How To Build A Spudgun

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I'm sure you have already read the disclaimer. If not, then I suggest you read it. Even if you have read it, let me remind you that the information presented here can be harmful if misused. A spudgun can easily kill or seriousely injure someone. Even though it may seem otherwise, airborn vegetables are not a very safe thing. You must be careful where you use this device. Remember that it is entirely possable for a spud to travel 2000 feet. With that said, lets get down to business.


You may want to use PVC pipe. That is fine. Just remember to get the right type of glue and primer. Personnally, I think that PVC is more brittle and weaker then ABS, plus it takes more time to glue. Because of this, I recommend ABS over PVC.


Step 1:
Assemble the Y section.Glue one cleanout adapeter to each branch of the Y. To do this, spread glue on the joints of the adapter and Y, then push the parts together and give them a slight twist. Now, glue the 3 inch to 1 1/2 inch adapter to the remaining branch of the Y. Do not glue the cleanout plugs into the cleanout adapters. You will need to be able to remove them in order to shoot the spudgun.

Assembling the Y

Step 2:
Prepare and attach the barrel.Using a file or bench grinder, sharpen one end of the 1 1/2 inch pipe. This serves to automatically cut the spud to fit the barrel when it is inserted. Now glue the other end into the 3 inch to 1 1/2 inch adapter.

Attaching the barrel

Step 3:
Install spark plug.Drill a hole for the spark plug somewhere in the side of the Y. It doesn't really matter where, just make sure to put it somewhere you will not be zapped while holding the spudgun. You can see the location I perfer in the diagram below. Drill the hole slightly too small so that you can thread the spark plug directly into the plastic pipe. If you wish, you can also bolt the plug on from inside the pipe.

Installing the spark plug

Step 4:
Install the BBQ igniter.Connect a wire to the metal base of the spark plug. You can solder it, or just wrap it around a few times. Obviousely, soldering provides a better connection. This wire becomes the ground wire. Attach another wire to the top terminal of the spark plug. On some plugs, the terminal actually unscrews. If this is the case with yours, then just unscrew the terminal, wrap the wire around the screw and tighten it back down. If your terminal does not unscrew, then you will need to solder the wire on. This wire is your high voltage lead. Attach the ground wire to the BBQ igniter. The wire usually plugs or gets soldered onto a small metal tab on the side of the igniter. Now, attach the high voltage lead. This almost always connects to a small recessed post on the bottom of the igniter. Tape (or glue...) the igniter to a convienent spot on the Y. You will need to be able to easly push this in order to fire the gun.

Installing the BBQ igniter

Step 5:
Watch the glue dry.The glue needs 24 hours to dry completely, so you will have to wait at least that long before you can fire the gun. Do not attempt to shoot the spudgun unless the glue is dry or it could blow up. Trust me, I know from experience.

The completed spudgun

There. You now have your very own spudgun. Now onto the testing.


For the first firing you will use potato as the projectile and either spray deoderant or hair spray as the propellent. Both work, but the deoderant seems to work better.

1. Open one of the cleanout plugs. Shove a good sized potato down the 1 1/2 inch pipe until it reaches the 1 1/2 inch to 3 inch adapter. You will need something to ram the spud down the pipe. I use an old tent pole with a rubber tip on it.

2. Squirt a bit of deoderant into the Y. I usually use three short blasts that total to about 1 second of deoderant flow. Close the cleanout plug quickly.

3. Aim the spudgun away from other people and press the BBQ igniter. If all is well, you should hear the loud bang and feel the recoil.

4. Congratulations. You now have a working spudgun.

If you have any suggestions as to how I can improve these plans, don't hesitate to mail me.

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