Instructables

I will show you how to build a net gun out of materials available at any big box home improvement store. This net gun is capable of firing a 90 square foot net 15 to 25 feet using 80-100 psi of compressed air. The net is reusable, assuming your prey doesn't destroy or run off with it. The launcher section is modular and can be removed in case you want to use a different design or add attachments. Thread on some 1" PVC pipe and you have a Christmas Cannon, or check step 11 for how to build a tennis ball launching attachment.

The net gun is similar to many pneumatic launchers, but instead of launching a single projectile, it launches four tractors that pull the net through the air. The tractors are based on the fact that the neck of a standard soda bottle fits very well over the outside of 1/2" PVC pipe. The cost to build this will range from approximately $40-$75.

 
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Step 1: Materials

pressure chamber fig1.jpg
Trigger valve fig2.jpg
Launcher section fig3.jpg

Before you begin be aware that this project uses PVC pipe in an application it is explicitly not intended for. PVC is meant for water, not pressurized air or other gases. The problem is not the pressure, this project uses pressures less than half the working pressure of any PVC component, but the failure mode when pressurized by gas. If the PVC is compromised, by dropping, impact, or other means, it shatters into sharp pieces that are ejected by the pressurized gas. An excellent discussion and demonstration here, make sure to watch the video through to the end.

Nearly all of these items can be picked up at your local home improvement retailer. It is probably worth buying a full 10' length of 1/2" pipe, for all the other sizes see if you can buy shorter lengths or scrap. Alternatively, get some friends together, share the costs of the full length pipes, and build a lot of net guns. The tire valves are available at auto parts stores. The net is addressed in detail in the next step.

SUPPLIES
All PVC fittings are slip fit unless otherwise noted
All PVC pipe and fittings must be SCH-40 (SCHedule 40) unless otherwise noted
All PVC pipe should have a PSI rating of 200 or greater, absolutely no cell core ABS DWV pipe

  • Pressure chamber parts Fig 1
1 1" MPT (Male Pipe Thread) to 1" slip street elbow
1 1" elbow
1 2" to 1" reducer bushing
1 2" cap
1 2" coupler
1 foot of 1" pipe
minimum 9" length of 2" pipe
**1 valve stem, prefer a .453" as it corresponds to the readily available 7/16" drill bit
optional 1 pressure gauge

**There are two standard size automotive valve stems, one for a rim hole sized .453" the other .625". These two sizes correspond to fractional drill bit sizes of 29/64" and 5/8" respectively, the much more common 7/16" bit can be substituted in place of the less common 29/64". Additionally, most common drill indexes stop at 7/16" or 1/2" and do not contain the larger 5/8" bit.

  • Trigger valve parts Fig 2
1 Orbit Model 57461 1" sprinkler valve
1 Blow gun similar to this
1 1/4" NPT hex nipple, like this

  • Bending jig
3 2"(ish) wood screws
Wood scrap for base, a 16" length of 2x4 should work fine

  • Launcher section Fig 3
4 13" lengths of 1/2" pipe
1 1/2" cross
2 1/2" tee
4 1/2" street elbows
4 1-1/2" pieces of 1/2" pipe (coupler joiners)
1 1-1/2" pipe 9" long
1 1-1/2" coupler
**1 1-1/2" to 1/2" reducing bushings
** 1 1" MPT to 1/2" slip
1 nickel

** these transitions usually can't be made with one adapter, just make sure the starting and ending dimensions are correct.

  • Net
Memphis Net and Twine sku# 263 1lb minimum order is enough to make 7-8 nets
OR a substitute net computed using the net math spreadsheet and instructions in step 2
Nylon mason's twine (#15 or smaller), kite string, or some other thin durable rope
4 per net 16-20oz carbonated soda bottles
4 per net zip ties > 4" long
Hot glue/silicone/wax to pour in bottles to add weight
Optional additional items needed for high performance net tractors
4 per net 3/4" couplers
4 per net 3/4" caps
4 per net 8" lengths of SDR-21(Class 200) 3/4" thinwall PVC note: regular 3/4" SCH40 will NOT work!
4 per net 12" lengths of non-adhesive 1" ID foam pipe insulation. Pipe insulation is generally sold in 6' lengths.

  • Consumables
PVC pipe cement and primer
PVC safe pipe joint compound (pipe dope) such as this
Teflon tape
Sand, at least two cups worth (for bending the launcher arms)
2 1/2" pvc caps (for bending launcher arms, not part of gun)
Epoxy for modifying sprinkler valve
Thread locker (Loctite)

  • Tools & Safety
Saw, for cutting PVC pipe
Heat gun, propane torch, or candle for bending PVC
Drill
3/16" and 7/16" (or 5/8" see the **note in the pressure chamber section) drill bits
Tape measure
Utility knife
Dremel tool, or similar, with a sanding drum
Wrench for 1/4" npt hex nipple
Large adjustable wrench or channel-lock pliers, for tightening the trigger valve
A compressor or pump capable of attaching to a Schrader tire valve and attaining at least 80 psi
Safety glasses
Leather gloves

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jerryrigit1 year ago
NPT........not NPR.......typo, my bad.
052.jpg
crispyjones (author)  jerryrigit1 year ago
Thanks for sharing, this is what makes Instructables work.
The red handle is just a 1/4 in. ball valve that was added to act as a safety (don't want any accidental discharges!!) It's in the open position in the photo. The hole to the left is where the solenoid was located. Epoxy the entire bottom of it. take out all the screws, pop off the lid gently with a screw driver, (use notch provided next to where solenoid was). Drill you hole for the 1/4 in. NPT nipple that mounts your blow gun (or a 1/4" ball valve, then blow gun- if desired). When you have the diaphram valve cover off, epoxy your threads from the nipple you inserted into the cover (without getting epoxy into the fitting) and epoxy the little bleed hole as well (small rectangular opening that leads into where the solenoid was located....not totally necessary, but why not since you have the cover off. Let sit for at least 20 min. before charging your gun with pressure. The Orbit valve model #57461 is the one in the photo. Enjoy. Thanks Crispy for the info!

I was wondering if there was a way to increase the safeness of this gun in terms of the pipes bursting from air pressure. Are there any fail-safe methods I can use to stop the pipes from bursting from the pressure, or to stop shrapnel from being sent everywhere in the event of an explosion?
Thanks.

DKraft 120 days ago

There should be a video on how to make the net.

The Freshman2 months ago
The Freshman2 months ago

You do know that drilling a hole through a nickle is illegal. Unfortunately, I found out after I did it.

um... uhhh....lets see...ehhhhhh......no... can you please repeat the question?

i have to try this.

YOUR A CRAZY, MAD FISHING NET, EXPLOSIVE FREAK!

i like that :P

NickHunter7 months ago
In the process of making the net gun I have found that nerf darts from a nerf gun fit quite well into the half inch pipe. I put a 13 inch chunk of half inch pipe (one that was soon to be made into one of the 4 launcher arms) coming out of the sprinkler valve and charged the chamber with around 10 psi. Then bam! A dart gun on steroids! It works great and is really fun. I would suggest maybe only 3 or 4 inches of pipe though, not 13. That is just what I had around.
13, 14:32.jpg13, 14:32.jpg
sgfidlin10 months ago
Would this sprinkler valve work for this modification?
268.JPG269.JPG270.JPG272.JPG277.JPG274.JPG
crispyjones (author)  sgfidlin10 months ago
The base of it looks nearly identical. The geared part in the top is odd, I've never seen anything like that. I am guessing this valve might be more trouble than it's worth.
ingpendleton11 months ago
Which of the MANY comments and corrections of these instructions, which ones do I need to pay most attention to? I am going to make about 40 of these so I really need to know. Thanks for helping.
you could use one of these so you do not have to be near or carry a air compressor http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Innovations-Ultraflate-Plus-Inflater/dp/B002AGI1QW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1373687956&sr=8-3&keywords=bike+pumps+co2
mbrose11 year ago
So they have changed the look of the 641 but as long as the square hole is epoxied, works awesome! This model rox, have used it in multiple applications! Thx
jerryrigit1 year ago
I used this model and it would not work. Go with the other orbit models they likely have off the shelf. It's similar but different. the diaphram chamber is held together with screws instead of a "jar top". Take the solenoid off, toss it and epoxy the entire bottom of where the solenoid was located. Then, drill a half inch hole directly in the center of the lid you took off......you'll see what I mean. There is also the inside bleed hole that could use some epoxy as well, but not necessary if you epoxied where the solenoid was. After threading in the 1/4 in. NPR nipple into the lid, epoxy the inside threads without getting any epoxy into the nipple/blow gun. Works like a charm.
Yea when you blow thru the metal tube it comes the square opening i'll epoxy it and try it out.Thank for the help crispyjones.
heres some pics like i said same exact model # and everything
missy 4490.jpgmissy 4493.jpg
crispyjones (author)  Stinkfist091 year ago
It looks like they just changed the casting/design a bit. I bet if you blow in that metal tube in the top picture the air will come out the notch you can see in the lower one. If that is the case then you have found the bleed. The idea is to simply plug this passage, drop some epoxy in the notch, or in the tube, anything to keep the air from going through.
Can someone help me with the sprinkler valve? attempting to make this with my son. i brought the valve home opened it up and noticed the hole you have to epoxy inside is not there like in fig. 7 just a square opening no bleeder hole on top and the valve is the same model number as in the pics.
crispyjones (author)  Stinkfist091 year ago
Interesting, there should be a small metal tube coming up from the center of the valve that leads to a little bleed hole in one end of the valve. Can you post some pictures of the top and each end? If there really is no bleed hole than there is nothing to plug, so you can just move to the next step.
Awesome instructable!!
Thanks a lot for posting this in such great detail!
jerryrigit1 year ago
Dude, plug the notch on the outlet side of the sprinkler valve with epoxy. That'll fix the issue. If you are unaware of what I'm saying, blow on the little metal tube that extends through the diaphram when you have the top unscrewed. Put your finger into the outlet side of the valve over the notch....you'll feel the air coming out. If you don't, your valve is mounted backwards. If you do feel air......plug the notch with epoxy. Done and done.
bigboodrew1 year ago
Someone may have already asked this question, I purchased an Orbit #57661 sprinkler valve because they didn't have the #57461 valve anywhere near me, of all places in AZ you think they would have this one. Not at home depot, Ace, Lowes, even sprinkler world... the air is rushing straight through, I take it only the #57661 is the one that works. Please let me know, thanks!
crispyjones (author)  bigboodrew1 year ago
The #57661 looks identical to the one I used. The Orbit website lists them both as 1" NPT jar top, so I am not sure what might be different. Perhaps they've just updated part numbers. If air is just rushing through it sounds like the diaphragm isn't seating correctly, maybe something got misaligned when you re-assembled the valve. Make sure the spring is in there too.
how much would the parts cost in total?
I just made a run to lowes and picked up all the parts for about $80, minus the net and bottle tops.
seriously? lowes has all the materials? i searched lowes.com and they only had most. and i cant seem to find a reducer bushing the size of his, or a reducer bushing at all!
what does thread mean? sorry. im young
The thread is like that of a screw or a bolt. More advanced meaning below.
Screw Thread
A ridge or uniform section in the form of a helix on the external or internal surface of a cylinder, or in the form of a conical spiral on the external or internal surface of a cone.
External Thread
An external thread is a thread on the outside of a member.
Internal Thread
An internal thread is a thread on the inside of a member.

The thread is the "swirly" part.
lol. i figured that out like an hour after i commented. i used google search. but thanks anyways!
what are the 1-1/2" to 1/2" reducing bushings and 1" MPT to 1/2" slip? could u send me a link or something. thanks, and your idea is awesome
what is a slip fit pvc? i cant seem to find any pvc with slip fit
barclay231 year ago
Can you use like a co2 form a paint ball gun instead of a pvc pipe?
what are the coupler joiners?
instead of the 9 inch pvc pipe for the containing of gas in the pressure chamber, can i use a bottle?
Very tech, very cool, SHARED!
optich1 year ago
Can you please tell me what is the length and width of the net instead of mesh and depth?
It's right there: "7 or possibly 8 9 1/2 foot square nets" - this entire page is about calculating the net size.

Amazing device by the way!
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