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BP Pipe Cannon


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48 replies to this topic

#1 zwdog922

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 04:26 PM

I was wondering what type of pipe I should use to launch a marble via black powder.
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#2 zwdog922

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:33 PM

thx
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#3 Frozentech

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:08 PM

I was wondering what type of pipe I should use to launch a marble via black powder.

Well, are you partial to galvanized or plain shrapnel ?

Seriously - my Dad tried that when he was 15, in 1954 or so. He almost died shooting a metal ball bearing from a pipe. My Grandmother heard the bang, and found him draped over the windowsill ( he was shooting at a tree outside the house ) bleeding. To this day he has black stippled powder tattooing and scarring from his left elbow to his shoulder.

Don't.
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#4 zwdog922

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 03:22 PM

ok, whatever
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#5 BPinthemorning

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 04:47 PM

"ok, whatever"??? Dude do you understand what he just said??? You WILL get hurt, and it is likely that you will die! Find a new hobby or get some common sense please! Don't give the government reasons to ban our hobby!

#6 zwdog922

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 04:53 PM

sorry
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#7 TheSidewinder

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:35 AM

zwdog,

Believe it or not, we DO want you to enjoy pyrotechnics. And we also want you to enjoy then in a SAFE manner.

Your first few questions here were asking about things that are either complicated or dangerous. Salutes are both, and pipe cannons are all that and stupid besides.

BP Cannons, real ones that is, are relatively safe if used in a responsible manner. Using a piece of pipe to shoot a marble runs the risk of an explosion, as Frozentech graphically pointed out.

If you want to know about real pyrotechnics, start reading the forums. They're a wealth of good information. Start small and work up. You live a lot longer that way.

But if all you're interested in doing is blowing stuff up, rest assured you'll have a short career.

Think long and hard about safety. When it comes to pyrotechnics, that's all you've got between you and the hereafter.
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#8 zwdog922

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 06:47 AM

ok, so do you think one from www.pyrocreations.com woul be good?
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#9 Arthur

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 07:41 AM

Amateur pyro is very much a "Doing" hobby! BUT before you DO anyting please learn from others and their mistakes, otherwise you will be yet another statistic in support of the ANTI firework lobby, and that would hurt all of us.

If you have BP do a small experiment,

Take 100milligrammes and wrap it in a small sandwich bag- just one layer of polythene.

Take another 100mg and wrap it in two layers of brown paper

Take another 100mg and seal it into a card tube.



These will showyou the effect of containment! The first will burn with a flame, smoke and a slight noise.
the second will burn with a flash smoke and a crack,
the third will make a loud bang and some smoke, annoy the neighbours, and spread bits of card tube for several yards.

The steel tube you propose would be the next one in sequence. Big bang, annoy lots of folk and spread steel shrapnel into you and the surroundings.

In most jurisdictions of the world no-one knows or cares if you possess fireworks, UNIL you make bangs or cause damage or hurt someone. Call an ambulance and they WILL call the police if there is an obvious explosion site, -dont call the ambulance and you could be done for terrorist style offences.

We all work on the edge of the law! Please don't get "noticed" or hurt

#10 quicksilver

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:25 PM

To actually answer this question is a lengthy proposition and the safety warnings are more in order than going in depth with any sort of "how to" dialog. Using seamed pipe for anything like a "cannon" is simply not feasible nor could it ever be safe. The pipe is simply not made to withstand the pressure of a deflagerant burning in concert with a build up of gases necessary to propel an object. There are specific and understandable reason why.

Metal "pipe" has a seam in it that is actually a setup for a catastrophe. This is called Schedule 40. There is a Schedule 80, that does not have a seam and is extremely strong and has been used in SHORT sections for mortars. HOWEVER....those who do so are professional and have done extensive testing on what the lift charge should be. The concept here is that the "short" section of a mortar allows for LESS pressure to build within. The serious problem with "making a cannon" out of something like Schedule 80 pipe is that in it's construction. There is no REAL way to account for variances in pressure.
Notice a "REAL cannon" It is wider at the base. This obviously cannot be accomplish with some section of pipe. A short "mortar" is in the same realm as a plastic mortar and used to discharge a very light object. EVEN SO.....the welding needed to make sure there is some safety on a mortar-type affair would not be some light weight job. But rather someone who welds on an "x-ray level" and knows HOW to make the base steel "bite" into the tube.

What's more, there HAVE been modern cannons made for BP and they COST serious money. One time on the TV show "Mythbusters" a modern design was shown for a bit. The show was recorded and the scene was played back to view how this was accomplished. It appeared that it was MILLED from extremely large, high level (quality) steel. That milling alone may put that cannon in the "thousands of dollars" market. To do so any other way is quite frankly a setup for a serious negligent injury. It MAY be possible to find what level of BP could be used for a CERTAIN projectile in a VERY well made Schedule 80 Mortar but deviate from that and you would have a serious problem. You see there are SEVERAL issues that must be addressed. The strength of the "cannon" construction, the pressure that would alter with the charge. The pressure that would alter with the projectile, the pressure that would alter with the seal, etc, etc.....
It simply is not a quick, simple agenda of stuffing a sealed pipe with BP and pushing a projectile into it. Too many things could make it into a potential vicious problem.

Edited by quicksilver, 09 February 2010 - 05:30 PM.


#11 Cookieman

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 06:35 PM

ok, whatever


I have two words for you "PLEASE DONT" I don't mean to sound like a jerk,but take it from experience, I have a friend who went to Home Depot and bought himself 3/4"galvenized pipe and decieded to make himself a small cannon and use a chrome steel ball as the projectile.He then filled the pipe with Commercial BP and decided to ram it.He basicly had himself a pipe bomb and didn't even know it.He then put the chrome steel ball in the pipe and lit the BP. The pipe exploded, and shrapnel hit his leg.I heard about it the next day when I talked to him he told me that the the hospital called the police because anytime they think its an explosion or gunshot wound,they call the authorities and then all hell breaks loose.
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#12 dagabu

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:43 PM

I have a 1" black powder canon that shoots a hand cast sabot that weighs 4oz. The pipe is high pressure Schedule 80 pipe 18" long. It is 14 years old this year and has shot around 1000 rounds in that time.

I use 20 grams of commercial BP (7FA) and it makes 100 yards to the target with no problems.

The breach (6") is constructed of 1-1/2" Schedule 80 pipe that is welded all around and a threaded breach plug is welded in as well. I use .308 shells that i cant reload any more and cut them down to 1/4" long, punch the primer and use a spring actuated firing pin to ignite the BP.

It sounds a whole more complicated then it really is. It just means that there is no fuse, just a primer and can and has been fired in the pouring rain.

The breach has a burst rating of over 200,000 psi. Oh, I use baby wipes for wadding.

D

Edited by dagabu, 09 February 2010 - 10:53 PM.

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#13 NightHawkInLight

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:55 PM

That's perfectly fine. It's no secret that a BP cannon/rifle can be made out of the right materials - It's been done for hundreds of years. However recommending it be done is another matter. There is many an idiot out there who upon hearing that would take any old piece of rough pipe and use ammo that's bound to seize. Just because it can be done safely doesn't mean it will be safe for the next kid who stumbles on this thread and thinks his galvanized is sch 80.

#14 Ventsi

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:12 AM

If I was EVER to make such a thing I would inly use a pipe as thick as the diameter. And the back plug, IMHO is the most important part. Why? My grandfather had a friend in his teenage years who thought it would be fun to make such a cannon, according to the story he used some 1.5" thick steel pipe but ignored the importance of the way the plug was secured. Long story short, his friend ended up with a clean hole through his skull.

If you think you should make one of these using things around the yard, no. To make anything closely remote to a proper small scale cannon you need a true machine shop and machinist.

Edited by Ventsi, 10 February 2010 - 12:14 AM.

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#15 dagabu

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:37 AM

That's perfectly fine. It's no secret that a BP cannon/rifle can be made out of the right materials - It's been done for hundreds of years. However recommending it be done is another matter. There is many an idiot out there who upon hearing that would take any old piece of rough pipe and use ammo that's bound to seize. Just because it can be done safely doesn't mean it will be safe for the next kid who stumbles on this thread and thinks his galvanized is sch 80.


Guys?

We rode in the back of the station wagon with no seat belts, we rode our bikes with no helmets (there were none back then) I took my 12 ga and my .22 to school and gave them to the receptionist to hold for me so I could hunt in the woods behind the school after school.

I invite everyone to make and test canons, fireworks etc. The difference between your reactions and mine is that I would rather teach safety then dissuade others from experimenting.

I know, I know, I knee jerk too, my fault, I am sorry but lets all learn to direct and not beat others down.

That said, there is a saying I have heard in Virginia when they reenact field battles and they are training new gunners. "Stand at a 45% angle to the breach, if the gun parts (blows up) you will survive, we have caskets for the fools that stand to the side and behind the guns."

The point being, barricade, use a safe field to test fire, use common sense and hurt no one in doing so.

D

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#16 dagabu

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:41 AM

I was wondering what type of pipe I should use to launch a marble via black powder.


FYI- Have you ever seen a movie where the windshield takes bullets and glass flies everywhere? They use compressed air and glass marbles that are shot from the inside of the car at the wind shield. That glass is reduced to powder and sprays out.

It looks pretty cool on film but is nothing like real life, bullets go through clean, no powder.

Just saying :)

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#17 xetap

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:32 AM

what type of pipe I should use to launch a marble via black powder.

I'd suggest a corncob pipe. Just don't inhale.

#18 jwitt

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:51 AM

This has little to do with "hobby-sized" cannon, and probably isn't what the original poster had in mind, but of possible historical interest, here's a place I stopped with my dad a decade or two ago:

Rome GA Cannon Lathe

Long story short, old-fashioned field pieces were cast and then turned on a lathe. A very big lathe.

I wish there were better pictures of the equipment- it is pretty interesting for those with a little machining experience.

Even these guys apparently had trouble making "safe" cannon.

Wikipedia says: "Even though the foundry's production of cannon had been halted by the Confederate government due to an investigation into improper manufacture of weapons at the facility, they continued output of other war-related materials, especially locomotives, attracted the attention of the Union Army and was a prime factor in the occupation of Rome by Sherman's troops in 1864.

On their way out of town at the end of the occupation, Sherman's troops burned the foundry facility to the ground, and attempted to dismantle the late using sledgehammers, with little success. The hammers marks are still visible today and the fire caused minimum damage to the lathe. The massive machine stayed in production until the mid 1960s."

#19 xetap

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:55 AM

It seems that there's a 'natural' progression that takes place once a person gets interested in energetic compounds, fireworks, etc.

One faction leans towards learning the basics first, then progressing through to a point where they find their true interests lie, then try to perfect that interest (rockets, aerial shells, fountains, whatever).

Another segment tends to short cut all the red tape and wants to cut to the chase, often w/disastrous results.

I chalk it up to the desire for instant gratification that's fostered by our current society, but that's another story.

While shooting marbles from a homemade BP cannon- constructed from questionable materials and methods- is a bad idea to those of us who've been around the block a few times, the idea to a noob may seem perfectly logical, given that on this same site he can read of golf ball cannons, potato cannons, report cannons, star guns, etc.

Hopefully the OP will take this as a friendly warning and will go on to become skilled in safe use of the comps, etc. that are found here. Otherwise, we all suffer. But him, mostly.

I would suggest to the OP that he take the time and read up on the subject, ask more questions and go into it armed w/as much info as you can find- there's very few things that can't be done safely.

He did the right thing be asking his question here, I just hope he's not turned off from the hobby as a result of the warnings he received- correct as they might have been. But if he WAS turned away by the cautions- this isn't the hobby for him, IMHO.

Just an opinion.

#20 quicksilver

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:57 PM

(snipped for brevity)

He did the right thing be asking his question here, I just hope he's not turned off from the hobby as a result of the warnings he received- correct as they might have been. But if he WAS turned away by the cautions- this isn't the hobby for him, IMHO.

Just an opinion.



This is a VERY important reply and carries with it some very significant issues that the OP (or anyone else) should give a good bit of thought to.
Perhaps the majority of people who find fireworks interesting DO dispell themselves into two broad camps. Those who READ, READ, READ and actually study appear to have less injuries & appear to stay with the hobby . Those who don't, unfortunately sling together all sorts of delagarants and make crude noise makers, get bored of one "size" and ascend the mountain of human parts gambling.

I had been a member of PGII and made a friend who was quite older than myself (he was in his 70's - I think). He told me he really only "made things that go bang". This, at first made me think this older fellow was a bit "unique" until I found me he STUDIED the TRADITIONAL method of making the "thousand unit cracker hexagons" (using bamboo tooling), Mandarin techniques for BP, VERY old fashoned red shredded paper crackers and a varieity of extremely old-generally highly dexterity-oriented fireworks with deep old Asian roots and techniques. This man could roll a cracker (like a cigarette) and tuck a hand made fuse in much less time than it takes to say it. He was extremely involved with "paper types" and grades adhesives and rockets of a type I had never seen before or since.
He had taken a "high-road" with the MOST elementry of fireaorks and found the ART that appeared to be lost to most. He explained techniques of safety working with Flash that not only made great sense but that I had not heard before; (weather conditions, working outside, developing a crude but extremely effective Ground for static that may have been used before Thomas Edison). He was also one of those who had a copy of the old 16mm black & white movie of Vietnamese making crackers with a forked chop stick and a type of fuse rolling that produced a very elegant, consistent fuse from rice paper.

In every sense he was using primitive materials that any school kid would be using but to a grand, fine old tradition. This was principally because he STUDIED & was fascinated by a niche' that VERY few Occidentals are even aware of. My point is that there is SO much to this hobby that can be safe and fun IF the individual allows himself to not be LAZY!
In fact, I would say that most injuries are NOT accidents. They are negligence perpetuated by intellectual laziness. Just as many people refuse to call a firearms injury an "accidental discharge" but use the term "Negligent Discharge": I believe in the same terminology.

There is NOTHING wrong with curiosity and the OP should not feel "put down" by asking questions - especially those that MAY have lead to a tragedy. The whole purpose of information exchanges is to learn what may be an unproductive idea (inefficient ways of manufacturing Perchlorates by using the wrong anodes / cathodes or possible serious nightmares like loosing a hand: metal enclosure).

The likelihood is that EVERYONE who has involved themselves in this hobby has at minimum had an idea that is better not acted upon.
An individual should actually be proud of finding that an idea is best left alone the smart way rather than through an experience with a sorry ending.




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