Instructables

How to build an air cannon with a sprinkler valve

Picture of How to build an air cannon with a sprinkler valve
This Instructable will teach you how to build an air cannon that can be triggered with a switch. This cannon is capable of shooting projectiles, such as oranges, or parts of a potato very far distances, and at very high velocities. At 60 PSI, this device is able to shoot a small orange at ~77 mph with a range of ~500 feet.

While making this Instructable, make sure to have plenty of ventilation, preferably working outside. Also, wear gloves if you are worried of getting PVC cement on your hands.

Disclaimer
Air cannons are capable of shooting projectiles at very high velocities. THEY ARE NOT TOYS!!! Never fire an air cannon at any person, or living thing as this could possibly injure or kill someone. When firing, make sure you are in an open field, or a place where the projectile has absolutely no chance of hitting someone, or someone's property that isn't your own. If you are under 16, then make sure to have an adult nearby when firing. Make sure to use common sense when firing, and don't do bad things with it. I nor Instructables take any responsibility for anything you do with this cannon.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Here is a list of the materials you will need:

PVC parts (make sure all PVC parts are PRESSURE RATED )
1. 1 -  4' length 2" diameter PVC pipe (~$4.16)
2. 1 -  3'  length 2" diameter PVC pipe (~$3.12)
3. 2 - 2' length 1" diameter PVC pipe (~$2.16)
4. 2 -  2" x 1" PVC bushing (~$1.35 each)
5. 2 -  3/4" PVC coupling (~$0.20 each)
6. 2 -  1" PVC elbow (~$0.51 each)
7. 2 -  1" PVC threaded adapter (screws into sprinkler valve) (~$0.74 each)

Valve
8. 1 -  1" FNPT threaded in-line sprinkler valve 24 volt >100PSI rating (I used this one: http://www.lowes.com/pd_50552-74985-57101P_0__?productId=1186963&Ntt=orbit+inline)  (~$11.53)

PVC glue/primer
9.  PVC cement can (such as Christy's Red Hot Blue Glue) (~$4.37)
10. PVC purple primer can (~$4.00)

Other
11. 3 -  9 volt batteries (~$1.00 each, but usually can be found around your house)
12. A new or broken bike tube (all you will need is the bike pump input) (~$2.00)
13. Epoxy

Tools
Drill and 1/4 drill bit

Total cost, if you don't have any of these parts, and excluding tools, adds up to ~$40, but if you already have pvc primer, pvc cement, batteries, bike tube, and/or any other parts, then it should be a bit cheaper
Masher0076 months ago

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.

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/1Zs3c
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Makler 471 year ago
I absolutely love this idea. But I was wondering if you could use this for a confetti canon?
Comhippy (author)  Makler 471 year ago
This will work for a confetti cannon, but the actual barrel of the cannon probably needs to be switched out with a smaller diameter one (something like half an inch, depending on how much confetti you're planning to be using), and you'll have to find some different PVC connectors to fit the smaller barrel. You'd probably want to use a fair bit of confetti, since a lot of it may get stuck in the little pocket between the sprinkler valve and the connection to the PVC pipe of the barrel. Otherwise, using a slightly modified barrel with this project should work great for confetti! Just take into account the amount of pressure going through this thing when it fires (especially with a smaller barrel), and be sure to not aim it at anyone or anything you would mind if accidentally shot - just in case there happens to be something other than confetti in the barrel which can cause damage if the cannon is shot.