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What material make a best piston?

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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What material make a best piston?

Unread postAuthor: AnotherSnappedLine » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:17 pm

I've read about Bondo, epoxy, and hot glue to make a piston; which is the best substance?
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Unread postAuthor: chinnerz » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:21 pm

what pressures are you planning on using it at??
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Unread postAuthor: clemsonguy1125 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:37 pm

I personally like rubber stoppers with epoxy cat around them for my small boar cannons and for large cannons steel washers with a coupler in between with a sealing gave bolted on.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:11 am

Epoxy FTW!

For small projects likethis I usually cut the piston out of thick rubber sheet.

clemsonguy1125 wrote:my small boar cannons


Sorry, couldn't resist!
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Unread postAuthor: Gaderelguitarist » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:41 am

Epoxy will last the longest out of those choices.

Several people turn their pistons on lathes or drill presses from plastic stock. HDPE, UHMWPE, Polyamide, PVC, Nylon, etc etc.

I've made a wooden piston (big surprise) for a small wild boar cannon.

JSR, I don't know if I'm laughing more at the edit, or at that hunched over kid's facial expression.
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Unread postAuthor: Gun Freak » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:48 am

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:Sorry, couldn't resist!

That just made my day lol!!! :D :lol:

@Gaderelguitarist- It's quite the jizz face huh? :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: clemsonguy1125 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:17 am

Lol. my ipod changed it.
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Unread postAuthor: Gaderelguitarist » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:02 pm

It's quite the jizz face huh?


It's as if Igor threw the main switch and doctor frankenstein lost control all over his hump.

And thats about as off topic as this should get :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:53 pm

What if I told you that was me 20 years ago?

lol no seriously, that was a random pic lifted from here, hope the poor child doesn't suffer the same fate as scumbag steve :D
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Unread postAuthor: Labtecpower » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:43 pm

...or the angry german kid!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbcctWbC8Q0[/youtube]

I'm sure most of you know him :D

I made the piston for my copper gun out of nylon, as the previous one broke down every few shots.

The cannon i'm building now uses a PVC piston.

Both are made on a lathe.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:42 pm

UHMWPE can be machined using a drill press, and if you round off one end, you can slowly force it into the part you want it to seal to and melt it with the friction while it's still spinning for a perfect fit, and probably a seal.
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Unread postAuthor: Labtecpower » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:17 pm

Just turn it down to the right diameter. I got a 0,01 mm fit on a lthe :D

I had to make it even smaller, because it didn't slide smooth. just keep 0,05 mm of space.

0,01 mm is 0,000393700787 inch by the way. google FTW!
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Unread postAuthor: Gaderelguitarist » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:28 pm

...or the angry german kid!


Is that a 2 girls one cup video reaction???

I'm a little concerned that the author of the post hasn't responded to any of these suggestions.
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Unread postAuthor: AnotherSnappedLine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:19 pm

No, Im here...just had an all day wrestling tourney so Im finally getting on the computer. Im pretty confident on using epoxy.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:58 pm

I guess the most pertinent question would be: what size of piston are you making?

Epoxy or bits of metal hardware with some sheet rubber are great for smaller pistons. For larger (1-1/2"+) pistons, I usually make them out of PVC (just use a sufficient bumper).
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