Intro: Authentic Looking Pirate Cannon
Ye ever dream of walkin down the alley with yer very own pirate cannon? Are ye missing that small "accessory" to your pirate garb and just don't know what it is? OR do ye suffer from cannon envy?
Dream no more landlubber! This cannon is easy to make, pretty sturdy, and light enough to carry. You can now be the pirate you always wanted to be! Pirate cannon envy no more!
Step 1: Buy the Pink Insulation Stuff
Go to you local hardware store and get yourself one or two sheets of that pink insulation. There are various thicknesses, so try to figure out how big your canon will be, and base the size and thickness on that.
Step 2: Cut!
Use whatever cutting device you wish, I used both a table saw and jigsaw. This stuff cuts pretty easy, but will make a lot of dust. Cut the foam into squares larger then the diameter of the canon. Once cut, stack them up to get a general idea of the size of your now square canon. If you want a tapered canon, start with the larger pieces on bottom, and smaller on top.
Step 3: Glue
Glue. The best thing to use is foam core spray. I previously tried liquid nails, and it just doesn't work. Not enough oxygen gets to the inside of the foam squares for it to glue. This stuff is made specifically for the foam board.
The can is simple, spray each square, wait 1-2 minutes, press together, and repeat. Once the entire stack is glued, put it somewhere safe and come back tomorrow for the next step.
Don't do anything stupid like putting a giant ceramic flower pot on the top of this stack thinking it will keep everything compressed. The flower pot will slide off and and it will make a mess. Yar!
Step 4: Shave Time
I did some major testing of many tools for shaving the squares down to a canon shape. I have almost every tool imaginable, as you can see, I tried them all. Here is what worked for me. Simple hand saw, a pal, and orbital sander.
I had a buddy hold this giant square sucker down, and I used a simple hand saw (yes, a hand saw) to cut off all the corners. Pretty easy, once this was done, my buddy held the canon down and I would use a hand orbital sander with a low grit (60 I believe) to grind the rough edges to make the canon look like this. It was pretty easy, sand, turn the cannon a little, sand some more, turn (rotate canon) and sand some more.
This step make take some time, so have patience. The foam sands pretty easy, and makes a huge mess. As you can see, this pink dust gets all over the place. But once you have sanded enough, your cannon will look something like this.
UPDATE! A knowledgeable seaman made a comment that the best tool to use is your Grandmothers electric carving knife. Brilliant!
Step 5: Paint
Don't use a spray paint, it melts the foam. I simply went to the hardware store and either look in the OOPS paint section or just buy a gallon of black latex paint. The paint goes on very easy, and I used an acrylic white paint and a stencil for the cannon's name. This one was obviously stolen from a French Galleon.
Your now authentic pirate cannon can be accessorized by adding a pirate.
This process does make quite a sturdy piece. The cannon below survived being passed around 80 other pirates on a pub crawl.