Andy gets a Cannon
August 2015

Some of you may remember I spent a few years in the United States Marine Corps - in artillery. I must have been at an impressionable age, because I still like blowing sh*t up.

One day, not long ago, a friend called and said he had a cannon and wanted to know when I wanted to come get it. No discussion of price, he knew I'd pay it. I met him in a darkened parking lot, we made the exchange (I gave him the payment in $1 coins, just to keep it pirate-y) and we parted.

The cannon was just that - 16" long, 30lbs of brass, a muzzle on one end and a touch hole on the other. No carriage or anything, just the tube.

I put out the call and another friend sent me the plans for the cannon carriages on the USS Constitution. I made a run at making one, but it didn't scale well and the cannon would tip over forward if the conditions were right. Back to the drawing board.

There she is, in all her glory.

I bolted the parts together to help deal with recoil. I made the bolts out of 3/16 brass welding rod, threading the ends to fit 10-24 nuts. I found brass acorn nuts at the local hardware store (57 cents each!) and the straps are copper pipe straps from a plumbing store.

We don't know her origins, we assume she was on a private yacht or sailboat named Selkie.

According to plans, the wheels rotate on the axle - the axle does not rotate. Just like in the days of yore, I made bearings for the wooden wheels - I used copper pipe from the plumbing store. The wheels are made by laminating two pieces of 1/2" mahogany (rotated 90°.) I used little pieces of welding rod to hold the wheels on. It rolls very well.

Another shot of the business end. The diameter is somewhat less than 3/4". I made a bore brush out of a pipe brush. I will also make a rammer and a tampion.

That's all for now - we are going to use her to start races at the Toledo Wooden Boat Show.