How to Make a T-Shirt Cannon

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Many big events like football games or concerts give away free t-shirts to the crowd, but it can be difficult to toss prizes to the upper decks. Solve that dilemma by creating a t-shirt cannon. All that's needed is a quick trip to the hardware store and the following instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pieces of 2-inch pressure-graded PVC pipe
  • 2-inch PVC valve
  • 2-inch non-threaded PVC end cap
  • Schrader valve
  • Bicycle pump
  • PVC primer and cement
  • Drill and bit
  • Cut 2 pieces of 2-inch PVC pipe to approximately 3 feet in length. Sand the cut edges until smooth. Attach a 2-inch end cap to one end of one piece of pipe. Do not glue this on.

  • Measure down about 1 inch below where the end cap stops. Remove the cap.

  • Attach a drill bit that is about the size of a Schrader valve. Take a Schrader valve off an old bike if one can't be found elsewhere. Drill through the PVC pipe where previously marked.

  • Apply a fair amount of PVC primer to both the inside and outside of the newly-drilled hole. Add PVC cement to the inside of the hole on the PVC.

  • Paint PVC cement on the base of the Schrader valve. Insert it through the PVC pipe hole from the inside going out and hold in place until set; less than a minute should do.

  • Rub PVC primer and cement all around the top of the PVC pipe as well as the end cap and reattach the end cap. Turn the pipe with the end cap on the ground and give some pressure until cement sets.

  • Connect a PVC valve to the other end of the pipe with PVC primer and cement. Affix the second piece of PVC pipe to the other end of the valve with the fixative agents. Allow the project to dry for at least 24 hours.

  • Load the barrel with a tightly-rolled t-shirt. Stick a bicycle pump on the Schrader valve and pump it several times. Fire the t-shirt cannon by opening the PVC valve quickly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pumping to a pressure over 50 psi can be hazardous.
  • Make sure the PVC is pressure-rated pipe for safety; these can explode.
  • Be sure the cement used on the Schrader valve is made to work with both rubber and PVC.

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