Introduction: Marshmallow Revolver & Speedloader

Recently, I have become obsessed with the mechanics of old-school revolvers, and PVC marshmallow guns. eventually, I decided to marry the two, and the Marshmallow Revolver was born! It boasts a yoke/cylinder assembly that swings out for reloads just like an authentic revolver that can be disassembled. Also, it has a long range, and is very accurate.

I have also included an instructional segment detailing how to build a speedloader for your finished revolver (quick 'mallow reloads). If you have any suggestions or questions, be sure to drop them in the comments section!

I have included a Google Sketchup file I created for any additional visualization needed. (I know, not exactly Autocad, but it can be useful to make a quick visualization of something in a pinch.)

Step 1: What You Need

                  TOOLS
  • Hand Drill
  • Assorted Drill Bits
  • Wood Saw
  • Coping Saw
  • Wood File

                MATERIALS
  • Scrap Wood
  • 2 inch PVC coupling
  • 1/2 Inch PVC pipe
  • Various wooden dowels
  • super glue
  • wood glue
        Not pictured: 1/2 inch pipe and mini marshmallows
 
 
 
 
 

Step 2: Building the Cylinder

In this step, we will build the cylinder, the rotating compartment that will hold the 4 marshmallows. i decided to go for a 4-round cylinder, but with some modifications you could use a bigger coupling and get room for more chambers.

1. cut 4 lengths of the PVC pipe to match the height of the 2 inch coupling.
2. slide all 4 lengths into the coupling, filing down the edges if you have to.
3. sand both sides of the cylinder to a smooth finish.
4. slide a ~5 inch wooden dowel into the junction of the 4 PVC pipes, this should be a very tight squeeze.

No adhesive whatsoever needs to be used in these steps! everything is just tightly packed in.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Step 3: Cutting the Frame

Now it is time to cut out the square frame, essentially the housing for the cylinder and base for the whole gun.

1. cut out a 2 and 3/4 by 3 and 1/4 piece of 3/4 wood.
2. cut out a 1 and 1/2 by 2 and 1/2 rectangular hole in the center, big enough to house the cylinder. to do this, I first drew out where the rectangular hole would go, drilled a hole in the middle of it, and then fed the blade of my coping saw through the hole and cut away to the line.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Step 4: The Barrel

Next, we will create the guns business end, the barrel. 

1. Cut a ~6 and 1/2 inch length of the 1/2 inch pipe
2. cut away 1/2 of the pipe lengthwise starting at one end and going in ~ 2 and 1/2 inches
3. cut out a ~7 inch length of PVC pipe
4. glue the 1/2 inch pipe underneath the PVC pipe with superglue as shown in the picture.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Step 5: Creating the Yoke

Now, it is time to create the assembly that will move the cylinder from its closed to open position - the yoke.

1. cut a ~3/8ths dowel 1/2 of an inch
2. drill a hole through the center of this with a drill bit the same size as the PVC cylinders dowel. you have now created the eyelet.
3. glue a small piece of wood to one end of this eyelet, as shown in the picture.
4. cut a 1 and 3/8th by 1/2 inch piece of wood from ~3/16th plywood.
5.glue this piece to the eyelet as shown, onto the piece added on in step 3.
6. glue a 2 and 1/2 inch length of a ~3/16th inch dowel onto the plywood, as shown. (the dowel should be the correct size to fit into the housing of a household pen)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Step 6: Attaching the Yoke/Cylinder to the Frame

Finally, it is time to take the cylinder and yoke that we have built and establish them on the wood frame.

1. slide the cylinder into the yoke as shown  
2. cut out a section on the left side of the frame to fit the eyelet of the yoke. test it! to do this, drill a hole at the midway point, then cut away to the frames edge with a woodsaw. look at the picture for details.
3. superglue a 2 inch length of a pen housing to the bottom of the frame, as shown.
4. slide the yoke/cylinder into the pen housing via the dowel on the bottom of the yoke.
5. the cylinder should now swing in and out of the frame. If it's working; hooray! if not, double check the measurements of all of the components, and make sure all of the joints are oriented correctly. 

Step 7: Carving the Handle

At this point in assembly, we can finally take those woodcarving skills we learned in boy scouts to good use and create a wooden handle for the 'mallow gun. Go all out here, folks! For mine, I essentially used a round file to carve finger cavities into a 3 and 1/2 inch long piece of wood. 

If you really don't want to attach a wooden handle, a piece of PVC pipe could be substituted.

this handle will be attaching to a vertical side of the frame, so make sure to cut out a flat place where it will meet the frame. if you want different handle orientation/angling, try cutting out the flat part at varying degrees.

Step 8: Gluing in the Handle and Barrel

Finally, It's time to unite all of the different bits that we've been assembling!

1. Begin by gluing the handle on to the side of the frame. (easy enough- right?)
2. mark a dot on the left side of the frame (the business end, where the barrel will go) to precisely align with the center of a chamber in the cylinder rotated to the top.
3. drill a hole through this dot with a drill bit the size of the PVC. this should be wider than the frame is, so make sure the frame is clamped when drilling.
4. slide the barrel into this new hole, and simultaneously the 1/2 inch pipe on the bottom should slide over the 'extractor rod', the cylinders dowel. 
5. test the cylinders ability to rotate and slide open and closed. when everything is aligned correctly, glue the barrel in!

Step 9: Adding the Blow Tube

It's time to finish our marshmallow gun by adding the blow tube! 

1. cut a piece of PVC pipe about 5 inches
2. cut a hole identical to the one cut in step 8 for the barrel, but this time for the blow tube.
3. slide the blow tube in, and when everything is aligned, glue it in!
4. cap it off with a 45 degree attachment to blow into.


Your marshmallow revolver is now completed - hooray! Now to reenact  all of your favorite John Wayne or walking dead scenes.
To really spruce this up, I suggest staining the wood of the handle and frame. unfortunately, I did not have enough time to do this yet because of the deadline for entries in the zombie contest, but it's something I will definitely do in the future.

- Next step: on to the speed loader! -

Step 10: Building the Speedloader

It can be cumbersome to load bullets one by one into the cylinder, and in the heat of battle one can't waste those precious extra seconds. Fortunately, there is a Speedloader that can load all 4 marshmallows at once!

1. drill out a 2 inch diameter circle from a piece of thin plywood.
2. trace all four chambers on to one side of this circle.
3. using a coping saw, cut these circles as shown in the picture.
4. cut 4 lengths of index card to the right width , and slide these through the circular cavities.
5. staple all four ends of the index card segments together on the far end.

the speedloader is now completed! to use, place a marshmallow into each index card section as shown, slide the 'mallow end into the open cylinder, hold on to the wooden circle and pull the index card segments out! the marshmallows should be safely inside of the cylinder.

Step 11: Some Thoughts


Overall, I am satisfied with this project, although I did encounter several problems.
  1. I went through 3 different frames I cut out - I kept accidentally breaking them!
  2. I had to re - glue the barrel on numerous occasions, as it kept becoming misaligned with the cylinder
  3. I ran out of superglue about 3/4 of the way through - and had to substitute hot glue. it wasn't pretty, and didn't hold well at all.
  4. when I had finished the gun, my first tests were a failure- the barrel was slightly higher than the cylinder chambers! I had to file the edges of the barrel where it meets the cylinder chambers so that It would fire.
  5. I went through 3 different speedloader designs- all failed but my final one (marshmallows are sticky!)

If you enjoyed this instructable, or have any suggestions or responses, make sure to leave a comment below. Also, I would love to see how yours came out, so post a picture in the comments!

-MU5ICI4N

Comments

author
vov35 (author)2013-07-01

Would it be difficult to add a mechanism to lock the chamber in position when aligned with the barrel? I'd like to replicate the revolver mechanism at a somewhat higher pressure and chopping marshmallows (nerf darts?) doesn't seem as rewarding as launching them.

author
azwebco (author)vov352015-02-13

This is a really old comment/question but I made something like this and I put a small spring loaded pin (like the ball that holds your sockets on your ratchet drive) in the top of the frame and then I drilled a tiny hole/detent (smaller than the pin) in the revolving cylinder part that correlated to each chamber being lined up. I made my pin by putting a rounded point on a small dowel and I drilled a hole down through the top of the frame and then put a spring in behind it and finally screwed a small metal bracket over the top of the hole so I could replace/experiment with the spring and pin without taking the gun apart. My cylinder did not rotate out of the frame I used the guide hole created by the center bit on my hole saw for a dowel and because the cylinder was so large many of the holes were exposed. I worried about the ammo falling out when my grand kids were running around so I made two smaller 5.125" disks out of 1/4" hardboard and mounted them over the dowel and glued them to the frame so they don't rotate with the cylinder but keep all the ammo inside no matter how the gun is oriented. I made a hole in each at the very top so that the gun could fire and one hole in the rear for loading. In retrospect if I made another I would not glue the dowel in and make it possible to retract the dowel and chamber another fully loaded cylinder.

One thing to note, I made my cylinder out of a 6" plywood disc (it never occurred to me that 4 pieces would fit so snug in the 2" coupling) but with a 6" circle of wood (I have a lot of 6" round scraps from using a hole saw to drill out the hole for cornhole boards) you can fit a lot more chambers I think I went with 12 to leave more wood, I probably could have fit more but I was afraid I would break the ribs between chambers if I put too many holes in the cylinder. The weight is still pretty low but the final product looks more like a multi chamber grenade launcher than a revolver.

I did not have the problem with chamber alignment that the original poster had, I made a jig for a drill press that had a piece of the same dowel in it and I put the cylinder wheel on the dowel. Because I actually made the jig by drilling through the barrel hole and center hole of the gun frame it puts the holes at exactly the same distance. I put the jig on the drill press and lowered the drill bit into the barrel hole then clamped the jig on the table and then life the bit out, then when you put the disk on the dowel you can only cut holes that are exactly in the right position distance wise. I used a compass and marked my disk every 30 degrees and drilled on the 30 degree lines.

author
MU5ICI4N (author)azwebco2015-02-24

awebco,

Thanks a lot for this great, informative comment! Making a fixed-axle cylinder does seem to make it much more stable when reloading ammo. Adding the circular stops around the cylinder attached to the frame to keep the marshmallows from falling out is also a great idea! Have you considered making an 'ible for your marshmallow "grenade launcher"?

Cheers

author
MU5ICI4N (author)vov352013-07-02

Vov35,

To make sure your cylinder doesn't move too much, ensure that the fit of the eyelet over the cylinders dowel is tight, but smooth. If you need additional stability because of any high-pressure modifications, I would suggest maybe carving indents at precise locations around the cylinder corresponding to each chamber in position, then have a lever on the side of the frame that could rotate into the indent, locking the cylinder/ chamber into place.

author
coolananias (author)2013-08-21

i can make it and i love it its very cool

author
poofrabbit (author)2013-08-10

This is WICKED!!

author
MU5ICI4N (author)poofrabbit2013-08-12

thank you, poofrabbit!

author
DIYTutorialsForYou (author)2013-07-19

BEST.INSTRUCTABLES.EVER

author

thanks a lot!

author
DIYTutorialsForYou (author)2013-07-19

Please make a video of it shooting marshmallows !

author
DIYTutorialsForYou (author)2013-07-19

*INSTRUCTABLE

author
ferusfett011 (author)2013-07-05

Awesome! I will so do it

author
MU5ICI4N (author)ferusfett0112013-07-06

Thank you! I'd love to see how it comes out :D

author
pehughes (author)2013-07-04

This is sooo happening! I just missed out on July 4. My family better watch out for a marshmallow attack on Labor Day!
Thanks!

author
MU5ICI4N (author)pehughes2013-07-05

Marshmallow wars are inevitable once the weapons are built! Thank you for the comment :D

author
foobear (author)2013-07-04

I want the marshmallow machine gun! Can somebody make that happen?

author
foobear (author)foobear2013-07-04

I'd like to see a video of it shooting marshmallows and showing the range of it. This would be so great for entertaining the local raccoons

author
MU5ICI4N (author)foobear2013-07-05

I may do just that... Thank you for the suggestion!

author
InventorNoob (author)2013-07-05

How exactly does it shoot?

author
MU5ICI4N (author)InventorNoob2013-07-05

It shoots with lung power, one blows on the end of the blow tube to send the marshmallow flying

author
cephastaphile (author)2013-07-04

I really have better things to do,but who can resist?

author
woodperkins (author)2013-07-04

Love it ... Voted for you in all three categories! Hoops luck!

author
MU5ICI4N (author)woodperkins2013-07-04

Thanks a lot!

author
tanksterbot (author)2013-07-04

It's awesome but waste of marshmallow!!!

author
MU5ICI4N (author)tanksterbot2013-07-04

Waste!? I don't think so, it's much better than the 'mallows melting in the summer heat! :D

author
Branbuscus (author)2013-07-02

I HAVE to make this! The step-by-step instructions are great.

author
MU5ICI4N (author)Branbuscus2013-07-02

Thanks!

author
oldmicah (author)2013-07-01

Ok, was on the fence until I saw the speed loader.... Verrrrry nice! :)

author
MU5ICI4N (author)oldmicah2013-07-01

Thanks!

author
davemenc (author)2013-07-01

I LOVE it! I doubt I could DO it but it's clever, intricate and very carefully described ("miracle" steps)!

Thanks!

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MU5ICI4N (author)davemenc2013-07-01

Thanks a lot!

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Matt428 (author)2013-07-01

cool

author
MU5ICI4N (author)Matt4282013-07-01

Thanks, Matt428!

author
TheMrCOOLguy2 (author)2013-07-01

Cool

author
MU5ICI4N (author)TheMrCOOLguy22013-07-01

Thanks!

author
M3G (author)2013-07-01

Wow. This is awesome!

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MU5ICI4N (author)M3G2013-07-01

Thanks M3G!

author
Kiteman (author)2013-07-01

Oh, that is just awesome!

author
MU5ICI4N (author)Kiteman2013-07-01

Thank you!

author
asturiah (author)2013-07-01

Marshmallow

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Bio: I'm a College Freshman interested in Mechanical Engineering, and Product Design. I love to play guitar, go on hikes, and make things out of ...
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