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how do i make ball amo?

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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how do i make ball amo?

Unread postAuthor: dilweed » Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:39 pm

Im not sure how to make musket ball amo, but i have an idea please help me if im wrong. first im going to melt some soft metal nails(dont know what metal it is.) then put it in a wooden mold?
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:49 pm

Your mold has to be of a higher melting point then the metal you want to make your ammo out of. Wood will burn and catch fire. It's also a good idea to know what it is exactly your working with, some metals can be very poisonous to melt, (they can give off vapors).

Try the wikipedia or google it and do some good research on the subject so you don't hurt yourself or someone else.
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Unread postAuthor: far_cry » Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:57 pm

can you tell me what is the diameter of yore barrel (mm)
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Unread postAuthor: SpudFarm » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:34 pm

round ammo is almost impossible to make.

just cut a piece of copper pipe the same ID as your barrel, grease it up inside and pour in some molten lead
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:33 pm

There are a few metals that melt at low enough temperatures to be cast in a wood mold. Wood's metal (melting point 70C) and solder (90 to 450C depending on the type) spring to mind. It might be possible to do lead (melting point 327C) though the mold will probably char and won't last very long. Sometimes you can get fairly big chunks of solder from surplus electronics places.

Small caliber round ball is sometimes made by just pouring the molten metal into a suitable liquid with lots of mixing.

"Soft metal nails"? If it's any kind of an iron/steel you'll have to get it pretty hot to melt, much too hot for a wood mold.
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Simple Solder Casting

Unread postAuthor: Slackjaw » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:41 pm

This is a problem I've been brainstorming in the past couple of days. I've had good luck in the past casting parts with solder in plaster of paris molds. These were one-sided molds, so a sphere would be much harder and beyond my experience. Basically, I mixed up some plaster of paris and poured it into a cut-off pop can, then sunk my 'tool' or part to be casted into the wet plaster. I would use a quick squirt of WD-40 as a release to keep the tool from sticking in the mold. You need to pull the tool after the plaster has set, then wait a full day or more to make sure the mold is really dry before casting. To cast, I would use an old soup ladle to melt my scrap solder in, heating it with a blow-torch until molten. The metal is poured in the mold, and the mold should be tapped repeatedly to get all the air bubbles out before it cools and hardens. I have not yet tried this for ammo, but a simple slug should be easy to pull off.
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Unread postAuthor: umbra monachus » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:23 pm

If I were you I would just cut a piece of steel pipe with the same internal diameter as your barrel and melt some lead. I just made one a few hours ago for my first pneumatic cannon. It works great besides the fact that I did not have the right size steel pipe so I had to file it down. That took a long time so I would not recommend doing it if you do not have the right size pipe. I also filed it a little too much so it is a little smaller than my barrel, but besides that it works great.
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Unread postAuthor: nivekatoz » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:28 pm

This is what I would do to make ammo. First I would find a ball thats the right size for my gun. Second go to the store (sporting goods in the fishing dept. There you might find bulk lead to make sinkers buy that. If you cant find that go to the hardwear store and buy the cheapest solder you can find.. You could also try scrap yards and ask if you can buy some lead or tin. Car tire balancers are strips of lead that they use to balance tires you can melt them down. Third I would buy some plaster of paris..and cast a mold of the ball that fits my gun. Plaster molds will last for a fairly long time if you do things right.
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LEAD

Unread postAuthor: Slackjaw » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:21 am

Lead may seem like a good choice, will easy availability and low melting point, but be sure to melt it in a WELL ventilated area. You really don't want to get lead poisoning from the fumes, or even from general handling. This is the main reason I would use lead-free solder.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:26 pm

Search the how-to section for "cannonballs". They aren't hard to make, just a little more time consuming to make a mold for.
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:27 pm

Why don't you try a two-halved foundry-type mold? You could make each half out of plywood, really, and then pack them. You could also make multiple rounds for each pour by forming each mold and then running a channel to each from the main "tube" (I forgot the technical terms some time ago). You might have problems with the "midline" (dammit, what's the name???), but sanding might correct it.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudFarm » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:06 pm

what about making two halfs out of two aluminium blocks (milling) and cast two halfs, then you put a short screw in one of the halfs and a nut (with a screw in to prevent lead getting in the threads) in the other?

then you can simply screw them tougether
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:45 pm

That's the same thing as my idea, except a lot more expensive.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudFarm » Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:01 pm

if you know Larda good enough nothing is to expensive :)
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Unread postAuthor: VH_man » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:48 pm

BTW

upon reading in popular sience, the method for creating round lead balls is actually quite simple.......

basically, what you do, is go up multiple stories, and have the molten lead flow through a vibrating pipe. as the lead goes through, it breaks into little hunks, that, upon their falling, turn into perfect balls and harden enough so that when they hit the water at the bottom of said multiple stories, it cools, and you have a perfvectly round ball......

finding the 5 story building might be hard....... but thats how they ACTUALLY do it.......
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