How To: Make a Vacuum Cannon & High Volume Vacuum Pump

Make a Vacuum Cannon & High Volume Vacuum Pump

The following video demonstrates and explains a classic physics experiment called a vacuum cannon. Typically these cannons are made on a much smaller scale to fire ping pong balls, but I wanted to keep things interesting with this 4" diameter monster.

Since this cannon is so large, I had to come up with a good way to pull a vacuum in the chamber quickly so I wouldn't be waiting all day in-between shots. Most commercially available vacuum pumps are quite slow—and rather expensive. My solution was to build my own, as I demonstrate in the next video.

This pump design is very durable, and should last for many years of hard use.

A clear vacuum chamber such as the one seen in the video can be obtained by purchasing a bell jar and vacuum plate, easily available online.

I highly advise that only vessels made for handling vacuum pressure, such as bell jars, be used with this or any vacuum pump. If a vessel were to fail while under vacuum, the implosion could be powerful enough to cause injury.

Vacuum Pump Parts:

  • 16" of 2" PVC pipe
  • 20" of 1 1/4" PVC pipe
  • 2" end cap
  • 1/4"x1/8" brass hose fitting
  • 3' of 1/4" vacuum line
  • 1 1/4" end cap (x2)
  • 1 1/4" diameter O-ring
  • 2" coupling
  • 2" x 1 1/2" reducer
  • 3" x 2" adapter
  • 3" x 4" closet flange
  • 4" of 3" PVC pipe
  • 10" of 3/4" dowel
  • Self-tapping screws
  • Bearing grease

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Be the First to Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest