Introduction: Portable Film Can Cannon! Advanced Version!

Picture of Portable Film Can Cannon! Advanced Version!

Here is an Advanced Version of the Film Can Cannon originally shown by CameronSS. I (Kipkay) made this one portable and easy to use along with a video that shows it in action. Enjoy!

Step 1: What You Need...

Picture of What You Need...

1. Fireplace lighter.
2. Small hobby box from your local electronics store.
3. 35MM film can.
4. Glue
5. Wire
6. Breath spray

Step 2: Disassemble the Lighter...

Picture of Disassemble the Lighter...

Comnpletely take apart the lighter and save the igniter you will find inside. It looks like this.

Step 3: Build the Igniter

Picture of Build the Igniter

Now you need to solder two pieces of wire to the two locations on the igniter. Use about 5 inches of wire for each connection.

Step 4: Assemble the Box

Picture of Assemble the Box

1. Drill two holes in the cover of the hobby box. One, just a tiny bit larger than the igniter.
2. Punch a small hole in the film can cover and glue it to the box over one hole.
3. Insert the igniter in the other hole with the two wires through the bottom of the cover.
4. Route the two wires through the hole in the film can cover and shape a gap about 1/8" wide.

Step 5: Final Steps

Re-assemble the box using the included screws. Take the cannon outside and spray the inside of the film can with a burst or two of spray. Quickly snap the can on the top and press the igniter! Bam! You may need to play with the gap of the wires to get it just right. Have Fun! Be Safe!


yapoyo (author)2012-06-15

this got FLAGGED on youtube. can you believe it?!?

Dumchicken (author)2011-03-13

put the egniter on the side(long one) then it will look like a camra

tool box (author)2011-02-23

you are te best you have another page that is not

MadScientist101 (author)2010-11-13

could you fuel this with a hydrogen and oxygen mix say from a hydrogen feul cell?

superlukie17 (author)2010-07-09

I made one with a pill bottle instead of the project box. It works perfectly.

IvoIlic (author)2010-06-12

I need some help. I was trying to do this project but the button that creates the sparks was slightly different from the one in the video. The wires that came attached would not spark. When I tried to attach my own wires the whole thing broke. Is there an alternative method to create the spark? PLEASE HELP.

Flipyap (author)2010-04-06

I recommend making a hole slightly smaller than the igniter and then taking a file to sand it down to the right size.

comodore (author)2008-03-03

Do I really need the utility lighter piezo igniter, or could I just use one from a common lighter?

lasermaster3531 (author)comodore2009-02-01

if you can get your hands on an "electronic" lighter (one that doesn't have the flint wheel) that will work. another thing to do with this thing is to make it into a dart gun. you drill a hole in the film can just big enough to house a large slushy straw. use a smaller straw cut about 3" long and fill one end with hot glue. cut the other end about 10 times evenly around, and flare it out. you can add a needle or a sharpened paperclip to the front. i have also had good results with paper cones and paperclips

comodore (author)lasermaster35312009-02-02

That sounds sooooo cool! Why don't you make an Instructables about that! Thats a great idea! Thanks!

lasermaster3531 (author)comodore2009-02-02

i would make it into a pistol, but the film can blows off easily, so you have to hold it on. i am working on a PVC combustion chamber that has a locking mechanism. i will get back to you on this. on a completely different note, i have got half of the money i need to get spore!

msichal (author)lasermaster35312010-01-14

I made something like this, i put the wires in the actual can, not in the cap, i used 1,5l plastic bottle cap, it fits tightly into the can, and it was really powerful

comodore (author)lasermaster35312009-02-02

I made a sort of a gun that fires a cap, using my desodorans... I used a card board tube from badminton balls that has a cap on each side. One one side a glued it in place and drilled a whole and stick a lighter, the one that has a long tube....... And on the other side a put a cone for the cap to be more aerodynamic.... It fired great.... but the cap was a bit big and the tube a bit small... i guess if you used a thin and long PVC pipe or copper tube, made a projectile for it, non lethal! you could make a powerful toy-weapon :D Good luck on building it and i hope I hear from you soon... Keep me posted on your desine on my orange board to talk more privately. Thanks!

lasermaster3531 (author)comodore2009-02-06

OK! here is the completed paint drawing of the combustion chamber and barrel. you will notice that the end cap with the barrel has two slots. the combustion has two corresponding pegs for locking the thing together. add a pistol grip and a piezoelectric sparker for a trigger.

comodore (author)lasermaster35312009-02-07

That sound right...I think this will work...

ekulmeekul (author)comodore2009-01-17

Yea you need an electronic ignition to create the spark

comodore (author)ekulmeekul2009-01-18

OK, Thanks! :)

james.mcglashan (author)2009-09-28

could this be used to start the bbq?

lasermaster3531 (author)2009-08-15

no. that only works at high pressure, >16 psi.

lasermaster3531 (author)2009-07-14

that doesn't work as well because the marker tube is so long and thin in comparison with a film can. maybe use some PVC pipe instead.

and7barton (author)2009-05-12

For a louder bang - Replace the film canister with an open-ended steel pipe around 3 feet long x 4 inches diameter - Screw a car spark-plug into the side - Use gas from a propane canister, with a 12v solenoid valve. weld a steel disc over the back end of the pipe. Activate the valve for five seconds - then hit the spark button. Oh......and wear ear defenders.

Thundertydus (author)and7barton2009-06-28

For even more power and a louder bang, buy some black powder and compact it into a length of bamboo, then stick in a fuse and light it

twergy (author)2009-05-31

how safe is this

Thundertydus (author)twergy2009-06-28

Look up potatoe gun, and then imagine one but really smalll

sharlston (author)2009-05-19

use haispray for more power

RocketPenguin (author)2009-04-11

i tried it and it took like a hundred times to cklick it until it fired and the can got on fire

sharlston (author)RocketPenguin2009-05-19

use less spray

Elephants Are Fat (author)2009-04-04

wow that was very simple to make

james.mcglashan (author)2009-03-16

can u use that for making power by pressing the putton

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)2009-03-13

I did this with a COFFEE CAN!!!!!!!! it was awsome!!!!!!!!!!

1thadeaus1 (author)2009-02-10

HEY KIP! ...jw...where do u get the hobby boxes??? jw...

snakeii (author)1thadeaus12009-02-12

Radio Shack, Digikey, Newark, etc.

1thadeaus1 (author)snakeii2009-02-12


Coggz (author)2008-08-12

Hey there, great tutorial and video. I made one with a metal tin from one of those cheap laser pens off of ebay, it works a treat. I too have found axe/lynx bodyspray to be very good as fuel, but want to try out other propellants. One such that I have in mind is hydrogen. Using the same principles as the electrolysis experiments, could a second cannister filled with water, and a battery in your tin with a pipe taking hydrogen to your blast cannister work to create a self fuelliung rocket? I.e., flip a switch wait for some hydrogen to separate and transfer, turn the power off then ignite with your piezo? I will experiment with this idea... you may well see an Instructable some day. Heres some pics of mine ( I put my biro gun in the tin too;) :

lasermaster3531 (author)Coggz2009-02-01

i think that it would run the battery dead in a matter of minutes. try using a stainless steel plate set and plugging it into a wall wort. still a great idea.

chi chi chippy (author)2008-12-19

hey i have a qwestion for all u out there that no a thing or 2 on this, and about spud guns. i have a soap bottle from a hotel and im doing the same thing as this but i launch the bottle. and im using a home made tazar, but my problem is that the butain from the lighter isnt igniting. can any 1 help me?

butane is very finnicky about ratios. try using something like heet fuel line antifreeze. use a small spray bottle to get the right amount. one spray is enough.

Nicrostar (author)2008-08-25

I did every thing u said, i dont have breath freshener but i tried perfume, hairspray nothing is working

most likely you are using way too much fuel.if you get a pump squirt bottle like sour candy comes in, you can use "heet" fuel line antifreeze. the yellow bottle, not the red. it is ~99% methyl alcohol. i use hand sanitizer spray bottles from rite aid. if you use white film cans that Fuji film comes in, it will go so much higher and be much louder, and as an added bonus, if you get the fuel-air ratio just right, it will have a small light blue flame inside it the whole way up and down.
like i said, you are almost definitely using too much fuel.

danm95 (author)Nicrostar2009-02-01

Bug spray works pretty well

ekulmeekul (author)Nicrostar2009-01-17

Hairspray should work if it says flamable gas...

Greg Pless (author)2009-01-15

Made one, and it works as promised. The less bianca you spray the better. Awesome!!

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)2008-12-02

i saw that you made a lie detector and got it on that new show,Brink,on the science channel. i recegnized your voice!

Izokay (author)2008-10-15

1:13 It's portable enough that you can take it with you... to the airport!

octavian234 (author)2008-09-11

i couldnt find that piece

pmac93 (author)2007-04-12

I love these instructables!! You don't even have to surf through all the steps the video's just right there in the intro! I made one with an altoids tin it works excellent because you can keep the fuel and extra sparkers inside it, but you have to insulate well so you don't get shocked. I tryed to post an image but upload isn't working.....

electronicfreak22 (author)pmac932007-04-20

Nice I made mine with an altoids tin too.

I also just made a wirst-mounted version, with a pop-up canister exchange slot. Its pretty nice. Now I'm working on the secondary charge (ie, small rocket engine) that will go off about 5 seconds after i launch it.

Artificial Intelligence (author)2008-06-10

This is really cool. I've made it and perfume works great to. If you fire this in the dark, you could add a LED Throwie on the top of the film can (added to favorites)

monkeywithawrench (author)2008-04-20

OMG Make Magazine Dude!!! make magazine needs to make cooler things. also, how come you guys dont do more electronic and explosive things? please consider.

About This Instructable




Bio: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: Thanks for checking out my Instructables!
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