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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i don't think i will be re-posting on an old thread. Their was a tree and it fell, on my property. its not a small tree and its i believe black walnut. My friend and i where thinking 'what to do with large logs' ( 30 to 40 in diameter) came up with the idea of making siege weapons. Specifically a battering ram, 6 to 10 man sized. Now i have the knowledge and tools to build any of the siege weapons. It came to me, how would i sell one of these, and pricing. Is their any restrictions on say a catapult, trebuchet, ballista, or onager. I could see some on mainly the ballista, being that it is a crossbow on steroids. But it goes back the the cost. How much could i sell one for and how to go about it.

Or is it not even worth the effort. i could use the wood on other projects, and i do need to start turning a profit on my projects. ( silly wife) Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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It's difficult to construct anything with green wood. Even if the tree has been dead for a year or two it's still green. It will tend to split and warp. I would first roughly cut the logs into the size timbers you need and let it dry, usually a year for every inch thickness. You would need to coat the ends of the timbers with a sealer or gulf wax to keep them from drying too fast and crack more. Personally I think what you have proposed you will have a difficult time selling. At that diameter I'm wondering how you plan to handle the logs. I have a 30 hp tractor I think I would have to cut them in 3' lengths to handle.
 

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If it is a walnut or other furniture wood log, why not chainsaw it into chunks that you can resaw into lumber on a bandsaw.

A 24 inch bar with a rip blade can raw a log into 10/4 boards with some ease and then plane, dry before and or after resawing .
I've done a few black walnut logs and was initially surprised by the olive green interior. It oxidized to the expected chocolate colour in a few hours.
Anyway, it sound like you're having fun.
Bob
 

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Restrictions on sale of siege-weapons are going to vary a lot by state: some may not restrict it at all, some may require limited power, some may not allow it at all. I have no idea how you'd find out, though... ask the local police?

Regardless, have fun building!
 

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I've never heard of restrictions on siege weapons, excepting maybe places like NYC. I might be interested in buying a section of your log however, if you will ship via truck

To put matters in perspective, black powder cannons are legal in most states
 

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Maybe you can search for my old trebuchet thread. I built 14 of them. As #3 seemed to have the very best geometry, I scaled it up and down. I made 6 tabletop versions for tossing olives and ice cubes (50') at banquets. Counterweights were the lead balls for fishing down-riggers. Sold them all for $50 each. Anything planned for more than 300lbs in the counterweight is essentially stationary. Castle wall busters were never mobile armament, especially on soft British soil after 6 weeks of rain!
 

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While building a trebuchet would be an interesting project I don't think there would be much of a market for them.

I'd use that walnut forsomething else.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yea, i have to agree you guys on the 'use it for something else'. handling the log is not really an issue, using old felling skills i picked up from my gramps makes any tree of any size to be felled safely with 2 people well not a 10 ft wide red wood but... any way. the section that split off looks to have ben dead for a year or more. but i dont think its fully dried yet. i love to work with walnut, its i guess my guilty pleasure when it comes to wood working. and sorry but i do plan on using it all in a different project. I like the idea of small scale ones though. Won't make them out off black walnut, that would almost be a waste. Most of it is going to go in to some leather sling chairs I designed a year or so ago. They should rake in a considerable amount of revenue. To facilitate the building of a trebuchet. I think its every kids dream to play with one. That and chuckin pumpkins is good fun.
 

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My best treb is right at the limit of portability for me. Some assembly required. Don't recall that there's even 300lb of steel in the counterweight. But, I can fling a 1lb ice cube over the roof top of a 3-storey building from 75ys away. Ice is best = the evidence disappears. Best is a ratio between 200:1 and 300:1 for mass.
The big ones don't weather well. Out at a Rod&Gun Club range. 2 or 3? summers, that was it.
Military secret: did you know that there are no written or picture references from medieval times to show what the trigger mechanism looked like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Love the mini trebuchet. And you are right on the trigger mechanism. If I make it large scale I'll rework a design I came across in rescue work. Simple and elegant. On the mini trebuchet, and judging on your profile pic, used a radial arm saw?
 

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Love the mini trebuchet. And you are right on the trigger mechanism. If I make it large scale I'll rework a design I came across in rescue work. Simple and elegant. On the mini trebuchet, and judging on your profile pic, used a radial arm saw?
Glad you like it. It was fun to build.
I didn't have the ras, in my profile, when I made it. I made it after getting my Incra miter gauge for my Unisaur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I see the similarities. I'm a big fan of the RAS its the only way I could have the function of a table saw and the other amazing things that can be done with a ras . I get flack for it because they think they are unsafe inaccurate. If you respect it and zero it when you clean it. I should stop their before I get to off topic. The counter weight bucket, one piece or glued for the joint?
 

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The SCA

I used to belong to a group http://www.sca.org/. They have built and use all of you above listed weapons.

I doubt that anyone would pay very much for them. Once you have aimed and fired one you want to build one yourself. They are extremely cool.

There was one battering ram I remember, due to its paint job, was nick-named the Dildo of Death. Builders of siege weapons do not come without a sense of humor.

I suggest you contact your nearest SCA group and see some of their siege weapons in action. Trebuchets and ballistas are amazingly accurate.
 
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