Candy Cannon

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Project by FJPetruso posted 03-30-2008 07:57 PM 10434 views 8 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project I made for the re-enactments that I attend. I fashioned this “Candy Cannon” after the Civil War era Coehorn Mortar. The candy cannon is loaded with a bit of black powder & some wadding & then topped of with generous handfulls of wrapped candy. You know… butterscotch, mints, taffy, gumballs, etc. When the cannon is ignited & goes off, the candy is launched about tree-top level (about 100 to 150 feet up) & as the candy comes down, the kids then run from BEHIND the candy cannon & chase after all the candy they can find. It’s loads of fun for all the kids… the small ones & us BIG ones! If anyone wishes I can e-mail a short 5 meg video of all us kids having a “blast”.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

17 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4226 days

#1 posted 03-30-2008 08:24 PM

Interesting! I just went to a re-enactment of a civil war prison camp this morning.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4112 days

#2 posted 03-30-2008 08:37 PM

Pretty interesting. You’d probably go to jail if you tried that in Minnesota.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4228 days

#3 posted 03-30-2008 09:19 PM

Too cool! I bet the kids love it!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View pappyjohn's profile


138 posts in 3951 days

#4 posted 03-30-2008 09:26 PM

Frank, Pretty neat looking canon, I see by the pivot rod that you can shoot in either direction. I’m with Rikkor though, If I’d fire that around hear I’d have alot of uniforms in blue….your brother in woodworking John

-- Your Brother in WoodWorking John, Pittsburgh , PA.

View FJPetruso's profile


326 posts in 3947 days

#5 posted 03-30-2008 10:03 PM

Yes, I see you all have noticed most of my friends & I are Politically Incorrect. But that being said, we have a historic city & the city fathers are historic minded. We have used the candy cannon in various parks in St.Louis County & in the City of Florissant. Other groups use their candy cannons at various events in towns in counties all over Missouri. Just as you suggested might happen… A couple of years back, two of Florissant’s finest noticed our candy cannon on display & inquired… “You fellows aren’t planning on shooting that thing in the city, are you?” We explained that everything was pre-arranged with the mayor, their dispatcher had been notified, all safety rules were to be adhered to & we have an actual permit from the mayor. Later in the day, those same cops were marveling at how much fun was had by all. I’m sure there’s re-enactors (especially Civil War re-enactors with BIG cannons) in PA & MN too & you probably just haven’t heard about it. It’s a lot of fun & you’ll find lots of woodcrafty ideas at these events. Some of the projects that I’m going to post have come from some of these events. I’ll try to point that out in some of the project descriptions.

-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4398 days

#6 posted 03-30-2008 11:09 PM

sometimes we are just too safety-minded and prohibit the best of fun!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Grumpy's profile


24823 posts in 4089 days

#7 posted 03-30-2008 11:56 PM

Sounds like a blast.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4133 days

#8 posted 03-31-2008 12:16 AM

The munitions in that cannon are okie dokie. I can see the kids running in my minds eye. Pretty nifty.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 4144 days

#9 posted 03-31-2008 01:00 AM

post the video to You Tube and link it here…then everybody can see at the same time…it’s not too tough…kinda like posting pictures from Flickr or some place like it. there are some pretty good directions on using video in the blogs section.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4008 days

#10 posted 03-31-2008 01:14 AM

I bet if you made it bigger to fire donuts, the cops would like it too…

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4059 days

#11 posted 03-31-2008 02:58 AM

This is a really interesting project. I am sure that the kids love it.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4011 days

#12 posted 03-31-2008 07:19 AM

Questions :

1. How is the cannon itself is made?
2. What materials are used and there sizes?
3. How is the cannon loaded and fired?
4. How much black powder is used?

Black powder is dangerious stuff if you do not know what your doing. I had a brother who lost an eye to black powder because he did not know what he was doing with a toy cannon.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4024 days

#13 posted 03-31-2008 08:29 PM

Very nice.
I have a small mortar as well and would like to see the base of the mortar tube and connection to base method.

As info: its legal in many states to fire black powder cannon’s as long as the barrel isn’t rifled. Check with your state as YMMV.

Show me your video.

View FJPetruso's profile


326 posts in 3947 days

#14 posted 04-01-2008 03:56 AM

BarryW, Tom & Ratchet…

Send me your e-mail address & I’ll send you a video.


-- Frank, Florissant, Missouri "The New Show-Me Woodshop"

View redbajabug's profile


6 posts in 3694 days

#15 posted 12-10-2008 08:13 PM

nicest candy cannion I have seen. Most are plywood and PVC

went to a shoot in Montana and they put small bottles of alcohol in and shot it off, just dont use glass bottles

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