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Weekend project: Ping pong ball cannon

I spend a few hours this weekend putting together a ping pong ball cannon. No real reason to do this other than I thought it would be fun.

Here is the outcome:
Ping pong ball cannon

Ping pong ball cannon

Ping pong ball cannon

Ping pong ball cannon

Ping pong ball cannon

Ping pong ball cannon

With a few sprays of hairspray into the breach (the cardboard tube) it will shoot a ping pong ball about 75 feet and make a very satisfying boom. I put this together with materials I had laying around:

• 1 ½ inch PVC pipe – Used to hold the ping pong ball
• Mailing tube – Used as the breach (holds the hairspray and houses igniter)
• Gas BBQ igniter (piezoelectric igniter) used to set the whole thing off
• Duct tape – Used to hold it together
• A few screws – I wrapped wire around them and mounted them inside the breach, I then connected the other ends of the wire to the gas BBQ igniter, this will cause a spark to jump between the 2 screws inside the mailing tube which will then setoff the explosion.
• Hairspray

I plan on building a better version of this using all PVC pipe so I can shoot something bigger out of it (like a potato). This build was structurally weak since it used cardboard so be careful if you decide to do this yourself..

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