This site will be about Large Trebuchets with a focus on King Arthur and Merlin.
We will post photos and news events about significant activities
- Prince Valiant - World Champ in 2000 at Pumpkin Chunk
- King Arthur - 3 time world champion (2001-2003) (Video)
- Merlin - Debuted 11/2/2007
|Click on any of the thumbnails to see a full size picture
October 2014 - Howard County Fire Dept Chunk: Richard Ryan, Jeff
Hickman and I spruced-up King Arthur. Richard did a lion share of the tough
work - wire brushing all the surfaces so we could paint. It hadn't thrown a
pumpkin in 4 years. We then took the finished product to the Chunk in Howard,
PA. King Arthur was looking good. We were throwing pumpkins into a lake. We
joined the likes of Onager, Pumpkin Flight School and 10 others. The crowd
loved it - even in the wind and cold, but we had a great time. Our team was made
up of Jeff Hickman, Richard Ryan, Gus Morison and me - Chris Gerow. The
team worked like a machine - and King Arthur made us all proud. One of the
teams had a range finder and measured our throws to just short of 1,500 feet -
not bad with the wind in our faces.
November 2014 - Clifton: We had a small demonstration Chunk at Clifton Farm
- what a marvelous place. After examining the videos of the throws from the
Howard County Chunk we did some tuning of King Arthur. So, King Arthur was
throwing like a champ. The team - Peter Hart, Jeff Hickman, and Richard Ryan
worked flawlessly. Josh Collins and his team came down from Pennsylvania to
join us. I have some slow motion videos of King Arthur and a video of the
Howard County machine. Josh (Howard County FD team lead) was aiming for a
small pond in the field, and he hit it on the first 3 throws - talk about being on-it.
A few of King Arthur's throws were just short of the rail road tracks which were
2,000 feet away. So I'm guessing we were a bit over 1,800 feet.
Local Chunk at Long Branch - 2012
I'm helping the folks at Historic Long Branch put together a Chunk on October 13th and 14th.
We will be part of their Fall Fair which attracts 15,000 people. The fair includes Wine Tasting,
Classic Cars, House Tours, Hay Bale Maze, Lawn Mower Races, Monster Trucks, Petting
Zoo, Food Court, and Staged Music..... This is a family affair and lots of fun - It is a gorgeous
place - their website - www.historiclongbranch.com.
We have a few open slots for Trebuchets. If you wish to join us - Please contact me at
email@example.com. We will be given a personalized tour of the mansion (closed to the
public), lunch, and we're trying to organized a dinner on Saturday night.
The innovations that we saw on the Trebuchet line for the "Punkin Chunkin" this year were
beyond belief. There were only 2 machines that followed a traditional design. The rest were
stunning inventions. I was thoroughly impressed.
Pumpkin Hammer won this year with a throw of 1972 feet - and a well deserved win it was.
They have been coming to the show for 9 years and this is their first win. Congratulations to
Rich Foley and his great team.
Right on their heels was "First in Fright". They had a machine that was so inventive - I couldn't
figure out how it worked until I saw the videos. Trey Greer showed us all that you don't need to
be big to be a winner. They had their first throw ever at the show. I'm convinced that they will
blast through the 2,000 foot mark next year. It is a rock solid machine.
American Chucker came all the way from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. They had some
problems this year, and still went home with third place. They also got the prize for throwing
their arm the farthest and with much grace and beauty.
My friend Tom Lum, the creator of Shenanigans, also had a rough time of it this year. He
broke his machine and had to give up his second throw. After some hard work, he got his
machine back together and had a personal best of 1391. His goal was to beat King Arthur,
and he certainly blasted through that target.
As I go through the line, I'm so impressed with the beauty of design, the excellence of
construction, and especially the quality of guys we meet. I have never run into a finer group.
As many of you know, we had our problems with Merlin. The first throw was a miss-fire that
went 200 feet. The next two throws hit the cross bar on the top of the machine. Before the
chunk - we hit the cross bar once. So we picked up last place - and as one of my team
members said "and they can't take that away from us".
Oh well, there is next year. I still firmly believe there are some extraordinary throws in this
design. We just need to squeeze it out of Merlin.
Thank you all for your support.
I've put together a class about the "Fun of Engineering". The focus is to expose kids to what
makes up modern engineering. I've given it 6 times to kids varying in age from 10 to 18. The
- Brief history of how I got involved with Trebuchets
- Review of the software I use (including a kinetic modeling tool for doing all functional
specs, and AutoCAD to do the final drawings)
- Build cycle - amazingly short compared to the design effort
- Testing cycle - this one is fun - I share a number of videos of some of the errors that
occurred and we try to figure out what needs to change to make it work properly.
- Skills required to build my machines - what I have learned
The class has been received very well. I try to give them a break 1/2 way through the
presentation, but the kids will have no part of that - they want to keep going. At the end - most
of them want to have their picture taken with me. But, for me - this has been a lot of fun.
Up to this point - it has been 100% word of mouth, but this will change. I will be contacting
local schools to see if they are interested.
We went to the WCPC this year and came in 3rd. Yankee Siege - what can you say - they
threw one out there 2,039 feet smashing the 2,000 foot barrier. 2nd place went to American
Chucker - a real class act from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. They have an F2K that is very
smooth and very effective - they pumped one out to 1,886 - pretty impressive for their first
showing to the WCPC.
I was very depressed with our showing of Merlin. At home, we could consistently go 1,800+
feet with no counter weight, but at the chunk – 1,535. What is wrong?? We had the same
sling length, pin angle, CW, well leveled - what is it?. On the last throw on the last day, I think
we witnessed a pouch problem. I guess that’s one of those moments.
There is next year. We had some pretty wild discussions on the way home. Need to share
some more Yuenglings perhaps.
We also brought King Arthur - with a great reception. Many very nice comments from both the
line and the crowd. Like Merlin, we had the same pouch problem - we came in 5th.
The Trebuchet line was incredible this year. We have 9 machines over 1,000 feet. This is
unbelievable. Mark from Hokie Hurler was complaining that they doubled their distance and
they are still in 4th place. King Arthur - 4 time world champ - had no shot at placing in this
group. Has the bar been raised or what?
We have made two trips this summer with King Arthur - one to Rockbridge County Fair in
Lexington Virginia for a “Chunk-for-charity”, and the other to VSU at Petersburg to talk about
how a Trebuchet can attract people to Agri-business.
On the Lexington trip we were with Bob Carbo and Onager, John Norcross and two of his
great creations, Col. Greg Mullen with the VMI machine (wooden work of art), and Michael
Sanders and his lovely wife Mary (the spotters).
What a super time we had – all because of the friendship shared among the crews. We didn’
t have a big crowd, but we did almost hit an outhouse (our target) about 950 feet out there.
The facility is a very large horse farm and the views are incredible.
On the VSU trip, David Bresnahan and I thrilled the crowd with some spectacular throws.
They were very high because we needed to stay inside a fence at 1,000 feet. We used 12-16
lbs water melons and they sailed into an explosion that the crowd loved. Our host was
extraordinarily accommodating – as a matter of fact they helped Dave and I do set-up and
Josh Collins and his team from Howard County
King Arthur in Howard County Chunk
King Arthur team in Clifton Farm - Berryville VA