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How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Built a pneumatic 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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How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:50 pm

Before i get any bad comments i could not find a good or reliable build for this anywhere on the internet, let's change that now... OK, so how do i build a metal pneumatic tennis ball launcher that uses air from a compressor or bicycle pump? Looking for the most simple design. (air tank behind barrel). I would like the barrel to be unscrew-able so i can attach different barrel sizes. Distance wise, i would like it to should as far as 4 football fields maybe further or as far as humanly possible. I also want the launcher to be very safe. I want to make sure the air tank can hold 400psi or however much so that i will never exceed the limits of the metal and seals. Simple is better, Thanks guys.
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:55 pm

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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:10 pm

Thanks for the reply @jrrdw. I clicked all the links and read every letter and word. The only problem i have is that all those builds are made out of PVC and i'm going for an all metal design.
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:32 am

You can sub metal for the PVC just make sure you're buying pipe and not tubing, they are measured differently.


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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:27 pm

What kind of metal do I use for the air chamber and barrel? How do I make the metals air tight and seal them together?
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:27 pm

Use threaded steel or aluminum pipe. Schedule 40 should be fine up to 200 psi.
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Where can i get all these items?
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:08 pm

Any hardware store that sell pipe. Home Depot can probably even thread it for you. If they ask what it's for tell whomever it's for irrigation.
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:03 pm

Do I have to weld anything? Or is it just as simple as screwing threaded parts together?
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:32 am

MrGalaxy wrote:Do I have to weld anything? Or is it just as simple as screwing threaded parts together?


Have it threaded and screw it together.
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:15 pm

Are you sure air will not leak out near the threads? What should i coat the threads with?
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: Cthulhu » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:55 pm

MrGalaxy wrote:Are you sure air will not leak out near the threads? What should i coat the threads with?

regular old Teflon tape will do fine. Just wrap them around the threads a few times and screw on the pieces tight.
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:34 pm

What metal exactly to use for the barrel and chamber? What sort of metal pieces do I put together to make the air chamber?
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: Cthulhu » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:55 am

MrGalaxy wrote:What metal exactly to use for the barrel and chamber? What sort of metal pieces do I put together to make the air chamber?

what kind of valve do you plan on using?
Schedule 40 black iron pipe or galvanized steel pipe are both pretty common at hardware stores and are very durable. Generally you'll need a section of pipe of the length you want for the chamber and put an endcap on one end and an adapter that fits your valve on the other end.
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Re: How exactly to build a pneumatic tennis ball launcher?

Unread postAuthor: MrGalaxy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:02 pm

What valve do you recommend? Also, i'm having trouble finding pipe for the air chamber that is bigger than the barrel. What size barrel does the air chamber have to be? Can it be smaller than the barrel?
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