Most Instructables about potato cannons involve building big, heavy-duty, cannons which are a little dangerous. This instructable is about building a small potato cannon that you can shoot in your back yard or basement.

It is unlikely you will get injured by this but dont be stupid!! The ignitor can give you a shock that is pretty painful but only has the power of a AA battery. dont use any other fuel other then hairspray or deodorant. Do not use gas or other explosives. Other than that you should be good!

Step 1: Supplies

  • (1) Film canistor. (You can get them free from Rite-Aid, CVS, or other disposable camera development places)
  • (2) Corkboard push pins
  • (1) used disposable camera.
  • (1) BIC pen
  • Insulated wire
  • Electrical or duct tape
  • Scissors or a knife
  • Soldering iron

Step 2: Ignitor

  1. Take apart the disposible camera. Take care not to touch any circutry until you have discharged the capicitor.
  2. Solder 1ft to 2ft wires to the capaciror leads. If you want you can wrap the whole circut in electrical tape for more saftey. but do not tape over the button. or the battery holder

Step 3: Cannon

  1. Take apart any cheap pen (like the bic one I used).
  2. Poke the back out with a screwdriver or similar tools.
  3. Use scissors or a knife. (I used a Knife) to poke a hole for your barrel in your film canistor. make it a little bit smaller then the diameter of your barrel.
  4. Take the pen barrel a push it in to the hole it is ok if it sticks out in the chamber. It should fit snugly and stick by itself.
  5. Wrap tape around barrel and canistor to hold them together.

Step 4: Put it all together and fire!

  1. Take wires that are soldered to the camera and wrap each of them around the pin part of a push pin.
  2. Stick the push pins diagonally into the canistor so they are almost touching.
  3. Find a combustable areosal spray, (maybe Oust, Axe, or Hairspray) and strawberries or a potato and head outside.
  4. Stab the front of the barrel into the strawberry or potato and get a piece a litte less then 1/2 inch inside the barrel. push it down to the bottom of the barrel with a nail .
  5. Holding the can a few inches away, spray the aerosol spray into the back of canistor for 1 second let it air out for about five seconds then put the back on.
  6. Press the button on the ignitor wait for the whining sound to stop hold the back on firmly and wiggle the pins until they touch inside the canister there will be a spark inside and the potato will come flying out.


  • After every fire take the battery out of the ignitor and take the back off wiggle until they touch there will be another big spark then it is safe to reload.
  • You may have to change the pins every once an a while because the spark melts them away.
  • Do not touch the pins after firing as they are usually hot.

<p>what are other options besides camera?</p>
do u need power for it
I like to put hydrogen in my big cannons. You probably have to reinforce your chamber though. Butane, gasoline, and propane work good as well.
i love this idea as it incorporates 'danger' with 'small' :) i made this but decided to put one of those jet lighter ignitors, you know the ones that click with a spark,and just put the wires inside the container. this way you don't need to charge it and its much smaller.
&nbsp;my brother shot me with this. OUCH!!!!!
lol get a hair spray bottle and spray it thru a lighter. i did it im like HOLY S***.
ive seen this done with a piezo igniter but this is a very creative and cool spin on it i love electronics and this is way cooler than the lighter sparker design
spraying hairspray for every time you want to shoot something can be a pain in the rear end. my friend and I built one of these with a lighter and a pill bottle. instead of taking out parts from the lighter, we drilled some holes in the lighter and rerouted the butane valve to the inside of the pill bottle along with the wire for the ignitor. allyou have to do is hold down the butane release on the lighter for 3-4 seconds and pull the trigger on the lighter. I am planning to post this as my first instructable once i can get a decent camera.
just get a lighter sparker and spray hairspray it is sooooooo cool
y not just use a straw and blow?
i say that because u can get expelled from a school if u take that in and u can get in lots of trouble elsewere
AHH! instead of the 300+ volt camera taser a pizeoelectric sparker will do it. you get them out of lighters
I can now go around school shooting people with bits of their french fries! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Why use a camera when you can use a peizo igniter? It's way smaller, and has the same effect. You also get a tazer out of the camera you were <strong>going</strong> to use for the ignition! Double Whammy! To see how you would use a peizo igniter, check out my <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/MSGP_Mini_Spud_Gun_Pistol/">M.S.G.P.</a>!<br/>
Nice thinking!
They are not relieble and not near as fun as a giant charging capacitor and when I made this I didn't have a spare lighter to tear apart.
STEP ONE Get really big pockets!
nice instructable
Do you think a chap stic container is sufficient enough?
If it is i will make one with a wood handle and post because i have an idea for one with a tip up barrel and chamber design.
really cool!! does this only take 1 spark to ignite the hairspray/ deoderant ?because i tried to make one before but with a barbeque igniter but it took ages to light . i'll be sure to try this one out !! :)
usually but if you just spray and dont get any oxygen in there it probably wont light so wait 5 seconds after spraying to put the cap back on
It would be much easier/safer/less painful to take the igniter from a barbeque lighter and use that instead.
i did not have one lying around and this is a much better spark that is sure to ignite it
so do you bend the thumb tacks to touch in the barrel or is it another way?
you stick the pins in diagnoly so they cross but one is a little in front of the other

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