How to make mini catapults

Written by alice stewart
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How to make mini catapults
Use stacked tin cans for target practice with your mini catapult. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Mini catapults consist of a wooden handle and an elasticated mechanism to fire small objects such as peas, paper balls and pebbles. Mini catapults are also known in Europe as slingshots, but they are different in appearance from the traditional American catapult, which is a type of medieval weapon. Mini catapults are fun toys that can be used for target practice, but they should never be fired directly at a person. All the materials required to make catapults can be purchased from craft stores or online retailers.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Y-shaped branch
  • Sandpaper
  • 2 thin elastic bands
  • Thick elastic band
  • Glue (Superglue)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place the Y-shaped branch onto your work space and use sandpaper to give it a smooth finish. The bottom of the branch will form the handle, while the two top edges will be attached to the thick rubber band.

  2. 2

    Leave the branch to dry out in a warm, dry room for 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Measure the distance in between the top left side of the Y-shaped branch and the top right side. Measure and cut the thick elastic band so that it is 4 inches larger than this measurement.

  4. 4

    Apply a drop of glue to the left end of the thick rubber band, and stick it to the top left side of the Y-shaped branch. Repeat this technique to stick the other end of the rubber band to the right side of the Y-shaped branch.

  5. 5

    Hold a thin rubber band between your thumb and index finger. Snip through the top of the thin rubber band to change it from a band into one long piece with two ends. Repeat with the other thin rubber band.

  6. 6

    Wrap one of the thin rubber bands tightly around the end of the thick rubber band, where it is glued to the branch. Tie the end of the thin rubber band in a tight double knot around the branch. Wrap the other thin rubber band tightly around the right side of the thick rubber band, where it is glued to the branch. Tie the end of the thin rubber band in a tight double knot around the branch to secure the thick rubber band in place. The thick rubber band acts as the firing mechanism, while the two thin elastic bands, and the glue, secures it to the branch.

Tips and warnings

  • To use your mini catapult, place a small object into the middle of the elastic, pull back the elastic and release.
  • Never fire a catapult towards a human or animal.
  • Never use metal or sharp objects in your catapult.

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