Compressed air
       twinkie shooter?


A visitor wrote in asking about a compressed air twinkie shooter.

Here is their question: I was wondering what kind of an actuator i would need to shoot a twinkie out of a eight foot long piece of pvc pipeing?

My response to the compressed air twinkie shooter guy: So - Trenton... you want to make a Twinkie Cannon? Thanks for visiting my website and for writing in about this interesting application for air.

First off, PVC pipe is not meant to be pressurized with compressed air. If the pressure inside the pipe exceeds the burst capacity of the PVC, that's what will happen. The pipe will shatter and people could get hurt.

By sticking a Twinkie in the end of the pipe, you are blocking the air exit, and as you add compressed air, if the air pressure in the pipe gets too high before the Twinkie is dislodged, boom - you have a problem!

Recognize that though the PVC pipe may appear to be built to withstand various levels of air pressure, on a hot day, those pressure ratings and the burst resistance of PVC drops dramatically.

Having said all that, a Twinkie Cannon would be a neat thing. Twinkie in one end and a method of getting air into your pipe in the other.

Why not use copper? It's good for industrial strength air pressure and will work just fine.

You'll need to add a fitting on the trigger end of the pipe to take as large an air line as you can fit. You'll need a source of compressed air. And you will need a large 2/2 air valve to allow enough compressed air inrush into the pipe to get the Twinkie really flying.

Check out the the air valve pages on this site to understand more about the air valve will need.

Why not send us in a picture when you've built it? Good luck, and be safe!

Visitor Comment:

Twinkie Cannon Safety

To make the cannon safer (nothing is completely safe) you can take some heavy-duty metal hardware-cloth (that is the screen for screen doors, (check your local chain hardware store.

If your cannon is 2 inches in diameter, roll the screen into a tube about 4" in diameter and slide your Twinkie cannon into the screen tube. That way, if it explodes, the screen will capture or slow the jagged pieces. You might want to make the screen 2 layers thick. Some explosion testing might be good to make sure that the screen is strong enough, and would be fun too, but you would need the MythBusters safety officer or other explosion expert there to inspect your test.