Noobie Cannon Builder, Need Some Help!

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Drame22

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Hello all,



So what material am I looking for, when selecting a cannon barrel? Obviously steel, but is there any specific range of steels that are best for cannon?

This is a budget, have-fun-in-the-woods piece, not a full blown replica, so it will be simple steel pipe, welded shut at one end. That's the basic idea at least.



Any other advice on making cheap cannons look/shoot better?

Any ideas on easy carriages? I was thinking of making a sled or sledge, like you'd see in riverboats traveling into hostile territory in the 1800's.
 

Treestalker

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Please read a good book on cannoneering before trying to obtain a cannon. "The More Complete Cannoneer' by Matt Switlik is a good start. South Bend Replica's Catalog is a great resource. A smaller 1" bore cannon or swivel gun can be easier to transport and make a tremendous racket with a blank load. Please be careful,an accident with a cannon can be disastrous, involving innocent bystanders as well as yourself. Please do not shoot projectile loads until you have been trained. Round Shot and Rammers by Harold Peterson will give you some carriage ideas. Solid stock 1018 mild steel is used by some machinists to turn replica barrels. Please do not use pipe of any kind. Good luck and enjoy your new hobby, Treestalker. :hatsoff:
 

Drame22

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Anywhere I can get the information for free? I don't believe in paying for information that is openly available to the public.


Why not use a pipe? Solid steel piping, threaded on one end, .5" walls or greater, with no larger than a 1.5" diameter caliber, attached to a thick screw cap which has been welded shut. Finally add a small touchhole.

According to my calculations, the PSI from a gunpowder discharge is woefully underpowered to blow the pipe up. Of course this is assuming new pipe, not rusty or anything.


But my cannon now is just a pipe a machinist welded shut in 2005, and it's functioned fine for years. It's not as if cannons are terribly complex. So long as there's no blockage in the barrel, you're basically good to go.


And just to allay your fears, I HAVE been trained. 3 years as a Civil war re-enactor in the artillery section. I know how to handle a cannon; this thread was about building the cannon. I have no experience welding and very little experience with carpentry. Any advice in those two fields is appreciated.


How does one accentuate the grain in wood without changing the wood's actual overall color? So basically, I want to make the grain darker, but keep the wood(non-grain) the same(or close to). :eek:ff
 

coloradoclyde

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According to my calculations, the PSI from a gunpowder discharge is woefully underpowered to blow the pipe up.
I'd love to see those "calculations"


And just to allay your fears, I HAVE been trained. 3 years as a Civil war re-enactor in the artillery section. I know how to handle a cannon;
What I fear is your blatant lack of knowledge.


I don't believe in paying for information that is openly available to the public.
Some things are worth paying for, and some things are worth what you paid for them.
 

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Drame22 said:
This is a budget, have-fun-in-the-woods piece, not a full blown replica, so it will be simple steel pipe, welded shut at one end.
Did you read the intro to this category? It's not about "traditional pipes". :haha:

Discussions about Traditional muzzleloading cannons. No breech-loaders, pipes with end caps, PVC, or "potato guns". Historic cannon design only.
 

coloradoclyde

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So far, Drame22 has started 2 topics, responded twice and broken at least 3 rules..... :shocked2:

I wonder how thin the ice is..... :hmm:
 

Drame22

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You know what, I'm just going to ask my civil war group about this. The people on this forum, aside from a select few exceptions, have been nothing but unhelpful and rude.

I came on here to get information, not to be insulted. And as much as you fear my obvious lack of knowledge(despite, you know, YEARS of working with cannon; and despite the fact that cannons are one of the most basic firearms in existence, consisting of a literal pipe with one end sealed), I fear your utter disrespect is worse.

Oh, and Colorado? Let me just allay any doubts, since this seems to be a topic of interest; I don't follow rules that are clearly arbitrary. For the same reason I wouldn't follow Florida's state law; that you cannot eat peanuts while walking backwards in front of a theater, I won't follow a rule here that says you cannot use the phrase "stitch nazi". Or a rule saying you cannot talk about making powder.

We're on a black powder forum. People are going to talk about black powder. That's like creating a painter's forum, but stating "no one is allowed to talk about creating paint!" :youcrazy:

If you're making rules like that, why did you even bother to create a forum?

Furthermore, I don't really care about a forum's rules in the first place. I'm not going to break the rules deliberately, as I am essentially a guest here, but I'm also not going to limit myself because someone decided that their forum needed silly rules. One forum I was a part of demanded that no one was allowed to use the caps key. Why? No reason given. Just some admin deciding that "them's the rules!".

So you can call me a rule-breaker all you like. If the rule is illogical, I won't follow it. Show me the logic behind it, and I'll reconsider my position.

For the record, though this is a very basic cannon, I wouldn't call it a "pipe with an end cap"; the finished product is going to be a bit more complex than that. I plan to add a flintlock naval ignition system, an oak sled, graduated sights, bevel off the rough weld lines.... this is not a potato gun. Which is why I thought, though it's not exactly historic, it belonged in cannons. And no, I didn't read the sub-sections. I just read "Cannons" and logically assumed, 'well, this question is about a cannon'. I'd ask how one moves a thread, but I have a gut feeling one of you is about 5 seconds away from finding an admin.

Admin admin! He's questioning our arbitrary rules! Punish him by banning him!

That's how reasonable adults behave, isn't it?

For your information colorado, I'm majoring in mathematics; currently a Junior at Oregon State. I know how to calculate basic gunpowder explosions; I'm trying to not be insulted by your doubt of that. It's simple math. That information isn't even hard to find; Wikipedia has literally every number and equation you need to solve it. Google might be able to solve it FOR YOU.

Solve it yourself if you're so eager to see the results. Or you can trust that I know what I'm doing. The only reason I'm here is because I'm not experienced in steel itself, and welding. Everything else, I have at least 1 year's experience with.

I'm getting quite tired of the attitude here; that I'm some sort of moron who's planning on blowing his hand off with a pipe bomb, and that everyone else here is an absolute savant when it comes to black powder.

I came here to ask about steel. I know my powders. I know how to make them, I know how to store them, and I know how to use them. So, if you actually want to help, let's press forward under the assumption that I'm not mentally challenged, that I have two functioning hands connected to a functioning brain, and that I am in fact capable of basic mathematics, shall we?

Oh, and just a little update. While I was typing this, I found an engineering forum and posted the same original post, word-for-word. Curious what they said?

They ANSWERED THE QUESTION. CONCISELY.

So just to be clear, a forum about mechanical engineering was not only kinder than my own hobbymates in Black Powder, but also answered the question faster, than a forum ABOUT black powder.

Maybe it's because they didn't have over 50 rules?

Or maybe it's because they're actual human beings, who don't think they're better than everyone else.

This was quite an experience. I await my ban with trepidation.
 

Claude Mathis

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Drame22 said:
Let me just allay any doubts, since this seems to be a topic of interest; I don't follow rules that are clearly arbitrary. ... I won't follow a rule here that says you cannot use the phrase "stitch nazi". Or a rule saying you cannot talk about making powder.
And, that's why you are no longer here.
 

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Drame22 said:
We're on a black powder forum. People are going to talk about black powder. That's like creating a painter's forum, but stating "no one is allowed to talk about creating paint!" :youcrazy:
Don't you get tired of being wrong? Actually you're on a MUZZLELOADING forum, NOT a black powder forum.

Notice the words "black" and powder" are not there... :rotf:

 

colmoultrie

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Let's hope he makes it to his senior year - for the sake of those people around him. And people wonder why the number of math majors is dwindling!

Best case - in a few years his enthusiasm is tempered by some wisdom; he learns more about cannon, and about the optimistic assumptions that often go into people's calculations; and he learns to differentiate between rudeness and concern for his well-being and that of those around him.

Worst case - we'll read about it or see it on the news.
 

Mort Scott

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good move claud i wanted to respond but decided to refrain. some people just wont listen no matter what. i would like to say move slow and with caution. i built my first cannon with a lot of information i read here but caution every step.
 

hawkeye2

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"Let's hope he makes it to his senior year." According to Drame22's profile "he" is female. Regardless of gender the person sounds like a very entitled individual.
 

Zonie

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I notice Drame22 said she got the answer from a an engineering forum somewhere.

Hopefully the person(s) answering the question was kind enough to mention that there is no "pipe" 1 1/2 bore that has a 1/2 inch wall.
Schedule 40 which is common pipe in the 1 1/2" diameter (inside) has a 0.145" wall. Schedule 80 has a 0.200" wall. Schedule 160 has a .281 wall and XX Strong pipe has a .400" wall.
"XX Strong" is also about impossible to find.

Pipe is rolled and butt welded so it has a weld seam extending its full length.
Weld seams are notorious for being weak.

Hopefully, her engineering forum also mentioned that pipe is meant to be used in situations where the pressure rise is relatively slow and gentle.

I'm sure they mentioned that in cases where the pressure rise is due to an explosion, a pressure factor of 4 (or greater) must be used.
That would raise the 4,000 psi pressure she might believe to exist to 16,000 psi to deal with the sudden impulse of explosive of gunpowder firing.

I'm sure they also pointed out that because pipe is expected to be used in a rather gentle environment (pressure wise), the lowest strength carbon steels are used to fabricate it.

I won't even address the idea of welding a breech plug into a pipe as IMO, few things could be a worse idea.
At least with a screwed on plug or cap, the stress of firing is spread over a wide area.
Welds concentrate the stress to the relative small area of the weld greatly raising the level of strain.

All in all, it's a pretty bad idea but with youngsters who still know everything, telling them the facts often will be seen as being rude.

Perhaps in a few years our answers will be seen for what they are.

Guidance intended to keep Drame22 from killing herself and others around her.
 

satx78247

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There is a considerable amount of "relatively small ID" pipe (up to about 2.5") used in "the oil patch" that is FAR stronger than any ordinary black powder load can ever generate & NO it doesn't all have "butt welds" (The expensive stuff is spiral-welded, both inside & out & individual "sticks" are tested using X-ray & by even more advanced methods.), whether the butt-welds (in ordinary tubing/pipe) are properly tested or not.

My "planned" PUNT-GUN (that will be built once I'm retired to a Latin American nation, where waterfowl hunting with ML punt-guns is lawful) will be made out of an 8-foot length of 60mm ID drill-pipe, with 18mm wall thickness.
(Otoh, I think that using ordinary pipe for such purposes is "suicidal", though I must admit that "high-pressure" steam pipe was successfully used for about a half-century by market hunters for punt-gun barrels in bores up to an ID of about 5 inches.)
Note: At least one of the punt-guns in the collection of The Smithsonian Institution was reportedly routinely loaded with, "2 cups of powder & 4 pounds of shot" & both gun & gunner survived, after routine daily use for 3 decades. - The "WALKER" punt-gun (Punt-guns were "named" for the family that first owned the "big guns".), according to the plaque that is in the display, says that that ONE gun, " ------ accounted for at least 300,000 ducks & geese in the years before market hunting was outlawed".

Note to friends, who've followed my "project": I've finally found a great set of circa 1870 two-man, GUNNING-PUNT plans, to build the punt from & have also located a suitable percussion lock & other small parts for the gun.
(The punt will be strip-built over hardwood frames on 16" centers.)

yours, satx
 

robinghewitt

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Before the advent of smokeless nitro the English proof test pressure that was stamped on your barrel was 3 tons per square inch.

That is the good old English ton, 14 pounds to the stone, 8 stones to the hundredweight, 20 hundredweights to the ton. So 3 tons per square inch is 6720 psi.

Let's cut an imaginary 1" off this barrel. 1.5 square inches gives us 10080 lbs which is 5040 lbs per side.

Could a 1" x 1/2" iron bar take 5040 lbs tension without plastic deformation? Easy peasy.

This girl might have flunked charm school but her maths is good :grin:
 

Treestalker

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Part of Drame 22's precocious attitude my be the result of having participated in a male dominated activity, Reenacting ML artillery. When I and my wife and daughter were crew members of the 1st Ark Lt. Artillery, women were encouraged to join our crews. They did have to dress the (male) part and most assumed a male name. One named "Tom" was a sergeant and highly skilled in procedure and safety, and trained many men. After our company joined a Brigade, we were invited to a reenactment at Corinth, Mississippi. We had put together and trained an all woman crew, commanded by this same sergeant and trained to the confidence of our Captain. We were told by the event organizers that no women would be allowed to serve on gun crews. Our Captain vouched personally for our lady crew, but was refused. Our Captain told them either the ladies went or none of us would go. No dice, so the event lost 6 6pdrs, several mountain howitzers and a Dahlgren boat howitzer. To their credit, the brigade officers corps backed up our company position and the event lost an estimated 450 reenactors in all fields from 4 states! The mind numbing prejudice exhibited by this events organizers was only matched by the gallantry of the 1st Ark. Lt. Artillery and the Louisiana Brigade. However, it must be understood that the ladies involved were strictly obedient to our safety officers and the gun commanders without question. Hopefully Drame will continue to serve in an artillery unit with knowledgeable leadership and learn military discipline, however real or imaginary her obstacles may be, and keep an open mind despite her education, privilege and stature. Treestalker.
 

coloradoclyde

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hawkeye2 said:
"Let's hope he makes it to his senior year." According to Drame22's profile "he" is female. Regardless of gender the person sounds like a very entitled individual.
If he were a female, he would not reference himself as "He" and "him" in the third person.
Admin admin! He's questioning our arbitrary rules! Punish him by banning him!
 

Claude Mathis

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colorado clyde said:
hawkeye2 said:
"Let's hope he makes it to his senior year." According to Drame22's profile "he" is female. Regardless of gender the person sounds like a very entitled individual.
If he were a female, he would not reference himself as "He" and "him" in the third person.
[/quote]
On other forums and gun sites he gives his name as Thomas. (I won't post last name).

Why he registered here as female is anyone's guess. Maybe trying to get in touch with his softer side? :grin:
 

satx78247

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Perhaps "Thomas" posted on other websites as a "pose" & is actually a female. = I just don't know.
"Adopted personas" are commonplace all over "the worldwideweird".
(For example, my beloved "Duckie" is a member of at least 2 internet forums, where I doubt that any other member knows what gender that she is. = To my knowledge, she just never "said" that she's a 68YY lady.)

In any case, if some few of our members had been MORE POLITE & actually HELPFUL, rather than judgmental & hateful, "whomever it was" might have been "less confrontational" & stayed around long enough to learn something of value.
(Most all of us "oldsters" were once "wet behind the ears kids" and thought that we knew everything, too.)

just my OPINION, satx
 

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