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Tennis Ball CANNON from Soup Cans


Guys, today we’re taking
a look at how to build a very simple tennis ball cannon made almost entirely out of soup cans. [Captions by Judy V. at Y Translator]
[Music] We’ll show you how
to construct the CANnon… Get it? Can– It’s not that funny. And then, we’ll try out
a few different types of fuel to see what works best. All we need to get started
is eight or nine cans, a little bit of electrical tape, and of course, a can opener. Here’s the basic idea. Several of these cans lined up
together will create a chamber, where pressure can be
built up when our fuel explodes. A tennis ball suspended
about halfway down the barrel will be launched out the front,
flying up to 100 feet. Of course, you need to get
cans that are the right size. The tennis ball should be
able to fit down in, but not have a lot
of extra space on the sides. More importantly though,
is that a lot of cans nowadays have a modified bottom that’s designed
to make stacking the cans easier. While the modified shape of the bottom
does make it a lot easier to stack the cans, it makes it harder to open
the bottom with a can opener. So, what you’re looking for
is a can that’s the same on the top and the bottom. If you go through cans regularly,
you can just save them up as you use them. [Music] Our last two cans,
let’s cut off the tops, but not the bottoms. With one of these two cans,
we’ll leave the bottom fully attached. With the other one,
we want to do a special cutting job where we leave two connection points, one sort of at the top,
and one at the bottom. Then we’re going to try
and fold that bottom in on itself, so it can act as a support
that still lets a lot of air through. With the last can,
we’ll leave the bottom attached, but let’s drill a small hole into it. [Music] After rinsing and
drying all of our cans, it’s now time to attach them together. The one with the hole in the bottom
is the bottom of our cannon, and the support should go
a little over halfway up the cannon. Now, using some electrical tape, we’re tightly going
to wrap a couple of layers around the seam where two cans meet. [Music] I like to make the folded support
at the top of the fifth can. That way there are four cans
above the tennis ball, and five below. Nine soup cans taped together
is giving us a pretty good barrel, and our tennis ball rests right
at the bottom of the fourth can. Let’s give this bad boy
a little bit of decoration so it doesn’t just look like
a bunch of cans taped together. [Music] Our soup can cannon
is now all constructed. Hello. Let’s see if we can’t fire
tennis ball out of this bad boy. When I first started
researching this project, I was told that the best fuel
to use is Zippo lighter fluid, although I’ve had some problems
getting it to work consistently. So, let’s give it a few tries,
and then if that doesn’t work, well, we might move on to something else. Now, the fuel itself is just
going to burn if we light it on fire. So, the goal is to get it
to spread out inside the cans, and then just start evaporating so, we have fuel fumes
filling the chamber at hopefully just the right ratios
that a flame near the hole at the back will ignite all of it, and will create a lot of pressure
launching our tennis ball out of front. [Music] I’m gonna use my little torch. Any barbecue lighter
or regular lighter, even a match should
work just as well. I’m not going to be pushing
the flame inside the cannon, I’m just going to try
and ignite out the back. [Music] So, the Zippo lighter fluid
maybe can work really well, and I just don’t know the right secret. There’s probably just
the right amount of fuel, just the right way
to spread it around, and just the right amount of time
to wait as it turns into fumes. I think I have an idea for something
that will work a little bit simpler. This is methanol, and I’ve done some
experiments with it before, and discovered that it
is pretty good at igniting almost no matter what the mix ratio is. So, I’m just going to try
putting about a capful of this down into our cannon,
we’ll see how that works. [Music] Well, we got better distance. The ball actually
left the cannon that time, although not very quickly. [Music] That sounded pretty good. [Music] Using the methanol,
we’re getting pretty decent distance. The balls are launching 40 or 50 feet, but I think we can do better. You can see that the balls in
these cans are not a perfect fit. This is the closest size
of cans that I was able to find. If somewhere near you sells a can
that holds the tennis ball even better than that, you’re almost certain
to get a lot more distance. Since we don’t have cans that size, I have two different stop-gap
measures we’re going to take to sort of improvised
shrinking these cans down. First, let’s try just
using a wad of paper towels, and pushing that down into the barrel. That should completely
closed off all of the air supply, and we should get a lot
more pressure in the chamber, throwing the tennis ball out a lot harder. [Music] Ah, yeah. Using paper towels as wadding
clearly works pretty well. The other thing we want to try
is restricting the barrel down to a slightly smaller size. This sheet of craft foam is about a dollar, and when cut to the right size, should provide several
successful high-powered launches. The inside of the cans that I’m using
have an 8 and 1/2 inch radius. So, I’ve cut my sheet
to 8 and 1/2 inches, and now will fit this down
as a tube inside the cannon. You can see that the foam nicely fills
the gaps around the tennis ball, and now it just barely fits in. Let’s add a little bit of fuel, and see how much of
a difference the foam makes. [Music] It makes a difference. It makes a huge difference. Oh my gosh.>>Where did it go?>>It hit the tree about
40 feet up and bounced. Oh my gosh. [Music] Boom! [Music] That is a cannon. The heat seems to have warped
the foam by just a little bit, but I’m pretty sure we can
still get some more shots out of it. [Music] Remember to check your
local laws and ordinances before building and
using something like this. Depending on where you live,
it may not be legal to fire one. And of course, always be sure
you’re doing it in a safe environment, and make sure you’re
not pointing the barrel at anything that could ever break or be injured. Guys, that’s not all. There’s more for you to see. That little box up at the top
will transport you directly to our last video and
you should go check it out. The box at the bottom will
show you what YouTube thinks you should be watching next. And this bomb here in the middle
will subscribe you to the channel, so, you never miss a video. Don’t forget to ring that bell,
and we will see you in the next one. Talk to you then.

David Frank

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100 COMMENTS

  1. justbuckit Posted on July 26, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    slimfast cans are perfect

    Reply
  2. Thomas W. Posted on July 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Aluminum foil tape, that would withstand the heat and enough layers would make the perfect seal.

    Reply
  3. Itzyaboiiijoey Gaming Posted on July 27, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    I’m from hawaii we do this all the time not to launch a tennis ball but for a loud boom during 4th of July and New Years

    Reply
  4. Haytham Alsayed Posted on July 27, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Use evaporated isopropanol

    Reply
  5. {LoneWolfTM} Gaming Posted on July 29, 2018 at 4:02 am

    Im a pilipino and thats the thing we always make when we were about 13 yrs old

    Reply
  6. {LoneWolfTM} Gaming Posted on July 29, 2018 at 4:04 am

    And we use a lighter igniter to ignite the gas

    Reply
  7. Kirk Wilson Posted on July 29, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Years ago we did this with just three cans and rubbing alcohol. Works great, shoots tennis balls with a lot of force.

    Reply
  8. Cory 457 Posted on July 30, 2018 at 4:25 am

    Make a black powder pvc pipe cannon with a fuse

    Reply
  9. PureEnergy Posted on July 31, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    I woulda though that it was gonna be black and yellow

    Reply
  10. Ariel Posted on August 4, 2018 at 3:51 am

    Could this injure a person badly ?

    Reply
  11. bobth 4000 Posted on August 5, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    HE HIT THE TREEEEEEE!!!!!!!
    RIP Tree

    Reply
  12. Vic Townshend Posted on August 5, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Why not use the tubes that the tennis balls came in so it would make a perfect seal

    Reply
  13. Cayden Reginato Posted on August 6, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Try using hair spray

    Reply
  14. Cayden Reginato Posted on August 6, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Can you please make a mini pingpong ball cannon

    Reply
  15. Zhaoxun Yan Posted on August 7, 2018 at 5:09 am

    can you make a gun equivalent without using iron tubes?

    Reply
  16. BBeluga Whale Posted on August 15, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Can you make a giant can cannon that shoots can cannons that shoots cans?

    Reply
  17. Colby Donnelson Posted on August 16, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    I really enjoy watching this new guy Nate. He is making some really entertaining videos. I stopped watching for awhile but have started watching again since Nate has been making the videos. Hopefully he continues to make awesome videos.

    Reply
  18. zackery Cool Posted on August 19, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    1:57 lol toucan meat

    Reply
  19. Bhavesh Gyanchandani Posted on August 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    What happens if we mix alcohol and gun powder and burn it

    Do we get better fuel

    Reply
  20. ANGRYleppercan Posted on August 26, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Can u modify this to have a handle with a trigger to ignite the gas

    Reply
  21. The Crazy Gamer13 Posted on August 26, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Take it a little further an make a stand for it

    Reply
  22. Luke DenBleyker Posted on August 27, 2018 at 1:40 am

    Try setting things on fire with a laser pointer that burns stuff

    Reply
  23. Maddi Angel Posted on August 31, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Does anyone think how funny Nate is lol

    Reply
  24. keith mcleod Posted on September 1, 2018 at 4:20 am

    this is not how its done, you need to cut the can tops and bottoms in half and then arrange them so the hole between them is only 1/4 the circumference, each hole must be offset to the previous one to create a circular flow of air to make a vortex. the vortex will require at least four levels to create more power, the longer the vortex the more power a drop of lighter fluid will create, but 4 cans cut and three cans as a barrel should allow you to get between 250 to 300 ft shots. also this way you don't need a bar to hold the tennis ball, we use to make them from pop can as they are exactly the right size, but the newer cans don't work.

    Reply
  25. Sans_Badtime Posted on September 3, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    5:59 XD yes it does

    Reply
  26. Panda_Snorlax Posted on September 3, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Get it to shoot a go pro

    Reply
  27. Justin Pritchard Posted on September 8, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Please make another video and using more methanol instead!

    Reply
  28. BhUpEn NaIk Posted on September 8, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Son -Mommy where is my ball
    Mom- that guy over there is using it

    Reply
  29. Greg Hicks Posted on September 8, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    am i the only one that thought he should of used ductape instead of spray paint

    Reply
  30. Eric Choi Posted on September 19, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Try shooting sky balls using the tennis ball cannon.

    Reply
  31. Irena Todorova Posted on September 20, 2018 at 1:36 am

    you can do it. get it? 🙂

    Reply
  32. Bsnnfuzbun Squiggleroot Posted on September 22, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Use PVC pipe

    Reply
  33. karenscott3512 Posted on September 27, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    I made a ping pong ball launcher with a wrapping paper tube

    Reply
  34. Tankkiukko 125 Posted on October 4, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Make tank with this

    Reply
  35. Akbearguide 85 Posted on October 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Arosol spray makes great fuel. Have made many PVC potatoes guns. Hair spray usually works best.

    Reply
  36. JPVG- JustinPlaysVideoGames Posted on October 13, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Look ma, the soup CAN CANon is made.let's see if it CAN shoot. Do you think it will, maybe it CAN.
    I CAN make bad jokes.

    Reply
  37. Daniel Cambria Posted on October 15, 2018 at 5:56 am

    I used to make mine different, I believe it helped the air fuel mixture a lot better then your design, and also take masking tape and wrap the ball slightly to make it tighter. If I could post pics of what i'm talking about with the can difference I think you'll agree. I only used light fluid and these things were super loud, super strong, super fun lol. Granted it's been 20+years since I made one but i'm gonna soon to show my kids lol

    Reply
  38. Super Sender Posted on October 16, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Give the tennisball backspin like its done in an airsoftgun the ball will travel a lot more distance

    Reply
  39. Victor Ram Posted on October 17, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    hi king u try to bat the ball

    Reply
  40. Cheeky Nham Posted on October 25, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Much easier and cheaper to use a cheap tennis racket and hit the ball hard.

    Reply
  41. andy k Posted on November 1, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    can you build a mechanism that lights the torch for you

    Reply
  42. Sebastian Mayer Posted on November 3, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    love this building videos i have build the T shirt kanon i stuff my tennis balls into it xD

    Reply
  43. Eduardo Hoy Posted on November 6, 2018 at 3:02 am

    Im using a match,should I light it in the inside or outside of the can?

    Reply
  44. cameron G Posted on November 10, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Do a tennis ball filled to the brim with match heads light the fuse and shoot it through the cannons

    Reply
  45. Jenniferlpirtle2 Posted on November 15, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    hey Nate, you should combine the paper towel and the craft foam too see how far it will go.

    Reply
  46. Damon Cross Posted on November 17, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Can you use a PVC pipe instead of cans?

    Reply
  47. 7 subs with 3 vids realy Posted on November 18, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Put gopro in tennis ball

    Reply
  48. Black Neko Posted on November 20, 2018 at 6:41 am

    In Philippines we call that Boga

    Reply
  49. [XZ] KILLA Posted on November 26, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Mario is the tennis ball and the tube is a sewage pipe like if u get it

    Reply
  50. Ethan Rumti Posted on December 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    you coght a ghost on camera

    Reply
  51. Joel Allgaier Posted on December 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Duct tape!!!!!! Smaller cans/diameter

    Reply
  52. Run-da-cops Posted on December 6, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Africans could have ate that food

    Reply
  53. Iboo Muhammad Posted on December 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Can you make a air tense canyon

    Reply
  54. fish bowl Posted on December 31, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Boga it's name in the Phil.

    Reply
  55. Adrian Manuel Posted on January 8, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Maybe you should put igniter from lighter

    Reply
  56. daniel van essen Posted on January 13, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Try carbid thats Made for that

    Reply
  57. online gamer Posted on January 14, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Its easy we call it in the Philippines boga

    Reply
  58. tgames tgames Posted on January 14, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    where did it go ? ooops

    Reply
  59. Trash2Treasure 2000 Posted on January 20, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Hair spray for fuel

    Reply
  60. MrToTortoise GD Posted on January 20, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I’m late but that really is a “CAN”non

    Reply
  61. Brodie Birr Posted on January 22, 2019 at 5:25 am

    I have that same can opener.

    Reply
  62. Spicy Games Posted on February 15, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    I guess you really souped that one up.

    Reply
  63. Onedread806 Brown Posted on February 26, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Yall read the munitions handbook too much

    Reply
  64. 2thePtBassTuT Posted on March 2, 2019 at 5:02 am

    The addition of gloves makes it appear as a possible criminal activity… :^) I used soda cans as a kid, and duct tape to hold them together. Most of the time we just lit it up — nice big booms on July 4th–didn't even fire a tennis ball.

    Reply
  65. Evezmil Millabane Posted on March 2, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    A we build those every christmas seasons try shaking it before agniting it

    Reply
  66. Aiden Herold Posted on March 6, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    use deodorant as fuel next time

    Reply
  67. Jared Smith Posted on March 7, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Can you use a tennis ball holder? They normally come in a tube of three balls.

    Reply
  68. Robert Mcpherson Posted on March 8, 2019 at 2:01 am

    The cannon pun was realy funny nate just fyi

    Reply
  69. Nash Gaming Posted on March 9, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    It would be cheaper and more effective with a pvc Pipe from the Hardware Store…

    Reply
  70. Tim Oliver Posted on March 28, 2019 at 12:34 am

    use pull tab tin beer cans which is uncommon now days

    Reply
  71. RilBitz Posted on April 20, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Tangina boga yan eh

    Reply
  72. Johnniel Cabaraca Posted on April 20, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    In PHL its called boga

    Reply
  73. shon hopkins Posted on April 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Put a stand on it

    Reply
  74. Do For Love MADCOWVELI Posted on April 25, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    That’s why u use beer cans!!

    Reply
  75. 35/40 Crew Posted on May 2, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Best cans are the 8 oz tomato sauce cans. Made multiple of these growing ☝

    Reply
  76. Jacob Ewy Posted on May 4, 2019 at 4:08 am

    5:55 his reaction is great

    Reply
  77. Robin Hood Posted on May 29, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Am I the only one thinking that this would be great for my dog?

    Reply
  78. joeegucci Posted on June 10, 2019 at 6:57 am

    This is like the dragon missile from Mulan

    Reply
  79. Matt Buck Posted on June 23, 2019 at 3:31 am

    I use to make these when I was a kid. Campbell’s tomato soup cans work the best. They’re a nice snug fit. And you only need 4 cans. Yours was way too long, but still entertaining!

    Reply
  80. Casa Del Amo Posted on June 29, 2019 at 4:50 am

    starter fluid, my favorite is acetaline oxy mix

    Reply
  81. Aye Bee Posted on July 6, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    In the mid 1970's, Coca cola cans were steel. They also were a snug fit for tennis balls. We used naptha or coleman white gas for propellant. Distances of 80 yards was easy. Also a used vehicle driveshaft worked great. Oxy and acetylene, for range over 150 yards. It would knock you down at 20 yards and leave a welt!

    Reply
  82. Jack Rutledge Posted on July 12, 2019 at 2:04 am

    hair spray best it work well with spudgun-esque things

    Reply
  83. Hi kids! Posted on July 20, 2019 at 1:21 am

    what size drill bit did you use?

    Reply
  84. Britain Petersen Posted on July 29, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    rubbing alcohol works way better

    Reply
  85. sised Posted on August 1, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Theres one slight problem,
    I want the projectile to have a lot more velocity and i want it to explode

    No, questions, asked.

    Reply
  86. ghytgb Posted on August 8, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Use Campbell’s Soup Cans

    Reply
  87. frinaldi 412 Posted on August 18, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    I made one of these and manage to clear a house with it

    Reply
  88. Jim Jones Posted on August 25, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    The King of Random
    … R.I.P.

    Reply
  89. Jon Gregory Posted on September 19, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Aquanet hairspray, your welcome.

    Reply
  90. Jackaloopt Posted on September 20, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Campbell soup cans and model airplane fuel always worked great when I built them.

    Reply
  91. Simon Ratilla Posted on September 22, 2019 at 8:02 am

    We make that every Christmas in the Philippines

    Reply
  92. Simon Ratilla Posted on September 22, 2019 at 8:02 am

    We make that every Christmas in the Philippines

    Reply
  93. ITStechy Posted on October 4, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    When we made them years ago, 4 Gatorade 12oz steel cans, metal taped together with the last one punched on the top with many smaller holes. 90% ethyl alcohol launched them sky high!

    Reply
  94. Clyde Disney Posted on October 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    i learned to make a 'polish canon' in collegem We used soda cans.

    Your main problem is that you are not properly airiating the fuel.

    You need to make large pendulum motions. Done right you will hear a whoosh sound.

    How about using the tennis ball cans they come in?

    Reply
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