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  #1  
Old 06-17-2013
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What do you have for a cannon?

With the 4th almost here it is time to clean the cannon and get ready to wake them up at the yacht club! Ha! Hoping for thick shore fog so they won't know what the hell is going on.

"Downeast" is an interesting place. In very eastern Maine they talk about deer season as the three weeks of the year when the fine goes off, just to give you an idea. At our Perry, Maine farm we celebrated the 4th by firing a "cannon" at the Loyalists across the St. Croix River in St. Andrews, NB. Just to rub it in! We had many friends there who expected the display and welcomed it in the spirit it was intended.

I still have the "cannon" and will be celebrating this year here on Mt. Desert Island. I called the police and asked about my plan. The chief, in a text message, assured me that if no projectile is involved it will be O.K.. They have never witnessed a firing but seemed to feel a little calcium carbide generating acetylene would be harmless enough.

Well! I expect they will change their minds but not until after I manage to set it off two or three times. Fired out over Seal Harbor it will garner wide attention.

Cannons are common sailboat race starting devices. We have all heard them. Usually a 10 gauge blank. Sharp and loud enough to be heard over the water. Anybody have one?

My cannon is a 10 gallon milk can with a press on lid. A quart of water in the bottom, add a small measure of calcium carbide, gently press on the lid and after waiting for the carbide to generate acetylene touch a flame to a 1/4" drilled hole about 6" from the base. BOOOOOM!!!! Tie a long Amsteel lanyard to the lid and paint it a bright color so you can find and retrieve it for the next shot. It has been compared to a couple of sticks of dynamite if you get the acetylene / air mixture timed just right. We bury it in sand at the beach at a 45 degree angle and aim it away from habitations.

The yacht club party will notice! (I am a member. At least for now!)

How many other cannons out there? I would like to mount it on the boat but haven't come up with a safe design for a mount.

My son has advised me to record ALL reactions on video.

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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

CAUTION! The NSA may be monitoring this thread! I hope you don't spend the 4th in the lock-up!
peoples1234 and caneyln like this.
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

I used to have a cannon.
It was bronze, about 2' long, and it had a 1 1/2" bore. Had a really nice wooden carrage with four wheels. We used to shoot potatoes out of it.
I don't have that cannon anymore.
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

Please, take videos, and right before you set it off, be sure to yell "Hey Vern, watch this!"
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

make sure you video it. you may win a prize for being on dummest videos. hope you don't win the darwin award
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by overbored View Post
make sure you video it. you may win a prize for being on dummest videos. hope you don't win the darwin award
I hope not! This isn't an experiment. It is a tried and tested method for making loud noises. Some of the carbide cannons out there are mounted on tandem trailers and produce a spectacular report. A milk can is at the bottom of the ladder. The Sweeds and the Germans have turned it into an engineering art. I haven't seen one mounted on a boat yet. Perhaps the Avon with a spark plug for an igniter?

The press on lid isn't necessary. I will use a piece of plastic tightly secured around the neck of the can.

No awards for this. Just some simple, loud, 4th of July fun.

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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

A BBQ igniter works great.
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

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A BBQ igniter works great.
I will need a remote switch. A wire to the dinghy.

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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

Wimp. Haha
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: What do you have for a cannon?

Long time ago, me and a couple of other boys launched a 55 gallon drum 300 feet in the air using calcium carbide and water method. Lost hearing for several hours.
For a boat cannon I use my 26.5 mm flare pistol and re-loadable blanks.
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