How To Build A Ballista As A Home Project

Built by Greeks, refined by Romans, war games of the period, weapon which initially used to throw rocks into enemy castles and strongholds, later resembled a giant crossbow, replaced by catapult, quick form of transportation easy take-off, landing issues

Not barista mispronunciation of oriental tendencies for the beverage brewer at your local java dive.

Root word for ballistic ballistics expert on spent bullets and guns knowledge, gone off rocker, no control once it leaves the source, hope for the best to reach target

A ballista is a weapon of ancient warfare, initially designed by the Greeks. It is
considered the technology of its period as it is able to hurl giant rocks to break castle walls and cause a significant dent in the enemys defenses. The Romans later refined the design into the beginnings of a giant crossbow of sorts. It also evolved into a catapult.

Before attempting any further, some research on how to build a ballista is recommended. It is technically not a difficult task to accomplish as the proof of the pudding is in the execution post-construction. In building a Greek ballista, identify sufficient footprint space for the ballista which includes its wooden base and the wooden arm once released. For added mobility, add some wheels to the base with brakes to keep in place during execution. Remember to give allowance for projectile testing. If you have a suitable backyard, do inform your neighbors beforehand to avoid unexpected calls from the local law enforcement. Otherwise a field is a better option.

Build a heavy base to avoid it topping over once the arm is released. Securely attach a basket or wooden box to one end of the arm to contain the projectile.

Add a pivot at one side of the base and securely attach to the end of the arm without the box. Add a winch to the base with a sufficient length of rope. Attach the other end of the rope to the end of the arm with the box. Turn the winch to tighten the rope and tautly pull back the arm. Secure the winch to avoid accidental release of the arm. Place a projectile in the box and release the winch for a pilot test. Stand clear of the front of the ballista to avoid getting hit by the arm slamming to the ground. Continue to fine-tune the ballista until pilot testing is accomplished.

Alternatively, you can build a ballista resembling the above with a slight variation to launching technique. Instead of the winch pulling taut the arm, build a wooden track in which to launch the projectile. Place the track at an angle to ensure maximum coverage of distance. Securely attach the winch at the lowest point of the track. Place a backing board at the highest point of the track and use the winch to pull the board back to the launching position to place the projectile. Once again, secure the winch to avoid accidental release.

Place the projectile at the launching position and release the winch. Continue to adjust the angle to achieve best results.

In building a Roman ballista, construct a heavy base and a wooden track as described above. Since it resembles a crossbow, either purchase a bow or build your own bow by bending a flexible yet strong wooden board. For easier flexing, either steam or soak the board and attach a bow string. Attach the bow to the highest point of the track, facing out as per normal practice but in a horizontal fashion. Pull back the bow string as much as possible to the lowest end of the track, place a projectile and release. Continue to adjust the angle to achieve optimal results.

Once you have managed to build any of the above ballistae, invite a few friends over for a demonstration and a competitive game of hitting targets.