It was a normal Winter day in Buffalo. The sky was cloudy, the air was chilly, and the precipitation was rapidly changing from chunks of slush to fluffy lake-effect snow.

Snow is fun. You can walk on it and make things with it and hurl it at your friends; that is of course, if you have willing fiends and any sort of physical coordination. While I had a bunch of friends handy, I was severely lacking in the ability to move snow downrange with any sort of distance or accuracy. As an uncoordinated engineering student, there was only one solution: make something to do it for me.

This instructable details the making of what is affectionately called "The Snow Hand-Cannon" by those who have seen it in action.

It needed to be cool (and not from the weather), it needed to be made out of things I had (college dorm tech), it needed to work, and it needed to work now.  With little in the ways of materials and less in the way of tools, this is the coolest way to move snow.

The end result runs on air pressure from a bike pump and can chuck snow-bullets a bit farther than the average person's maximum throwing distance.

**Obligatory Disclaimer**
This is a gun. It shoots things. Although I've shot it at people and been shot with it, if the projectile isn't ONLY SNOW, it could be dangerous or even deadly. Ice chunks or rocks aren't allowed. Don't point it at anything you don't want to shoot even if it isn't loaded. A bit of debris in the barrel could be the next projectile.

PVC is brittle, especially in the cold. Don't drop it on hard objects while pressurized and be careful (Safety glasses, etc.) when pressurizing it.

Step 1: What You Need

1"x~30" PVC pipe**
1*x~12" PVC pipe**
Repair kit bike pump (or floor pump)
Duct Tape
Plastic grocery bags
A stick (narrower than the inside of the PVC)
A chunk of foam or something around 2-3" cube (5 cm cube)

** The length and even the width are approximate and mostly governed by what I had available. I've tested it with a smaller pipe and it still works and I assume the same is true for slightly larger diameter. One pipe needs to be at least twice the length of the other, preferably more. When I have money and I can go to a Home Depot, I want to make a super-cannon that's actually a cannon size.

Hand saw or chop saw (to cut the PVC if necessary)
Pocket knife
Sandpaper (medium to rough grit)
Make it rain snow

About This Instructable


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Bio: Walking into my cluttered dorm room and putting my coat on the 50-year old oscilloscope next to the partly-functional remains of a piano, I push ... More »
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