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Old 05-23-2008, 10:55 AM   #21
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ok, so how many of us shot arrows straight up into the air for fun? (arrow pretty much can't be seen if you are looking at it heading right at you or away from you, so the trick, as i understand it, is to spot the arrow as it reaches it's apex and turns over - that tells one the direction it moves off of a point above one and indicates the direction to move away from. i understand.) The fun part is being calm enough to wait for that turning arrow moment....
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:43 AM   #22
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Yep, done that...
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:54 AM   #23
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Ah, a fellow potato-canoneer! My BiL, a very dangerous man who wants to own a "real" cannon someday, got my kids interested in this. After the first shot I was a more than willing participant.
I have a real cannon. It's black powder powered and shoots 6 oz juice cans filled with concrete through car doors. Yup, both sides of the car. It's a lot of fun and I am not dangerous. All entirely legal.

Mike D. (who got older but did not grow up)
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:58 PM   #24
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Those were the ones that also said "Bring your wife but not your girlfriend."
We had one guy who brought the GF and the wife showed up. Now, THAT was an interesting party!

Good thing nobody had any guns!
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Bigger gun=more fun
Old 05-23-2008, 03:10 PM   #25
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Bigger gun=more fun

I built a bowling ball mortar a few years ago. Welded from heavy wall steel pipe, it uses 4 ounces of blackpowder to launch a 16-lb bowling ball -(mostly) straight up and WAY out of sight.. the ball stays airborne for ~20-21 seconds (maybe one of you physicists out there can figure the elevation)

A lot of fun, especially when the wind at altitude is different than the wind at ground level... Usually a 2-3 degree incline is enough to get them to land 100 yards away.

The best part is that you get to learn a lot about the people around you in 21 seconds... some of them just watch launch-landing with a big grin on their face , others panic, and run around like they have one foot nailed to the floor. I actually saw a very successful type-A hard -charger- control- freak- type bawling like a 4-year old... I told him to shut up and sit on the mortar- it was the least likely place for it to land... You find out in a hurry who you would want beside you in a cape buffalo charge or natural disaster......

Cheap, too- less than $3.00/shot; usually the bowling balls are free or around a buck at a garage sale; the old black ones work best (find them with the right names on them and launch your boss into space!) A lot of people give them to you just to see them go up, up and away.. At that price it is cheaper than a lot of the new CF rifle cartridges. And definitely more fun with the right group of like-minded friends.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:34 PM   #26
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I built a bowling ball mortar a few years ago. Welded from heavy wall steel pipe, it uses 4 ounces of blackpowder to launch a 16-lb bowling ball -(mostly) straight up and WAY out of sight.. the ball stays airborne for ~20-21 seconds (maybe one of you physicists out there can figure the elevation)

A lot of fun, especially when the wind at altitude is different than the wind at ground level... Usually a 2-3 degree incline is enough to get them to land 100 yards away.

The best part is that you get to learn a lot about the people around you in 21 seconds... some of them just watch launch-landing with a big grin on their face , others panic, and run around like they have one foot nailed to the floor. I actually saw a very successful type-A hard -charger- control- freak- type bawling like a 4-year old... I told him to shut up and sit on the mortar- it was the least likely place for it to land... You find out in a hurry who you would want beside you in a cape buffalo charge or natural disaster......

Cheap, too- less than $3.00/shot; usually the bowling balls are free or around a buck at a garage sale; the old black ones work best (find them with the right names on them and launch your boss into space!) A lot of people give them to you just to see them go up, up and away.. At that price it is cheaper than a lot of the new CF rifle cartridges. And definitely more fun with the right group of like-minded friends.

Like the way you think! been saving this link for a few years....
Bowling Ball Mortar Page: Docsmachine.com
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more fun with balls...
Old 05-23-2008, 04:10 PM   #27
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more fun with balls...

I forgot to mention that:

1. The holes in the bowling ball make it howl like a lovesick hound dog all the way to the ground...

2. The balls bury themselves about 18"-24" deep in the ground- if you can find them (and they haven't hit a rock..) you can dig them up, wipe them them off and re-use them...

3. I tried using an 8-lb kids bowling ball one time- not the usual hard black rubber kind, it had some sort of a weird foam core..- it deformed so badly on detonation that it came out of the mortar on about a 20-degree tangent, flew in flew in wildly erratic arcs, only went up a few hundred feet, and landed behind us....and a few feet from our cars, which we thought we had parked out of the way.
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:16 PM   #28
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3. I tried using an 8-lb kids bowling ball one time- not the usual hard black rubber kind, it had some sort of a weird foam core..- it deformed so badly on detonation that it came out of the mortar on about a 20-degree tangent, flew in flew in wildly erratic arcs, only went up a few hundred feet, and landed behind us....and a few feet from our cars, which we thought we had parked out of the way.
Wouldn't that have made them laugh down at the insurance company's claims office!
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:34 PM   #29
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...and I am not dangerous.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:01 PM   #30
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You know I never even needed the few beers - let's see I was 63 last year - only about $300 worth of fireworks - had to drive a ways to a legal store.

Sort of like when I had to drive from New Orleans to ST Tammany Parish in the old days.

heh heh heh - a few home made rockets and cannon over the years. It's a guy thing - I think .
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:39 PM   #31
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so how many of us shot arrows straight up into the air for fun?
Yes. I have a clear memory of it going so high you could barely see it. My friend told me that it never came down to the original spot. I believed him, but ran for the trees anyway.

This is a scary thread!
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:25 PM   #32
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I knew a fire fighter who decided to eradicate the fire ants living under the concrete path to his front door by using gasoline. Lots of gasoline. Which he proceeded to ignite with a match, while standing on top of the path.
I tried the same ant eradication method when I was 13 years old. I set the house siding on fire and then put it out with the garden hose.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:42 PM   #33
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We are big fans of the potato cannon--hardly a party goes by without the cannon getting brought out!
I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

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We have a friend with a real cannon (shoots #10 blanks) and it is ridiculously loud!
I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

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I have a real cannon. It's black powder powered and shoots 6 oz juice cans filled with concrete through car doors. Yup, both sides of the car.
I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

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I built a bowling ball mortar a few years ago.
I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:56 PM   #34
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Remember lawn darts? I am lucky to have survived the Darwinism of a summer night at a friends house when I was 11 years old. The next year one of his sisters had one go right through her foot - they were heavy and easy to throw high into the air - this kid had a windmill throw - round and round faster and faster - you never knew when he would let go - it seems like fun at that age.....
No beer involved with this on
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:25 PM   #35
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Worked in a collision shop when I was young. We'd make the acetylene bombs in Dixie cups behind an unbeknownest worker who was working on a car. Would scare the sh** out of you when you didn't know it was coming.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:14 PM   #36
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I did the acetylene and oxygen trick in a garbage bag when I was a whelp. Set it off using an Brillo pad, two nails and an extension cord. Shook the houses and businesses for blocks. Lucky to be alive, since I carried it to the explosion position - oblivious of static electricity
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:00 PM   #37
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I former friend of mine thought it would be "fun" to throw a box of .22 bullets into a campfire. You never saw people scatter so fast. No one was seriously hurt (except the perp' who was beaten about the head and ears by the mob). I took a shell casing in the hand and another guy caught the lead end of one in his leg.

Also, we used to have fire cracker fights. A few guys have lighted cigars and a pocket-full of firecrackers. You light them while one the run with the cigar and throw them while ducking the "incoming" ones from the other guys. The trick it to stop laughing long enough to remember to throw the one you lit a few seconds ago. And yes, the burns do heal in a few days. And all this was without benefit of alcohol or other chemical aids...just male hormones and stupidity.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:04 PM   #38
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Its all fun and games till someone loses an eye!
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:20 AM   #39
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Oddly, many girls don't seem to get into explosives during our teen years.

As I recall, we get sidetracked in front of a mirror, trying various hair gel and eyeliner experiments.
Never bothered with the eyeliner, but I did set the chemistry lab on fire......

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Old 05-25-2008, 02:33 PM   #40
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Never bothered with the eyeliner, but I did set the chemistry lab on fire......

Oh YOU were the one!!

Thirty-five years ago one of my chemistry students lit the gas connector for her Bunsen burner afire, evacuating the lab and scaring me half to death in the process. After that, they LISTENED to my safety briefings...
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