Instructables

Authentic looking Pirate Cannon

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Ye ever dream of walkin down the alley with yer very own pirate cannon? Are ye missing that small "accessory" to your pirate garb and just don't know what it is? OR do ye suffer from cannon envy?

Dream no more landlubber! This cannon is easy to make, pretty sturdy, and light enough to carry. You can now be the pirate you always wanted to be! Pirate cannon envy no more!
 
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Step 1: Buy the pink insulation stuff

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Go to you local hardware store and get yourself one or two sheets of that pink insulation. There are various thicknesses, so try to figure out how big your canon will be, and base the size and thickness on that.

Step 2: Cut!

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Use whatever cutting device you wish, I used both a table saw and jigsaw. This stuff cuts pretty easy, but will make a lot of dust. Cut the foam into squares larger then the diameter of the canon. Once cut, stack them up to get a general idea of the size of your now square canon. If you want a tapered canon, start with the larger pieces on bottom, and smaller on top.

Step 3: Glue

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Glue. The best thing to use is foam core spray. I previously tried liquid nails, and it just doesn't work. Not enough oxygen gets to the inside of the foam squares for it to glue. This stuff is made specifically for the foam board.

The can is simple, spray each square, wait 1-2 minutes, press together, and repeat. Once the entire stack is glued, put it somewhere safe and come back tomorrow for the next step.

Don't do anything stupid like putting a giant ceramic flower pot on the top of this stack thinking it will keep everything compressed. The flower pot will slide off and and it will make a mess. Yar!
RainDog072 years ago
Anybody try a hot knife to trim to shape? If so, did it work?
Mister Sparkle (author)  RainDog072 years ago
I'd like to know this too, so hopefully someone will let me know if I can justify to the wife to buy a hot knife. I also remember seeing somewhere on hoe to make your own too.
I think that's been done but can't remember where. I saw someone lathe giant easter eggs once though and roughcutting it with a sawblade.
I think that's been done but can't remember where. I saw someone lathe giant easter eggs once though and roughcutting it with a sawblade.
johnny3h3 years ago

I have no intention of “dissing” this ible as it's very good, so please, no one explode all over me about this.

However... I would have approached the project differently to reduce the amount of care and accuracy required in the removal of excess material

I would have made a half-section full scale drawing of the profile of the cannon, and used that to determine the diameter of each foam section [just like bulkheads, or "stations" as in building boats, ships, and aircraft.

It then would have been very easy to cut the center hole [barrel bore] and the perfectly round outer profile of EACH section on an ordinary "jigsaw." With some of calculation and some “trial and error” cutting, EVEN the TAPER of each section could be matched!

After that, glue the sections together, which by being of a smaller size will require much less adhesive.

With the only slight difference in the diameter of each section, the "tapering" of the sections into the smooth barrel shape would have required the removal of very little material. This could be done by hand and "rotating" the work piece as was done in this ible, or alternatively if there were a lot of material to be removed...

Then I would use scrap lumber to make a "bed" for a simple lathe with vertical end planks, in one of which I would mount a variable speed drill motor, and make an adaptor [expandable rubber-like foam "plug"] to couple the drill motor to the 'business" end [hole in it] of the barrel, and a dead center for the tail end.

Then with the "cannon" barrel slowly but steadily rotating I would use a wood rasp, or a body repair "cheese grater" rasp to "turn" and smooth the cannon. IF there were very little material to be removed, this could be accomplished with nothing more than a couple of grades of sandpaper.

"Turning" a square cross section blank can be VERY difficult, BUT IF each of the sections is already round, and the bore hole already there, the only "forming" required would be to blend / "taper" the separate sections into each other.

Again, this is NOT a negative comment on this excellently accomplished project, just a suggestion for another means of doing it.
 

see this instructable
http://www.instructables.com/id/Pirate-Cannon---A-working-replica-of-a-naval-canno/

Mister Sparkle (author)  johnny3h3 years ago
Why you no good sonofa!!!

Just joking of course, great suggestions! That's why put this thing up on this website, I want to learn from everyone. Your solution may work, but for me, I like taking as many shortcuts as I can, and would not have the patience for that! If I were to make another more realistic looking canon, I would probably have to go your way on it.

If I were to do this again (in a non realistic way, since it would be for a pub crawl) , I think I would do a hybrid approach, like you said, I would at least make some attempt at a template. That would save on gluing and all the mess I had made. BUT, if an electric knife works like I've heard, I might still just glue it all and carve up the sucker too.

Thanks for your tips!
createaline3 years ago
Or you could get some really large PVC or a concrete mold tube, build up papermache and seal it with marine grade varnish. Light, low cost and a lot easier than lathe work and will last for a couple of years of Trick or Treat or Pirate raids.
you need a giant lathe lol.
You know, I was really thinking of that! Was going to use a broom handle on a power drill. Maybe someone else will post something!
mg0930mg3 years ago
Reminded me of this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMkLk2t8Qlo&feature=channel_video_title
caitlinsdad3 years ago
Arrrrrrrr!. Actually th best tool to cut ye foam is me dear grandmamma's electric kitchen scimitar knife.  You might want to put two stubby pegs(don't mention pegs) on the sides so you can mount the cannon on a rolling wood base.
Mister Sparkle (author)  caitlinsdad3 years ago
Blustering barnacles! Good idea! Now where ta get one is thar challenge!
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