A grill lighter is disassembled and used as the heat source for the steam production along with some copper plumbing parts and 1/2" copper pipe. Some water is placed inside the barrel, a potato plug is inserted as an air seal and projectile, and a cork is used as a sudden pressure release. The flame from the lighter heats water to steam and the pressure increases in the barrel until the cork and potato can't hold anymore, then it pops and launches the potato to wherever it's pointed.
This is a prototype steam potato pistol and can be taken a lot further, but I'm just sticking to functioning basics here. Someday I would like to make one with a pressure gauge, quick release valve, and a better handle with the fuel stored inside the handle. I'm calling this version the SPPP1.
It is a little dangerous to build and use because of the flame and hot surfaces, flying objects, and steam; be careful. Playing with fire, pressure, and projectiles is always risky, even on this small scale. Don't shoot an eye out, I'm not liable for any injuries you incur with this. ;( What happened to that "not liable" category of Instructables anyway?
- Various short wood screws
- Some leather strips from an old belt to hold the fuel bottle
- Some scrap wood for a handle
- Lead free plumbing solder and flux
- 4" length of 1/2 inch copper pipe
(3) 1/2 inch copper ST 90 degree elbows
(1) bag of copper plumbing pipe brackets
(1) candle/grill lighter
Step 1: Start plumbing the boiler and barrel
Attach the three elbows together at the end of the barrel to form a curl and put a cap on the last elbow.
Dry fit all the parts as shown in the photo. Make the elbows form off to the side so a flame can heat water inside the cap.