Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thanks for visiting. I hope you are enjoying my book, Defending Your Castle, and I hope you haven't needed to actually build a moat or crossbow to defend yourself!

I have been experiencing problems with the email associated with my Defending Your Castle domain. But, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to email me with any comments, questions, remarks, inquiries, or whatever else you've got to say. Contact me at INFO [at] GURSTELLE . C0M

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The DaVinci Catapult

I demonstrated the uber-cool Tortoise Battering Ram and DaVinci catapult on television. We fired small projectiles this time, but there's no reason the catapult couldn't fire larger, harder ammo.

Making Ragnar Proud - The DaVinci Catapult

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Coverage from "Mental Floss"

From Mental Floss: at . . . . Defending Your Castle: Build Catapults, Crossbows, Moats, Bulletproof Shields, and more Defensive Devices, William Gurstelle poses the question: Using modern materials and construction techniques, could you successfully defend your home from history's greatest invaders? Gurstelle created 12 step-by-step DIY projects based on ancient artillery, and we've got five for you here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ah, those pesky mongolians. . .

Today in Gizmodo, a story on Defending Your Castle:
Goddamn Mongolians keep knocking down your city walls? The fix is easy: build a moat. Just follow the instructions from William Gurstelle's new DIY home security manual, Defending Your Castle and you'll have your very own perimeter defense/neighborhood water hazard filling up in no time.

           How to Build a Moat to Keep Out the Mongol Horde (and Your Neighbors)

Read more at Gizmodo. Feel free to add your voice to the comments!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

How to Contact William Gurstelle, Author of Defending Your Castle

Feel free to email me if you've got a question. I must tell you up front that I receive a lot of email and sometimes, the volume is overwhelming. Since that's the case, I can't always reply but I'll do my best. 

You can help me by asking specific questions, instead of general ones. If you are having difficulty building something, make sure you explain in detail exactly what the issue is.

When enough people ask me the same question, I'll put the answer in a "frequently asked questions" section.

How to Contact Me:
To contact me, send an email with the following words in the subject line: "Inquiry for the Author" and mail to:



How to Order your copy of Defending Your Castle

It's easy to order Defending Your Castle! Your favorite bookseller will be able to order for you if they don't have it on the shelves already. Or just about any online bookseller should carry it as well.

If you don't have a bookseller that you normally frequent, 
here's a few places that you can order it from:

What is Defending Your Castle?

Defending Your Castle is the world's first counterfactual DIY book. It's fun, educational, filled with science, brimming with history, and provides ideas and directions for a host of wonderful projects.

A man’s home is his castle, or so the saying goes, but could it withstand an attack by Attila and the Huns, Ragnar and the Vikings, Alexander and the Greeks, Genghis Khan and the Mongols, or Tamerlane and the Tartars?  

Backyard Ballistics author William Gurstelle poses this fascinating question to modern-day garage warriors and shows them how to build an arsenal of ancient artillery and fortifications aimed at withstanding these invading hordes. 

Each chapter introduces a new bad actor in the history of warfare, details his conquests, and features weapons and fortifications to defend against him and his minions. Clear step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build a dozen projects, including “Da Vinci’s Catapult,” “Carpini’s Crossbow,” a “Crusader-Proof Moat,” “Alexander’s Tortoise,” and the “Cheval-de-frise.” 

With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also gives tips on troubleshooting, explains the physics behind many of the projects, and shows where to buy the materials. By the time they’ve reached the last page, at-home defenders everywhere will have succeeded in creating a fully fortified home.