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Questions about making a railgun Answered

Sorry if this is the wrong section, it's my first time posting.

I am thinking of making a railgun for a school project dealing with magnetism. I basically know how to make one, but most tutorials say anywhere from 300V - 600V for the current. However, since this is going to be my first time doing something like this, I don't not want to risk electrocution without any prior experience.

The projectile will be a short nail, probably be around 3 centimeters long and 4 millimeters in diameter. I want the range to be around 10 meters or more and should be able to pierce a layer of cardboard. The starting force that will just be an ordinary rubber band. This is more of a demonstration for myself to see what I can accomplish, so range and fire power doesn't really matter.

So basically my question is, what is a viable voltage for the railgun, given my specifications above, that will not take me on a ride to the ER. If should it shock me, then so be it, I just don't want it to be lethal when I do make a mistake.

Again, I am a novice at stuff like this and don't know much, so take into account of that fact when getting irritated at my question.

Thanks in advance.

2 Replies

Josehf Murchison (author)2013-07-13

+1 Kiteman there are lots of Instructables and how to on the net on coil guns and rail guns however if you are not that comfortable with electricity try a Gauss Gun it uses just magnetism.

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Kiteman (author)2013-07-13

Rather than a rail gun, have a search of the site for coil gun.

It's similar to a rail gun, but can run at much lower voltages, even just a 9V cell.

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