Introduction: Manual Loading Pitching Machine

Sometimes it's more fun to stick to low-tech. In this instructable, we will show you how to create a pitching machine inspired by the Youtuber KiteArmy but missing the expensive, usually out of stock motor and remote.

Materials Needed:

  • 3”x 3”x 2” low-heel inlet elbow
  • 10-foot-long
  • 3-inch-diameter PVC pipe 4-inch-long
  • 2-inch-diameter PVC pipe
  • 3" PVC 45-degree elbow
  • Flexible and/or retractable plastic tubing (make sure you get one that fits over the opening of your leaf blower)
  • Leaf Blower, pictured (wireless optional)
  • Scrap wood (one 8" x 1", one 5" x 1", two 7" x 1")
  • Metal ribbon, see picture (or any sturdy wiring)
  • Duct Tape

Step 1: Assemble Your PVC W/ Leafblower

First, use the initial steps from the instructable linked below, disregarding the steps that attach a servo and connect a remote control. If your leaf blower does not attach to the inlet elbow PVC pipe, then use the plastic retractable tubing pictured above to connect the blower to the pipe and create a good seal with duct tape. **You may want to assemble the PVC at the end because the fully assembled pitching machine is a bit unwieldy.**

Step 2: Cut Out Rectangle in PVC

Next, cut out a rectangle about 1/2" to 1" wide and about 7 inches across. This will be the slit that you connect the wooden ball dispenser to. Pictured is the rectangle complete with the wooden dispenser.

Step 3: Attach Wood to PVC Pipe

Attach the 7" x 1" pieces of wood to either side of the PVC pipe's cutout with screws. Be sure that the screws do not drill in too far into the PVC pipe and stop the ball from rolling freely. Pictured is a top view of the dispenser, we drilled screws into the bottom of each piece of wood and found that a second screw in each piece would be unnecessary.

Step 4: Create Manual Dispenser/Handle

Make a "t" shape out of wood. The three short sides of the "t" should be about two inches long. The long side can be around five inches long. We cut slits into each piece of wood and attached them together with wood glue to make it easier to drill a 1/8th-inch hole in the center and to keep the pieces together with a slimmer profile. See pictures for reference.

Step 5: Make the "Axle" That the Handle Can Spin On

Cut the metal ribboning pictured on the materials list into a malleable wire. You can also use any thick wire for this step, but the flat metal ribbon will keep the handle in place better. Pull the wire through the hole drilled into the "t" shaped handle. Wrap the ends of the wire around the two 7" pieces of wood attached to the PVC pipe. Position the wire and handle so that the handle is centered. We bent the wire down so that the handle would not slide back and forth. See pictures.

Step 6: Using the Dispenser

Finally, once you have finished making the machine, set it up using stands or strategically placed chairs and aim it depending on where you want to shoot. Turn on the blower and load the balls into the PVC pipe, using the handle to shoot out a ball at your discretion. The motion the handle should move in is pictured above.