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
Merlin Team - 2007
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Chunk 2010 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.
Summer 2010 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 class covers:
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.
November 2009 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?
Summer 2009 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.
7/17/2009 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.
Please click on the thumbnails to see a full view of the pictures.
8/18/2009 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 take-down.