Who the heck makes a big trebuchet?

Introducing the Freedom Launcher crew: a fine group of folks who decided one day that a big trebuchet should be built, and so it was.

Carl Markestad


One of the big perks to being the webmaster of a site like this, second maybe to being able to go around telling everybody you meet that you're a webmaster, is that you get to decide whose name goes first. So here, first on the list, is me, Carl.

I, like the others, grew up in East Troy. I now live in Madison, after having graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in mechanical engineering. Together, Ron and I have sort of spearheaded this project, taking care of most of the planning, design and construction of the trebuchet.



Ron is another graduate of the UW, this time with a degree in teaching -- specializing in biology and agriculture, and I don't know, maybe some other stuff too.

In addition to the stuff mentioned above, Ron has been the metal fabrication expert, taking care of just about all the welding. He's also the first choice for any situation in which it's necessary to climb around like a monkey to free snagged ropes and run chainsaws 40 ft. in the air. Furthermore, he runs the farm equipment used for hauling and lifting trebuchet parts around. Heck, let's face it. Ron does everything. The rest of us just stand around and hold stuff.

Kevin Trampe


Kevin is a graduate of Michigan Technological University with a degree in Biology, currently attending the UW's Pharmacy school. Watch for him to take care of financing the trebuchet in the future.

Kevin is a utility crewmember, taking care of wrench turning, rope pulling, and standing around and gawking.



Dave is a science teacher in southeast Wisconsin, with specialy in physics. Another utility crewmember, Dave can always be counted on to provide manpower, or to just be ballast on the back of the ATV. Though he's not crazy about climbing around and working on stuff up in the air, who can blame him? That's Ron's job.

Eric Tarman-Ramcheck


Eric is the Freedom Launcher's historian. Though he does like to get involved when the chainsaws come out, you'll have a hard time finding any tool in his hand other than a camera. But hey, if he weren't taking pictures, we wouldn't have much of a gallery, now, would we?

Dan Zess


Dan is a civil engineer in southeast Wisconsin, providing the crew with enough cussing to cover everybody. Dan was responsible for digging the first trench for the erection of the poles, but since then his major contribution has been stopping by on work days to provide much needed criticism. What would we do without Dan?



Last, but certainly not least, we have Ron's brother Rick. Yet another teacher on the crew, Rick has been responsible for some fantastic fabrication, including the frame supporting the counterweight freezer.