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2007 Punkin' Chunkin' Pictures

The long-awaited (perhaps) pictures from the 2007 World Championships of Punkin' Chunkin' are now available for viewing. They are somewhat grainy and the dark areas are very dark due to them being scans of photos (no digital camera at the time), but there are still some good shots there. These are only maybe 1/3 of the pictures taken, but they are a good sampling of what was down there, and shows most of the trebuchets and torsion machines. A bunch of the Magic of Merlin, the latest and greatest from Chris Gerow, the inventor of the King Arthur trebuchet. Check them out and enjoy!

Jeckyl Hyde Video

The log from last Sunday's launch with Jeckyl and Hyde is now available, along with a brief video of all the shots we took that day. The bottom line is that while we have fixed the issues with the secondary trigger, we have not fixed some other design flaws, pertaining to the fact that the in riggers are too close to the hanger arms, and a couple of other issues. For these reasons, we are not going to release the Jeckyl and Hyde plans, despite the fact that they are 90% finished for public usage. The machine has just too many issues to make it safe enough for others to be using, even if just using the frame to support a standard trebuchet. Sorry to all those who were waiting for those plans the last couple months, perhaps someday when we build a new King Arthur those will be released, as we now have a good handle on what needs to be done for a good King Arthur.

Site Maintenance

Major site maintenance was desperately needed, and it has now been done. With a switch in HTML editor to Microsoft® Expression Web (got it free through an educational program), updating the templates no longer needs the use of some slightly invalid HTML code and a very rough-coded updater written a year ago and never really finished. In short, updating is now MUCH easier. The dozens of pop-up pages for all of the images and descriptions in the image galleries are also gone, replaced by an image gallery script (Floatbox). It still needs some tweaking, but it works.

Jeckyl Hyde Launch

Today was our first launch of the year. We loaded up the newly-repaired Jeckyl and Hyde into a couple of cars and drove off to the same field nearby that we have been using for about a year and a half now.

Readying Plans for Download

Okay, it's been close to 2 months since the last real site update, and no, those Jeckyl and Hyde Trebuchet plans are still not done. They are very close, however, and time permitting, they will be released pretty soon. There are only a few more assembly tips and some formatting to do, so all that is needed is some time. That has been rather lacking in the last two months. They've been crazy, and by the end of the day, there is no energy left to work on them. Hence the lack of a release. Some site maintenance is also sorely needed, but those plans will be released first. Vacation is coming up in less than a week, so they theoretically could be uploaded then. Quite possible. Stuff from this year's World Championship of Punkin Chunkin will also get released, lots of pictures to be uploaded there. Hang in there guys!

It's a New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Just a slight tweak to the template used for the website, made the page sizes a touch smaller and they should load much faster. They also display more similarly between Firefox 2 and Internet Explorer 6.

Jeckyl and Hyde Plans on the Horizon

There has been interest in the free trebuchet plans that have been promised, and no, they are not here yet. However, the plans for Jeckyl and Hyde, previously stated to be only partially released due to the number of problems we have had with the machine, are actually being redone so that they can be posted here in full. This is in light of what we have discovered as to why the trebuchet is not firing reliably as a King Arthur. Basically, it is due to how we have put the secondary cable guides onto the short arm. A simple fix, really, and the frame itself has been working tremendously well since the frame extensions were added this spring. So, keep tuned for the plans, they should be available soon. They will not be step-by-step ones, however, although they will be fairly straight-forward to follow.

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Use "common sense" when operating trebuchets and catapults. Even little ones can be dangerous. Do not place anything you are not willing to lose in the plane of the arm rotation (this includes yourself, body parts, car windshields, cameras, etc). These catapults and trebuchets are capable of throwing just as far backwards as forwards, and the use of a backstop of some sort is recommended, though the use of one does not make the region behind it safe.

Also, just because the throw got away safely downrange does not mean the end of the danger. The arm is likely still swinging wildly along with the counterweight, and there is a sling whipping around. One thing many people fail to take into account is this sling; some people put a metal ring on the slip end of the sling and this ring can HURT when whipping around!

Have fun hurling, but please KEEP IT SAFE!!!