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Bowling Ball mortar: Seeking technical feedback


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#1 Pyroflume

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:54 AM

About six years ago, I purchased a homemade bowling ball mortar from a man who had experience constructing bowling ball mortars. The mortar is made from a gas tank and has a welded-on breach piece with a chamber that holds up to about 4 oz of black powder.

I love the mortar but have toyed with the idea of building an improved mortar someday, and Im looking for feedback about whether my ideas may be feasible.

The one thing I really dont like about my current mortar is A) how dirty it gets when fired, B) how it is susceptible to corrosion if not cleaned immediately (and even if it is cleaned well, since I live in a humid environment), and C) how heavy it is (it weighs 300 lbs, making it very stable when fired but also very challenging to transport).

My primary question is whether any alloy of titanium would be suitable for a cannon? I am aware that titanium and steel have very different properties in terms of strength, brittleness, weight, deformation, fatigue, elongation, ability to handle stress, etc. I am also aware that titanium, for a number of reasons, usually makes a poor choice in applications with pressure spikes (e.g., as a rifle barrel). However, there are many different alloys of titanium and I am wondering if any of them might be suitable for use as a bowling ball mortar? The appeal of titanium is its lighter weight and tremendous corrosion resistance. (And yes, I know that titanium is very expensive and difficult to tool and manufacture...so my question at this point is hypothetical). If titanium is a poor choice for a mortar, what about stainless steel or some other metal allow that is more corrosion resistant than normal steel?

Another question is about powder. Currently I use FG black powder in my cannon (up to 4 oz max). Would any less corrosive blackpowder substitutes be suitable to use with a bowling ball mortar (for example, blackhorn 209)? Im aware that blackpowder and blackpowder substitutes have very different properties (in terms of burn rate, pressure spikes, etc). I think I already know the answer to this question but would appreciate hearing from anyone who is more informed and knowledgeable.

Another question is about ceramic coatings for a steel bowling ball mortar. If I painted a bowling ball mortar in something like high-temp cerakote (designed to withstand temps up to 1800F), would that potentially protect the steel from corrosion? Would the coating stay on, considering the heat and pressure of firing the mortar?

My final question is whether there are any reputable manufacturers or builders of bowling ball mortars other than Coaches Club Cannons (see http://www.coachescl...g-Ball-Mortar)?

Also, Id be very grateful for not getting flamed for asking stupid questions or being seemingly lazy for not wanting to clean my mortar. I ask these questions in earnest in order to become better informed and to promote safety.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and advice!

- Dave

#2 SharkWhisperer

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 05:27 AM

About six years ago, I purchased a homemade bowling ball mortar from a man who had experience constructing bowling ball mortars. The mortar is made from a gas tank and has a welded-on breach piece with a chamber that holds up to about 4 oz of black powder.

I love the mortar but have toyed with the idea of building an improved mortar someday, and Im looking for feedback about whether my ideas may be feasible.

The one thing I really dont like about my current mortar is A) how dirty it gets when fired, B) how it is susceptible to corrosion if not cleaned immediately (and even if it is cleaned well, since I live in a humid environment), and C) how heavy it is (it weighs 300 lbs, making it very stable when fired but also very challenging to transport).

My primary question is whether any alloy of titanium would be suitable for a cannon? I am aware that titanium and steel have very different properties in terms of strength, brittleness, weight, deformation, fatigue, elongation, ability to handle stress, etc. I am also aware that titanium, for a number of reasons, usually makes a poor choice in applications with pressure spikes (e.g., as a rifle barrel). However, there are many different alloys of titanium and I am wondering if any of them might be suitable for use as a bowling ball mortar? The appeal of titanium is its lighter weight and tremendous corrosion resistance. (And yes, I know that titanium is very expensive and difficult to tool and manufacture...so my question at this point is hypothetical). If titanium is a poor choice for a mortar, what about stainless steel or some other metal allow that is more corrosion resistant than normal steel?

Another question is about powder. Currently I use FG black powder in my cannon (up to 4 oz max). Would any less corrosive blackpowder substitutes be suitable to use with a bowling ball mortar (for example, blackhorn 209)? Im aware that blackpowder and blackpowder substitutes have very different properties (in terms of burn rate, pressure spikes, etc). I think I already know the answer to this question but would appreciate hearing from anyone who is more informed and knowledgeable.

Another question is about ceramic coatings for a steel bowling ball mortar. If I painted a bowling ball mortar in something like high-temp cerakote (designed to withstand temps up to 1800F), would that potentially protect the steel from corrosion? Would the coating stay on, considering the heat and pressure of firing the mortar?

My final question is whether there are any reputable manufacturers or builders of bowling ball mortars other than Coaches Club Cannons (see http://www.coachescl...g-Ball-Mortar)?

Also, Id be very grateful for not getting flamed for asking stupid questions or being seemingly lazy for not wanting to clean my mortar. I ask these questions in earnest in order to become better informed and to promote safety.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and advice!

- Dave

11-year old thread; ancient for sure.

 

"Mortar made from a gas tank"? No specs. BP substitutes are no better, at least by much.

 

You'd like to fuse an "easier to clean ceramic liner to the inside of your steel barrels"? Or similar? Military cannons would use them if they worked. And Glock barrels.

 

Apologies for original sarcastic reply but intially seemed like you were trying to convert/cut/weld an auto "gas tank", and I should have read further/closer.


Edited by SharkWhisperer, 20 March 2021 - 04:42 PM.


#3 Carbon796

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 01:05 PM

The Shitwhisper, must have won an extraordinary amount of Darwin awards while trying to grow up. Because, he sure has plenty he's try to pawn off on others. That haven't truly earned them yet.

It's somewhat common knowledge/practice to build mortars. From compressed gas cylinders / tanks. For both 7" cylinder shells or bowling ball canons. Gas cylinder/tanks in this size have a minimum working pressure of 2,500psi. ( Let alone what the actual safety factor is ) A pressure you will never come close to exceeding. When used as a mortar, with BP propellant.

Just because you can't find it on Google. Doesn't mean you have any real knowledge or actual insight. That justifies your continually ignorant replies. If you don't have any actual knowledge on the subject, just shut the fuck up, and you'll actually appear to be a smarter person.

Edited by Carbon796, 20 March 2021 - 01:07 PM.

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#4 SharkWhisperer

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 04:36 PM

The Shitwhisper, must have won an extraordinary amount of Darwin awards while trying to grow up. Because, he sure has plenty he's try to pawn off on others. That haven't truly earned them yet.

It's somewhat common knowledge/practice to build mortars. From compressed gas cylinders / tanks. For both 7" cylinder shells or bowling ball canons. Gas cylinder/tanks in this size have a minimum working pressure of 2,500psi. ( Let alone what the actual safety factor is ) A pressure you will never come close to exceeding. When used as a mortar, with BP propellant.

Just because you can't find it on Google. Doesn't mean you have any real knowledge or actual insight. That justifies your continually ignorant replies. If you don't have any actual knowledge on the subject, just shut the fuck up, and you'll actually appear to be a smarter person.

Yeah, love you, too Carbonized fossil. Misread non-existent "cylinder" as some huckleberry auto "gas tank", as described. With no specs provided. I do know quite a bit about gas cylinders because I have my Al and steel scuba tanks certified annually, and am fully aware of fill/failure pressures. But you can't fit a bowling ball into those, and he's not talking about 7" mortars.

 

Dave, sorry bout you feeling flamed, but approach wasn't clear from the first sentence.

 

Your primary concerns about Slag, Corrosion, and Weight might be difficult/expensive to eliminate. Most BP substitutes produce copious amounts of (originally marketed as "less corrosive") corrosive residue and will need to be cleaned as always with non-resistant materials. Never heard of ceramic linings for metal tubes, and apparently our pal Carbon hasn't either, or he would have shared his wisdom on all things (except that). But he's probably stuck in his Barcolounger again, looking around for his glasses so he can locate his slippers.

 

Many/most of us use mortars to fire aerial shells, some large, but cannon-specific topics are rarely mentioned here. You might be better off just phoning the guys who make these things and picking their brains on them. Or there might be some alternative forums (Civil War Reinactment sites, etc.,) where something that size/purpose is used and discussed?



#5 robbo

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 05:17 PM

Succinct analysis of certain behaviors from another pyro website:

 

" ---  is one of those folks who has no self-awareness of how he behaves, and no capacity to take correction from others.  He is one of those folks who simply "knows it all", so much more than anyone else, and constantly has to prove it."


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#6 SharkWhisperer

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Posted 20 March 2021 - 05:33 PM

Succinct analysis of certain behaviors from another pyro website:

 

" ---  is one of those folks who has no self-awareness of how he behaves, and no capacity to take correction from others.  He is one of those folks who simply "knows it all", so much more than anyone else, and constantly has to prove it."

Tough luck Robby, but try again. Different pyro sites = Different user names. But thanks for demonstrating your poor sleuthing and verification capacities. Apart from reciting a few "borrowed" glitter formulations developed by others over the past 5 years here, I'm wondering precisely what expertise and tutelage you've brought to the table here, Nance? Besides your currently professed wisdom via unattributed "quotes"? I read absolutely nothing novel that you've provided here in 6 years, mostly useless brief lapdog posts by an upset incel looking for approval.

 

Now that I've apologized to Dave for misinterpreting his initial query, perhaps you have some actual information of value to add to his questions about bowling ball cannons?


Edited by SharkWhisperer, 21 March 2021 - 12:42 AM.


#7 ronmoper76

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 01:01 PM

Succinct analysis of certain behaviors from another pyro website:

 

" ---  is one of those folks who has no self-awareness of how he behaves, and no capacity to take correction from others.  He is one of those folks who simply "knows it all", so much more than anyone else, and constantly has to prove it."

That dude has diarrhea of the mouth. everyday he has a new insult waiting on here for someone. Everybody knows that one guy thats so obnoxious you can't take him out anywhere. He must be ours.



#8 ronmoper76

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Posted 28 March 2021 - 01:11 PM

About six years ago, I purchased a homemade bowling ball mortar from a man who had experience constructing bowling ball mortars. The mortar is made from a gas tank and has a welded-on breach piece with a chamber that holds up to about 4 oz of black powder.

I love the mortar but have toyed with the idea of building an improved mortar someday, and Im looking for feedback about whether my ideas may be feasible.

The one thing I really dont like about my current mortar is A) how dirty it gets when fired, B) how it is susceptible to corrosion if not cleaned immediately (and even if it is cleaned well, since I live in a humid environment), and C) how heavy it is (it weighs 300 lbs, making it very stable when fired but also very challenging to transport).

My primary question is whether any alloy of titanium would be suitable for a cannon? I am aware that titanium and steel have very different properties in terms of strength, brittleness, weight, deformation, fatigue, elongation, ability to handle stress, etc. I am also aware that titanium, for a number of reasons, usually makes a poor choice in applications with pressure spikes (e.g., as a rifle barrel). However, there are many different alloys of titanium and I am wondering if any of them might be suitable for use as a bowling ball mortar? The appeal of titanium is its lighter weight and tremendous corrosion resistance. (And yes, I know that titanium is very expensive and difficult to tool and manufacture...so my question at this point is hypothetical). If titanium is a poor choice for a mortar, what about stainless steel or some other metal allow that is more corrosion resistant than normal steel?

Another question is about powder. Currently I use FG black powder in my cannon (up to 4 oz max). Would any less corrosive blackpowder substitutes be suitable to use with a bowling ball mortar (for example, blackhorn 209)? Im aware that blackpowder and blackpowder substitutes have very different properties (in terms of burn rate, pressure spikes, etc). I think I already know the answer to this question but would appreciate hearing from anyone who is more informed and knowledgeable.

Another question is about ceramic coatings for a steel bowling ball mortar. If I painted a bowling ball mortar in something like high-temp cerakote (designed to withstand temps up to 1800F), would that potentially protect the steel from corrosion? Would the coating stay on, considering the heat and pressure of firing the mortar?

My final question is whether there are any reputable manufacturers or builders of bowling ball mortars other than Coaches Club Cannons (see http://www.coachescl...g-Ball-Mortar)?

Also, Id be very grateful for not getting flamed for asking stupid questions or being seemingly lazy for not wanting to clean my mortar. I ask these questions in earnest in order to become better informed and to promote safety.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and advice!

- Dave

when i was a kid we had one that we built from a old hydraulic cylinder off a dozer. We shot soup cans full of concrete out of it with acetylene believe it or not. If your curious i can tell you a bit more about it. You gotta supplement it with oxygen to get it to work right but its incredible how much power it would generate.It had a 3 inch thick steel barrel and we permanently mounted it to a flat bed trailer. That thing would have outlasted us if we still had it,it was virtually indestructible. And you don't get the dirty barrel issue either.


Edited by ronmoper76, 28 March 2021 - 01:16 PM.





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