Instructables and HowToons for a couple of months and kept thinking "that'd b" /> Instructables and HowToons for a couple of months and kept thinking "that'd b" />

Marshmallow Shooters Feb2006

I've seen marshmallow shooter's on sites like Instructables and HowToons for a couple of months and kept thinking "that'd be a cool idea."

It IS!

I made a trip to the local big box hardware store and bought some 1/2 inch pvc pipe (I think it's 1/2" but I'll have to double check this), t-joints, 90 degree elbows, and some couplers. I would have to say the best investment I made was a set of pvc cutters for about $10. I've cut pvc pipe before with a hacksaw and this really did make the whole process much much enjoyable.

The next step in the process is to sketch out what shape you want to build and assemble all the bits and pieces together.

For me, I had an idea for a simple little gun. I cut the pvc pipe to the appropriate sizes and laid them out on the table to make them sure everything was right. The little piece coming off the rear of the grip is just to give the gun a little flair. Keep in mind, the air flow needs to go from the blow-hole through the end of the barrel. If there is any other way for the air to flow, the marshmallow will not fly. I know this from experience and just experimenting with different designs.

I had all the pieces cut to the right length and all the elbows and t-connectors ready. I assembled the gun, using only the friction of the pipe fittings to keep it together. After it was put together, I took some blue painter's tape and spruced it up a bit. I also took a piece of duct tape and added it to the handle for a better grip. This was the finished product.

Here's another shooter that I made. Notice the bottom of the grip provides an extra hand hold. It's ready for battle sitting next to some ammo. The kids refer to this one as the sniper or the bazooka, depending on who you ask. ;)

As for testing our small armory, we've yet to have the full out war. Perhaps next weekend, I'll be able to post some action pics. For now, I can say that by dropping a marshmallow into the mouthpiece and then blowing through it, the range is about 35 feet and pretty accurate to about 25 feet.

Of note, I made 3 guns and glued the pieces together. After they dried, I could still smell the fumes from the glue so I decided to throw them away. I don't want little kids huffing and puffing on some toxic glue and getting sick. Squeezing the pipes together into the joints seems to hold together pretty well and if you need to remove the barrel to clean them, it's easy.

These thoughts are my own, unless they're yours. And if they're yours, we may have metaphysical problems beyond simple concept ownership and should probably talk soon.
[login]