Free Ballista Plans?



Thanks for stopping by but I don’t spend six months developing, prototyping, testing and producing plans with the intention of giving them away.

I do however have plans in development that will be for sale as soon as I finish writting the instructions for them. At a mere $20 for hard a copy it’s extremely cheap. You see I do this for a living and $0:00/hour is just a little bit less than I can live on.

And no you will not be able to get them as downloadable files because I want to delay how long it will take for someone to pirate them and profit off my work. I’m really quite a prick like that, expecting to profit off my own work.

The trebuchet plans will be available by October and the ballista should be done in time for Chistmas.


UPDATE: Heres a free trebuchet plan for you. Read the post carefully.

UPDATE: Go here if you’re looking for a large ballista plan and want to answer some questions on the subject. Below are the links to the two files to build your own rubber band powered table top ballista. At present the free ballista plan has had well over 1,000 downloads and the donate button has been used a total of zero times. So, you’re welcome, but give some thought to actually flicking me a couple of bucks once in a while because I’m feeling not particulaly inspired to keep working for free.





24 Responses to Free Ballista Plans?

  1. hicktown says:

    I don’t need one of these, Murray, but I’d appreciate being able to nominate a target.

  2. How about plans for a large wooden rabbit?

  3. Actually, I’ll be up for the trebuchet plans!

    $20 is a bargin!

  4. Tobyn says:

    Are the plans ready yet? I have $20 in hand but no idea where to send it (and maybe a sample screenshot of the plans would be nice so people [myself included] don’t wonder about the quality of the work).

    Email me any info..thanks!

  5. Ethan says:

    Just FYI, it looks from the picture like you are offering plans for a trebuchet. A ballista and a trebuchet are two very different things. I have personally built a ballista, and it resembles a crossbow that generally uses twisted rope to generate force. You may want to consider revising your naming technique in order to avoid confusion.

    I wish you the best of luck in selling your plans.

  6. Murray says:

    Yes thanks for your advice Ethan but without being spectacularly sarcastic if you actually read the post you’ll see its the result of people coming to my site looking for something for free and me telling them I don’t give them away. Consequently I’m not going to put the image up so people can’t steal it.

    If you take a good look at those displayed plans it says “trebuchet” on the cover. Something to consider is that I design catapults and sell plans, kitsets and completed machines so there is the slight possibility I might have a clue what they’re called.

    Go here
    and you’ll see a miniature image of the ballista plans including the engineering specs for machining the parts.

    My site is littered with details of siege engines in fact it has its on category. Take a look around.

    I’m also running New Zealands first gathering of siege engines in 6 weeks time. One hopes I’m not just making it up as I go along.

  7. garrett says:

    there are lots of free plans on he internet for aneything like for balllista plans i found them at and when i built my 14foot tall trebuchet i just uped the mesuerments from the plans i got free from and you can find out how 2 use them bolth at maney diffrent web pages

  8. garrett says:

    what part do i ajust to verry the range my treb fires i heard that its something to do about the sling but should i make mine longer or shorter?

  9. Murray says:

    You can do it four ways.

    1. The missile. The trebuchet is very sensitive the weight of whats its throwing. This can get confusing though as sometimes using a lighter missile will reduce the range. This is because it causes the sling to rotate faster and release sooner. Which brings us to number 2

    2. The release hook angle. The further back it is the sooner the sling releases this can include firing the missile backwards. Napoleon managed to do that himself. the second shot went straight up then came back down on top of the machine destroying it and he decided to stick to cannon.

    The further forward the hook the later the sling releases.

    I’ve actually made and adjustable release hook for my smaller machines to make it easier to tune the machine.

    3. Sling length. The long the sling the longer it takes to rotate to the release point and the more speed it has. Shorter will be the opposite.

    4. The counter weight. This is actually one of the favorite ways of ranging a trebuchet. Many artillery operators I know have a set base weight and use lead weights or sand bags of a known weight to fine tune the range.

    Something to keep in mind is the greater the range you achieve the greater the stress you are putting on your machine and the sling especially.

    ALWAYS make sure it is clear behind the machine before you throw, you’ll often hear an ex-army machine captain call out “BBDA” to get a confirmation it is clear before he commands the release. This is from using light anti-armour weapons – back blast danger area.

  10. someguy says:

    lol. What took you 6 months to build a ballista? Everywhere I look it’s people saying that it took them, like, months to make things like this. I decided to build, bought the materials, and completed my ballista in about 8 hours without any plans at all. lol. it may not look like much but still shoots. And good luck with people paying you $20 for your plans, seriously, it sounds like you put allot of effort into this and I hope it pays off for you in the end.

  11. Murray says:

    No fool.

    The good lord gave you two eyes, two ears and ONE mouth so you could spend four times as much time getting input as you spent sputing for a reason.

    Six months RESEARCH and building. Four days construction. Yours may not look like much because its backyard crap. Mine isn’t. I deal with historical reenactors and museums not you six back buddies playing throw the water balloon while getting stoned. You are happy being an overgrown Denis the Menace while I build historically accurate machines and provide engineering schematics.

    I didn’t come to you and piss all over what you’re doing so why did you come to me?

    Go away and play with the little kids.

    I do this for a living and I’m not hungry.

  12. Thomas says:

    DAMN! People are getting firey on this page… Love the look of your ballista! Then again, if a guy knocks one together in 4 hours for kicks, looks like crap, but works and he doesnt think its king shit, good on him too… Me thinks – perhaps you have different outcomes in mind???

    Cheer up guys, smile

  13. garry says:

    you don’t know what a ballista is it is like a big crossbow

  14. Murray says:

    Thanks for your opinion garry. Quick question did you READ the post? If its a picture of a trebuchet and its labeled trebuchet it might just be a trebuchet.

    If the title is free ballista plan [BIG QUESTION MARK] answer NO then chances are that I’m not giving up the plans for a ballista so don’t expect one to feature.

    You’ll find a picture of my museum quality ballista here.

    I urge you not to build one as you appear to have comprehension issues.

  15. rob says:

    I have one -fabed it myself “simple ” good fun to!

    Cat gut work very well (violin shop)
    ps R&D is most of the fun

  16. Don says:

    Please let me know when your plans are ready>

    Thank you.

  17. legolas says:

    gw;erkgnwjerkgtvkertvkjeak, im not paying 20$ just so u can tell me how to build a ballista or trebuchet

    ED: The ndon’t, no one bloody asked you to. Are you lazy or just stupid? I give away trebuchet plans for free as a download – about to hit 400 downloads. I also give away ballista plans to anyone who asks with any degree of manners. Obviously NOT you.

  18. legolas says:

    u guys arent very bright you can look elsewhere on the internet for FREE plans instead of paying 20$ bucks for plans that might not be even real or dont work so i’d be more cautious on wut you pay for

    ED: Actually I’m exceptionally bright as indicated by the fact that I’m at the top of google for most of those free plans searches. When someone wants something that includes engineering specs and instructions I expect them to pay for my work as I supply museums and sell machines to schools as well as get very well oaid for my lectures,demonstrations thanks. They want, I have we exchange, its called capitialism and its how the free world works. This lesson in the free market and manners is your for free.

    And your free bonus lesson is spelling, txtspek is for cellphones, if you’re going to abuse other peoples intelligence it goes a long way to not looking like a dick if you show even a tiny bit mental agility yourself. If in the unlikely event Iever feel the need to prove myself to anyone it wont be you.

  19. legolas says:

    and if you think im being an ass so be it

    ED: By this time it would be fair to say you missed the word “hole”on the end of that. Cruising the internet abusing people for not giving you something for nothing pretty much makes you a serious loser.

  20. andrew says:

    can you change the distance it throws by adjusting where on the arm you put the axis, and just change the leverage?

  21. Murray says:

    You generally change the range by changing the weight in the bucket. Moving the axle point reduces the efficiency. 5:1 is optimum for a bucket system.

    Changing the sling length, weight of the ball and the angle of the release hook will also change the distance you throw.

  22. Chip says:

    If you’re looking to just build a GOOD ballista and don’t want to spend days or weeks doing calculations and prototyping, then it’s not a bad idea to just pay for the plans, assuming they’re legit. Otherwise, you’ll end up with something like I did for my first ballista: looked nice but didn’t work too well. Fun learning experience though.

    Nice page.

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