How to Build a Desktop Catapult
Build this awesome desktop catapult with leftover wood, a couple of dowels and some rubber bands. Your inner child will love it!
An hour or less
Less than $20
IntroductionIf you are anything like me, once a project is finished, you have all of this offcut lumber left over and hate to throw it away. It just feels like a waste. Well, this desktop catapult project will put that extra lumber to use. Put this cool little catapult on your desk at work to annoy your coworkers, or gift it to one of your young relatives. Since the only power tools we used are a jigsaw and a drill, this miniature catapult is easy for even a beginner to build!
- 1-1/4-in. Forstner bit
- Drill press
- Speed square
- 1-1/4-in. trim-head screws
- 1x2 board
- 1x4 board
- 3/8-in dowel
- rubber bands
Project step-by-step (6)
Crosscut the Lumber to Length
Begin this desktop catapult project by first clamping down your board and use your jigsaw to crosscut the 1x4 board to 8 in. for the base (Part A), the 1x2 board to 12 in. for the arm (Part B) and the 1x2 to (2) 6 in. lengths for the vertical struts (Part C). Mark the lengths with a pencil and use a speed square with the jigsaw to make a straight cut.
Cut Notches with Jigsaw
Place the 6 in. boards on the corners of the face of the 8 in. board and scribe the lines that need to be cut with a jigsaw. Clamp the 8 in. board to the work surface and cut out the notches with a jigsaw.
Drill the Holes for the Dowels
Temporarily fasten the struts together with painter’s tape face to face. Mark 3/4 in. and 4 in. on one of the struts and drill 7/16 in. holes on those marks with a drill press. Mark 3 in. from one end of the arm (Part B) and 3/4 in. from the other end. Drill straight through the board with a 7/16 in. bit and drill press.
Use a Forstner Bit to Create the Desktop Catapult Bucket
Mark a spot 1-1/4 in. from the end of the arm (Part B) and 3/4 in. from the edge. Drill about halfway through the board with a 1-1/4 in. diameter Forstner bit.
Fasten the Struts to the Base
Drill a pilot hole in the struts (Part C) and fasten them to the base with two 2 in. trim head screws.
Finish the Assembly with the Dowels
Cut the dowel to three 4-1/2 in. lengths and slide them into the holes, creating the final form of the catapult. Put the rubber bands on the catapult to finish the project.