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Psst, (mechanical?) Engineers and other crafty, ingenious folk...


Coytee
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Just some commentary....  when I was a kid, we'd roll this out of the basement door (finished basement, this was first thing you saw when you walked in back door)

 

Anyway, we'd roll it out to the back patio, pointing it towards the yard.  Behind the yard was the city/county line, some woods and beyond the woods, farm land.  So other than neighbors to the side, it was pretty desolate behind the house.

 

We'd set it up (primary my father of course) and would stuff an old rag down the muzzle as at the time, he had no cannon balls.  Light it off, big kaboom, we'd wonder where the rag was???  It might be in the yard, it might be up in a tree.....I remember one time it was hanging on the power lines that were behind the house.  I remember being pretty amazed that it "threw" a rag over 100 feet.  Oh, and when you'd see the rag after being shot, it would have little red glowing embers in it from the ignition.  I thought that was pretty cool....  the idea of a grass fire or something, never crossed my mind.

 

Folks divorced, dad moved ouit, took cannon with him.  He kept it in his office at work next to his desk for decades.  Somewhere along that time line, an oak box showed up (to hold the fuse and ostensibly, powder)  He had a little bucket with the 10 balls in it and then several tools to ram/tamp the charge, a bore cleaning thing....  he retired moved all that to the  house.  Years later (several years ago) they moved again, now to Beaufort, SC and his wife must have said enough with the cannon....and it was banished to the deck in the back of the house.

 

Somewhere along that path, someone put a ball down muzzle and now I have this issue, along with an appropriate wife who is saying "over my dead body" (will that cannon ever enter "my" house)  However, she realizes some of the history with it so now, I'm to find an unobtrusive location, easily hidden to MAYBE ask for permission to place it.  She's not too keen on it in the house.

 

Me?  I'd like to have it right by the entrance door.  Keep someone wondering as they walk in, is it loaded while being pointed at me? (them)

 

Of course, I actually want it in basement, in my office.  Near door where I can roll it out to side yard, face it towards farm and exercise it every now & then.  Having the backhoe, I also realize I can easily carry it to a more remote location on the farm and have at it.

 

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Did some youtube pursuing,   not much vids on stuck cannonballs.😃 Found several on balls stuck in black powder  rifles.  

One used a long drill bit he got at Lowes, put it down the barrel and used it break the ball apart.

Another, added some grains of gunpowder behind the ball, ignited it and blasted it out.

The gunpowder idea, sounds Cool.   If you do that, you must set up a camera and record the event, from a safe distance of course.👍   

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So... my best friend and US Civil War historian use to also work with heavy artillery in re-enactments. I will ask him the best way. You really don't want to do something stupid.

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6 minutes ago, Marvel said:

You really don't want to do something stupid.

 

He owns a cannon and his name is Richard (same as me and @richieb) of course he wants to do something stupid. Though I must admit the "cannon worm" is a pretty cool name....but no way to resolve this problem.

 

BTW, this is the best Lounge thread in the past 5 years. I can't wait to see how it winds up. I hope with a bang!

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14 minutes ago, rplace said:

 

He owns a cannon and his name is Richard (same as me and @richieb) of course he wants to do something stupid. Though I must admit the "cannon worm" is a pretty cool name....but no way to resolve this problem.

 

BTW, this is the best Lounge thread in the past 5 years. I can't wait to see how it winds up. I hope with a bang!

Hey, don’t drag me into a contest of stupidity on name association only. While I’ve done one, possibly two stupid things in my life they were on my own accord. You two are on your own — 

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As an official member of the Dumbazz club (just ask my wife  lol), I reached out to the folks that @marvel provided.  I then had a bright lightbulb moment thinking there could be people in that world, much closer to me.

 

The folks in West Tennesse will NOT ship any gunpowder so you have to buy it in person and transport yourself (makes some sense, especially from a liability POV....  HEY GRANDMA....(who perhaps smokes) can you get the box the mailman left at the door?  BOOM goes Grandma.  

 

So I also looked around, called a local gunsmith.  Without seeing the balls, the speculation is they're probably lead verses bronze.  That makes some sense given the color differences.

 

None the less.....looks like I can get the black powder, fuses, primer nearby.  I've never done much on taking phone videos so not sure I'll be able to do that BUT, I'll give things a whirl when I make some progress.

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4 minutes ago, Coytee said:

black powder, fuses, primer nearby

 

Now we are talking. Stuff that goes boom!

 

I actually know a bit about this. For well over 50 years my recently departed dad was BIG into 18th century reenactments (Think Grizzly Adams trading furs in silly buck skin costumes, not civil war clowns in silly costumes). Since I was able to walk I've been throwing a tomahawk, melting lead into musket balls, listening to flint lock how-tos, keeping your powder dry and tracking down the elusive 1840s Green River knives.....but I digress. 

 

I think the cannon will just be a bigger version of the flint lock rifles, I now have gathering dust. Much like your cannon too much family history to not have them around. The gun like the cannon loads a ball from the "business" end. Though you put the black powder and wadding in first. I think good that you don't have any cloth/patch between the ball and barrel sides (less force when shot out). I'm curious how you plan to get the powder in. I'm guessing the cannon is one piece and the back end is fixed. Otherwise you would be opening it and pushing the ball out.

 

With the ball already in, how do you plan to "load" it. Maybe just a small amount in the fuse hole. This, I'm guessing is where you have been trying compressed air.

 

When you say "primer" is that some sort of percussion cap? Newer muzzle loaders use a primer cap that the hammer hits to (hopefully) ignite the powder in the rifles barrel. That is cheating in my dad's world. You had to have a piece of flint that sparked on a piece of steel to ignite a small amount of powder on a pan that acted like a fuse to set off the bigger load in the barrel. I suspect your fuse replaces that flint-lock mechanism. Please elaborate on the "primer". Really curious now...but not enough to actually google anything 😉 

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1 hour ago, PrestonTom said:

Whatever the scenario, I hope Coytee's last words are not "Hey, hold my beer and watch this ..."

 

I can guarantee that will never happen.....  I drink Coke...  :blush2:  

 

 

 

2 hours ago, rplace said:

 

Now we are talking. Stuff that goes boom!

 

I actually know a bit about this. For well over 50 years my recently departed dad was BIG into 18th century reenactments (Think Grizzly Adams trading furs in silly buck skin costumes, not civil war clowns in silly costumes). Since I was able to walk I've been throwing a tomahawk, melting lead into musket balls, listening to flint lock how-tos, keeping your powder dry and tracking down the elusive 1840s Green River knives.....but I digress. 

 

I think the cannon will just be a bigger version of the flint lock rifles, I now have gathering dust. Much like your cannon too much family history to not have them around. The gun like the cannon loads a ball from the "business" end. Though you put the black powder and wadding in first. I think good that you don't have any cloth/patch between the ball and barrel sides (less force when shot out). I'm curious how you plan to get the powder in. I'm guessing the cannon is one piece and the back end is fixed. Otherwise you would be opening it and pushing the ball out.

 

With the ball already in, how do you plan to "load" it. Maybe just a small amount in the fuse hole. This, I'm guessing is where you have been trying compressed air.

 

When you say "primer" is that some sort of percussion cap? Newer muzzle loaders use a primer cap that the hammer hits to (hopefully) ignite the powder in the rifles barrel. That is cheating in my dad's world. You had to have a piece of flint that sparked on a piece of steel to ignite a small amount of powder on a pan that acted like a fuse to set off the bigger load in the barrel. I suspect your fuse replaces that flint-lock mechanism. Please elaborate on the "primer". Really curious now...but not enough to actually google anything 😉 

 

Yeah, this loads from the muzzle, no breach (breech?) What I recall growing up is we put "X" amount of powder in maybe tamped it....followed with the rag that was also tamped.  This would be black powder.  My memory is that we then put a small amount (1/2 teaspoon?) of primer powder down the ignition hole and then stuck a 6" - 10" fuse in and lit it.  I think the flash of the primer powder is what helps to ignite the black powder.

 

As for current situation, I'm not keen on putting powder in there at all (yet!).  You are correct, I've been using compressed air down the ignition hole.  The ball was pretty well sealed so the pressure built up.  When I pulled air away, it all blew out the hole, bringing some chaff with it.  Continued spraying/soaking and finally got the ball to wiggle then move maybe two inches or so...  then got stuck, tamped it back to the free zone, it overshot and went deeper into muzzle and now is stuck again.  This time however, it's not very well sealed so when I put air behind it, the air just goes past it and comes out the front/business end, making my air useless.

 

(just got home)

Went to Home Depot to get stuff to install an outlet.  While in there was noodling around thinking of ideas then one hit me and I reflected on another mentioned (I think)  Again, my FIRST goal is to NOT damage the ball if I can help it.  So, to that end, Idea:

 

#1  Will super glue stick to what might be lead?  Think of a cresent shaped dish that fits around the side of the ball (sort of like a Jewish Yamica (sp?) worn on the head.  HOWEVER, think of the cap like that as a child and the cap had a propeller attached to the top.  Change it now to a hook.  So, glue a "cap" that has a hook on it to the ball.  Let it set.  Use the hook to help pull stuck ball.  Now you can maybe wiggle it, push/pull and work it out over time, IF superglue sticks to lead.  If it works, then get some acetone to dissolve the glue and bam, the ball is back and intact.

 

#2  Then, I walked down the screw isle.  Saw some of the concrete anchor screws AND their requisite drill (Tapcon as I recall).  Noodled around with wondering if you could use the drill bit to create a hole like has been mentioned, then screw a coarse thread like that in to get bite, then again, have a handle to grasp.  I believe this has been mentioned but I didn't stop and realize the length you can get some of these bolts in (size as in length).  Then I realized I have some "log screws" to use in our 12" logs but, no idea what appropriate drill bit to create a hole for them.

 

Then I left to stop by grocery to buy a loaf of bread.

 

Now you know how exciting a day in my life can be.

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More thoughts. 
 

If the ball moves you just need to clean the rust from in front of it while it’s back. Scotch bright, a broom stick, wd40. Rinse repeat. 
 

Super glue? JB weld! and yet again a broom stick. Might be harder to clean off. Neither will work unless ball is clean clean. 

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Everyone should have a cannon problem.

Just don't get into a pissing contest to see who's got bigger/heavier balls, these are 2 1/2" and I understand lead.

 

AND, I've got nine of them free in hand, and one stuck.  I hate stuck balls.

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