Introduction: SPUDZILLA !

Picture of SPUDZILLA !

ok, the fact of the matter is that led throwies SUCK! the one big reason is that you are limited by the fact that you can only throw so many so far!, so me being a logical sane person i thought" Hey I should use a cannnon!!" so i headed down to my labrotory and this is the result: oh, did i forget to mention its great at shooting other things too. E.G. potatoes, shaped rounds, MUD, watemelon, golf balls(really good at that one), paper shells packed with flower, anything you can fit down the barrel.

Hey thanks goes out to my brother, instructables member Capt.Kirk for helping me make throwies for the project

Step 1: Create the Cannon

Picture of Create the Cannon

ok so im fairly certain that this has to be legally classified as a firearm, my evidence for this is one day i packed the barrel full of bb's and shot it at my fence where now all those bb's currently reside imbedded in the fence!

so to construct the cannon just follow the schematic ive drawn, it'll provide enough info to get almost all of it built, but the main valve is were a schematic just will not do. by the way its a really good idea to use two part gorrilla glue epoxy for the pipes rather than just abs cement, shure it may cost more but i wouldent skimp on it, it could cost you a limb or your life! if any of those parts where to come loose. the reason for this is that i designed this to operate around 250 psi ! so its the only way to ensure a adequate seal between each pipe and fitting

Step 2: Dealing With the Valve.

Picture of Dealing With the Valve.

so alot of problems with phneumatic valves is that they are soo slow! even those fancy valves that people make from sprinkler valves, also not to mention that the volume of that which air can travel through those valves is relitivly low compared to the system that i engineered, also sometimes the position of the valve makes it ackward to operate the cannon, so i have came up with the end-all be-all solution to this problem! the system i engineered can do the following: close the valve automatically, the firing trigger can be placed anywhere and is easy to use , the speed and duration of the valve being opened can be adjusted in the field without tools , can be easily modified to fire remotely either via a small solonoid valve or by two long air compressor hoses, and most importantly IT WORKS EVERY TIME! ive yet to have had a single failure in the system since it was constructed

but the concept is that you use a phnuematic cylinder to pull a chain that goes around a sprocket bolted to the valve to rapidly open the valve.

Step 3: Getting Compressed Air Anywere!

Picture of Getting Compressed Air Anywere!

another problem is that phnuematic cannons have to have a source of compressed air to function, so on my cannon their are three ways to get compressed air:
1, use the built on compressor with a external battery, usally a car battery
2, use a bicycle pump.
3, use the quick connect adapter with a one way valve to draw air from a compressor

personally number three is always my first choice, because my shops compressor tops out around a nice deadly 195 psi, im fairly certain that this could set a record in spud chuckin.

Step 4: Making Cannon Safe LED Throwies

Picture of Making Cannon Safe LED Throwies

a problem with this kind of use with throwies is the fact that if they are taped together they will just be destroyed by the velocity they exit the barrel! so instead of tape, we must solder each led onto their battery

Step 5: Loading the Cannon!

Picture of Loading the Cannon!

so just to ensure that all the throwies are expelled from the cannon you must make a wadding, just take some paper and fold it lengthwise until you get a strip thats around  two inches wide. then roll the strip and shove it down into the bottom of the barrel. then pour all your throwies down the barrel, and if you'd like put another wadding down the barrel to keep all the throwies in place.

Step 6: The Fun Part!

Picture of The Fun Part!
ok, so i was really dissapointed when i saw the video i recorded with my camera, turns out the auto exposure really jacked up the brightness so it looks like friggen mid day:( but still it shows an excellent demonstration of the cannon in action! , oh by the way USE HEARING PROTECTION! i found out the hard way how loud this is, the dinky micrphone in my camera just does not do it justice.


DanTDM (author)2014-02-02

You could add a switch to a LED throwie and use an AA battery instead. You may need a little wire too.

DanTDM (author)DanTDM2014-02-02

Oh, and by the way paint the battery florescent orange

~FROGYOU~ (author)2014-01-15

This is awesome! I've been trying for days to figure out how I was going to make an efficient and large valve for my own cannon, problem solved! Thanks! By the way do you have any videos firing it?

yeah its right in the instructable :}

jptrsn (author)2013-07-01

Have you tried using plastic bags as mini-parachutes for the throwies? They'd make a good barrel packing, and would let the LEDs rain down slowly. Then again, you'd have to figure out a way to make sure they didn't deploy immediately upon exiting the barrel and shredding themselves to bits...

ilpug (author)2011-03-03

Three questions: what PSI are you Using? Why did you choose the sprocket-actuated valve instead of a normal modded sprinkler valve? Does the air compressor charge the cannon too? One thing though: you mention using Gorilla glue in place of PVC solvent cement. That is a major error. PVC cement is designed for PVC, and that alone. Gorrilla Epoxy, while it is badass and strong, may not be exactly formulated to create a perfect bond with PVC. This is a good system.

Ghost Wolf (author)2011-01-20

That thing is huge bring that in central park and they'll arrest you when you step one foot in!

Ghost Wolf (author)2011-01-20

lol love that look you have in that first photo cracks me up! loma!

999592 (author)2010-10-11

perhaps you could create an instructable on how to create your spud cannon of death with step by step directions, because as of right now i can not make out how it is assembled.

kyle brinkerhoff (author)9995922010-10-11

i havent really bothered with step by step instructons because so many of the components have to be machined and also just sourcing the parts/materials in of its own is a hugely expensive undertaking, so this is a rather impractical project for the avarege joe

JamesRPatrick (author)2010-09-15

Can you make a video showing the LEDs being fired at a surface? I mean it's kind of the whole point of the project.

actually the goal was to shower the sky with thousands of colors and then to have those leds land all over a field for a very cool photograph.

and no, i cant do that again because of the time required to make a zillion throwies is rediculas not to mention the lack of $$ for a thousand leds

dude check ebay. I bought 500 insanely bright leds for lk $10

lack of credit card makes this hard lol:]

You can buy VISA giftcards at walmart. They work online.

true haha

mr.incredible (author)2010-09-11

It's dangerous to solder directly to the battery?

You know, when batteries overheat they tend to explode, or shoot caustic fumes out of the emergency valves, depending on the type.

honestly ive never had a single one blow up on me because of the following
1, low temp soldering iron
2, soldering takes only 3 seconds!
3. i do one side at a time leaving a long cool down period in between
4, all batteries that are used in rechargable aplications ARE SOLDERED in some cases even SPOT WELDED onto each terminal.

Soldering is okay if your quick like a bunny... A lot of batteries are difficult to solder because they have stainless tips. It takes too long to solder it, if you can at all. check it with a magnet first. Commercial batteries are always spot welded. Even if you go to a battery store and have them make custom batteries.


depends on the heat and duration of soldering, usually i only expose the battery to that temp for a very short amount of time and they seem just fine.

RadBear (author)mr.incredible2010-09-11

I don't know myself, that just seems to be the recurring comment everytime someone does it.

kyle brinkerhoff (author)2010-09-15

(Provided that you actually know how to solder and not make mountains of semi molten crap)

RadBear (author)2010-09-11

Cool. You're going to get a lot of comments on how unsafe it is to solder directly to the surface of a battery.

darkclaw42 (author)RadBear2010-09-11

Its dangerous to solder directly to the battery.

crankyjew (author)darkclaw422010-09-11

it's not if you know what you're doing.


Knowledge, and a short linger time on the battery with the soldering iron is fine.

kyle brinkerhoff (author)RadBear2010-09-11


kyle brinkerhoff (author)2010-09-12

burnt fingers:[

eecharlie (author)2010-09-11

If you get a very loud report when fire a potato cannon, I believe that means your barrel is too short.

The gas behind the projectile is still under a lot of pressure when the projectile leaves the barrel if you hear a loud report. If the barrel were longer, the pressurized gas could have accelerated the projectile more, and there would be less (nearly zero, ideally) pressure released when the projectile exits. You'll have to do some math to figure out exactly how long as a function of your pressure chamber volume and firing pressure.

YES!, this is 1000 percent correct,
allthough their is one caveat to this, this method only helps when applied to combustion cannons and fixed pressure cannons, mine is a system were the psi is changed for almost every shot, this is so i can dial in the range, also the big (ESPECIALLY BIG FOR ME) problem is that this baby tops out in the 200 psi range and given the volume of the tank, the barrels optimal length would be in the neighborhood of 20 FEET to even come close to maximum effiency!

but thanks for bringing that up though, its a valid statement. its just iether i buy the 3 foot sections of pipe from the hardware store or i buy a full 10 foot section. and i also wanted to be able to carry this myself without it being aqward to manuever around stuff, plus not to mention people get a little concerned when they see me out at the local park with something that resembles a flack cannon, when its put on a tripod with a super long barrel.

i mean a quarter mile range is pretty great with the barrel i have on it in this video so i just stuck with it out of sanity

kyle brinkerhoff (author)2010-09-11

leave a rating if you would:]

osepogue (author)2010-09-11

The aluminum stuff is called 8020, the "industrial erector set". Check out

It is rather pricey, but cool stuff.

i might spend a little too much dough here

duckythescientist (author)2010-09-11

That is the most badass-looking spud-gun that I have ever seen!!!! Instead of paper wadding, a crumpled up plastic Walmart (or similar) bag works well. That is what I use when I am firing my cannon and don't want to actually shoot anything of substance.

haha! THANKS! i actually shot a couple of spuds out of it BUT they have such a high exit velocity that i cant track them with my eyes!, however the one time i did find one of them was when i saw a car at the local gas station smeared with a potato ! its around a quarter mile away from my house where i initially shot it off !

oh btw i tried the plastic bag trick, and kinda works the same as the paper, i think if i got a bunch and rolled them into a slug that would work really well

mr.incredible (author)2010-09-11

I like how manly and technical it looks. A simple sprinkler valve works great, and is cheaper. You replace the solenoid with a air nozzle. Load up the tank, and press the air nozzle button and poof. no power required.

I noticed you bypassed the compressor for your test. How long does it take to pump up the tank with the AC?

mere seconds!

About This Instructable




Bio: hi i enjoy making ludicrisly over the top and complex devices.... Being an ameture engineer, I refuse pick the easy option, but rather the one ... More »
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