Announcing a new project.

The 4X2 Backyard Ballista.

The “Clue X 4 Ballista” as I’m calling it has been designed to be constructed from common hardware materials and stock 4X2 (100 X 50 for thos of us who have moved on from imperialist systems). For those of you who have enough knowledge of ballistas its a type 7 in basic specs. A 50mm dia skien making a machine 1.4m X 0.8m. It will however throw golf balls not arrows thus avoiding that whole tunig issue which i bet you hadn’t even given any thought to.

The Clue X 4 Ballista is designed to fill the hole in the market that sees me getting about a dozen hits each day from people looking for free plans. News flash the ballista is not a simple machine and it actually takes some knowledge and skill to make one “simple” enough to be straight forward to build. I fill both those requirements.

What I don’t have is the “motivation”. Evidently this makes me a “bad person” because I wont take time off from my actual research to work on a plan that other people will take for free and use to make machines with which to get A’s on their school projects.

What are we to do, I have it, you want it. If only there were some mechanism that western civilisation had developed to facilitate a resolution of this supply/demand problem. What… what about this “capitalism” concept whereby this stuff called “money” is exchanged for goods and/or services??? Eee Gad! We could be on to something here!

So before I go to the trouble of completing the detailed drawings, building the prototype, writing up detailed construction instructions, taking photos etc you need to answer the following two questions correctly. Use the comments and keep in mind that you need to motivate me. Answer in the comments. 13 year old foul mouthed freeloaders need not apply.

a: Do you want a plan for a ballista that you can build in your own garage? If yes continue to second question.
b: Are you willing to pay for it? If yes please answer the bonus round question below.
Bonus Question: How much are you willing to pay for it?

In the unlikely event of these questions being answered correctly I’ll look at completing the project. Otherwise feel free to keep abusing me and making stupid comments. I’ve still got what you want.

This lesson in economics, supply and demand is yours at no cost.

You’re welcome.

If anyone out there is filled with the spirit of humanity and wants to motivate me into completing the project and supplying the plans for free make your offer in the comments. Hint: $5 wont do it.


16 Responses to Announcing a new project.

  1. […] Go here if you’re looking for a ballista plan and want to answer some questions on the […]

  2. […] Go here if you’re looking for a ballista plan and want to answer some questions on the […]

  3. jeff McCreary says:

    i don’t completly understand. You’re saying you want to profit from your work?

  4. Murray says:

    Yeah I’m kind of a freak that way.

    What WAS I thinking.

  5. Sid says:

    It doesn’t show the location of the people that b*t*h about you NOT giving your plans away, but my guess is, they believe in the Socialist/Communist system where they (those that want it for free) wish to prosper off of your hard efforts. Stand your ground Murray! Oh, and keep up the great work! 🙂

  6. Murray says:

    Fortunately for you they usually email me directly Sid.

    Funny thing is that everyone who has asked me politiely has been provided what they want for free.

  7. Ciaron says:

    How dare you demand payment for you labours!, Know thy place , serf.


  8. Thomas says:

    Hey. I am a Latin student and after recently returning from the State Latin Forum, i am currently very motivated to know everything (or as close to everything as possible) about the Roman Monarchy, Republic, and Empire by next year. I have also become extremely interested in the siege weapons used by the Romans, particularly the catapults (Onager, the Ballista, and the weapons stemming from the Ballista). While you deserve full credit for your work, I am also not necessarily asking to be handed complete plans for building one of these devices. I am looking to construct a ballista as close to actual size as possible, but frankly I do not know where to start. I have spent about 5 hours in the past couple days researching the mechanics of such weapons and believe I understand the torsion principle upon which they rely. However, I am having a particularly difficult time finding any information concerning the parts and their ratios that would aid in the further construction of a full scale ballista.

    Could you point me in the right direction? Possibly a website or specific book has detailed information on the parts, ratios, and construction of these weapons in classical antiquity?

    Thanks for your time.

  9. Justin Hargis says:

    i’m doing a school project in my senior physics class. i wanted to go all out and make the best ballista by far. would fifty dollars be enough for detailed instructions and an users manual? please contact through email at

  10. Seth Bradley says:

    A. Yes
    B. Yes
    Bonus: $20


  11. Murray,

    I’m a middle school technology education and science teacher, seeking your advice. I would like to have my 6th grade tech. ed. students do a project to apply their knowledge of mechanics and leverage, and was considering having them each build a desktop siege weapon. I’m considering having them select one of three options: trebuchet, catapult or ballista. After doing a little research it is sounding like a ballista may be too intricate and complicated for 6th graders (11 years old). They could easily do some of the catapults I have seen powered by clothes pins, mouse traps, etc. But, they seem almost too simple. Trebuchets seem feasible but I would like to give the kids some options and include torsion devices.

    Do you have any suggestions? Should I abandon the ballista as an option? Do you know of a desktop catapult or trebuchet plans that would not be overly simplified but not too challenging for 11 year olds working in a shop? I don’t have much of a budget but would be willing to pay up to $10 per set of plans out of my pocket.

    Thanks for your assistance.


  12. I’m looking for a Ballista Plan but don’t see any links to where I can purchase… Been here more than once. Help please.

  13. Seth says:

    I bought these plans and will be constructing the device over the next few months.
    No idea how the end product will work out but the plans are very detailed and look to be fairly easy to follow.

  14. Murray says:

    I prefer not to advertise other peoples products on my site Seth. I’ve already supplied Linda with a plan at no charge and my research survives on donations alone.

    While Rons stuff is very good he does have his own site and he sposnsors The Hurl as well.

    the trick is to ask me a direct question or email me. Everyone gets answered.

    • Seth says:

      Fair enough. I had emailed awhile back and hadn’t gotten an answer so thought perhaps this wasn’t active. Please delete my previous post if possible and apologies for the error on my part.


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