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My First Cannon... Lots of pictures!

Built a combustion cannon? Then post it here! This section is for completed, finished cannons that you have built. Please include pictures and information.
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My First Cannon... Lots of pictures!

Unread postAuthor: Andymcvick » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:22 pm

Hey everyone.. I've been browsing these forums for a while now and I finally decided to post my cannon.

Its not very complicated. My barrel is 2" and it is 5 feet long. My chamber is 4" and it is 2 feet long. This is about a 1.6 to 1 C:B. I'd say that's pretty good because MAN this thing is a monster! When I shoot it up into the sky the potato is only a little speck! It easily goes through ply wood! The fuel that I use is hairspray. I usually use about 8-10 seconds of it. It seems like everyone here only uses about 2-3 seconds? Am I using too much?

The hardest part of building this thing was getting a good ignition system. I tried everything! The first thing I used was one of those piezo lighters that are meant for grills. It sparked and everything but it never ignited my fuel. :cry: The next thing that I tried was a lantern flint lighter. This made a HUGE spark and it ignited the fuel fine but changing the flint sucked! So the next thing I used and what I am currently using is an electric BBQ ignitor. It is very reliable and all I have to do is a change a battery every once in a while.

Anyway I know I went on and on but here are the pics of my cannon.. I know shes not that pretty but I like her :D
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Attachments
042.JPG
The end of my barrel is sharp and easily cuts potatos
041.JPG
My spark gap
043.JPG
My ghetto wiring job
040.JPG
Picture of my chamber and BBQ ignitor
026.JPG
Closeup of the BBQ ignitor
028.jpg
Entire cannon
027.JPG
Well, here she is.. As you can see I covered the whole thing in duct tape to hide my spray paint job gone bad :D

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Unread postAuthor: sjog » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:25 pm

Very nice!! BBQ ignitions are my favorite. Good and sturdy.Just a little spark is all we need.
If it goes boom then your mixture OK.
I soon learned that using a fan or blower between shots, to vent, made my success rate get much better. Oh ya that's what computer fans are for, your next logical step.
Follow the facts that have all ready been established, and keep shooting!
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Unread postAuthor: Andymcvick » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:02 pm

Thanks for the feedback sjog! I was considering putting in a fan.. I think I'll put one in since there so cheap and everyone says they help out a lot..
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Unread postAuthor: jook13 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:44 pm

it does help out a lot!.

I had one(a spudgun) pretty much identicle to yours and the fan helped out a lot. much less misfires.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:29 am

You were probably over fueling your chamber. And, being a largish chamber, had irregular and misfires. A chamber that large will definitely benefit from a fan.

The duct tape is really ghetto for an otherwise nice performer.
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Unread postAuthor: Andymcvick » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:28 am

Thanks guys! I'm definitely going to add a chamber fan now! And starman I know it's really ghetto but it looks way better then the spray paint that I had before! :D
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:15 pm

Back to basic, yet still a job well done.
When you figure out to get the right amount of fuel in and add a fan, the power increases by a rough... lets say 40-60% in this cannon. Fuel needs to be mixed through your large and long chamber and a fan will have a good effect in this gun. (even more then it would already have)
Check the wikipage if you run in any trouble with the fan.

Actually, read it anyways, unless you've already done that.
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Unread postAuthor: EphOph » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:26 pm

It's good for a first effort. Extra props for the use of the BBQ igniter; I use them on my cannons and they work wonderfully.

Wouldn't a chamber fan get gummed up and not work properly after being continuously doused in hairspray?
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Unread postAuthor: Andymcvick » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:06 pm

Thanks psycix, That article about chamber fans really helped!.. And wow 40-60%? Thats a huge increase! I'm definitely going to try and get my hands on a fan!
Also, thanks ephoph.. Your right the BBQ ignitor really is wonderful! And I am also wondering the same about whether or not the hairspray will hurt the chamber fan.. Anybody know?
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Unread postAuthor: jonnyboy » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:11 pm

Hairspray won' hurt the fan unless you submerge it in it. The duct tape is really ghetto try another paint job. While your upgrading to a chamber fan maybe use metered propane for some more power.
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mobile chernobyl wrote:I can shoot a Canuter Valve off my '82 Chevy Ram F150 AT LEAST 3/4 Mile with 'ma cannon made of soup cans duct taped together, then I just squirt some bacardi 151 in the chamber and hold up my cigarrete lighta and WHOOSH! That thing flies at least 3/4 mile
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Unread postAuthor: sjog » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:17 pm

Hairspray and deodorant get gummy when mixed with the residue /starch from potato. For me it grounded out my spark, the residue completed the circuit between electrodes .So I used a long handle brush and HOT soapy
water . Wash it when performance goes down.
Try not to spray directly on fan. I used small brush to clean fan. Do not build in fan permanently, they are cheap and must be easily replaced.
Oh ya! Next is clean burning propane/MAPP!!! :D
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Unread postAuthor: jook13 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:37 pm

a good fuel is this stuff:
Image

Its called 321 Dry. I found it at walmart in the makeup and lipstick department. It out performs any hair spray or deodorant that I have tried out. If you don't have plans for a propane meter (I suggest you do someday though), I feel that this stuff is the next best thing as far as aerosol cans...

It also doesnt get all gummy or sticky. just leaves a baby powder type smell.
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Unread postAuthor: covey12 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:44 pm

theres nothing like silver duct tape to bring out the red neck in somebody lol
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Unread postAuthor: Andymcvick » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:56 pm

Thanks alot guys! You are all very helpful!

Jonnyboy- Okay sounds good.. And yeah, I think your right I need to take that awful duct tape off and give it a fresh coat of paint! Anybody know what type of paint is best for pvc? The last kind didn't stick very well.. :evil:

Sjog- You are definitely right about the hairspray getting gummy! After about a hundred shots the inside of my chamber is super sticky and looks terrible! I will have to try using a brush and some hot soapy water like you suggested..

Jook13-After I clean my chamber I will have to look for that 3-2-1 dry stuff.. You said it won't leave my chamber all sticky... That would be great!

Also everyone says that I should use metered propane and from what I've heard it's cheaper and its way more powerful!.. Hmm this may be another upgrade I might consider..
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Unread postAuthor: ammosmoke » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:14 pm

Andymcvick wrote:Thanks alot guys! You are all very helpful!

Jonnyboy- Okay sounds good.. And yeah, I think your right I need to take that awful duct tape off and give it a fresh coat of paint! Anybody know what type of paint is best for pvc? The last kind didn't stick very well.. :evil:

Sjog- You are definitely right about the hairspray getting gummy! After about a hundred shots the inside of my chamber is super sticky and looks terrible! I will have to try using a brush and some hot soapy water like you suggested..

Jook13-After I clean my chamber I will have to look for that 3-2-1 dry stuff.. You said it won't leave my chamber all sticky... That would be great!

Also everyone says that I should use metered propane and from what I've heard it's cheaper and its way more powerful!.. Hmm this may be another upgrade I might consider..


Best paint? Krylon Fusion.
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