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03-25-2009

Exploding Confetti Cannon

Here is a cool pyrotechnics gadget that explodes with a shower of confetti! Great for live concerts, parties, weddings, special events...you name it!

Exploding Confetti Cannon

What You Need...

  • A glow-plug which you can get HERE
  • Electrical Box with cover
  • Plumbing Extension Tube (12" X 1 1/4" in diameter)
  • Hobby Box
  • Momentary Switch
  • 2-AA Battery Holder
  • Epoxy
  • Rubber grommet & wire
  • Flash cotton, flash paper and Flame Resistant Confetti

Prepare the Base

Drill a 1/4" hole in the center of the electrical box top. The glow-plug should fit in the hole and you need to secure it on the other side with a small, flat nut.

Drill another hole in the side of the electrical box and insert a rubber grommet (optional). Then thread the lamp cord in the box and tie a knot so the cord does not pull out.

Strip the two wires and attach a spade connector to one and after sliding on a small piece of heat shrink tubing, attach a 12-14 gauge Butt Connector (Radio Shack) to the other.

Attch the Butt Connector (+) to the connector side of the glow-plug and the Spade Connector (-) to one of the screws that hold the cover on. Attch the cover and screw it down tightly.

NOTE: The glow plug "hot" end will be on the outside of the box.


Build the Detonator Box

1. Drill 2 holes in the hobby box. One for the lamp cord and the other to fit the size of the momentary switch you are using.

2. Secure the momentary switch. Run the lamp cord into the box. Strip the ends and by looking at the individual lamp cord wires determine which one you put the spade connector on. That will be the ground. Attach that to one end of the switch. Attach the negative (black) wire for the AA battery snap to the other end of the switch. Using a wire nut (or you could solder it) attach the other lamp cord wire (+) to the red (+) wire from the AA battery snap. Test it out and make sure the glow-plug lights up.

NOTE: I used the smallest Radio Shack hobby box but had to dremel some supports to get the 2-AA battery holder to fit so the next size project enclosure will probably be easier. I just liked the smaller size.

Build the Launch Tower

After cutting the Extension Tube down to about 8", mix up the 2-part epoxy (or any epoxy that will hold permanently like JB Weld). Attach the Extension Tube to the cover of the electrical box. (The glow-plug "hot" end should be inside the tube)

Load and Fire!

You will need to get some Flash Cotton, Flash Paper and Flame Resistant Confetti. You can get these at Magic Shops or online.

  1. Put the Cannon either outside or indoors in a safe place like a large room with high ceilings or auditorium. You will have to clean up alot of confetti so keep that in mind.
  2. Tear off a small piece (about 2" square) of Flash Cotton and fluff it up. Insert it in the Tower and push it all the way down. Be careful not to damage the Glow-Plug end as it is a bit fragile.
  3. Use one sheet of Flash Paper and ball it up small enough to fit in the tower. Push it into the Tower all the way to the bottom. Don't stuff it in hard!
  4. Load the Tower with Flame Resistant Confetti.
  5. STAND BACK!!!
  6. Press the Detonator switch!

Hope you enjoyed this Instructable.

Have fun, be safe!

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