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BBQ Lighter Turned Mini Cannon

Discuss miniature cannons built from things such as pill bottles and pen caps.
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BBQ Lighter Turned Mini Cannon

Unread postAuthor: NightHawkInLight » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:06 pm

Hi all,

Consider this my introduction thread. I used to be a part of the spudgun community under another name way back when the spudtech forums were still around. I have since moved into other areas but have still made a cannon now and again.

A recent project has led me back here. Without further delay:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGj8xMDRSQ0[/youtube]

I actually made the first cannon shown in the video somewhere around half a decade ago. I stumbled across it recently as I was blindly searching for a flashlight in a power outage. I felt it was as good a time as any to make a video. I admit to being a little proud of making such simple use of a lighter body in the design, they go together in no time. Let me know what you think.

After playing with different aerosol fuels for years in mini cannons I finally discovered alcohol as a fuel. It's incredibly easy to over fuel with other gas or liquid combustibles, but alcohol seems to have a very large range of fuel/air mixtures at which it will ignite. Much more reliable than anything else I've found. I had to figure out something that had a good success rate before I could post a video, I think I got it down.
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Unread postAuthor: shiny455 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:25 pm

nice and simple i like it. im not great at these things but im guessing if you used a syringe and butane or propane you would be able to shoot a little further. i wonder if the lightercasing would be able to take 2x or 3x mixes?
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Last edited by shiny455 on Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:39 pm

3.5 atm=about 52psi, a 3x mix produces about 300psi, I'm failing to see your logic here....
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Unread postAuthor: NightHawkInLight » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:46 pm

The chamber could probably take a 2 or 3x mix, as I'm sure they are tested to extremely high pressures to be sure they aren't going to rupture under any circumstances while being held in the hand. The trouble would be figuring out how to maintain the integrity while drilling the many holes for not only the spark gap and cleanout, but then also for an air and fuel inlet (which would have to be constructed out of incredibly small and probably custom hardware). You would also have to figure out a way to securely mount a tiny barrel fitting to accept a burst disc.

Overall I think it's an idea that's way too impractical and potentially expensive to achieve. At least, the immediate thoughts I have as to the complications of such a project are enough that I don't feel like it's worth thinking about further. A project for someone else maybe.
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Unread postAuthor: shiny455 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:23 pm

come to think of it i do agree with you the best thing about this gun is its simplicity adding check valves and burst disks would just ruin it
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Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:31 pm

NightHawkInLight wrote:The chamber could probably take a 2 or 3x mix, as I'm sure they are tested to extremely high pressures to be sure they aren't going to rupture under any circumstances while being held in the hand.


This may just be hypothetical, but don't put hybrid mixes in unrated chambers; 3x hybrid mixes can even destroy sch80 pressure rated PVC chambers over time. Don't hurt yourself

EDIT:
Sorry, I just realized I haven't commented on how nice of a little plinker you've made, and a very well made tutorial as well
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Re: BBQ Lighter Turned Mini Cannon

Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:49 pm

NightHawkInLight wrote:Consider this my introduction thread. I used to be a part of the spudgun community under another name way back when the spudtech forums were still around. I have since moved into other areas but have still made a cannon now and again.


Welcome back to the fold :) many spudtech members mirgrated here, what was your former identity if you don't mind my asking?

Great little how to (one of many, your channel is nicely done) and you should consider syringe metering, ideal for such a small chamber - it would be interesting to compare a correct butane or propane mix to what you're getting with alcohol.
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Re: BBQ Lighter Turned Mini Cannon

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Unread postAuthor: Zeus » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:37 am

NHIL, you wouldn't happen to be a member of LPF would you? I don't believe your username is very common.

Very nice little launcher too.
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:43 am

Fantastic how-to. Even through the simplicity of such a build, the how-to leaves no questions at the end. Others should take an example.
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Unread postAuthor: Alster370 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:09 am

Mine has a refilling valve at the bottom, could that replace the bolt plug? Because then I could fill it directly with lynx.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:33 am

Alster370 wrote:Because then I could fill it directly with lynx.


Too small a chamber for reliable spray and pray fuelling...
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Unread postAuthor: Alster370 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:49 am

Well the gas chamber have is tiny anyway, like the size of a lighter. :D
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Unread postAuthor: NightHawkInLight » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:47 pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Jsr, my name on Spudtech was blowemupspudguy I believe, it's been so long I don't know if that's really it. I made dozens of ugly pneumatics with purple primer everywhere.

Zeus, I'm not sure what LPF stands for. If you mean APF, formerly APC, then yes I am. As far as I know I'm the only one using this username on the web.
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Unread postAuthor: clemsonguy1125 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:59 pm

Looks cool, saw it featured on instructables earlier today.
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Unread postAuthor: Zeus » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:03 pm

Ah sorry, I'm confusing laser pointer forums with APC, my mistake. I'm Zeus from APC as well.

I believe there's a member on LPF with a similar name. Very nice video too.
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