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Manbench Industries; Purveyors of general mayhem since 1994, a blog to follow the crazed, possibly deranged projects and emotive musings, of an undergraduate engineer, and an apprentice organ builder who have always felt they were born in the wrong age. Follow us as we, re-write history, learn lost skills, discover strange new worlds, break things, rant at things, mend things, make new things and generally find ways of passing the day instead of doing "proper work" !

Monday, 28 January 2013

Steam Cannon

You know when a project gets a little out of hand...well, if you don't, we do! This is one of them. I first saw the idea for this on the fantastic TV series, Mythbusters, where they tried to prove Hero was able to produce  a steam cannon in the ancient world. In the end, it was shown to probably not be possible with technology available at the time.

However, that didn't stop me from wanting to have a go at modelling it in a small scale. I started off with various bits of copper pipe, and a couple of bits of Mahogany rescued from the fire! I started making a quick action ball valve, but then found the one seen in the photo at a car-boot sale, so used that instead. The columns for the barrel support came from a brass candle holder that was in the brass bits box. I figured square nuts would look best on something of this age, so made all the nuts out of some brass square stock - I think they look rather smart.

Various detailing parts have been made, such as a ram rod and a set of bollards on which to tie the lifting string when in use. The current addition being worked on is an inclinometer which will be used to measure the angle of inclination of the barrel. I quite fancy making up a set of firing tables after experimentation with firing, with the tables giving the required degree of inclination and firing pressure needed to land the projectile on a particular spot. Apologies for the dust - I have little time for cleaning!

The Engineer.

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