Introduction: How to Build a POTATO LAUNCHER

Learn how to build your own POTATO LAUNCHER with parts you can get at your local hardware store.


CalebL3 (author)2015-10-31

What would be the cost of making this project. Is it worth making it for a school project?

Masher007 (author)2014-04-28

Danger: See link: This is not spam, but a warning. PVC will fail suddenly after a while. This was band member that hurt badly by a T-Shirt launcher explosion.

See the pictures and never use PVC to hold air, Please.

thomas the lover (author)2009-03-24

Dude DO NOT PUT THE propellent IN FIRST .You could nudge the ignition while trying to get a spud in and BYE BYE HAND thats rally dangerous. plz for your own safety put the propellent in last .

So many safety issues! And it was kind of a weak launch...

Though you wont get nearly as much power by putting in the propellant last.

Dmoney17 (author)2011-02-05

Hahahahahaha George Bush

TheRocker71 (author)2011-02-05

Whats the farthest launch you've had

shreyjain (author)2010-10-15

Please Friend! I beg you to tell me how to create the spark ignitor you created. I could'nt figure it out. Please I' m in a desperate need for such a great one. Science fair is near and i don't know a way to create an eco-friendly ignitor like yours

matt09 (author)2010-10-09

just a tip never combine whit pvc and black pvc it could end up being faulty and u might blow your face off just incase you didnt know the the two dont stick

M4industries (author)2009-06-12

DO NOT ,I repeat, DO NOT EVER PUT YOUR IGNITOR ON THE END CAP! This is for two reasons One, It weakens the integrity of the end cap Two, If you drop the gun on its end , it may fire accidentaly!

not to mention a busted ignitor!

TheInventor1997 (author)2009-11-28

 you really hate bush, do you?

 nope...i don't hate any political official.  Just pokin fun.


oh wait i get it sorry! i actually used a flint and steel lantern ignitor for mine! it turned out really nice!

Carash (author)2009-12-13

Im thinking of making my first instructable and it will be how to make a potato launcher out of 3 things you would need a hollow pipe, a potato and a pipe which isnt hollow
Get the hollow pipe and push it into the potato which will make a peice of potato which looks like a shotgun shell
Do the same with the other end, so both ends are plugged with potato's.
Now get the not-hollow tube and push one bit of the potato near the other and the air pressure will build up and fire one bit of the potato, if anyone try's this please tell me the results because as soon as i get the peices i will make an instructable!

hayden45 (author)Carash2010-07-15

i read this comment last night and then tried it today the results were shameful i filled a pipe with silicon and pushed it in to the slightly bigger pipe and it went only about 5 metres which is good but then when i droped it from my balcony solid pipe towards the ground it went about 15 metres in the air so your idea did work but only when taken to a slightly bigger scale then my friend was happy with wat had just happened so we put it on a fence post and lashed it there really tight then we tied a car tire to our paddock basher and drove at the solid pipe end and it went about 60 metres so it worked even better on a heaps larger scale kudos to you on your idea

mecrofider (author)Carash2010-07-13

hey thx now i would make my first instructables!!:D yeahh ... kinding jeje but you better dont say your ideas too fast, somebody can stole them ·_· jeje

lemminggenocide (author)Carash2010-06-03

doubt it would be very effective. you'd have to have a really good seal and a large chamber.

garrettmikesmith (author)2008-10-17

YOU SHOULD NOT USE PVC GLUE FOR ABS! ABS is also not designed to be a pressure pipe. They are not pressure tested, so you'll never know if your tube has any hairline cracks or defects in it. ABS and PVC two totally different plastics and most PVC glues work by forming a chemical bond with PVC. While you might have bought a special type of cement, you should tell people to purchase ABS glue, because most PVC glues are not recommended for use with ABS. I know you say that they are ABS in the beginning, but working with ABS and calling it PVC may confuse plenty of people. I would hate to see anyone's gun to blow up in their hands. Also, do you find it better to spray first, cap, load and fire; or to load, spray, cap, and fire? While the extra pressure of loading last may be of some help, I've always thought that the quicker you can fire after loading means that you can ignite more of the fuel particles before they hit the wall of the chamber.

dchall8 (author)garrettmikesmith2008-10-17

Excellent points about the difference in plastics. The video never mentions ABS but it sure looks like ABS in the pictures. ABS glue with ABS pipe and PVC glue with PVC pipe. Or Gorilla Glue (foaming polyurethane) would probably work with either for this application. Nah, use the right glue. These things are gas pressurized. Even PVC is not gas pressure tested nor recommended for pressure with gas. Bursting pipe with gas is much more hazardous than bursting it with liquid. Then again if you really want to be safe you would not be reading this Instructable. The potato coming out the end is extremely dangerous. It is dangerous every time you use it rather than once in a blue moon when the entire apparatus explodes in your hands. Another friend of mine had holes blown in his garage door by potatoes. They are very dangerous. Come to think of it, I wonder if a launcher made by my other friend (we are all friends) was responsible for the garage door incident. It's a sore subject for the guy with the broken door. Back to pressure inside the pipe. A long time ago I read where someone had studied the pressure developed by the pneumatic launchers and the gas ignition launchers. As I remember the gas ignition (like this one) developed about 30 psi while the pneumatic developed whatever you chose to pump up to. I built a pneumatic and launched at 100 psi. It had a range of about 3 football fields. Since then I have abandoned that launcher as being criminally dangerous. For more information about that, Google "exploding" with "PVC" and you'll see what I mean. Some of those people are lucky to have survived with their heads and reproductive organs intact.

garrettmikesmith (author)dchall82008-10-17

In the parts list (the one you hate) it mentions that all parts are ABS. I know it's confusing, I had to watch the video a few times to catch it. You are right about liquid testing PVC, I did forget. I am surprised these things only develop 30 psi though, I truly expected more.

dchall8 (author)garrettmikesmith2008-10-17

LOL! Just to add to the confusion, a s-l-o-w read of the parts list says, "These are all ABS-DWV Schedule PCV Fittings." Up in the parts list number 6 and number 8 clearly say PVC. Rather than continue to nit pick this, I think the flags we have raised are sufficient for someone who wanted to build one of these to take more care than the guy in the video. If the pipe is ABS-DWV, then it should NEVER be pressurized. As garrettmikesmith has pointed out in all caps, ABS pipe is never used for pressure. I wish I could remember the source of the pressure testing. I'm thinking it had to do with the Punkin Chunkin contest. The low pressure was a surprise to me, too. I supposed I could crank mine up to only 30 psi and see if it would dislodge a potato.

dogkiller (author)dchall82010-07-14

oh ya u DF (dogfucker)

garrettmikesmith (author)dchall82008-10-17

I know, it's ridiculous. I guess you could try a 30 psi test, but if overcoming static friction and the inertia of the potato only took a 30 psi burst, I'm sure a steady pressure of 30 psi would launch it.

ChappyShowcase (author)dchall82008-10-19

Yeah, looks like I messed up on some of these points. I guess that is what I get for rushing the video out.

he said pcv... not pvc

can you tell me pcv glue is?

 ace hardware

I dont know aht it is I was just correcting your misconception. Just build the whole thing out og pvc using pvc cement and primer. And make shure to use pressure rated fittings.

i'm 99% sure he is just reading a typo. my point is that pvc glue is not meant to used for abs tubing, and that is what he is using, but he tells people to use pvc, and it's really confusing. i've already made one out of pvc, but i dont want people getting hurt using the wrong glue. pvc glue activates by making a chemical bond with pvc pipe, and i dont think the same bond would occur if someone used abs tubing.

Yeah, everybody has been saying this. I am not an expert by any means. I'm a filmmaker making a how-to video. Not a the most knowledgable how-to guy making a video obviously. Never-the-less i hope people like the video.

It's alright man

lukeea (author)2009-12-30

Here is a cannon I made using general guidelines from your video. Thanks!

weaponscollector94 (author)2009-12-08

nice instructable, but don't liberals hate guns and violence

 i'm not a liberal

neither am I! i just made the mistake of  thinking you were! sorry

 When i made the video I  knew that a George Bush mask would be funny, and that a lot of people were mad at him.  I would do the same thing with a Obama mask...maybe I will some day.

Thanks for watching.

your welcome! i actually made a potato gun almost exactly like this, i too used a flint and steel sparker to ignite mine, but i put racing strips on the combustion chamber! it looks awesome! here is a link if you would like to see:   

                  thanks!    Levi

supamunki (author)2009-11-03

 how far does the tube go into the combustion chamber?

NIJU! (author)2009-08-06
lol mine is tiny its combustion chamber is a gravy powder container and the barrel is a bubble tea straw wrapped in tape the vid is here

billygoat23 (author)2009-05-04

Best spud gun out there. Made my own and it is SICK!!

Arbitror (author)2009-03-21
yukas (author)2009-01-19

great spud gun

ChappyShowcase (author)yukas2009-01-19

glad you enjoyed

jonrb (author)2009-01-01

2:47 Headshot!!! XD great vid!

ChappyShowcase (author)jonrb2009-01-19

Thanks for the comment

powertotheslaves (author)2008-12-23

AWWW DUDE! you killed him! ah serves him right

LOL.....that's right

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