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  #1  
Old 03-29-2012, 4:31 PM
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Default Miniature Cannon build

For a school project, I have been building a miniature cannon. I fully intend on making it fully functional. Its not completely done yet but I thought I'd share some pictures of the progress.

The barrel was made from a 12" long 2.5" diameter piece of 4140 steel, it was sent out to another shop that specializes in deep hole drilling to drill the bore which is .50" in diameter and to a depth of roughly 10.25" I intend to mill out the trunnions from the band of metal you see in the middle and if need be drill and tap them for extensions to bring them to the outer edges of the side plates of the carriage.









The carriage is comprised of a mild steel square stock axle, turned down on the ends to accept the wheels which I purchased and are sand cast aluminum. The side plates are also mild steel and the trail is 6061 aluminum. The trail still has a fair amount of machining to be done to it to shape it. Also will need to drill and tap it for the elevation screw. The top straps to hold the cannon in place on the carriage will be made out of brass.



And for a nice little touch, the wheels are kept on the axle via AR-15 firing pin retaining pins. I will update it as progress is made, and should have videos up of the barrel being turned as well.
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Old 03-29-2012, 5:27 PM
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Very cool! My dad's working on one that's a .4 scale model of a napoleon cannon IIRC. I've always wanted to do one like yours though.
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Old 03-29-2012, 5:39 PM
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The "top straps" are really "trunion caps" -- not sure why you left so much metal just behind the trunions, the chase should have a slight taper and the muzzle swell should be gentler... Waiting to see the final result on the trail.

Sorry... I am a cannon nazi
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Old 03-29-2012, 5:52 PM
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Awesome.

Good job.
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Old 03-29-2012, 5:56 PM
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The trunnions are going to be .75" in diameter, and currently that band of metal is roughly .90" the plan was to leave extra material so it give me something to work with when I put it all in the mill so everything can be blended in nice and cleanly.

Proportion wise, its not to a particular scale nor is all the features on the gun to scale with each other, its done the way it was due to the cutting tools at hand and me being super overly cautious regarding safety as I do plan on shooting it, possibly even attempting to send some cast lead balls downrange, see how it holds up to just blank charges with some tin foil as wadding.

I made sure to have over one caliber of material on all sides of the bore from the trunnions rearward. and it should be right at one caliber or slightly under at the thinnest point, need to measure it again. So its 1.97" +- .01" behind the trunnions, so having a .50" bore, thats .735" of material on the walls.

Not sure what the chase is, but the portion of the cannon between the muzzle and the trunnions has a 2 degree taper, don't remember the others off the top my head, all my drawings are at work.
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Old 03-29-2012, 6:22 PM
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You are doing a fine job. That is one heck of a school project!
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Old 03-29-2012, 6:33 PM
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You sir are very talented !
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Old 03-29-2012, 6:34 PM
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You've got some skillz!
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Old 03-29-2012, 7:30 PM
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Thanks gentlemen, I also intend to put a chamfer on the muzzle and ream the first quarter of an inch or so to open it up a few thou to aid in loading and to increase the life span of the cannon.

Total cost so far, not including machine time, tooling, labor or the hardware, mild steel and the Aluminum and brass, $110. most of the cost being the 4140, with the wheels taking up the remainder, and 2 bucks for the pins lol.
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Old 03-30-2012, 5:10 AM
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That looks great! Great pictures also.
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Old 03-30-2012, 7:23 AM
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Awesome !
Some wood would look great on there too.
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Old 03-30-2012, 7:36 AM
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wow thats very nice!!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:41 AM
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Awesome! Cool to see something other than an AK/AR here!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:53 AM
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That's looking really cool. I'd love to do a project like that.

I'll be curious to see how you mill the trunions and blend the cannon around them.
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Old 03-30-2012, 3:04 PM
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In between doing actual work I managed to get some work done on the trail of the carriage. I did a rough layout and then giving myself a healthy padding, I rough cut it out on the band saw.





So all I need to do now is finish the contour on the trail, drill and tap a hole on it for the elevation screw, create the trunnion caps, drill and tap the holes to secure them to the side plates, and do the finish work on the cannon that I mentioned above.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:02 AM
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Very cool!! please keep us updated!
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:26 AM
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I love projects like this!
Do keep us posted on the progress!



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Old 03-31-2012, 1:54 PM
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When you get ready to blank fire, make your charge by rolling double-folded aluminum foil around a rod made a little smaller than the bore, then crimping the bottom so you end up with a cup shaped like a beer can with the top cut off. Put your black powder charge in a plastic Baggie and twist it shut -- keeps powder from scattering and helps keep it dry. Twist the aluminum foil shut.
You going to use fuze, quill or friction primers? Whichever, you will need to ***** a hole in the charge using a priming wire down the vent so the flame can get to the charge.
I'd suggest not shooting it at all...seen too many home-made ones split or burst. At least NEVER use smokeless powder and stick to large-grain black powder.
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Old 03-31-2012, 2:01 PM
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wow this is cool. Very nice job
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Old 03-31-2012, 6:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter32 View Post
When you get ready to blank fire, make your charge by rolling double-folded aluminum foil around a rod made a little smaller than the bore, then crimping the bottom so you end up with a cup shaped like a beer can with the top cut off. Put your black powder charge in a plastic Baggie and twist it shut -- keeps powder from scattering and helps keep it dry. Twist the aluminum foil shut.
You going to use fuze, quill or friction primers? Whichever, you will need to ***** a hole in the charge using a priming wire down the vent so the flame can get to the charge.
I'd suggest not shooting it at all...seen too many home-made ones split or burst. At least NEVER use smokeless powder and stick to large-grain black powder.
Thank you for that bit of info, very ingenious with the tin foil. I intend on using fuze, I was going to buy a long roll of the type that burns at a foot a minute and for the first few shots fired I would use a long fuse and make sure to be behind cover and ensure that if it goes grenade on me that there is no chance of anyone getting hurt.

As to powder I need to pick some up, was going to try and get some f or ff powder and stick to charges of around 30 grains, probably will do a proof charge of 60 grains just to be safe.
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Old 03-31-2012, 9:37 PM
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Old 03-31-2012, 9:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rero360 View Post
Change your G96 to a G97 Set your spindle speed at a happy medium and you won't be waiting on the spindle to wind up to the correct speed before it start cutting. Cut your machine time down 30%

We only used G96 on exotic materials that had to run at a specific surface speed.
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Old 03-31-2012, 9:52 PM
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:31 AM
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So I finally got the program written, with some help from my boss and a few of the other guys in the shop who have more experience. Yesterday I got the cannon loaded into the CNC, a Haas VF2, and started cutting the band down into the trunnions. Due to a misunderstanding between me and my buddy who drew the original solid up in Solidworks, the X origin was off by a bit, which was realized after the second op. Luckily due to the design and the program, I was able to just rotate the cannon 90 degrees and start over again, after fixing the problem and rezeroing the X axis.

I used MasterCAM 6X to write the toolpaths and its coming along well so far, doing one side at a time, with an estimated machining time of 4 hours per side. If I had access to better tools and could make a more rigid set up I could be more aggressive with my feeds and speeds and depths of cuts, but I really don't want to break tools and seeing how we don't have any jobs requiring both VMCs I don't mind taking it slow and conservative.

Here are some pictures of the setup and the progress so far, had to stop about halfway thru the program, ran out of time, should have it done Monday morning.



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Old 04-12-2012, 3:44 PM
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Was able to get on the machine and finish the second half, work has been busy hence the delay:







I had an additional cleanup pass with a 3/32 ball endmill but I decided to skip it as I actually like the look and effect of the 3/8 bull endmill. The band left around the tube is roughly .013" tall, overall I like how it looks, adds character to the whole thing.

I'm expecting to load up the trail into the mill tomorrow and clean up the contours down to final dimensions. I figure while that is going on I can mill a small flat on the top in the rear and drill the hole for the fuse, I'll do that on the manual Lagun.

Baring any unexpected tasks at work come up, I should have the whole thing done by monday at the latest, top straps should be quick and easy to make.
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Old 04-12-2012, 8:17 PM
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Outstanding.
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Old 04-12-2012, 8:24 PM
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Thank you Mrlonewolf, looking forward to seeing you at the zombie shoot, its been far too long since we've hung out.
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Old 04-12-2012, 8:36 PM
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Don't forget to add a prolong to the trail -- the rope they used to "prolong the action" when the horses and limber weren't available. It adds a very nice touch. Of course, now you need to build a limber too!
You mentioned 1f as a possible powder, but I'd suggest you go 3f or so for that size bore. 1f is awfully coarse for a 30 grain charge. We shoot 1f in blanks and cannon grade (even coarser) for live-fire, but we shoot a pound to a pound and a half per charge.
A beautiful job of machine work!
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Old 04-12-2012, 8:36 PM
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Don't forget to add a prolong to the trail -- the rope they used to "prolong the action" when the horses and limber weren't available. It adds a very nice touch. Of course, now you need to build a limber too!
You mentioned 1f as a possible powder, but I'd suggest you go 3f or so for that size bore. 1f is awfully coarse for a 30 grain charge. We shoot 1f in blanks and cannon grade (even coarser) for live-fire, but we shoot a pound to a pound and a half per charge.
A beautiful job of machine work!
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Old 04-18-2012, 6:09 PM
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Another update:

I milled in the small flat on the top and drilled the touch hole, and sent off the cannon to Black Oxide Industries in Anaheim for a black oxide treatment, they were fast and produced excellent results, and when the owner learned this was a school project, he did the work free of charge. They are a great group of people there and if anyone ever needs quality metal treatment, anodizing, plating and other types, consider Black Oxide Ind. as they are a class act.





The trail should be finished tomorrow and the trunnion top straps should be done by friday at the latest.
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Old 04-21-2012, 7:17 PM
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Looks great. Exciting to watch the progress
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Old 04-21-2012, 7:25 PM
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THATS FREAKING AWESOME!!!! I want one!
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Old 04-21-2012, 7:32 PM
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that is very cool...nice job
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Old 04-21-2012, 7:37 PM
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That's incredible! Above all else, be safe with your powder loads. Secondly, keep us updated!
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:44 AM
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The Cannon is complete, I actually ended up staying an hour late at work friday to do the finishing touches, and took the cannon up to the zombie shoot over the weekend and fired it off there. Again, many thanks to IntoForever for assisting me at the shoot with advice and proper sized balls and patches. Here are some pics:



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Old 04-23-2012, 10:46 AM
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darn photobucket isn't resizing them, it said it did but they are still showing up full sized.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:54 AM
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Awesome!
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:21 PM
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That's very cool, and the fact that you made it from basically scratch is amazing.

PM sent.
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Old 04-29-2012, 3:42 PM
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Finally complete, well it was done monday morning but its been a busy week so here is the final picture:



I re-drilled the holes in the trunnion top straps and then counter bored them, and I drilled and tapped the holes in the side plates deeper to accommodate the bolts going deeper down.

I want to thank everyone support and kind words thru-out the progression of this project.
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Old 04-30-2012, 6:57 AM
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Very cool, I wish i had a lathe.
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