In this instructable I will describe how to make a flame cannon out of PVC pipe. It is a simple project and all parts should cost under 10$, however it requires the use of the products of three of my other instructables.
The fuse https://www.instructables.com/id/E9ZBOE35P9EPA8KZXX/
the gunpowder https://www.instructables.com/id/EEXOON4E1HEPA8KQNM/
and the electrical detonator https://www.instructables.com/id/EH6Q99985NEPA8L6YC/

This project is a cumulation of sorts, of all my other projects.

Step 1: Parts List


1. 2" PVC pipe roughly 19" long
2. Can of purple PVC primer
3. Can of PVC cement
4. 2" threaded socket coupler (Just make sure it fits on top of the pipe, and the end cap can be screwed in)
5. End cap
6. 1/4" drill bit with drill
7. Fuse (https://www.instructables.com/id/E9ZBOE35P9EPA8KZXX/)
8. Gunpowder (https://www.instructables.com/id/EEXOON4E1HEPA8KQNM/)
9. Electronic Detonator (https://www.instructables.com/id/EH6Q99985NEPA8L6YC/)
10. Plastic drinking straws
11. Duct and electrical tape
12. Scissors
13. Gallon sized plastic bags
14. Lighter fluid, gasoline, dentured alchol, or some other flammable liquid
This reminds me a bit of the "Carbide Cannon" detailed in William Gurstelle's book Backyard Ballistics. i did something like this once, but it was air powered, and used an old aluminum water bottle with the bottom cut off for a 'barrel"
Unlike modern gun powders, black powder can detonate under higher pressures. Also, its performance varies more over its life and in different temps and humidities. A charge that may have been safely fired yesterday could explode today, especially if increasing the charge or the projectile weight or its fitment in the bore. If the powder does detonate, it will combust much faster and release most of its energy through a pressure wave rather than with heat and fire. The pressure is a lot more dangerous because all that energy is released so quickly, so don't make the mistake of estimating risk based on what you see the device doing under normal conditions, because if it fails, it may be many times worse. Instead of black powder, consider using Pyrodex. This is a modern black powder substitute that is more predictable. It is intended for use in black powder firearms. It is manufactured to produce the same pressures/muzzle velocities as black powder for the same charge volume. So, do not substitute one another by weight!
Modern powder is what burns at higher pressures. That is why they DO NOT recommend using modern powder in blackpowder firearm. Put 3 drams of BP in a shotgun shell, and you'll be fine. Put three drams of modern powder in a shotshell, you'll blow your gun into pieces
there are different grades of powder for different kinds of weapons. these are specially formulated, and should never be mixed.
thats cool but its all fun and games till your nabors house goes up in flames... then its more fun and games!!!
my uncle did that a long time ago with a bottle rocket. luckily only the 2nd story burnt down.
love the profile picture.
you should fill it with coffee creamer powder. I saw it on mythbusters, it is really flamable.
Yes, but the powder combustion is hard to attain. The ratio of powder to air is really temperamental. To better understand what Im saying, try throwing a handful of creamer in the air and try lighting it.
with fireproof gloves of course.
 Could this be done with compressed air?
Would it be possible to use copper pipe.<br /> In my country it is almost impossible to get pvc pipe.<br />
why not just put some lighter fluid in a mortar tube (fireworks not artillery) and light the fluid which would light the fuse, that would be loud and bright
The links don't work:(
you could make a handheld (if you're brave/STUPID enough) hybrid spud gun with a blowtorch at the the end and that would be a blast flame cannon. even a small one would work.
sounds like a plan
Hey Tetra, cool hobby for someone who lives surrounded by wooden buildings, you have cojones of steel.
Sweet, the other day I built something similar out of a shotgun shell and thought to myself "Wow thats alot like tetranitrate's flame cannon". Now I just need to fill it with lighter fluid.
You may have some fun with another recipie for a fireball. you need: 1 fire pot, I recommend a 1.5" by 8" pvc (the shrapnel is much less lethal in case you get it wrong) fuse/ ematches (skylighter.com to make your own)/ some source of ignition black powder (4f) Napthalene (crushed moth balls) get a box of them, make sure they're napthalene moth balls, the paradichlorobenzene ones don't work, and a resiprator or scuba setup (optional, but damn do mothballs stink). crush the entire box, put the powder in a ziploc for storage, you have enough for several fireballs now. 1) pour about an inch of black powder into the bottom of the pvc pipe. 2)ok, here's the part I got wrong, and ended up building an open-ended pipe bomb instead of a fireball. make a mixture of 70% napthalene and 30% black powder by weight. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND (it was funny when it went off, but only because we were 500 feet away at the time) 3) pour about two inches of the black powder/napthalene mix into the pot. 4) pour three to four inches of napthalene in on top of that. DO NOT TAMP, you want a loose fill so that you get better spread. place, clear, fuse, light, and enjoy. Note: the ratio isn't exact, YMMV, but that's what experimentation is for. you may be able to leave the lift charge out all together, I never tried.
Yeah, Ive tried a bunch of different things to get a good fireball. I eventually wound up using a liquid, because it is much cheaper then almost any powder that can be made. In the video in the first few shots, you can see I was using a white powder, it is the classic flour cornstarch mixture. It didnt work out too well the first few times because I didnt use enough gunpowder to get the mix to fully separate in the air which is whats necessary for it to ignite.
someone here is a MAGER pyro (just like mee) and by da way wach out for the alphabet soup(there wachin u)
you know, now that I come to think of it, I've always had better results with liquid too, Esp. with white gas. although, one thing you can do is take balloons and fill them with a little gasoline, then fill them the rest of the way with oxygen and suspend them in the path of the flame. makes a nice little pop. don't do it with a garbage bag though, that'll break your windows. But I've never done that, nope,not me, never... no... bad monkey.
my monkey and yours should NEVER MEET!....
on second thought...(whats your fone-number)
looks great for special effects in movies.
biiiig waste of gunpowder
no such thing
Awww, you remind me of myself in my younger days!!! A word of wisdom from a old Anarcist. Always remember, dont build anything in your own home. that way when your stuff blows up in your face, you have somewhere you can go to recover...Give'em hell!
was that a bird that fell out of that tree
Lol, no. I love the video because it looks like right after the explosion a smoldering bird spirals down out of the tree, and hits the ground. It would have been pretty funny (at least for my sadistic mind) if thats what actually happened, but in reality it was just a piece of paper towel that was in the barrel when I shot it.
lol ok
Thats what I thought it was too lol
Synthetic materials (like pvc) and heat DON'T MIX!
ever thought about making 5 or more of these and lining them up so they fire 1 after the after, reckon it would look pretty cool at night
You guys complain to much. It's his instructable, not yours. If you don't like the way he does it, go make your own. And by-the-way Tetra, nice instructable (just like all the rest of them :D ) this could be fun, think of all the things I could do.....
Tetranitrate, Have you a warrant for your arrest? or Have you ever been arrested while doing something of this nature (dangerous)? Also how old are you to be doing this in your yard?
to do this stuff, i have to go about a half a mile into the woods... neighbors suck. he must have a nice neighborhood.
Tetranitrate must have neighbors like himself
no he owns alot of acreage... all the neighibors see is his flaming body running towards the garden hose in attempt to put him self out... lol... no offence tetanitrate...
This could be a variation of an old skool spud cannon, minus the spud. Instead of the fuse and nichrome wire, I would use my simple nichrome igniters, a piece (~7cm) of nichrome wire wrapped around a cut off match head about 2 times. These are extremely easy to make, about 40 seconds each if not less, so mass production is extremely easy. Tetranitrate, love your stuff, but I think this is overcomplicated. For a "flame cannon" you could simply use about 1/2 cup of lighter fluid, in the plastic bag and tube, and put one of (the above) nichrome igniters in the tube under the bag. Depending on the bag you may need two match heads, to first melt the bag. As a fluid, lighter fluid would be great. Or something similar that burns quickly. Also, to get extremely rapid burning, you need a smaller hole (this compresses the fluid and makes it into smaller particles, like an aerosol nozzle). If you got a 2" to 1" adaptor (50mm to 225mm for me) and pushed it on the top of the pipe after loading it, you would get a much longer / higher flame and a faster burn. Maybe even fast enough to use "gas" or petrol, to the rest of the universe.
wicked awsome man
one word... PYRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A MUCH safer alternative: 1. Use a paper cylinder. You can make one by wrapping brown wrapping paper round a wax paper covered broomstick, and brishing each layer with dliuted white glue or some other cheap adhesive 2. Use much less black powder- a teaspoon would be plenty- and top it off with a teaspooon or two of fine wood flour.
FIRE!!!!!!!! :-D!!!
you gotta be careful with this crap man, i used to mess with blackpowder. i almost got my face blown off and got hit with shrapnel and burned a couple of times. i'll dig up the video of my old 60 pound steel cannon and post it soemtime.
You can make one with air spray and a can and some other things.
Put a balloon full of hydrogen above it. It will be ignited by the flame and might blast the flame higher.
Be sure to use a hydrogen/air mix. We've made the mistake of shooting rockets into bags of pure hydrogen, and it will not ignite. If you rupture the bag and the flame is present, it will burn at the boundaries, but just a slow burn, not the nice satisfying Whump! you like to hear.

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