Hairspray Gun From TRASH

Introduction: Hairspray Gun From TRASH

About: I am Jake and I make. Knifemaking, metalworking, fashion design (AKA the duct tape tie), writing, filming, prop making, fire. Typical teenage maker. Check me out on Youtube.

As a bit of a fun challenge for myself, I decided to try to construct a powerful, fully functional combustion powered rifle using nothing but what I could find in the trash.

Step 1: Video

Step 2: Acquire Trash

You'd think this was the easy part. I thought it would be.

But then I opened the lid.


That was a BAD idea.

And, well, I'll leave it at that. I managed to find everything I needed.

Combustion Chamber:check

Barrel: check

Ignition System: (broken lighter) check

Extra stuff: (for looks) check

^ feels funny saying 'for looks' when building a gun out of trash.........

Step 3: Heat Test the Plastic

There were three candidates for the combustion chamber. A soda bottle (mist twist lemon lime flavored, what else?), a Gatorade bottle, and a dishwasher detergent container. All were fairly promising, but before settling on any of them, I needed to find out how resistant to heat they were.

You don't want a combustion chamber that melts.

This is fairly simple. I filled them with flammable gas (in this case propane), and lit them off.

The Gatorade bottle and dishwasher detergent held up beautifully. No deformation. The Mist Twist Lemon Lime (flavored soda) on the other hand couldn't hold up to the heat, and the plastic deformed on the first shot.

So the fight was between the Gatorade and the Dishwasher Soap. Both would work, but I decided on the dishwasher soap container, as it was larger. I was going for a rifle, not a pistol or carbine.

Step 4: SHRED the Lighter (no Mercy)

Time to dismantle the lighter. Unscrew a couple screws, slide off the funny black piece at the bottom of the barrel, and it should pop right in half.

See the wires coming from that small rectangular shaped thing with a button on one end? That is the sparker assembly. You can discard everything else. (Unless you want to make a mini flamethrower with the fuel tank, that is)

Step 5: Design

Figuring out where everythings gonna go, making sure it will look good, and all that.

Step 6: Drill Hole for Barrel

Self explanatory. The barrel must go into the combustion chamber. Thus, we need a barrel-sized hole.

Mark hole.

Drill/cut out hole.

Step 7: Construction

Now I'll have to admit, I am cheating a little. The whole shebang will be held together with duct tape (greatest invention of mankind).

But is that really cheating? I mean, you could find duct tape in the trash..........


Step 8: Air Seal the Chamber

The construction of Ugly is now finished. Trouble is, there are gaps where the barrel enters the combustion chamber. Not good. We don't need flames shooting out and roasting poor Jake's fingers.

Not to mention the gun wouldn't fire because of loss of pressure.

I filled the gaps with hot glue, and then duct taped all around the joint for extra strength. Hopefully it will be strong enough to hold under the pressure.

Step 9: Test Firing

Now for the fun part: Testing the contraption.

As you can see, this is one of those few times I thought it necessary to put on some safety gear. Trash, after all, is not meant to hold any kind of pressure, so I wasn't sure the gun wouldn't come apart on me.

I'll say, it's a pretty intimidating moment; that first shot. I wasn't quite sure what would happen.

But what do you know, it actually held together!

It fired the darts very well, going through my dartboard and pinning it to the wall. Also penetrated about 1/2" through plywood. Decently powerful.

Step 10: Out of Trash!!!

And we are finished. Wow. I just built a deadly dart firing gun out of trash.

That's pretty cool.

Now I don't exactly recommend you attempt this, the parts used were not designed to take ANY kind of pressure, and there's a fairly high chance that something will give, in which case there will be a high speed outflow of very hot gas within rather uncomfortable parameters to your personal self. Attempt at your own risk.

This thing is absolutely mental. Quite possibly the most frightening thing to shoot I have yet constructed. Well, not quite. The Football Mortar takes the cake. (that thing was NUTS) But this is a good second.

It is scary.

And impossible to aim. But heck, its made of trash!! For what it is, i'd say this was an overwhelming success. And a good addition to my rapidly growing arsenal of homemade weapons. (looks great on the wall)

See ya next time!




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    Reply 4 years ago

    Propellent (hairspray) is sprayed into the combustion chamber. When I push the button on the lighter sparker, a spark of electricity jumps over the gap in the chamber. This ignites the propellent, which creates a large amount of rapidly expanding gas (much like a real firearm). The expanding gas exits the chamber through the barrel, accelerating whatever is in front of it (the projectile) out with incredible speed. AKA it fires a dart.


    Reply 4 years ago

    My thoughts exactly. Thanks!


    Reply 4 years ago

    how does it actually work, do you have gas in the chamber and light it with the lighter?


    Reply 4 years ago

    I answered in a comment below. You could also watch the video, I think its explained better there.