Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to make a spud gun.

There are so many awesome blog recipes out there; I thought I'd contribute one of my own.  It's not how to cook quiche or how to create a perfect potato soup.  Instead it's: how to make a spud gun.

Flint igniter (grill igniter) I got mine at ACE.  I've heard you can get them at Wally World in the camping section
4" ABS cleanout plug (Make sure to use ABS pipe.  ABS will split from pressure, but PVC will shatter)
4" ABS fitting cleanout adapter
4" ABS coupling
4" x 24" ABS pipe
2" x 4" ABS increaser reducer
2" x 48" ABS pipe
ABS cleaner, primer, & cement
Sack of Idaho potatoes
Hair spray (aerosol) We discovered that Aquanet works the very best

Preparation Instructions:

1. Cut the ABS sections to length (or do what I did and convince the nice Home Depot employee to cut them for you.) Cement all the ABS parts EXCEPT THE CLEANOUT PLUG together.

2. Drill two 1/8" holes in the middle of the 4" x 24" ABS pipe then install the igniter with its included hardware. Use electrical tape to tape it down.  Don't use duct tape since it's conductive.  I left my wires long so I could detonate it from a couple feet away if I wanted to.

Note: My friend actually screwed the igniter right into the ignition chamber.  Her igniter got an arc without the wires, but mine didn't.  If your igniter gets an arc without the wires, then you don't have to drill two holes, instead you can drill one large one and screw the igniter into place.

3. File the end of the 2" x 48" ABS pipe so you can shove the potato in easier.  

Wait at least 24 hours for the glue to dry!!!

4. You're done.  I read somewhere that these only shoot 20-30 feet.  That is not true!  This went at least 250 yards. The bigger the barrel the greater the distance.  Find a nice big area and go have fun.  Stay safe.  These are very dangerous and not toys.  Don't ever aim at someone and if you can . . . avoid making this altogether!     


    My funny story of the day involves what a hassle it was finding the flint igniter. I went to five different stores.  Apparently the only people who buy barbecue igniters--WITHOUT the rest of the grill--make potato launchers.  I walked into one store and asked, "Do you sell flint igniters?"
    The man eyed me.  "What ya want with one of them?"
    I paused because I'm a sucky liar.  "Ummm.  I want to fix . . . something."
    "Your grill?" I looked down. "Are you making a potato launcher, Ma'am?"
    I acted offended, REALLY offended.  "Do I look like the type of person who'd build a potato launcher?"
    "I . . . I guess not.  I'm so sorry.  I didn't mean to accuse you of anything."
    "I'll let it slide this time," I said.  
    But it turned out he didn't have the igniter anyway.  My whole "innocent act" had been for nothing!
    So I went to a couple more stores and by the time I got to the fourth one I learned to ask for a "barbecue igniter" instead of a "flint igniter."  It turns out people are less judgmental when you say the word, "barbecue."
    I expected our conversation to go similarly to the one I already told you about.
    "Do you sell barbecue igniters?"
    "Are you making a potato launcher?" the man asked--point blank.
    I paled, not believing my code word "bar-be-cue" hadn't worked on that man.  I shook my head.
    "Are you lying to me?"  He pushed his glasses farther up his nose and crossed his arms.  I watched his foot tap the seconds away.  "So?"  
    What was it, twenty questions!  I stayed silent and then realized I wasn't sitting in a principal's office; I was there to buy something.  I was the customer.  The big-fat ball of goodness was in my court!  "Do you sell them or what?"
    "Fine," he said.  "I'll show you where the igniters are."  He led me down rows of gadgets and gizmos.  I could almost hear the whirring of strange contraptions and the snapping of oblong lights going on and off.  "Here are the igniters."  He'd let me to the camping section.  That wasn't the lighter I wanted.  Sure I could buy it if I needed to start a camp fire and cook my potatoes instead of launch them.  
    "Thank you so much," I said.  "But that's not what I'm looking for."
    "Because you're making a potato launcher."  His eyes practically spurted flames. 
    "I'm not."
    "You ARE!" 
    "I'm not!"
    "Are too!"
   "Fine."  I glared at him.  "You wanna know so badly?  I AM making a potato launcher.  I love potatoes and I want to launch them!!!"
    "Well, then, I can't sell this igniter to you."
    "That's not the right kind anyway!!!"  I stomped from the store, but the man laughed as I walked out.  I think he'd had a great time. 
    So at the next place I found the damn igniter myself.  Sure it took me a long time, but I found it and finally got to launch some potatoes.  
    "Was it worth it?" you ask.  "All the heartache and time it took me to find that igniter?"
    Absolutely!  Because there's nothing quite as cool as flying potatoes.

Me and my spud gun

Also, congrats to Jodi Keller for winning the $50 giftcard to Novica.
Click HERE to visit the Novica website yourself. :)