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Build a Desktop Catapult!

March 26, 2016
Read time: 2 mins


Target practice is a favorite desktop diversion of many a desk jockey. Turns out it can be a bench top diversion as well. 


Like the rest of us, Linn likes the idea of firing projectiles across a room, so she sets out to design and build a bench top catapult. She wants it to be nice-looking and strong, so Linn selects mahogany for the base, oak for the posts, and mortise and tenon joinery. 

  • The angled tenons are like a mini timber frame. These joints were cut by hand. 
  • The cup is cut with a Forster bit into a thick slab of mahogany and then circled with a band saw. 
  • The hinge piece was a 3/8 inch oak dowel, but that broke in the heat of battle, so Linn replaced it with 2/8 inch threaded rod.
  • Another piece that broke in battle was the arm holding the cup—originally it was made from mahogany, so Linn replaced it with oak. 
  • She also replaced the metal spring with a rubber band because it seemed that the spring was too strong for a weapon of his scale. When Linn storms the castles of Corvallis, she will use a metal spring, but for this tester model, a rubber band seems to work just fine. 

And if the castle is made from yogurt cups, she will indeed be the victor. 

This seems like it would work well as a dashboard, tailgate, or sawhorse catapult as well. 


—Linn learned woodworking as a kid in school in Sweden. Her store, at DarbinOrvar.com, sells woodworking mallets and finishing wax. Her YouTube channel has a lot of 'Make' videos. She lives in Corvallis, OR.


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