Surgical Tubing Paint Mine




this is a paint mine that uses surgical tubing as a propelant to shoot paint up to about 16 feet. it is very cheap and easy to build. there are some mines like these on the market but go for about $50 each. you can make 6 for less than that. heres how!

Step 1: Materials

2feet of 2inch abs pipe (you can make about 6 of them 4inches tall)
12- 2inch abs end caps ( if you want to make 6 mines)
A few feet of 1/4inch surgical tubing (hardware store, need about a foot per mine)
Some thin sheet metal or plastic
1/2inch pvc pipe (only need an inch per mine)
2inch cotter pins and key rings(enough for how many you make)
Wood to make a 1inch tall x1inch wide x1inch long 45degree angle wedge (1 per mine)
Some tent stakes (1 per mine)
Large hose clamps (to go around the 2inch pipe and the tent stake)
Small zip ties
Gasket seal

Step 2: Body

Cut the 2inch pipe to about 4inches.

Step 3: Pressure Tube

Cut a piece of 1/4inch tubing to 12inches. On one end put some gasket seal and tie a knot in the tubing as close to the end as possible. You want the gasket seal to be in the knot. You dont have to do this but i have a hard time with this leaking.

Step 4: Top Cap

Take one of the 2inch end caps and drill a hole whos center 3/4inch from the edge of the cap and a little bigger than the 1/4inch tubing.

Step 5: Trigger

Cut some 1/2inch pvc to 1inch. This is the trigger.

Step 6: Trigger Holder

Take some wood and cut a wedge that is 1inch wide X 1inch tall X 1inch long with the slope at about 45degrees.

Step 7: Trigger Holder Sides

Cut out some holders that mount on the sides of the wedge and that will hold the pvc trigger in place and that also allows for a safety pin to go through the trigger.

Epoxy the wedge and the holders together and let dry!

After the epoxy had set you will want to drill a small hole for a zip tie and the cotter pin in the holders. You will want the zip tie holes to be just above the tubing height. On the holes for the cotter pin, place the trigger between the holders and drill a hole just big enough for the cotter pin through the holders and trigger at the WIDEST PART OF THE TRIGGER. You may also want to drill a hole for the trip wire in the trigger at this point.

Step 8: Glue the Tube Holder to the Top Cap

Take this assembly and the 2inch cap with the hole in it and epoxy the wedge to the cap. You want the wedge about 1/4inch away from the hole. Let the epoxy set.

Step 9: Finnishing

After the epoxy has set put the tubing through the hole with the knot on the inside of the cap and put on the zip ties to hold it in place. You dont want these to pinch the tubing.

Put the hose clamp and the caps on the pipe. Slide the stake in and tighten the hose clamp.

Make sure the knot in the tube is at the bottom of the mine and mark where the tubing is at the cap and cut the end of the tubing so about 5inches are coming out of the mine and your done!

Step 10: How to Use

Fill up the tubing, mine holds about 6oz. You can use a squirt bottle or a pump out of a squirt gun(search for paint grenades on instructables, this was the inspiration).

Fold the tubing up and back and put in the trigger and safety pin.

Find a place to deploy the mine. Stab into the ground with squirting side facing enemy.

Attach tripwire and tie off across from mine. Remove safety pin. The mine is now live and ready to paint!



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    28 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I love this I Will definitely make these!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    ˙snıpɐɹ ʇsɐlq ǝɥʇ ǝsɐǝɹɔuı ʎlʇɐǝɹƃ p,ʇı ǝuıƃɐɯı I ¿puǝ ǝqnʇ xǝʇɐl ǝɥʇ oʇ uoollɐq ɐ ɥɔɐʇʇɐ oʇ ʇɥƃnoɥʇ ǝuoʎuɐ sɐH

    tobster9103dp mac

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Well, the wood block does two things.

    1: it holds the tubing at an angle so the fluid as a 45 degree path instead of a vertical or horizantal path.

    2: it is part of the safety and trigger system. The aluminum parts that ar on the side of the wood block hold the tubing and trigger straight when the trip wire is pulled and they also have a hole drilled for a cotter pin to keep the trigger from being accidentally pulled off. You can make this however you see fit. This is just how I did it.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm making a sack of these for a game on Sunday! Pure genius! I am going to put a mini garden sprayer on the end of the surgical tubing to get some coverage. I'll post how it works. I'm going to use amotorised squirt gun for the fill. Sweet.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Right on! Just a sugesstion though, before the game, make sure that the sprayers arent too heavy or the pressure in the tubing might not be able to flip it up to a good spray position. Cant wait to hear how they work for you!

    its pretty effective. it has a narrow spray pattern though so if you can figure out a way to put a wide nosil on it, it would take out a few people in one shot. as is it just shoots a large stream of paint in one direction but if it hits they will DEFINATALLY be marked. you can always just buy the surgical tubing and see how it sprays and see if it would be worth building. they are pretty quick to deploy. I would work out a good way to attach the line to a stationary odject so you can limit the set up time. to make 6 of them is about $20, so if someone decides to steal them your not out much money. I would also figure out a way to put some kind of a noise maker on it like a party popper so you can hear it go off. i see a slight problem with large games with friendly fire but its great for covering a reatreat or covering a flank. if you make some and use them in a scenario let me know how they worked and what improvments can be made.

    the stippling sponges you get in those halloween make up kits work great for making it a wide spray i don't know if it will change how far it will shoot but its worth a try


    7 years ago on Step 10

    Pretty sweet. I've seen and used designs kinda like this, but after awhile, the tubing ripped. Iike this, Because it's simple, and you've made a housing to keep it all together ffor easy carry and deployment. I'm using mine as grenades. (you can also use airsoft bb's and water instead of paint for airsoft games)


    8 years ago on Step 10

    you could do somthing like this


    i read some of the comments and if you really wanted you could take a smaller bit or pvc with some holes drilled in it and somehow attach it to the end of the tubing you could get a much wider coverage


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 10

    The wire rips the pvc trigger off when someone steps on it. Without the pcv trigger keeping the hose crimped the pressurized tubing squirts all of its paint out through the top. It's pretty much a paint grenade with a tripwire. Pretty ingeniously simple really, im sure it is pretty effective too.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    couldn't have explained it better my self! It works pretty well. It only shoots in a narrow stream so it's accuracy could be better but if it hits they will definitely be marked. I wish I could find a nozzle that will spray in a fan pattern like my other mine.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    im not saying anything bad about this set of instryctions but i dont like how it shows the triger set up assembeled beforthe steps to assemble. and i think you should give a diagram for constructing the trigger hold. just a couple things i think you should take into consideration if and when you make a new direction page. not trying to be mean, just a couple things i didnt like with the setup  but i did manage to find these instructions helpful!

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    not offended at all. I can't make them better without input. I made this after I made the mine so the pictures suck. If I ever make another one I will break down the trigger assembly better.