Harmless Steam Cannon Shoots Ball Bearings (Oct, 1936)
Harmless Steam Cannon Shoots Ball Bearings
THIS tiny steam cannon operating in much the same manner as Archimedes famous cannon will prove an interesting project for the workshop. The cannon works in a very realistic manner simply by heating 3/8-inch steel bearings until they are red hot then dropping into the barrel of the cannon in which a small quantity of water has been poured. The hot bearing striking the water converts it into steam which immediately expands and shoots the bearing out of the cannon.
To build the cannon secure a 10-inch length of 3/8-inch pipe with a smooth inside surface. Tap one end and attach a cap and at the same time braze or solder two rods to the sides of the cannon barrel for swinging in the wooden cradle. The cradle is constructed from scrap stock with small cross braces inserted to add to the rigidity. Cut recesses in the top of the cradle to allow for the barrel axel rods then fasten the barrel in place by fastening metal straps over the rods as indicated in the pictorial diagrams. A short length of chain attached to the cap end of the cannon barrel permits adjustment of the barrel when firing the cannon.
For ammunition secure a number of 3/8-inch steel ball bearings then place over a wire grill and heat until red hot. A small amount of water is poured into the cannon followed by the hot bearing. The steam pressure will shoot the pellet high into the air.