the cup securely to the end of the slinger piece of wood, and voila! Your homemade wooden catapult is now ready for some thrilling experimentation.