Siege Air Cannon Jr

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Air Cannon Jr
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Search is a home for many esoteric and ancient catapult replicas. Looking for parts for our many machines has lead to the acquisition of many mechanical parts others may not be tempted to hold on to. Such was the case when my propane tank expired and could no longer be filled, and when a 1.5" AC actuated air valve came into my possession around the same time. What to do? Isn't it obvious?

Step 1, weld a 1.5" plumbing pipe into the bottom of the tank. I drilled the hole, and filed it out till I could screw in the pipe. Then Karl Hamm was kind enough to create a nice air-tight weld for me.

Next, we assembled the electric air valve, and the inlet valve. Turns out the propane tank inlet uses a common pipe thread, so I was able to just twist in classic air fittings into the other end.

I PVC welded a few pipe fittings together to adapt from the smaller 1.5" all the way up to a 3" barrel. The biggest PVC pipe home depot seems to have.

Trevor helps assemble the control box. The switches are ARM (to switch on power to the system) and FiRE (to switch the valve.) It also has an air control system where a hose from the air compressor comes in, and the valve and gauge feed out to the cannon.

The outlets allows you to plug in the cannon. The plugs are powered by the FIRE switch.

We want to be safe, so we hydro tested the tank. To do this, the valve was opened, and I filled the tank up with water from the garden hose.

Here you can see our control box doubles as storage for the air hose. This is just the cheapest air hose I could find, and an extension cord of identical length. I zip-tied them together so you could always have a good lead from the control box out to the cannon.

Next, I built a little frame for it. Later I added a folding front stand so the stool was no longer needed.

Launch Sequence

Here's a video of a typical launch. Note that the white thing is the sabot, and the real projectile goes way off into the distance.

Launching small apples with a mini air cannon.

This video was uploaded from an Android phone.

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Last Modified: 05/10/09