Building a Cannon

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artkodiak

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Hello the camp! This is a new venture for me so any input is welcome ... This is part of an old piston rod. The oil journal is about 1.5". It's a straight exterior profile roughly 4-1/8" flaring to about 7-1/4" where the end around the crank was cut off. I got it from a muzzleloader gal that built two pieces out of these. Interested in any type of external profile patterns, ideas for adding trunnions, turning a breech plug, etc.
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Treestalker

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Is it cast or forged steel? Factory solid? If it is mild steel, or chrome-moly (molybdenum) it could make a good barrel. If it is solid on one end to the depth of ,say, 1/2 the barrel diameter, great. Otherwise it must threaded and be breeched with a good deep plug. I hope it works out for you, it is a good size for a personal cannon.
 

artkodiak

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Unknown material. I would assume that it was cast and then turned. The hole runs full length. It carried lubricant/oil from one end to the other. It has marks that would indicate turning. It was a a piston rod out of a power generator for Tok, Alaska. I would like to get ahold of the gal that gave it to me because she built two functional cannons out of these.
I was thinking on turning in threads and using a long hardened bolt as breech plug.
I would like to pattern it after a naval piece. Not too sure how thick the barrel walls should be ... 🤔
 

Zonie

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If it was a moving piston rod, it would be made out of wrought steel.
Castings generally do not have the strength for an application like that because of their random grain pattern of cast material.

(Think of a rod shaped piece of wood made from tens of thousands of small pieces with the grain of the wood fibers of each piece going in all directions and rarely lining up with each other. That is what cast material looks like. Because the grain of the wood is misaligned, it is weak and subject to failure if a heavy load is applied to it.)
A rod shaped bar made of a solid piece of wood on the other hand is also made from thousands of small pieces but the strength direction of each grain is lined up in one direction making the bar far stronger.)

I don't know a source for the thickness of a cannon wall but from what I've seen, the wall is as thick or thicker than the bore diameter.
 

Treestalker

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I'd build a swivel gun out of it, leave it pretty much that thickness, and mount it on a post in the yard. It could be made to be removeable with a yoke and pin. It could be a lot of fun. Get a South Bend Replicas catalog, around 12/15 dollars tons of pictures you'll love it.
 

nightwolf1974

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I'd build a swivel gun out of it, leave it pretty much that thickness, and mount it on a post in the yard. It could be made to be removeable with a yoke and pin. It could be a lot of fun. Get a South Bend Replicas catalog, around 12/15 dollars tons of pictures you'll love it.
YES!! That would make an excellent Swivel Gun!!
 

zimmerstutzen

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Make sure you have a bore thickness of metal in every direction at the breech. That includes what ever breech plug is installed. No welded breech. Good solid threads to hold tight.
 

Davey Boy

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All of the cannons I remember always had the trunnions centered on the barrel. The drawing shows them low of center. Interesting and probably makes a stronger barrel.
 

Zonie

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By having the trunnions below center the cannon will force the breech of the barrel downward into the carrage or the adjustable support that controls the elevation when it fires.
 

Commodore Swab

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It's how they built cannons for centuries so if you want an earlier cannon it's "correct" to put the trunniuns below center an typically equal in diameter to the bore.
 
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