Introduction: Cheese Ball Machine Gun

This project was a fun one. I went through probably close to a thousand cheese balls before it was all said and done. Even so, the local wildlife had them cleaned up no more than a day later.

This is built around an electric leaf blower with a little PVC pipe for the barrel. The leaf blower acts as a high volume air supply that propels the cheese balls, and a little bit of manipulation of the air flow ensures that the cheese balls feed smoothly. I'll get into that part in later steps. The embedded video above demonstrates the full process to make this project and of course written instructions will follow.

Parts:

  • Lots of Cheese Balls
  • Leaf Blower
  • 1" PVC Pipe
  • 1" PVC T Fittings (x2)
  • 1" PVC Coupling
  • 1" PVC End Plug
  • Epoxy
  • Stiff Wire (Music Wire or Clothes Hanger Wire)
  • 3/8" Nut, Bolt, & Washers

Step 1: Barrel Mount

The first step to this project is to figure out how to connect a 1" PVC barrel to the business end of whatever leaf blower you happen to be using. My blower conveniently came with a detachable piece to allow a leaf bagger to connect with the front end. This made it easy to secure a PVC fitting into the connector with epoxy which then snapped right on to the blower. I used a T fitting so that it would take up more space in the opening and less epoxy would be necessary to fill the gaps. The part of the T that is submerged in the epoxy has an end plug pressed into it to keep epoxy from leaking inside while it cured. I used duct tape to hold the PVC in place and seal off the openings while the Epoxy was poured.

Supposing your blower does not have this same sort of detachable bagger fitting you may have to devise an alternate method to seal a PVC fitting into the opening. Creating an attachment with fiberglass may be a good option, or you could simply tape the fitting into the blower for a temporary solution.

Step 2: Barrel & Hopper

The barrel of this cheese ball machine gun is made from 1" diameter PVC pipe with a T fitting toward the back end to attach the hopper. A small length of PVC pipe connects to the rear of the T fitting which will be what joins the assembly to the fitting epoxied into the leaf blower. This short piece of pipe will get some modification in the next step.

I'm using a piece of pipe about 2' in length for the main part of the barrel. The length is pretty arbitrary here, it may work better or worse at various lengths. I just thought 2' looked good.

The hopper is nothing more than an empty container that cheese balls are sold in. A hole is made in the side so a piece of pipe from the top of the T can pass through, and a piece of coupling is pressed on from the inside to lock the container in place. I also added a wood block to help support the hopper by resting it on the front of the barrel. Holes are drilled through the lid of the container as well to relieve any pressure that might backflow into it.

Step 3: Creating a Venturi to Feed Cheese Balls

If you simply put together this project as I've so far described but miss this next step you would find it doesn't work very well at all. Air would come from the leaf blower and feed right up into the hopper, strongly resisting any cheese balls from falling into the barrel and being shot out the front. We need the air flow to instead be sucking cheese balls into the barrel. We'll accomplish this by adding a venturi into the small piece of pipe that connects the barrel to the blower.

A small ramp is cut from a piece of scrap PVC and sanded down to fit inside the small section of pipe. This is glued in place with PVC cement and oriented to direct air flow away from the opening in the T fitting that faces the hopper. This will cause the high pressure air from the blower to pass by a layer of still air below the opening in the T fitting. As the high pressure air passes by friction will drag the still air along with it, creating a vacuum in the hopper that will suck cheese balls right into the barrel.

Step 4: Agitator

After the last step has been completed and the barrel joined to the blower the cheese ball gun is fully operational, but an optional step that can increase the feed of ammunition further is to add an agitator into the hopper. I drilled a hole through a short bolt which I then mounted in the back of the cheese ball container with washers and a nut. Passing through the hole in the bolt is a piece of high carbon music wire that is bent in such a way as to allow me to stir up the cheese balls while firing. This allows me to clear occasional jams and in general helps to keep it firing smoothly.

All that's left to do is fill up the hopper, turn on the leaf blower, and fire away!

Comments

author
austin.neasbitt made it! (author)2017-02-16

do you know what brand of leaf blower that is

author
Cdn Sapper made it! (author)2016-12-31

I'm seriously wondering about the excitement of this idea+paintballs+Li leaf blower would produce! By the way has anyone ever said Wil Wheaton looks a bit like you?

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WUVIE made it! (author)2016-10-09

Ha! I love this! Pay no mind to the nay-sayers, we've all got to have fun now and then. This is just too much fun. :-) Kudos, sir!

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offseid made it! (author)2016-09-30

I would fully support this project if I did not love cheese balls so much. Seeing the death of hundreds of cheese balls is painful to watch. But perhaps this project can be modified to accommodate a large group of people at the other end who can try to catch them in their mouths.

author
Mark 42 made it! (author)2016-09-13

Are they cheese puffs, or balls of actual cheese?

author
wjf213. made it! (author)2016-09-09

Very cool project. Could you use a SANITARY TEE or WYE PVC fitting instead of making that little wedge part or don't you think it would create enough vacuum? You might need a reducer, because I think they come in 1.5" for the smallest size. What about using a cordless blower to make it more portable? I think I would also put a cheap light weight gear down motor to turn that crank instead of using your hand. I'm just thinking for kids, they might need both hands to hold the thing and then how would they turn the crank? Again, VERY cool project and one I'm going to build next weekend. Keep up the great work.

author
NightHawkInLight made it! (author)NightHawkInLight2016-09-09

You can try a sanitary tee, it might work. Let me know how it goes!

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rxima made it! (author)2016-09-09

lol very cool

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20rmendoza made it! (author)2016-09-09

nerf rival high impact rounds baby!!!

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Benne made it! (author)2016-08-30

Awesome, I don't think we have cheeseballs where I live, but I can probably find other eatable ammuniton :).

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MaggieF15 made it! (author)MaggieF152016-09-07

lol marshmallows... mini powdered donuts

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Valkem made it! (author)Valkem2016-09-07

mini powdered donuts. HAHA, I can just see squirrel fur flying THWUNK! as my son is shooting powdered donuts into the trees.

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szangvil made it! (author)2016-09-06

I don't like projects where you waste food. Even if the wildlife enjoyed it.

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gripuns made it! (author)gripuns2016-09-06

I'm sorry, if those are considered food, then you better check your diet. I think this has to be a better use for them than eating them.

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MaggieF15 made it! (author)MaggieF152016-09-07

Hahahahahaha! TRUTH!

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blenderbender made it! (author)blenderbender2016-09-06

Amen to that!

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YaënD made it! (author)YaënD2016-09-06

yeah this machine gun helps people to throw away their fat potential. one of the best instructables. next you should invent a hamburger machine gun oiled with bacon crispy. ;)

author
Eh Lie Us! made it! (author)2016-09-06

You wanna play rough? Say hello to my little friend!

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dragonfrog66 made it! (author)2016-08-26

can i use this with paint balls???

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NightHawkInLight made it! (author)NightHawkInLight2016-08-26

Paintballs are probably too heavy to go very far.

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MichaelF44 made it! (author)MichaelF442016-09-06

Very cool, right up there with the potato bazooka. One question, what do think of doing this with a gas powered blower? Would it work or is a gas blower too much.

author
Eli9232 made it! (author)Eli92322016-09-06

well, If you got some other kind or motor, and made the hole juuuuust big enough for the paintballs...

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nliwilson made it! (author)2016-09-06

this may just be my favourite Instructable ever? ?

author
bmiller91 made it! (author)2016-09-06

Dunno. Using cheese puffs as ammo might class it as a weapon (at least on the West Coast where cheese puffs "are known to the State of California to contain ....")

author
kaj.paget made it! (author)2016-09-06

Great production. I very much enjoyed it.

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sharnleu made it! (author)2016-09-06

Neat idea - cheese balls that come in a bag don't qualify as food.

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PeteP11 made it! (author)2016-09-06

You Sir, are a hero.

author
MechEngineerMike made it! (author)2016-08-30

Your next video needs to be blasting these things into someone's open mouth. Ha ha, neat idea.

author
madmedix made it! (author)2016-08-30

Bring a battery-powered unit to the shore with a seagull population and watch the show...

author
Billy Beast made it! (author)2016-08-30

So cool, but I don't think my mom or dad would like me making this, but I will try.

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waraji made it! (author)2016-08-29

It looks like fun, but are you absolutely sure all that cheese is beneficial to the wildlife? Ask a local wildlife biologist.

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JAMESM466 made it! (author)2016-08-29

I can see using a battery powered blower and taking this into school. My students would love it. Admin? Not so much.

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inspecter gadget made it! (author)2016-08-29

Simply genius !!!!

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KeithM9 made it! (author)2016-08-28

FOOD FIGHT ! ! ! ! !

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svigness made it! (author)2016-08-28

i like this concept dude

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Antzy Carmasaic made it! (author)2016-08-28

Hard does it hit? I'm tempted to just stand in front with a gaping mouth(and some eye protection). Very cool build!

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grannyjones made it! (author)2016-08-27

Has this ever been done near hogs?

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iTHROWDOWN made it! (author)2016-08-27

Couple of things. Ive been watching you, kip kay and grant thompson for years now. Thank you for inspiring me and my projects and what have you! I had a couple of ideas on this. How do you feel about hop up on the cheeseballs? You could do this with a small hole and a rubber shrink tube on a dowel or small bolt. Also you could do this in combination with ping pong balls and make an insane distance contraption. I might make this soon as funds let me and see how it goes! Happy Tinkering!

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Laral made it! (author)2016-08-27

Hilarious. Doug Heffernan would have loved this. :)

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Battlespeed made it! (author)2016-08-27

Most hilarious 'ible I've seen. You have a very interesting mind (which I don't mean in a negative sense).

author
ChickBang made it! (author)2016-08-26

And I thought I knew the true definition of Awesome!

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longp2000 made it! (author)2016-08-26

You'll put your eye out kid.
LoL

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Jhakz made it! (author)2016-08-26

love it love you love your youtube channel

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DustandDoghair made it! (author)2016-08-26

You have my vote! Genius!

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SteveR178 made it! (author)2016-08-26

Brilliant!

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FriendOfHumanity made it! (author)2016-08-26

That is fantastic and the fluid dynamic part is very interesting . . . You probably see a lot of morbidly obese squirrels waddling round looking for more cheese.

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NightHawkInLight made it! (author)NightHawkInLight2016-08-26

I'm sure part of the blame for local squirrel obesity does rest squarely on my shoulders...

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chechos84 made it! (author)2016-08-26

freakin' awesome dude! i wanna make this in the not so distant future :D

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seamster made it! (author)2016-08-26

This just makes me all kinds of happy :)

Love it!!

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Yonatan24 made it! (author)2016-08-26

I can see this as a very useful weapon if hungry thieves break into your house :)

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Bio: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.
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