How to Make a Potato Gun

Chances are you’ll like to eat potatoes, however firing them out of a cannon might be much more enjoyable. A potato weapons, additionally referred to as a spudzooka, potato cannon, and spud gun, make for an entertaining undertaking that additionally demonstrates a couple of legal guidelines of physics alongside the way in which. A part of the fun of developing a potato gun comes from experimenting with the essential design to get the very best efficiency, all whereas studying invaluable engineering classes. Get inventive with yours!


EditGetting the Pipes Prepared

  1. Get all of your elements prepared for meeting. All of the elements obligatory for this undertaking might be purchased at your native ironmongery shop in the event you don’t have already got them at residence. Some shops could even reduce the PVC pipe you’ll want for this undertaking to size as a free service or for a minor price.[1]
    • You will want a Four-in (10.1-cm) broad PVC pipe that is lengthy and a 2-in (5-cm) broad PVC pipe that’s lengthy.
    • Solely use Schedule 40 PVC pipe. “Schedule” refers back to the thickness of the pipe’s partitions. Pipe thinner than Sch 40 might be unsafe and will burst below excessive stress.
  2. Measure and mark your PVC items, if obligatory. In case your PVC pipes weren’t reduce for you, you’ll must do it your self. Use a felt tipped marker to mark the PVC on the following lengths in order that they’re able to be reduce:
    Make a Potato Gun Step 2 Version 3.jpg
    • Four-in (10.1-cm) broad PVC marked at
    • 2-in (5-cm) broad PVC marked at [2]
  3. Minimize the pipes alongside the mark utilizing a hacksaw. It might assist to clamp the pipes right down to a piece bench or have somebody maintain the pipe on a flat floor as you noticed. The cuts don’t should be excellent. When you’re completed, take away plastic burrs by rubbing the reduce edges with a medium grit sandpaper.
    Build a Potato Launcher Step 2 Version 2.jpg
  4. Clear the PVC pipes with a rag. Grit or plastic shavings from reducing the PVC can negatively impression the seal of elements when fitted collectively. Take a clear rage and wipe all elements of the PVC clear. If there are a whole lot of shavings, use a vacuum cleaner.[3]
    Make a Potato Gun Step 4 Version 3.jpg

EditGluing the Launcher

  1. Assemble one finish of the Four-in broad PVC section. Screw a Four-in broad PVC plug into place on the threaded finish of the feminine adapter. On one finish of the Four-in section, liberally apply PVC cement across the outer lip. Repeat this course of to the inside lip of the PVC feminine adapter. Match the adapter onto the tip of the section.
    Make a Potato Gun Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • If you glue the PVC items collectively, maintain them collectively firmly for a minimum of 60 seconds so the glue bonds.
    • Twist every glue joint a quarter-turn as you might be pushing it collectively. It will encourage a greater seal.
    • Each time PVC items are glued collectively, you should definitely use a clear towel to wipe away extra glue.
    • The Four-in broad PVC section will finally grow to be the combustion chamber for the launcher.[4]
  2. Connect the coupler to the Four-in broad PVC section on the reverse finish. Apply PVC cement across the outer lip of the section and the inside lip of the PVC coupler. Slide the coupler into place on the tip of section with nothing connected.[5]
    Make a Potato Gun Step 6 Version 3.jpg
  3. Glue the reducer within the coupler. Apply extra PVC cement to the inside lip of the coupler and under the outward flanging collar of the Four- to 2-in reducer. Nest the reducer within the coupler till the collar of the reducer meets the tip of the coupler.[6]
    Make a Potato Gun Step 7 Version 3.jpg
  4. Add the barrel of the launcher. The barrel of the launcher might be made up of the 2-in broad PVC section. Unfold the PVC cement on the inside lip of the reducer and the outer lip of 1 finish of the 2-in broad PVC section. Slide the barrel into the reducer till it’s about even with the bottom of the coupler.[7]
    Make a Potato Gun Step 8 Version 3.jpg
  5. Wait 24 hours for the PVC cement to harden and remedy. If you happen to use your potato launcher earlier than the PVC cement has sufficient time to harden, the launcher could explode. Explosive drive within the combustion chamber places stress on the PVC once you shoot an merchandise.[8]
    Make a Potato Gun Step 9 Version 3.jpg

EditIncluding a Spark Generator

  1. Drill holes within the combustion chamber in your spark generator. Most spark mills merely emit a spark at one finish when a button is pressed. Drill a gap within the combustion chamber simply massive sufficient to suit the sparking parts of your generator.[9]
    Make a Potato Gun Step 10 Version 3.jpg
    • Some mills could have two prongs throughout which a spark jumps, or a single double-pronged extension.
    • Many mills require spark-emitting prongs to be inside of one another.
  2. Insert the spark generator and fix it with electrical tape. Press the spark emitting elements of the generator into the holes you’ve drilled. Connect the button/set off for the generator to the combustion chamber with electrical tape, then hook up the leads from the spark generator to the set off.
    Build a Potato Launcher Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Join constructive leads (+) to constructive terminals on the generator and adverse leads ( – ) to the adverse terminals.
    • As soon as the leads and terminals are connected, stop unintentional shocks by masking any naked wiring or parts with electrical tape.
    • Examine your spark generator by unscrewing the PVC plug from the feminine adapter. Whereas trying contained in the combustion chamber, press the generator set off a number of occasions. If you happen to see a spark, it really works.[10]
  3. Create a guard for the spark generator. parts of the spark generator might be simply broken. Make a guard for the generator by reducing a scrap piece of PVC down the center with a hack noticed. Sand away PVC burrs with medium grit sandpaper, then connect the guard over the spark generator with PVC cement or tape.
    Make a Potato Gun Step 12 Version 3.jpg
    • Your guard might be reduce quick so it solely protects the sparking parts or longer to cowl the leads as much as the set off.[11]

EditFiring the Launcher

  1. Insert a spud and open the tip PVC plug. Press a spud into the barrel finish of the launcher so it matches snugly. Use a persist with push the potato into the bottom of the barrel. After that, flip over the launcher and unscrew the tip PVC plug from the feminine adaptor.[12]
    Build a Potato Launcher Step 19 Version 2.jpg
    • Quaint firearms used “wadding,” or fabric wrapped round projectiles, to create a greater barrel seal and extra energy. This can be executed with potato weapons.
    • A screw inserted into the barrel the place it connects to the combustion chamber will stop the ammunition from being rammed too far and falling into the chamber.
  2. Spray propellant into the combustion chamber and reseal the plug. Virtually all hairspray will work as a propellant in your launcher. Spray the hairspray into the chamber for about seven seconds and your launcher is primed and able to go. Reseal the plug rapidly and prepare to take purpose.[13]
    Build a Potato Launcher Step 20 Version 2.jpg
    • An excessive amount of propellant is as unhealthy as not sufficient. If there’s not sufficient oxygen, ignition is not going to happen. Trial and error will train the optimum quantity of propellant to make use of in your particular person design.
  3. Intention away from folks and click on the set off. It might take a couple of clicks of the set off earlier than the spark ignites, however when it does the hairspray will explode. It will drive the potato out the barrel of the launcher. Now it’s time for goal follow.[14]
    Build a Potato Launcher Step 22 Version 2.jpg
    • All the time function your potato launcher with warning. Improper or reckless utilization may trigger hurt or property harm.



  • The world of PVC might be complicated and unorganized, so don’t be afraid to ask retailer employees for assist.
  • The longer the barrel, the longer the drive of the combustion will speed up the projectile. Too in need of a barrel will rob the gun of energy. Nonetheless, if the barrel is too lengthy, the increasing gasses start to lose stress and friction of the projectile within the barrel begins to gradual it down. Experiment to search out the optimum size in your personal configuration.
  • In case your native ironmongery shop doesn’t have the precise fittings listed, don’t fret. You’ll most likely have the ability to discover a approach to make use of comparable elements (i.e. reducers, couplers, and so on.) which might be barely bigger or smaller to perform what the elements listed do.
  • When you’ve got by no means labored with PVC earlier than, purchase some scrap PVC and some low cost couplers so you possibly can follow gluing earlier than you construct your launcher.
  • Attempt new ammunition! Potatoes are plentiful, however comparable sized fruit and greens may go simply as properly.
  • The quantity of the combustion chamber is proportional to energy of the shot, however an extended chamber produces an inefficient compression wave, so hold the combustion chamber quick and fats.
  • Observe the instructions on the glue, and glue liberally on each the pipe and the socket. Don’t use glue or plumber’s dope on threads.
  • If one thing must be sealed shut, use duct tape. It begins out as tape, however after you utilize the cannon the adhesive turns into a really sticky glue that retains stuff closed.
  • The preliminary ignition within the combustion chamber must be near the middle of the chamber cavity to make an environment friendly explosion.
  • There are many directions for various fashions on-line. Do a key phrase seek for “Potato Cannon directions.”


  • It’s crucial that you simply let the glue dry earlier than firing your launcher. Most accidents with these weapons occur as a result of an anxious builder doesn’t let the glue dry. Let it dry a full 24 hours earlier than taking pictures.
  • Just remember to aren’t ever trying down the barrel of the cannon or pointing it at somebody when it is loaded.

EditIssues You will Want

  • 2-in broad PVC lengthy
  • Four-in broad feminine PVC adapter
  • Four-in broad PVC coupler
  • Four-in broad threaded PVC plug
  • Four-in to 2-in PVC reducer
  • Four-in broad PVC lengthy
  • Electrical tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Hairspray
  • Energy drill (and drill bits)
  • PVC cement
  • Sandpaper (medium grit)
  • Spark generator (obtainable at shops)
  • Vacuum (elective)

EditAssociated wikiHows

  • Thread Pipe
  • Launch a Mannequin Rocket Safely
  • Make a Match Rocket
  • Make a Foam Rocket
  • Calculate Stability of a Mannequin Rocket
  • Calculate Escape Velocity
  • Create a Mini Cannon from a Matchbox
  • Make a Potato Gun

EditSources and Citations

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