I first saw the Film Cannister Cannon over on SciToys. First CameronSS and then Kipkay both posted versions here, but this version is small enough to be pocket-sized, and usable as the world's loudest party-popper. It is also made entirely of re-used components.

Step 3 includes a video summary of the instructions, plus a firing.

Mind the lights.

Step 1: What you need:

This make is effectively free, using materials you can scrounge and tools you probably already have.

A 35mm film cannister - the tighter the lid fits, the better, so try for the translucent white ones. I've gone digital, but I can still get loads of the cannisters by asking nicely at my local Boots photo counter (it saves the staff walking out to the recycle bin).

The sparking-unit from a cigarette lighter. I'm not a smoker, but they're convenient for lighting Bunsen burners. This one, though, was actually confiscated from a pupil caught shocking people in the corridor.

A sharp knife - penknife, Xacto, anything that can make short, clean cuts in the cannister. I would not recommend using a kitchen knife - the relatively long blade makes them harder to control in short, fine cuts, and more dangerous if you slip.

Fuel. Some people use hair-spray, SciToys uses mouth-freshener spray, but my fuel of choice is methanol (denatured alcohol, available in the US as camping stove fuel or Heet).

As an option, you may want to fix the sparker in place. Several different glues will do the job - Serious Glue, hot glue, contact adhesive.
But shocking people with piezo igniters is fun!
u can make a large 1 out of plumbing pipe and shoot frozen orange about 100m
You need a spud gun - see the search box at the top-right of the page?
Done. Fun. Thanks.
You're welcome - thanks for commenting.
my friend and I fill party poppers with airsoft BB's and tie a string to them and use them as claymores
these are great. they can also easily be modified into a small potato cannon.
What does kitewife think of these?
I think they're a blast!
She just rolls here eyes...
who is this "eyes" you are speaking to? :P
I just looked at your profile. It sounds familiar. Do I know you in real life?
&quot;Loves computers, free stuff, cool technology, exploiting the aforementioned cool technology, and making bad attempts at being funny (this was one of them).&quot;<br><br>Doesn't that describe, like...every nerd in every school in every country?
not that I know of. my science teacher has a small lasercut catapult sitting on his computer, though...
Ah, I thought you were an ex-pupil of mine.
That's kind of funny lol!
&nbsp;I remember beehard44 with one of those&nbsp;piezoelectric&nbsp;igniters. That was a truly shocking experience...<br /> <br /> By the way, does Ethyl Alcohol (70%) work too.<br />
so does hairspray
ethyl alcohol burns, hairspray on the other hand.... lol
It should do, yes.<br /> <br /> <br />
I can't seem to make the seal completely seal and all the gas comes out through there. I am using hot glue and when i put too much in it just clogs up the button. Do you have any helpful hints?
I've just added a wad so we'll see how it goes. Thanks for the great take on this project. I'm glad to know there are more people who go on scitoys than just me.
You're welcome. As for the seal, just get another cannister and try that - photo developing shops will have hundreds you can have for free if you ask nicely. The translucent cannisters seal better than the black ones. As for the glue, try it without (you just need to put the clicker back each time), or try a blob of blu tac (I don't what that's called in the US, but it's the blue putty-like stuff used for holding up posters).
Thanks for the help, but I meant the seal around the button.
just use some 5 min. epoxy. that stuff is great!<br />
Simple answer to that - start again. This time, cut the hole small enough that the button only fits through with a snug fit. Gases will still escape, but not so freely as to spoil the bang. If you look closely at the pictures, I have a round button sticking out of a square hole. Clearly there are losses at the corners, but it works fine.
It is called poster putty
ha ha laugh out loud i am new here but already wetting myself and by the the way it an expression
LOL - welcome, Cheekycat08.<br/><br/>If you're looking for an even easier exploding project, try my <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Accidental-Cannon/">Accidental Cannon</a> - I've just been doing it with my Science Club, and we had to move outside because it was so loud.<br/>
I don't live in the US. I'm in Australia. I was just wondering now, why I can only ever seem to get one or two pops every time I make one. Its quite annoying. It still sparks and it still holds the liquid. The cap seal seems to be intact as well. Even if I change the liquid over it stops working. I made one with just the wires in the bottom of a white, good sealing one and it still only worked 3 times, even with a change of liquid. If you have any ideas, please post them.
Sorry, that puzzles me. Have you tried shaking it to spread vapour around inside the pot?
I made one of these but the sparker goes through the bottom instead of the side. When I tried to fire it, it did nothing. I took the cap off and checked to make sure there was a spark. When I sparked it, it made a small fire. I am using spray deodorant spray for fuel. Do you think there might be a hole in the canister? Should I glue it?
If you squirt in spray, you may be shorting the spark. Yes, block any holes you can, but when you squirt in the fuel, keep it away from the sparker (dribble it down the other side), put the lid on, then shake it to make ignitable fumes.
where do you get the sparker from and how
As it says in step one, the sparker is from an old cigarette lighter - I just broke the lighter to get it out.
simple and very effective and only took me about 5 mins to make. many thanx.
Mr. K Can you do a quick vid on how to get the sparker out, as I do not know how, even if it is simple.
No need for a video - <br/><br/>First, make sure the lighter is <em>empty</em>, otherwise a stray spark might create a fireball, and the gas can be dangerous if inhaled.<br/><br/>Second, peel away the metal parts around the top of the lighter. You may be able to pull the sparker out that way with a pair of pliers.<br/><br/>Otherwise, simply squeeze the lighter hard, with pliers, or in a vice, until the plastic cracks. Crack off enough plastic, and the sparker will come out in one piece, wire and all.<br/><br/><sub>Or, as others have said, simply smack the lighter with something hard and heavy.</sub><br/>
On the topic of lighters, if you have one with a brittle enough plastic bit, throw a half-full one hard at a concrete thing, and it makes a huge noise
hehe, I still find a video better, then I can see EXACTLY how.
Large version:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://silenceisdefeat.org/~lgtngstk/Sites/Projects/Propane_Cannon_Noisemaker/Propane_Cannon_Noisemaker.html">http://silenceisdefeat.org/~lgtngstk/Sites/Projects/Propane_Cannon_Noisemaker/Propane_Cannon_Noisemaker.html</a><br/><br/>I might make an instructable on it one day.<br/>
Oh, please do!
simple but pretty loud. good i'ble. +1
simple but pretty loud? Its supposed to be loud!
Thank you.
Better Idea, get the bottle of methanol and connect the sparker to the inside of the lid, so if you squeeze it sparks, screw on lid, throw, boom!
Hi in the vid, it looks like you are in a school science lab. It looks like my old one. what school is it at?
It's <em>my</em> school science lab (I'm a teacher). Where did you go to school?<br/>

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