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Old 06-04-2006, 08:16 PM   #1
insanitys_engineer
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Default PVC and the UK - Metal soakers

Ok. I live in the UK, and over here we cannot get the same range of PVC as in the US. There are nice sizes; 68mm drainpipe for example, but you can't get end caps.

EDIT: Unless you want 30 or 40mm tubes all round, there isnt much option. This makes things BIG.

The only easy option for a manageable medium weapon is using copper pipe, with compression fittings. (as far as I can see)

Before you go out and design your own gun, check the web for suppliers: www.toolstation.com is dirt cheap for valves and most things, other places for tank connectors etc. Also try to buy the tube online or from specialists, unless you want to be robbed.
All the same components can be bought to make the equivalent of the large soakers posted elsewhere on here.


Currently my design (pics soon) is a 500ml drinks bottle as the pressure tank, and uses a 9" travel on a 20mm (in 22mm pipe) piston, same valves as in the basic pumps. It takes about 6 or so pumps to draw water up the 1.5 m shower hose from the reservoir (backpack) and to get enough power to get it house high at 45 degrees through a 4mm nozzle. Hopefully I can upgrade to an inline tank (the tank is aligned with the barrel so the water flow is straight) with a 1 litre capacity.

I might also add that you may need more o-rings for copper, as the metal will wear away at the rings. Also, make sure all fittings are done up TIGHT and they are held with somethign to stop them twisting (wooden styling looks good, and keeps it safe)



valves x2,1 tee + 1 per pressure tank,lots of couplers,discs for nozzle sizes, size adapter? and the trigger. It looks all heavy duty and badass when its assembled

You will need to decide on pipe sizes before you start: a mix of 15mm and 22mm can cut costs, but also reduces performance.

Last edited by insanitys_engineer : 06-04-2006 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:37 PM   #2
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Welcome to Super Soaker Central.

Your plans look good as far as I can tell...and just for your information, you should check out the plans for "RolandTower's Ultimate Water Gun." It's basically just a homemade that is built using metal parts, because he intended for it to be used as a flamethrower .

Unfortunately, I neither live in the UK nor know anything about metal usage in plumbing, so I have nothing more to offer. However, I will constantly check this thread so I can learn more...thanks for bringing up such a helpful topic. I might be able to help with your actual soaker design if not with the material information.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:37 PM   #3
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This is the current weapon. It will have a tube for a top tank, rather than a vertical one, and 22mm nozzle tube
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentGuy
It's basically just a homemade that is built using metal parts, because he intended for it to be used as a flamethrower

The thought had crossed my mind, but I think the neighbours would not appreciate napalm style death at 30 feet.
I've also just realised this is quite relevant to another thread, about the "pistol" sized homemades. If i can, I'd like to miniaturise this one a bit, and possibly motorise the pump somehow (thinking hard).

Any advice about soakers is very welcome, because this is my first one. The bottle originally came from an air gun based on a paintball gun. I will find better (and more) presure tanks soon.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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By "tube for a top tank," do you mean you will use wide metal pieces for the pressure chamber? If so, then you will definitely want to keep the tank vertical, or air will be forced out instead of water. This way, gravity keeps water at the bottom and in the barrel.

Consider using very large PCs and a much larger diameter than 22 mm, if possible of course. Have you actually tried out this design? If so, then congratulations on your successful homemade. Once you feel the power of a completed one, especially one with two large PCs and a wide barrel diameter, you should be incredibly happy. Also, approximately how heavy is the soaker?

Because you're using metal, it looks like you need couplers everywhere, which increases the size and weight; that's a shame. To decrease the profile of this weapon, here are a few suggestions: move the 2nd check valve to the only vertical tubing section, as that will decrease the length greatly. The barrel can also be shortened by decreasing the length of the individual tubing parts, as they don't do much except for minimal lamination, though the pump would still be long. I like how the pump is a full 10" long, and that seems nice (I want more than my CPS 4100's tiny 6"). I don't know how the couplers work, but you might be able to get rid of the tee-to-pump tube tubing by putting in a washer and connecting the two directly.

If you are familiar with paintball (you did use a reference to paintball concerning the bottle), then you could experiment with CAP for no pumping. Ben is working on a big CAP project, so you could wait to see his (good) results; or you could do a homemade SuperCharger system using LRT. Ben has offered to ship LRT to joannaardway and Spinner, so you might be able to buy some from him. Alternatively, you can just order LRT and even PVC, I believe, directly from McMaster-Carr.
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:15 PM   #6
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I'll draw a diagram out later, i need some sleep.

It weighs about 3 -4 kilos max. I have no trouble pumping and firing it at the same time. Its hard to keep up a good pressure that way though.

Basically, the top valve was going to be vertical, and feed into the end of a horizontal tube sealed at both ends. This would probably be wood plugs in plastic downpipe. The barrel would run the length of the tank on the inside, but have a gap where it touched the other end to allow water in, or connect to the tank at the back (not nozzle end). This means it fires to empty, and does away with bulky vertical tanks.

I've got some copper left, so I'm going to spend a little while on smaller capacity designs, and i can't find any valves for the 30 or 40mm waste pipes, or any other PVC, unless you go professional gas, and then we're talking 100 min. order.


and sorry for the misunderstanding, i meant homemade paintball gun. It was rubbish , so I'm glad i found a good use for it.

Thanks for the help so far! g'night!
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:25 PM   #7
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See? It can be done, (speaking to no one in particular)
Plus: If you run out of water you can smack people with it! (had to say it)
That's cool that you tried a less used way to make a gun, can't wait for results! (range especially!)
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:30 PM   #8
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Whew, that is late in England...what is it, 2:15 AM?! Oh well, I've done the same before, and it's summer break for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by insanitys_engineer
Basically, the top valve was going to be vertical, and feed into the end of a horizontal tube sealed at both ends. This would probably be wood plugs in plastic downpipe.
Are you implying that the check valve feeds straight into a PC? If so, then that won't work too well--there must be an opening for a barrel. If not, then I'll just wait for the drawing. Also, wooden plugs might not be the best method for sealing tubes, though it might be the only one for metal--I'm not too sure. For PVC, you'd just use an endcap.

If you are thinking of a design with a horizontal PC, once again, after the water level drops to 50%, air will start to escape rather than the water. Then again, you may be thinking of something else, and if you keep up the pressure using tap/pump, only water will come out! Strange...
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:30 AM   #9
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Code:
__________________________________________________ | ____ | | | | | | ^ | | | | | | | | | | | _____________________________________|___________ | | |___________________________________________ball valve ____| |__________ _________[================ (pump)
Thats the idea. you get the full tank down to the height of the tube, but as you generally won't be firing down, its not a big problem: any water will be tipped to the back where the tube entry is. The idea was to straighten the flow of water, but thats harder to do without sucking air.

So far, its almost cleared my house (roughly 3 storeys high to the roof apex) at roughly 45 degrees. Tonight I will drill a 2mm nozzle, and try fixing a better pressure tank. Everything needs to be tightened again, because i only wanted to see if it would work, and wasn't bothered too much about performance on the first try.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:51 AM   #10
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Congratulations, and I'd like to see the range at 45 degrees (house heights can vary). Did you drill your nozzle orifices in metal endcaps, PVC ones, or something else?

I'm assuming your performance results are based on the original model. There do seem to be some advantages to metal, after viewing this thread: you can release the couplers to "recycle" old parts, and apparently you can have a barrel coming out of a side of an endcap. People have tried drilling holes for PVC tubes in larger PVC endcaps and actually larger PVC tubes, but it usually ends up in a mess. Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2006, 04:41 PM   #11
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thanks



The upgrades will take a while, but i'm up to a 1 litre tank on top. The copper tube is wearing the o-rings in the pump somewhat, so range is reduced. I've also found that i need a length of tube one or other side of the ball valve. (you can see the top barrel is long beyond the valve). Without this the water was blasting out like a sprinkler: I've got a larger end plate to try - they are the brass discs pictured in the 1st post. if you've seen compression fittings, it fits instead of the ring clamping the pipe. Its pretty easy to replace as long as you have a wrench, or didnt put it on too tight.

The tank is 5 litre capacity, and the fat thing is a 22mm valve to allow air into the tank so it doesn't collapse. This design with the current nozzle reached about 9m (30') flat, but it took a lot of pumping. The jet at the end was about 2' wide though, so some nozzle work is needed. THe range at 45degrees is probably around 35-40', but it works best at about 30 degrees, definitely getting 35'

The wood discs in the tube should be easier to drill, because i can do them first, then cut the circle. And i can reinforce easily. I can't see me making any more mods for a little while (until the weekend at least), apart form sealing up the pump.

Thanks for the positive response everyone
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:08 PM   #12
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So, let me get this straight: you use wooden discs clamped inside the end of the barrel for the nozzles? That's very creative; and since the wood is easier to drill, you should see much better streams. Ben's APH takes at least 50 pumps to get decent pressure, and even though your PC capacity is probably less than that of the average APH, you shouldn't be afraid to utilize a ton of pumps. There's no danger of anything blowing unless you get way past the point where human strength can pump, so don't be afraid to pump more.

You said that the metal is wearing away the pump, but I don't know about that. First of all, there's no reason for the O-ring to get damaged from smooth brass, and if the O-ring is worn away, then there will be leaks. You should lubricate the O-ring and the inside of the pump tube anyway, though, and good luck with your soaker. Keep on posting, considering we should be able to clear up all the problems--your soaker should get much more impressive performance, although one that works is also good. In addition, what ID pump did you use? In the Pepper's Homemade article, Ben said Pepper could only manage enough pressure for 30 feet of range due to the wide, 3/4" pump that was very difficult to work.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:25 PM   #13
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Not quite, but a good idea! i can use a conical drill and get a really good nozzle flow. I was intending to put a length of tube through the wood, with the valve on the end outside the tank.
I see some novel tech developing. I've been thinking of a rotary pump handle thingy so you wind up the gun and it does the pumping more smoothly. also means motorising the pumping is easier
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:31 PM   #14
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There was a thread somewhere that discussed conical nozzle arpertures...and you should remember that the last part of the "tunnel" through the endcap or whatever piece you use should be straight, not conical. When it's completely conical, the water can become turbulent as the high-pressure edges of the flow collide.

If you're doing a rotary pump design, only do so for the automation advantages. That one Shield Blaster was horrible with its crank, because it's awkward to pump with equal force in such random directions. Even the two-stroke pump is uncomfortable in that sense, but I'll have a special loop shape to allow for decent force on the outstroke, and its pump shaft means that there will be less required force on the outstroke.
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:26 PM   #15
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I barely have any time to day to comment, so I'll make it quick. I'm impressed with this water gun and the unusual approach. I suppose that metal water guns are the way to go in the UK. Hopefully someone else in the UK will try this so I stop getting the "I'm in the UK and PVC is hard to find" type emails.

Mind if I repost a short summary of this water gun on our website later this summer? If you can write a more detailed article instead I'd appreciate that as well. I mainly want people to know that you can make water guns from things other than PVC, and this is one of the few water guns not made from PVC.
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