Easy Pneumatic Piston From a Bicycle Pump

Turn an ordinary bicycle pump into an air powered piston to make your Halloween decorations more interactive!  You can use this device to make your decorations jump out at people as they walk by.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Halloween Decorations Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Decorations Contest

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    3 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    All pumps have a "one way" or "check" valve - otherwise, the air you just pumped into a tire/ball/whatever during the down-stroke, would come right back out in the up-stroke.

    I have the same or similar pump as the one in your video - the check-valve is a simple rubber disk that sits in between the gage/air inlet assembly and the base assembly - it fell out when I took the pump apart.

    I was really surprised at the amount of force the piston had with just a little air (40psi). This is going to work great for the prop I am building (I will post some picks when I am done - it may be a while)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice video. Easy to understand. I would think there is a way to make a device in the place of the bicycle pump using pvc too?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Yes I'm sure you can! Previous experience has taught me that making a working piston out of PVC for this type of thing can be very tricky when compared to using an off the shelf bicycle pump. That's not to say that it can't be done or that it shouldn't be done. It would be very handy if you needed a piston of a certain size and you couldn't just buy something pre-made.