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Thread: Collaborative cannon project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Toms River, New Jersey
    Posts
    2,090

    Default Collaborative cannon project

    I recently found myself in the position being the part owner of a cannon ( don't ask... )There were a few "issues" to be dealt with however.
    The cannon was in Key West, I was in New Jersey.
    The cannon had no carriage to sit on.
    I had never owned either a cannon OR carriage for one...
    I currently don't have a shop together.
    SO I did some research on cannons, came up with an idea (and an .eps file for one that could be cut on a Shopbot )and then called on the expertise of fellow Shopbotter Gary Campbell down in Tavernier,FL for some help.
    After going through some of the options of possible materials for such a project, Gary talked me into using one of my least favorite
    options- Extira.....While I have ranted against it here many times on the Forum his logic was hard to dispute. We would be able to get all of the needed pieces out of one sheet of 1.25"thick stock, he had some on hand, and he was willing to do the cutting for me...
    So I e-mailed Gary the .eps file, my cannon partner and I drove the tube for "Lil Thunder" up from Key West to Gary's shop in Tavernier, and we proceeded to cut what may be the first set of cannon wheels ever done on a CNC machine...
    The results were nothing short of spectacular. Once we had the parts cut out we did a "dry fit" of the components at Gary's shop, and then we drove "Li'l Thunder" back down to Key West.
    Turns out that my partner also did not have a shop as he lives on a houseboat in the municipal marina. He didn't have any tools either,so I got to know the local hardware stores very well...
    We started with three coats of MAS epoxy (first coat diluted 50/50 with lacquer thinner for penetration), and we had to use the "slow" catalyst even though the weather was somewhat less than tropical during my stay.
    Once we got the wheels sealed we asked around town for leads on who might be able to "blacksmith" some steel rims for the carriage as we knew the Extira would never be able to handle the kind of rolling we have in mind for it. One lead took us to the local welding shop, and when I walked in with the wheel the owner asked what it was for. I said "a cannon carriage"and his eyes lit up. Turns out that he is the current owner of over 100 cannons (at his home no less) and he was a major factor in the discovery, and recovery of the "Atocha" off of Key West a few years back. SO he personally took charge of this part of the project. He found us 1.25"steel flat bar, rolled it into the shape needed, then he welded up the "trunnion caps" we'd need to keep the cannon from jumping off the carriage after each firing. (While our cannon "only" has a 1.5" bore some of his babies can shoot 15", 450 pound steel balls, so this was kid stuff for him..).
    Once we got the steel work done, we drove back to the boat, bolted some flanged pillow blocks to the wheels ( Brady Watson's idea, and a good one) epoxied everything in place, and threw a few coats of paint on her. As you can see in the final picture, she's now ready to either do battle, or announce "Happy hour" at the local waterfront saloon.
    It was great to have all of this collaborative effort come together, and it reinforces the concept that when everyone works to their strengths you can accomplish a lot more than trying to do it all by yourself...


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Bedford Hills NY 10507
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    Nice job Bill

    17th century meets 21th!

    Erminio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Richardson Tx
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Uh... Boat... Cannon... Bill, are you planning a move to Somalia?

    Great looking job.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    NJ 08055
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Very cool, thanks for the great pictures.

    One of the great things about this forum is, no one can ever say they have seen it all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Marquette, MI
    Posts
    3,375

    Default

    Bill...
    If I had guessed that Lil' Thunder would look that good, I would have charged more! Looks great! Glad to have been a small part of the process.
    Gary

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
    Posts
    7,926

    Default

    Looks great! Ya did a 'bang up' job


    -B

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Delray Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,708

    Default

    And now Bill, comes the big question: What the hell are you going to do with it!!!

    (Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah to all)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Toms River, New Jersey
    Posts
    2,090

    Default

    Dave,
    I actually do have a few ideas, most of which center around the "pirate" theme. In fact my time in Key West coincided with the "Pirates in Paradise" festival they've been running for a few years to try and get tourists down there between Thanksgiving and Xmas. Lots of people travel in from around the country to live on the beach in pirate encampments, dress like pirates, and stage mock attacks on the fort (think of a Grateful Dead tour with artillery...).
    And being Key West there are always a few establishments who feel the occasional need to have something "different" to pull people in off the streets.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Vasteras, Sweden
    Posts
    411

    Default

    quote:I recently found myself in the position being the part owner of a cannon

    I hereby propose that any text that begins with this phrase immediately wins the internets. Game over, man.

    I mean, just let it roll off the tongue. Instant, total, win.

    I, too, dream of the day when I can say that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    7,830

    Default

    Bill now all you need is a eye patch, pirate hat and peg leg and your all set. I would be happy to mill you up a spiral peg leg!

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