I am very pleased to report that a fellow Washingtonian is working on another version of the Orsova ballista.  His machine is still in the prototype phase but it has already done some preliminary shooting.  Currently, like all decent catapults, it is being upgraded.  Here is the Orsova ballista made by Mr. John Payne of Sumner Washington.


john payne


John has an abiding interest in ancient history, and as a talented fabricator with the gumption to give ballista-ing a go, promises to bring a fresh look at the mechanical secrets of the Orsova artifacts.  Perhaps John’s machine (as yet unnamed) can meet up with Firefly.   They could discuss why two torsion freaks had brought them into existence in the first place.  Is it something in the water in Washington State? Perhaps we could get Jay Inslee to send us to Rumania so we can do a proper job of getting nose to nose with the Orsova finds.    It could be one of those boonydoggles,  hands across the water, historical connectedness or something…..

But seriously,  nice work John.   There are a few of us that appreciate what it took to get this far.

P.S.  I haven’t forgotten those dimensions you wanted.  Give me a moment …

Limbs are 2″ thick white ash.  The limb irons are an important feature.  See archives, April of 2012.






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