Introduction: Candy Cannon

A way to send halloween treats into the sky, without wadding or dangerous projectiles.

video

see the video. 3 sec. hang timefor the candy. container didn't leave the barrel because of loose seal.

Step 1: First You Need a Large Barrel Potato Gun.

This is the threaded end, where the fuel goes (I use ether). I added screws in addition to the ABS glue for extra strength, although it probably isn't necessary. It is also your access to the ignitor (see next step) and how you ventilate the cannon between shots, to get some fresh air inside quickly.

Step 2: The Ignitor.

I put mine about 8 inches from the end cap. Close enough to work on. It is a replacement barbeque ignitor that comes with a AAA battery powered ignition switch. I sealed the holes with silicone. You can bend the wire electrode until you get the gap that's right for you. On the outside, I reinforced and protected the connections with epoxy, since they are a little fragile for this application.

Step 3: The Firing Button.

If you are unfamiliar with barbeque ignitors, the battery is underneath the red button. I put mine too far along the barrel to use fasteners which might protrude into the barrel. So it's two-part epoxy and lots of black tape. I stretched out the supplied wires as far as they would go.

Step 4: The Most Important Part.

Once you have built a 4 inch barrel potato gun, you will probably realize that pototoes are too small to touch the sides and you can't build any compression. Rutabegas work, but firing off 2 dozen of those gets expensive. Wads of wet newspaper is labor-intensive and messy. Bigger suddenly isn't better. However, if you take a yogurt or cottage cheese container, and trace around it snugly in the barrel, you get a perfect fit.

When you are done, cut off the excess, and see if it fits tightly.

Now, for a little strength and better compression, wrap the surface that will contact the barrel with some electrical tape.

Step 5: Almost Ready.

You have put some tape around the lip of the container for a better seal. Push it down to the last 12 inches of your cannon with a broom stick. Put your candy in. and you're in business.


The finer points of potato guns are widely available on the internet. This one is probably pretty crude. The point of this instructable is again, about delivering candy without dangerous projectiles. A giant slingshot, or pneumatic cannon might be better alternatives, but I like the explosion, and so do the neighborhood kids. Their parents not so much.

- leaves or toilet paper or confetti can enhance the effect.

- Rice cakes are another safe item to add to your load

- you fill it up with water if you like, or paint for that matter, but I find even the moisture from the combustion makes for a lot of mis-fires.

- to make retrieval of the container easier, i tried attaching a tether and it tore right off. good luck with that!

-for a good shot keep in mind, the projectile's friction holding it in the barrel is crucial. the longer the pressure can build up, the better the force of the cannon. a loose fitting container may not even leave the barrel, but still move the candy out.

Comments

author
instructables-kid made it! (author)2013-08-23

So cool

author
Jakeg made it! (author)2009-10-18

so what do I use that makes it explosive. Is it just the air thats pressurized?

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Jimmy Proton made it! (author)Jimmy Proton2010-07-31

hairspray is the most common but you can use most any flammable in a spray can

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Colonel88 made it! (author)2009-11-13

"GTFO you crazy kids! *Shoots at the kids* There, you happy?!?"

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An Villain made it! (author)2009-09-28

i see i am supposed to aim it up instead of pointing it at them.

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7777777777 made it! (author)2009-06-03

where can I buy this cannon?

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An Villain made it! (author)An Villain2009-09-28

you have to build it, here is a link to a basic cannon, works very well.http://dangerouslyfun.com/spud-gun

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thefunktopus made it! (author)2008-04-16

whats a potato gun? could it be something that fires potatoes? where would i get one? Is there any way to mod this so it can fire rocks or small animals?

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Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2009-03-09

Make one with PVC. Yes it can fire small animals but just not your little sisters pet mouse.

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finnster made it! (author)finnster2008-06-29

how do you not know what a potato gun is

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thefunktopus made it! (author)thefunktopus2008-06-30

i thought they were small handguns

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Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2009-03-09

those are spud guns

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finnster made it! (author)finnster2008-07-05

big foot duck can explain

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Big Bubba made it! (author)Big Bubba2008-08-17

look at this Bad @$5 potatoe gun finn

PotatoGun.jpg
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finnster made it! (author)finnster2008-08-21

lol haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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Big Bubba made it! (author)Big Bubba2008-08-17

look at this one, thats bad-@$5

PotatoGun.jpg
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bigfootduck made it! (author)bigfootduck2008-06-11

a potato gun is a big cannon, about the same size as this cannon, but it launches potatos hundreds of feet. It is powered by a chamber full of hairspray. You stick the potato in, light the hairspray, and watch the potato burst through walls. I mad a mini one out of a chapstick container once. It was cool!

author
DYLEGO made it! (author)DYLEGO2009-01-09

hairspray is for whimps! you need to go pneumatic if you want to go "hundreds of feet". A pneumatic potato cannon has an air chamber filled to 80-90 psi, and a sprinkler, ball, butterfly, or piston valve right after the air chamber. when you open the valve, the air pushes the projectile out the barrel.

author
Thundertydus made it! (author)Thundertydus2008-10-28

hahahahahah wow the last line made me crap my pants laughing

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yeerk21 made it! (author)yeerk212008-11-07

i agree

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T3Hprogrammer made it! (author)2008-10-18

I've built a similar device and found that you can nearly double the range/power by putting the container in the other way (opening facing down.) This way the air pressure will expand it, making a better seal, rather than compressing it and creating leaks around the edges.

author
kiss my donkey made it! (author)2008-10-18

bad @$$ potato gun

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Camster911 made it! (author)2006-09-09

Wow! Knock the children out by embedding hard boiled sweets in there sculls, nice one! :D

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Ushanka made it! (author)Ushanka2006-09-09

For the record, I launched lollipops out of a model rocket. Yeah, I got hit in the head with one falling from 500 feet. No, I did not crack my "scull". It's friggin CANDY. There's very little momentum and it's mostly prone to shatter if it hits something firm.

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Kayjay made it! (author)Kayjay2007-07-13

not to mention the extra drag created because of the wrappers they arnt the best 4 aerodynamics

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knexgunner94 made it! (author)knexgunner942007-09-12

lets make candy parachutes, then we could drop them from model airplanes

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funwithfire325 made it! (author)funwithfire3252007-10-06

lol my uncle flies thoughs

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xproplayer made it! (author)xproplayer2008-04-02

lol knock someone out with a good 15,000 feet of momentum

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Ushanka made it! (author)Ushanka2008-04-02

Nah, the candy will break before anything bad happens. The momentum will be about the same from 15,000 feet as it will from 150 feet. Candy is not very aerodynamic (Well, I suppose Tootsie Pops are pretty bullet-like) and it will have a slow terminal velocity. Combined with the small mass the momentum will be less than knock-someone-out strength. Moral: No Tootsie Pops. :P

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octavian234 made it! (author)octavian2342008-09-14

what about jaw breakers?

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jeffconnelly made it! (author)jeffconnelly2007-12-23

yeah, try using it at a parade

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Bad Donut made it! (author)Bad Donut2006-09-10

:D

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johnnyoh made it! (author)2008-09-12

I had encountered the wadding problem with my cannons as well. I found that a simple paper cup works if you mark the outside of the cup where it becomes snug in the barrel and then cut down to that point from the rim at the 12 3 6 and 9 o'clock points of the rim. Basically it functions much like a shotgun wadding and lands a few feet away.

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paper warrior made it! (author)2006-09-11

use a beer can filled with concrete for ammo, you could probably knock down a tree or total a car

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bob the builder #1 made it! (author)bob the builder #12008-08-01

LOL

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theosullis made it! (author)2008-07-14

My friend used gasoline instead of hairspray and the whole gun blew up in his hand and almost sent him to the ER. Just a moral, HAIRSPRAY IS YOUR FRIEND!

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zachninme made it! (author)2006-09-11

I would like it if someone could build a "nice" one... one that you can do inside... and won't kill innocent bystanders...

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adamazing made it! (author)adamazing2007-08-25

Prrrfft. In my experience, bystanders are rarely innocent.

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xproplayer made it! (author)xproplayer2008-04-02

lol there could be a robber in a crowd dun dun dun lol

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buterSBob29 made it! (author)2007-11-10

ok just question do you have to use candy?

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buterSBob29 made it! (author)2007-11-10

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA THIS IS AWESOME ILL USE THIS NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!

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Kaiven made it! (author)2007-09-19

lol, i cant try this with my gun, mine uses gas :P Mommy mommy, look! bright burning wads of candy!

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Kaiven made it! (author)Kaiven2007-09-19

oh lol! nvm. yours uses gas too XD

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jongscx made it! (author)2007-09-02

I was at a pep rally in my sophomore year of high-school for our homecoming football game. It was close to the end and the cheerleaders come out with candy, throwing it at the crowd. I was just waiting for my piece, when I feel a sharp pain a warm feeling over my left eye that started down my cheek. I wasn't really sure what happened, but I headed for the nurse's office. There was a 1-in cut on my eyebrow. It was shallow, but deep enough to bleed. Also, we pulled out what appeared to be a shard of glass and the nurse dropped it into a cup of alcohol. By the time we finished patching me up, it was gone... and the alcohol had a green tint. What we assume happened was that some dumb-5h17 threw a jolly-rancher at the ventilation fans. It broke and I was just lucky enough to be in its way. Ironically, 15 years earlier, I was dancing on a glass table (I was 3, give me a break) and I fell off. that gave me a cut on my right eyebrow. Now I have matching scars :-D

author
spification made it! (author)2007-08-26

for your container you could put some tipe of removable lip on the end of the cannon so that it wouldn't leave the barrel but the candy would or you could put a small screw in the bottom of the cup and attach some twine on the inside of the cup and have the twine on like a reel with plenty of twine bound up so that once fired the container takes the twine and then all u have to do is reel it in a lot like fishing just with an explosive cast

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gunmanx made it! (author)2007-03-30

lol thoes little kids ar funny "wow i never seen so much candy" ima probly build this thing it looks good for a b day party

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sparks made it! (author)sparks2007-04-01

do consider, air powered cannons are more reliable, but you need a compressor. if you have an audience waiting and your are using starter fluid, hope you have the fine art of air/fuel mixture down. i have had so many mis-fires on halloween night with kids and parents waiting. no harm in investing in building one though. they are so simple. good luck

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gunmanx made it! (author)gunmanx2007-04-01

o lol

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2cool made it! (author)2006-10-31

ha. im surprised no one thought of this sooner. i used it while sitting on the roof and almost knocked this little 10 year old out( my bro).

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trialex made it! (author)2006-10-25

Dude where did you get that AAA powered BBQ lighter? I'm searching high and low for one. If by any chance it was an online supplier could you let me know? A reward is offered for anyone who finds one in Australia.

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