b25f2fa7-95eb-41a3-b1d9-67488f77df57

Watch now: Transparent potato gun lets you see the combustion firsthand

Jan. 26, 2017

With some basic PVC piping and a few aerosol spray cans, you can create a spud launcher that is sure to annoy the entire neighborhood. 

Making a potato gun is one of the quintessential science experiments. With some basic PVC piping and a few aerosol spray cans, you can create a spud launcher that is sure to annoy the entire neighborhood. But wouldn’t it be cooler if you could actually see the reaction happening inside the PVC gun? Destin from Smarter Every Day has constructed a transparent potato gun, allowing viewers to experience the internal combustion at 20,00 frames per second. The result is breathtaking.

William Gurstelle from Make offers his own set of step-by-step instructions on how to construct a see-through potato gun. According to Gurstelle: "The potato cannon, a.k.a. the spud gun, is a popular and very entertaining amateur science project. It’s simple to make, and few devices offer such bang for the buck. You can use the Night Lighter both day and night, but when it’s dark, the clear PVC provides an excellent view of the interior ballistics. Also, the stun gun gives better performance than weaker sparks from piezoelectric or flint/steel igniters. It’s fun both to fire and simply to watch in action.

A basic spud gun can be built with plain, white PVC for less than $25. The Night Lighter costs more, but I scrounged leftovers from plastics suppliers and built mine for less than $50. After mastering basic gun construction, the intrepid potato cannoneer may want to design and assemble more complex and artistic devices."

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...

The Importance of Air-To-Cloth Ratio when Selecting Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
Selecting the right filter cartridges for your application can be complicated. There are a lot of things to evaluate and consider...like air-to-cloth ratio. When your filters ...