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Chuck H Offline OP
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I finished my gunmaker apprenticeship project. Maybe I can graduate to "gunmaker"now???

A little fun here. Probably verboten with the rules. But it's a single shot and dare I say; a fine gun. So maybe the moderators, that are allowing all the other BS that goes on this site now, will allow this little diversion.

About 5-6 weeks ago, I made a kind of a test mule for a pneumatic tennis ball launcher. I was just testing the concept and it was a crude setup of a pipe of the right size an irrigation valve and a small fire extinguisher tank, all in a straight line. With a 100 psi, it launched a ball down the street pretty far and more importantly, with great finess. My plan was to make a double tennis ball launcher.

Well, the best laid plans... The neighbors were down for our little daily happy hour and dog playdate. The wife, husband and daughter all shot it and were thrilled. Later the wife asked if I could make a bespoke piece for her husband as she was at a loss as to what to give him for Christmas. I figured 'what the heck' sure I'd build one. Something simple and quick. That was what? 5-6 weeks ago? I think I have a time card at my friend's shop now. They start at 6 a.m.. I made that starting time exactly zero times. Somewhere around 8 to 10 am is my comfort time.

The design evolved over the first few weeks and kinda jelled into this O/U design. Somewhere along the path, the client changed from tennis ball caliber to small potato and assorted veggie caliber.

These pictures show it "in the white" as it is now. The "client" was shown the fully assembled article for the first time tonight. Originally, I was "contracted" to just make it and she would finish it in a flat dark earth rattle can finish. But when shown it, she was so taken with the machined and fabricated finish that she wanted it to show. So, we're currently undecided on "in the white" or a chromic anodize color.

Enjoy.
[img]https://i.imgur.com/KWZtgUQ.jpg?1[/img]

[img]https://imgur.com/a/2dADVwy[/img]

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Last edited by skeettx; 12/10/20 11:59 PM.

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Too cool, dude. How are the shots going to be regulated as to amount of air release per pull of the "trigger", Chuck? Tank/shot capacity?
JR


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God bless America, long live the Republic.
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No self respecting gunmaker would have built something like that in less than two years Chuck.


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Daddy, I want one!!!

How does the trigger work, Chuck? I assume it's incorporated into that irrigation valve.

Also, what's your rate of twist? I assume you know that a round ball requires very little twist rate to stabilize. wink

SRH


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Nice work- what analysis Stainless steel did you use. Tig welds, right? OK- a tennis ball has the same dia= ball after ball-etc. But small potatoes are not uniform in dia, density, weight, etc. so how do you establish a MBD factor to allow for that?? Just wondering is all. RWTF


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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Chuck H Offline OP
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John, it's a single shot, total tank dump.

Stan, The trigger is a simple air bleed valve that vents the diaphram chamber and allows the valve to open, the same as when the irrigation valve solenoid lifts and vents. The bore is smooth. I'm retiring from my short career as a gunmaker. The hours are long and the money is short. Now seeking a new career that has less hours, more money and more libations.

RWTF, No stainless was harmed in the construction, except possibly the female flare nut and sleeve. The tank was a blue propane torch tank that I removed the base from and soldered in some 1/8" NPT brass bungs and drilled out the neck, the tank fitting is a modified pipe fitting in which I modified by single point threading the 1"-20 thread internally to fit the tank, The Irritrol valve is plastic, the trigger guard is cold rolled mild steel, The AR-15 grip fitting is aluminum machined from a block, the tube assembly is steel, the back of the barrel has an aluminum fitting machined to fit a -12 flare and thread into the bore of the barrel with 32 threads per inch, the barrel is 2" x .065" aluminum, the barrel shroud is 2.5" x .065 aluminum tube, the aluminum picatinny rail is contour machined to fit the shroud, and the barrel to tank clamp is machined from 1/2" aluminum plate.

It took a couple hundred dollars in materials, not counting any scrap and ideas that didn't work. Labor and span time was probably 6 weeks at about 25 hours a week on average. Design work was on the fly mostly and the rest spent over a good cab or beer.

The wife of the recipient originally wanted to do some work to it to put some of her labor into this gift for her husband and thought she'd paint it FDE (dirt color), but after seeing it cleaned up and nearly finished, she thought it should show the metal work. So, she's asking me for counsel here. I'd have all the aluminum anodized in playful toy like colors, but she's still on "tacti-cool" looks. Maybe we'll leave it bare except for painting the steel parts.

Anyway, it was a fun project. But I'm happy to be finished.






Last edited by Chuck H; 12/11/20 10:26 AM.
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Wow! Bobby

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That is way to cool. Adam from myth busters fame doesn't have anything on you for innovation & craftsmanship!

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Probably better have lots of liability insurance if giving those away. A good umbrella policy too. Just in case the unexpected happens..... wink

Last edited by buzz; 12/11/20 12:29 PM.

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