How to make a propane cannon

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Who hasn’t seen Mythbusters and needed to look at one thing blow up in sluggish movement? That was principally all of the motivation we would have liked to make a see via cannon powered by propane, and movie it destroying stuff in sluggish movement. To see childhood goals fulfilled, try 1:08 within the video under:

So after this weeks-long undertaking, what have we discovered?

Studying: The way to make a propane cannon

Lesson 1 – Ignition is Key

Firing our cannon was a JOY!…When it labored. Which was about one-tenth of the time we pulled the set off.

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

When making a standard potato or spud gun, the propellant used, some type of aerosol spray, is fairly forgiving relating to constant ignition.

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

Whereas we did not do any experiments ourselves, typically 5% propane to 95% air is the perfect ratio for producing a bang. Whereas designing our propane cannon, we have been evaluating on the gasoline air mixer and ignition from our a set off begin torch. When the set off is half depressed, gasoline begins to circulate from the tank and out the tip, drawing in the correct ratio of air behind it.

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

Usually the flame is correct on the tip. Nonetheless, after we used this mechanism in our cannon there have been just a few problems. 1) we have been pumping this gasoline and air combination right into a chamber that was considerably closed, so air was not pulled in like regular (which means our gasoline to air combination was laborious to manage), and a pair of) the flame did not want to only journey the few inches it was designed for, however all the way in which into our essential combustion chamber.

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4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

So, when it comes time for model 2 of this cannon, we’ll transfer the ignition into the principle combustion chamber (most certainly a BBQ lighter or taser) and have it hearth extra typically, in order that when the correct ratio is reached , the cannon will hearth.

Lesson 2 – Cannons are LOUD!

I imply, we should always have seen this coming, however we have been considerably BLOWN away. Eh, eh? Positively decrease decibels than a standard firearm, however the giant quantity of air being expelled makes a powerful sound.

We thought that we’d be capable to put security in place after which hearth this in our yard, however after just a few assessments we determined to spare our neighbors and got down to discover a extra appropriate location. We made certain that cannons like this have been authorized and went to a closed park that also had a car parking zone out there to the general public. Katherine the right spot, however even on this location we fear concerning the noise carrying.

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

One among our viewers who used to work at an organization that made silencers was superior sufficient to sketch up an amazing design for us! The design consists of a bigger chamber that will slide over our present barrel. It could be crammed with sound absorbing supplies and there can be holes drilled into the barrel to permit fuel to flee.

NOTE: To guarantee that that is categorised as a non-firearm silencer (much like how airguns do not trigger hassle with the ATF), the sound lowering meeting is completely hooked up to the barrel.4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

Additionally, cops in TX are COOL! I am unsure if it was the noise, lights, or that we have been hanging out in an deserted park, however one thing will need to have caught the eye of a passing cop. She checked in with us to ensure we have been being protected and wished us luck on the video! Our analysis into discovering an acceptable location to check our cannon actually paid off, phew!

Lesson 3 – Loading a 6 Foot Lengthy Cannon is Laborious

Basically, an extended barrel is extra highly effective as a result of it has an extended time interval to impart vitality into the projectile. There’s additionally a much bigger time interval between when the set off is pulled and when the projectile leaves the barrel. This may cut back accuracy, however we weren’t going to intention for something too small or distant, so we went with a 4 foot barrel, bringing the cannon to about 6.5 foot size in complete.

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

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Since this was an muzzle-loaded design (the projectile is loaded from the open finish of barrel), loading was both a two particular person operation, or a giant ache within the butt.

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

Cannon model 2 will get an improve to both breech loading, bolt motion, revolver model, or only a easy sleeve, so we are able to hearth sooner (which is the perfect half).

Lesson 4 – Propane is Heavier than Air

In direction of the top of filming we came upon why the gun fired extra persistently after I held it in comparison with when Katelyn held it. At 6’5″ all the pieces we have been aiming for was under the gun’s barrel after I held it, prompting me to tilt the cannon down. Katelyn was often firing at an upward angle.

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

Since propane is sustained than air, tilting it again would make the propane settle towards the ignition supply, making the gasoline/air ratio too wealthy. With the cannon tilting down, the propane and air combination coming from the torch would maintain the correct ratio and carry the flame to the principle combustion chamber.

Within the Finish…

The most effective factor we discovered is that making a propane cannon and testing it collectively was FUN! Not one thing we may actually advocate (see security part under), however we undoubtedly wish to maintain engaged on our design, blow extra issues up, and perhaps make a pneumatic cannon too. Hope you guys discovered one thing alongside the way in which and look ahead to chatting with you within the feedback part of our subsequent video!

4 Lessons We Learned Making a Propane Cannon

Security and Legality

If you happen to ever resolve to construct a cannon much like this, do not take shortcuts or substitute inferior supplies (for instance, do not use lower than schedule 80). Additionally the vapors from PVC cement are flammable. Enable all joints to dry absolutely earlier than exposing the gun to ignition sources.

When utilizing a cannon, train excessive warning. Put on eye safety, and examine the world in entrance of you earlier than firing. By no means look down the gun’s barrel, or level it at something you do not wish to hit. Extra gasoline stays within the chamber and evaporates slowly, so it’s best to at all times deal with the gun as if it may possibly hearth. Examine incessantly for indicators of wear and tear, and by no means function a broken gun. PVC is extra brittle in chilly climate, so do not use the cannon in temperatures under 60ºF. Neither the writer nor Make: assumes legal responsibility in your cannon or your actions. Propane cannons (mostly often known as potato cannons) might not be authorized in your space (even whether it is authorized to tote a 12-gauge down Essential Road). Examine with native legislation enforcement concerning the principles in your space, and obey them.

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