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How to make a potato launcher





deanhills
This started as a fun search looking for various ways in which people can shoot balloons. I had suggested that we get some cyber balloons for 1-million posts celebration and Bondings came up with a "bloon" shooting counter suggestion. Very Happy

Then when I started searching on the Internet I found this very neat way of getting rid of balloons, using a potato launcher. Probably one of the best "how to" videos I've seen in a while. Ocalhoun detail style .... Very Happy

ocalhoun
A fun project yes, but, I just happen to have an extra microwave oven... (and extra battery and power inverter)... Next project will be an EMP gun. ^.^
cybersa
Funny Project.
Thanks for your share.
IceCreamTruck
This is amazing! Smile My friend actually made a replica of the cannon pictured, and he was loading it in such a way that some of the potatoes vaporized before exiting the cannon, and others flew further than potatoes should fly out over a lake and into the trees beyond. It was some amazing ballistics with potatoes, and surprisingly accurate if you are measuring, angling and calculating as required.
deanhills
IceCreamTruck wrote:
This is amazing! Smile My friend actually made a replica of the cannon pictured, and he was loading it in such a way that some of the potatoes vaporized before exiting the cannon, and others flew further than potatoes should fly out over a lake and into the trees beyond. It was some amazing ballistics with potatoes, and surprisingly accurate if you are measuring, angling and calculating as required.
Gives a new meaning to a device for making mashed potatoes lethally .... Twisted Evil
IceCreamTruck
deanhills wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:
This is amazing! Smile My friend actually made a replica of the cannon pictured, and he was loading it in such a way that some of the potatoes vaporized before exiting the cannon, and others flew further than potatoes should fly out over a lake and into the trees beyond. It was some amazing ballistics with potatoes, and surprisingly accurate if you are measuring, angling and calculating as required.
Gives a new meaning to a device for making mashed potatoes lethally .... Twisted Evil


Liquid potatoes! or Potato Spray! Smile When the potatoes came down they were taking branches off the trees, so no doubt in my mind about how dangerous potato guns can be.

Can anyone do the math on this? A 1 pound potato has to be going how fast to equal 100 pounds of force on impact? I can do the math, however I'm busy, but the answer is not that fast.
Tesa323
That's amazing for our aceince fair some guys built a potato launcher with some tubes, axe spray, and a lighter.. It was amzing almost poped a kid in the head with a potato
menino
lol Dean and ice cream truck and ocalhoun.
This would be a fun project... but I wonder if it could turn into something of a weapon.
For a water baloon gun, would it not burst the balloon, when shooting it, dean? (sorry to burst your balloon, err.... bubble). Laughing
ocalhoun
menino wrote:

For a water baloon gun, would it not burst the balloon, when shooting it, dean? (sorry to burst your balloon, err.... bubble). Laughing

Well, it depends how powerful the gun is, how tough the balloons you're using are, and how much the balloons are stretched (how much water is in them).

I think they may be more resilient than you would suspect though, since the gun would probably exert a fairly uniform pressure on the balloon, which would effectively push the water inside it without stretching it.
The main problem I see is the friction against the tube walls -- it would probably need to be lubricated in order to shoot the balloons at any significant velocity. Storing the 'ammo' in a vat of slippery oil would do the trick.
menino
ocalhoun wrote:
menino wrote:

For a water baloon gun, would it not burst the balloon, when shooting it, dean? (sorry to burst your balloon, err.... bubble). Laughing

Well, it depends how powerful the gun is, how tough the balloons you're using are, and how much the balloons are stretched (how much water is in them).

I think they may be more resilient than you would suspect though, since the gun would probably exert a fairly uniform pressure on the balloon, which would effectively push the water inside it without stretching it.
The main problem I see is the friction against the tube walls -- it would probably need to be lubricated in order to shoot the balloons at any significant velocity. Storing the 'ammo' in a vat of slippery oil would do the trick.


Thanks ocalhoun, that explanation made me visualize it, and makes sense now... especially since I've never seen a baloon launcher as yet in real.
That kind of fun toy in the west can be used as a weapon in the middle east. Laughing
Sw4k1ll4r
Haha, thanks for sharing.
IceCreamTruck
menino wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
menino wrote:

For a water baloon gun, would it not burst the balloon, when shooting it, dean? (sorry to burst your balloon, err.... bubble). Laughing

Well, it depends how powerful the gun is, how tough the balloons you're using are, and how much the balloons are stretched (how much water is in them).

I think they may be more resilient than you would suspect though, since the gun would probably exert a fairly uniform pressure on the balloon, which would effectively push the water inside it without stretching it.
The main problem I see is the friction against the tube walls -- it would probably need to be lubricated in order to shoot the balloons at any significant velocity. Storing the 'ammo' in a vat of slippery oil would do the trick.


Thanks ocalhoun, that explanation made me visualize it, and makes sense now... especially since I've never seen a baloon launcher as yet in real.
That kind of fun toy in the west can be used as a weapon in the middle east. Laughing


WD-40! It's main ingredient is fish oil! Smile Spray a little of that in the tube every once in a while and you get rid of the friction problem. It would still be a science though as you'd want the balloons firm enough not to explode on launch but to explode on impact.

Me and a friend set off a bunch of my mortars on the 4th of July the other day... that was really fun. Same basic principal but actually uses gun powder to launch the projectile into the air for the secondary explosion. We waged war on the evening sky and came away unscathed -- good times. If you haven't tried mortar based fireworks I suggest giving it a go after reading the safety instructions. Mortars are no joke, and can kill you, which apparently someone did kill themselves with them this year. I suspect alcohol was involved, but that's speculation based on American's habits around the 4th which is our independence day, and a work holiday. Most mix the holiday drinking with fireworks which is a recipe for disaster. I had one beer while firing fireworks which I didn't even finish because it got warm... keeping it real and safe makes for more fun if you ask me.
mukesh
That's amazing lol nice video
donoob88
could we make the head of the potato sharpen? or pointed, i thinking if it could penetrate the balloon easily, but i guess the potato will turn and the pointed head will not hit the balloon.. well, it's useless if we make the head pointed Razz Razz
____________________
if you don't want to commit mistake from your mouth, don't talk Very Happy
ocalhoun
donoob88 wrote:
could we make the head of the potato sharpen? or pointed, i thinking if it could penetrate the balloon easily, but i guess the potato will turn and the pointed head will not hit the balloon.. well, it's useless if we make the head pointed Razz Razz

Stick a needle in one end and a ribbon on the other end.

The ribbon will stretch out and create drag, causing the ribbon-end to be at the back, which therefore makes the needle end at the front.
(A method of projectile stabilization with a good history of successful military use... and also easy to make and use.)

(Though this would only be necessary at long range, or for very weak potato guns. For a good gun at close range, the velocity of the potato should be high enough to pop the balloon even without any needle or point.)
fuzzkaizer
a friend of mine told me they made such potato-launchers when they were young... must have been in the early nineties... and also sort of a catapult to launch waterballoons that needed three people to handle it... and it was quite stunningly effective, he said.
bluepig83
Highly inspiring! Makes me want to go and build one myself. There's just something hilarious about flying spuds traveling at high velocities through the air. I wonder if I could nail a bird with one....
ocalhoun
bluepig83 wrote:
I wonder if I could nail a bird with one....

Theoretically possible, sure.

But in reality, potatoes are not the most aerodynamically stable of projectiles -- meaning it won't be terribly accurate. Unless you make quite an effort to make the launcher more accurate, you're unlikely to be able to hit even a resting bird, much less one in flight.

Things that would help:
Distance-adjustable sights (well-calibrated projectile drop compensated sights would be a must, given the potato's relatively low velocity and high mass.)
Rifled barrel (given the irregular shape of a potato, spin stabilization would be even more important than usual.)
Standardized ammunition (try to get the size and shape of the potatoes very consistent -- also try to keep the amount of propellent used very consistent.)
Precision machined barrel crown (for accuracy, it's crucial that the very end of the barrel be very smooth and uniform -- protrusions or rough patches could skew the projectile's trajectory as it exits, causing disproportionately large variations in flight path, especially for a less-than aerodynamic projectile like a potato.)
nepalstar
deanhills wrote:
This started as a fun search looking for various ways in which people can shoot balloons. I had suggested that we get some cyber balloons for 1-million posts celebration and Bondings came up with a "bloon" shooting counter suggestion. Very Happy

Then when I started searching on the Internet I found this very neat way of getting rid of balloons, using a potato launcher. Probably one of the best "how to" videos I've seen in a while. Ocalhoun detail style .... Very Happy



Funny Project. Will try to build, Thanks for your sharing video.
SpawnCP
lol . It sounds interesting . Or just like a funny story for kids Cool
chasbeen
Be kind to potatoes Crying or Very sad
ocalhoun
chasbeen wrote:
Be kind to potatoes Crying or Very sad

From the day they sprout, it's every potato's dream to soar through the sky... but they can't. They're bound, buried in the ground.

What could be kinder than finally giving them their chance to fly through the sky, fulfilling their dream?
matt_jeffries
Theraband gold attach to some sort of crossbow with a pouch and trigger mechanism, Easy
bulleting89
thanks for sharing .. gona make this too haha
Blaster
We used to have one at the firehouse. They are a lot of fun and really easy to make. We even had a little pistol like one that we would fire. Instead of always wasting potatoes though we took a towel and wrapped it up real tight and would send that flying. Lot of fun but could be really dangerous.
jamesparker
Well that is really interesting, I am enjoying the discussion
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