Tag Archives: smoke rings

Smoke Ring Cannon – How to build

Here are instructions on how to make your very own Smoke Ring Machine. This is great fun and much healthier than actually smoking!

Smoke Ring Cannon – How to Build

Build your own Smoke Ring Launcher, firstly you need an air blasting cannon – Start by finding a round, plastic rubbish bin. Any cheap one will do, no need to spend a lot of money. Carefully cut a 25 cm hole in the bottom of the plastic bin.

Now you need to stretch a membrane across the top.Think home-made drum and you have the idea. Try using a piece of plastic shower curtain or a strong plastic bag, secure it in place using a bungee cord or lots of rubber bands.

Job done! When you lightly tap the drum part of the cannon, a transparent ring of air shoots out of the other end.

Aim the air cannon at someone or something across the room and send a blast of air with a beat of the drum.Given a bit of practice, it is possible to knock a paper cup off someones head at 20 paces.This is such good fun it will keep everyone entertained for hours. You could even build 2 and have “Air Wars”!

Now we have an air blasting cannon, how can you make the invisible ring of air into a visible ring of smoke…? By adding smoke of course.

A vortex is generated because the air exiting the bucket at the center of the hole is traveling faster than the air exiting around the edge of the hole. That swirling or vortex motion can be observed if a little smoke is blown into the bucket just before giving the rubber membrane a gentle push.

The best smoke rings can be made by filling the litter bin with theatrical smoke. Anyone into stage pyrotechnics should be able to get this.
Smoke machines or “foggers” are commonly used in stage productions and in nightclubs to choke people who miss the clouds since the smoking ban came in. Of course any smoke

To make the most impressive smoke rings with your cannon, gently tap the drum. keyword: gently. A hard thump results in a quick blast of air that is much harder to see. The flying vortices are best seen against a dark background with light coming in from the sides.

Have fun and play safe.


Smoke Ring

A smoke ring machine, also known as a vortex cannon or tub-thumping cannon – smoke rings have fascinated men probably since the cave man days.

If you would like to try to make your own, then here’s how:

You will need:
A smoke or fog machine (ask a D.J mate to borrow his a while)
A large plastic bin, a 32-gallon garden waste bin would be perfect.
A heavy-duty refuse sack to fit in.
A golf ball
2 bungee cords
And a sharp strong utility knife (Stanley type).

1. Cut a 6-inch hole in the base of the bin.
2. Cut a piece of the sack a little bit bigger than the top of the bin.
3. Roll up the golf-ball in the middle of the bag and secure with a small bungee cord, then run the long bungee cord through the smaller one.
4. Secure the bin bag to the bin with tape and attach the longer bungee cords to bins handles.
5. Fill the bin with smoke/fog, pull back the golf ball, release, and see massive smoke ring fire across the yard.

Easy enough – let us have pictures if you manage to create your own.