Instructables
Picture of Launch It: The Pneumatic Potato Pistol.
Everybody wants a potato cannon. Especially #1 & #2 sons.

However, it's not entirely wise to let small people play with explosives or high-pressure gases. At least, not without me there to, er, supervise.

Enter the Pneumatic Potato Pistol - pocket-sized ballistic mayhem.
 
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Step 1: Tools and materials.

You will need:

  • Hot glue (or epoxy)
  • Cutting and grinding tools - either a hacksaw, file and sandpaper, or a rotary tool with appropriate bits.
  • Pliers
  • Safety gear - you will need goggles if you're using a rotary tool on the pen, be careful around hot-glue, and read the safety instructions on the packet if you are using epoxy. For the safety equipment needed when you use it, check the video in step four.
  • A large syringe. I acquired mine from school, but you can sometimes get them from pharmacists - ask for large oral syringes.
  • An old biro or similar stiff narrow tube.

Step 2: The Barrel

Cut off about 6cm (about two and a half of your American Inches) of the blunt end of the pen.

Near the closed end of the pen, drill a hole large enough to take the syringe nozzle. Note that the syringe I am using has a wider diameter near the base of the nozzle, and that is the diameter I am working to.

If you are planning to use the pistol to fire actual potato, grind the open end of the pen to a slightly chamfered edge. It doesn't need to be razor sharp, it just makes it easier to push into your spud.
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ilpug3 years ago
Me and some friends made these years ago when spit wad shooters were all the rage in school. We got in tons of trouble but it was great.
fozzy135 years ago
=O !!! How do I get an Instructables leatherman!??!? : )
Kiteman (author)  fozzy135 years ago
It was a prize in a past Valentine's contest (back when the site was smaller and did not have so many big sponsors, they made their own prizes).
God I miss those days :(
nice job
Kiteman (author)  yoyojoeco4 years ago
Thank you!
___ Kiteman5 years ago
good times...goodtimes
fozzy13 Kiteman5 years ago
gahhhh!! thats so cool though, I want one!! : (
Kiteman (author)  fozzy135 years ago
You'll have to ask Eric to make them prizes again...
Camisado6 years ago
Despite that this is not the best potato cannon ever, it's still good, because it's easy and pocket-sized, AND, it's made by Kiteman! Everyone knows what Kiteman makes are always DA BOMB!!!
oh, yeah!
DA BOMB!
(I don't like bombs, they kill people!) :)
Kiteman (author)  Camisado6 years ago
:-)
Yay!
bylerfamily5 years ago
Where can I get a syringe?
a fricking turkey baster wolud work
Kiteman (author)  bylerfamily5 years ago
You can buy oral syringes (no needle) from pharmacies, or you could smile nicely at a local science teacher.
Okay,thanks.
how does this compare to simply blowing in the straw?
Bartboy5 years ago
what happens if you melt and seal the nozzle of the syringe, gill with aerosol, then compress? will it blow up under pressure?
Kiteman (author)  Bartboy5 years ago
Not that I am aware of - the compression needs to be much greater (in both speed and size) to generate enough heat to ignite fuel.
Bartboy Kiteman5 years ago
thought so
theosullis6 years ago
Well johnsons on fire, if its called a POTATO pistol it means he is fireing tic tacs, jeez not that hard to figure out
Kiteman (author)  theosullis6 years ago
Unfortunately, johnsons on fire will never see this comment, because you didn't click the "reply" button at the end of his comment.
I'm a little to lazy to read, but what are you shooting?
Kiteman (author)  Johnsons on fire7 years ago
If you're too lazy to read it, I'm too lazy to reply... ;-)
Then why did you reply at all? Kind of defeats the purpose. So if you do defeat the purpose by responding at all why don't you respond with the answer... (sigh)
if your to lazy to read then how do you read his of comment of the answer sheez you both are wrong!
Kiteman (author)  Johnsons on fire6 years ago
It's called a sense of humour, and , seriously, if you expect me to spoon-feed you every detail then you aren't really a Maker, are you?
Of course i don't make wimpy "stuff" like this! I make the actual potato gun! And besides i'm a little to busy to make this with school and all so i don't end up in my forties arguing with teenagers!
Kiteman (author)  Johnsons on fire6 years ago
Oh, the pain, the agony of the biting sarcasm!

Staggers backwards, clutching wounded ego

(Keep practising, little man, the side of the barn is over there somewhere)
I'm looking for it, but can you give me better directions. I can hear the rooster faintly.
Kiteman (author)  Johnsons on fire6 years ago
That's your problem - the rooster is on the fence near the gate. Turn around and face the other way, the barn is the big thing with a red roof and full of cattle. Try following your nose...
Yay! I made it!... Now what? :(
why did you bother to read his message?
You could just add a laserand mount the pen part vertically.
Kiteman (author)  botmaster 106 years ago
Er...
I mean for aiming and ease of shooting:)
Whaleman6 years ago
Hmm. It doesn't seem as though it would be easy to aim, what with the hitting it upwards and whatnot.
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