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Modding Two guys, a pipe and a potato!

Discussion in 'Modding' started by LaPPe, 7 Aug 2002.

  1. LaPPe

    LaPPe What's a Dremel?

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    In these last days of summer off from school I tend to get a little bored, but not this summer!

    After finishing high school and all the parties afterwards, a quick trip to France,
    Sailing 50 km in a Kayak and jumping out of a plane from 1000 meters I got a little bored, so my friend and I decided to build a "Potato launcher".
    My friend had heard of this stupid (later funny) thing to do from some friends in Australia so he started searching the internet for this somewhat mysterious phenomenon. Neither he nor I had ever seen such a thing so we had no idea what to expect.

    After some time searching the web he came to the conclusion that this probably wouldn't be as hard to make as first assumed although a complete beginner’s guide with pictures was missing.

    Here's how it works:

    Does it sound easy? It is!

    He built his and he was amazed and so was I when I saw it!
    So I had to build my own. As mentioned on several websites there are two kinds of pipes:
    1. PVC-pipes – cheaper and easy to find
    2. ABS-pipes – more expensive, but can withstand much more pressure than PVC.

    Apparently in almost every DIY-store I was in they had never heard of ABS-pipes (maybe it’s called something different in Danish?), but one guy told me that I should probably go to a guy specialized in plumbing. First of all that sounded like something that would blow my beer-budget and 2nd I wanted to make this fast, so I went with the PVC-pipes.
    Now it is essentially to make an almost airtight device because you need the gas to stay in the pipe, so I had to buy plugs.

    This is the things needed to make a Potato Launcher:



    [​IMG]
    Here’s the main barrel. 500mm pipes are used in this project.
    A gun that uses 500mm ammo – wild!

    [​IMG]
    The end of the gun with a hole for the lighter and a hole where you put in the gas.

    [​IMG]
    The plugs to prevent the gas from slipping out.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the cheapest and most kinky handle for the end plug for the whole where you put in the gas.

    [​IMG]
    According to my dictionary this is “washers” to make the handle more strongly attached to the plug.

    [​IMG]
    The lighter. Now it is important that it has a neck with a button below it, because the flame need to be inside the pipe so an ordinary lighter wouldn’t work.

    [​IMG]
    Here’s the hair-spray. Our gunpowder!
    Notice the “extra hold” label - Very strong stuff :)

    [​IMG]
    Just before assembly – all the things together.

    By this time I had the exact same feeling I had when I was younger coming home from the toy store with a new set of LEGO. The feeling all men know and gets when they get new toys whether it’s new computer hardware, new tools, new electronics or a new girl! Am I wrong?


    Well the assembly couldn’t be easier. You plug the barrel into the Y-piece.

    [​IMG]
    Then you drill a hole for the lighter in one of the plugs.

    [​IMG]
    Then a smaller hole in the plug that needs to be able to go in an out of the hole where you put the gas in.

    [​IMG]
    Here’s the tiny hole.

    [​IMG]
    The screw for the handle was a bit too long so we had to shorten it.


    [​IMG]
    Here’s the handle. Inside the plug we placed the washers.

    [​IMG]
    Here it is! All done!

    [​IMG]
    Say hello to my liiiittle friend!

    [​IMG]
    The lighter goes into the hole in the bottom.

    Then you place the potato and the ground, and then push your gun down over the potato, slicing the potato so that the piece of potato in the barrel fills out the barrel so no gas can escape that way.

    Then you use a stick to push the potato further down the barrel.

    You take out the plug in the back, just a wee spray of hair-spray and put back the plug.

    And push the button of the lighter and the potato should be fired. Ours go as far as about 100 meters.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Two of my friends with potatoguns! The crowd love it! The street looked awful afterwards and I have never seen the neighbours with that face they gave me – in fact I’ve never seen such faces before…

    [​IMG]
    Now here’s a future soldier – will he be using potatoes as ammo?

    [​IMG]
    We bought a 50lbs bag of potatoes…



    A few days later: I got tired of the lack of reliability of the lighter. So I went out and bought a gas-grill igniter – this works first time every time!

    Future updates will be:
    • Smaller barrel – more pressure and I will then be able to use all the potatoes from the bag that were too small to use with the 500mm barrel
    • Maybe a more handy gas-grill igniter
    • Want to paint the gun black and put some white army-style letters on it.
    • A whole new gun – maybe a canon? Or make the Opel Corsa/Vauxhall into a potato-tank?

    I will soon make a website about this, which will contain videos and more pictures.


    A few links:
     
    Last edited: 7 Aug 2002
  2. DETN8R

    DETN8R What's a Dremel?

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    Ive made these before, There sitting in my backyard doing nothing.
     
  3. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    WOW

    WOW , I saw this before on tv , in some serie
    I think it was pacific blue or something else with hot chicks

    anyway

    I've saved this page , so one day .. if i get really bored ... i'll know what to do ...

    prepare yourself neigbours ... -grin-
     
  4. VadimtheConqueror

    VadimtheConqueror I love the little tacos...

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    we played with something somewhat like this in physics, except we used ethanol instead of hairspray.

    i figure one of those propane torches with the self igniter would make the most sense to use, cuz al you gotta do is turn on the gas, let it run for a second, then pull the trigger.
     
  5. cderalow

    cderalow bondage master!

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    of course i wouldn't reccommend using pvc or abs piping as the sudden change in internal pressure of the thing could cause it to shatter like a piece of glass... sending many many many pieces of plastic all over the place at high speeds... injuring you... very much like a shrapnel grenade... wouldn't be a pleasant experience, and I know people who have had that happen to them... lucky for them they didn't get seriously hurt (some nasty bruises and some stitches)
     
  6. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    are you serious ?

    cuz all those on the internet use pvc ... some Abs ...

    I think those tubes can stand the presure ...

    i'll try to make on tomorrow ..or next week .. or perhaps i'll wait untill next summer :)
     
  7. Iamgoodyy

    Iamgoodyy What's a Dremel?

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    I'm making one with pressurized air rather then combustible materials, because A. They are quieter in the city. B. Safer for if the cops show up. C. Air is cheaper than hair spray.
     
  8. DETN8R

    DETN8R What's a Dremel?

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    Use pvc pipe SCH-40.
     
  9. Magnolius

    Magnolius What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah, those things are pretty dangerous in the wrong hands. Don't try and do it too much or you can weaken the PVC causing it to explode.

    Also i know someone that made one that shot a potato clear across a pretty big pond. They were shooting at some of thier friends camps... pretty funny though. :)
     
  10. cderalow

    cderalow bondage master!

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    i'm very serious... my friend was lucky he was holding it to his side and not in his groin... the consequneces of having it there could be very painful and very permanent... he got away lucky with just the bruises and scrapes... and a huge bloddy tattered hole in the side of his sweatshirt
     
  11. linear

    linear Minimodder

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    cderalow is right. You should use a second, larger pipe surrounding your combustion chamber. Then when you shatter the chamber, the shards are contained by the outer one.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, that's just disturbing.
     
  12. JazzXP

    JazzXP Eh! Steve

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    The quake mod guys Orange Smoothie Productions (can't remember the address) have a link on their site to one that breaks the sound barrier.
     
  13. VadimtheConqueror

    VadimtheConqueror I love the little tacos...

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    no, not disturbing.....stupid
     
  14. CrazyJester

    CrazyJester What's a Dremel?

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    hehe, it's stupid, and helpful to society at the same time... gets stupid genes out of the gene pool :)
     
  15. scoob8000

    scoob8000 Wheres my plasma cutter?

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    wow.. those bring back memories.. dunno about the pipe, ive always used PVC pipe.. even with starting ether no problems with a explosion.. :) <knocks on wood> then again i havnt fired one of those things in years..

    -scoob8000
     
  16. KMS-oul

    KMS-oul You think you know me.

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    [​IMG]

    not only a dangerous weapon but also doubles up as a sex aid
     
  17. RAM Z

    RAM Z What's a Dremel?

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    been there done that:D

    As someone said, PVC & ABS are all over the internet. I use ABS because it wont explode, but it could have have a thermal meltdown so no rapid fire. This theory can be tested by hitting each with a hammer, ABS will bounce the hammer right back at you but PVC will shatter. Also PVC becomes more brittal the colder it gets.
     
  18. sobriquet

    sobriquet What's a Dremel?

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    i can post some pics of my spud canon once i get some, the paint is fading from all the use we get out of it, but it still looks pretty cool (the weathered look fits) it's all black with a big yellow biohazard logo on the chamber. we used 5(maybe 4)" PVC for the chamber, and 1.5" PVC for the barrel. For ignition we have a grill ignitor wired up to a couple of screws that poke into the chamber. We also found that spray-type deoderant instead of hairspray is more effective. We have a bunch of left over pvc, so i think we're gonna make another one (backup?) I'll take some pics of the process if we do.

    We also have another canon that runs on air pressure. but i don't know much about it because i didn't help built id ;)

    P.S. if anyone can give any advice about putting a window in the combustion chamber, it would be much appreciated. We have thought about it before, and i think the effect would be cool
     
  19. sobriquet

    sobriquet What's a Dremel?

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    we could never get our fuel to ignite in the cold
     
  20. brianpodskalny

    brianpodskalny ladies night!

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    ah youve hit a nerve!

    i love spud guns! ive been making and shooting them all this summer.

    so many things to say about it but hell ill just point you at a website:

    http://www.spudtech.com/

    best site i have found on the subject. some incredible projects that you will not believe and very good information on construction materials, propellants, ignitions, etc. and they have a message board if you need more specific help.

    a few inputs on the subject. these are probably all on the website, but they are important.

    ABS and PVC are pretty much the same only PVC is pressure rated and ABS is not. i have used both types in launchers.
    i found that abs is lighter and cheaper but it isnt as strong. pvc is a lil heavier, but its much muich easier to find couplings and fittings and thingsd like that for it. i have never had an istance where i have seen the ABS fail from the pressures in a gun, and we made one with a 4 inch y shaped thing that looks like it couldnt take much.
    comes down to if you trust it enough or not. usually the price difference isnt enough to bother with, but the ABS I bought was on sale so i decided that it was worth it.

    you use hairspray, i have found that aquanet works best. real hard to find though. right guard (or its generic equal) brown can spray deoderant it the best propellant you can get from a can. it has butane, isobutane, and propane as propellant.
    it doesnt make it sticky inside like hairspray but it is much more wet. still the best thing goin.

    i use electric ignitions because its easy, and its possible to wire up multiple ignition points from one ignitor. the gun i use right now has a 1ft combustion chamber, only needs one ignitor. longer chambers howerver require multiple ignitions because in the miliseconds that its burning, it has to travel from one end to the other

    |---> |
    | <-> <-> |

    with 2 it burns more quickley faster.



    and i must end saying that you MUST MUST be careful with them. no smoking around them of course, but hold it downrange when loading and moving it. esepecialy with electric ignition, because one bump, and if you shoot someone in the face it would be a unpleasant situation.

    if you wanna see some pics of my gun and one i built for my friend just lemme know. they are pretty nice (mine's painted black)
     

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