LR - tragedy!

Adam Harrison hookshot at
Sat Jul 8 04:36:40 PDT 2000

Oh the humanity!!!!!

Earlier this evening I completed the much needed "tune up" on the ballista.
During tensioning we heard a piece of wood crack.  5 minutes later we found
out a not so essential part of the frame had a minor crack.  not a big deal.
we decided to procede with caution.  On the 8th test fire(when we pulled the
machine to about 80% power, we had been pulling it successively farther with
each test fire, for about 30% on up...)  I heard a loud crack.  I
immediately released the bowstring sending a Golf Tube bolt down range about
10 yards.  Upon inspection of the machine we found that the frame that
supports the ropes under tension had cracked in three places- two small
cracks and one crack about half the size of the grand canyon.  Any of them
would have taken the ballista out of action, all three means no real quick
fix.  The frame will have to be rebuilt.  Not a big deal not more than 2
hours worth of work...

Luckily the machine stayed intact and no one was hurt.  flying bits of wood
are generally bad...

And the moral of the story is:  don't use cheap 2x4's when constructing
ballistas!  use high quality materials!

Before the machine self destructed we were getting consistent ranges of
around 45 yards at 50% power with our final pre-destruction shot sailing to
60 yards.  I think we will have absolutely no problems with range with this
thing once it gets working again.

oh well, see ya at polydore's.


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