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How to Make and Fire Your Very Own Polish Cannon

Part 1: The Polish Cannon Concept

The polish cannon was invented for all of you who would love to have a gun- type weopon or just something fun that shoots things. With about $1.50 worth of lighter fluid and materials around the home, you can make your very own cannon.

Part 2: Building the Cannon


1: 2 or 3 empty Cambells Chunky Soup cans with BOTH ends cut out (or a can of the same exact size)
2: An empty coke can (or similar aluminum can)
3: Duct Tape
4: Tennis Balls
5: a Can Opener (like the ones used to open Hawaiian Punch or Hi-C cans)

Ok. Take your empty soup cans and make sure both ends are cut out of all of them. 3 cans is best but 2 will do. To make sure you have the right size cans, put a tennis ball in one and make sure it fits snugly but not too tight. Place the cans end to end and tape them together making sure the ends of the cans are exactly aligned. After taping, slide the tennis ball through to make sure there are no spots where it gets caught.

Now take the empty coke can in your hand. Do not cut the top out of this. Instead, take the can opener and make 3 holes. There should now be the drinking hole and the 3 additional holes you made. Fit the front end of the can into one end of the soup can tube. The top of the can should fit inside. Now tape this on. Make a hole in the side of the coke can. Make the hole about half the size of a penny (not too small though).

You have now made your cannon.

Part 3: Firing the cannon

Set the cannon up with the open soup-can end pointed out in to a field or at the target. Then put a tennis ball in the end and push it all the way down. It should stop at the coke can top. Now take your lighter fluid and sqirt about 1/8 inch of liquid in to the coke can through the hole you made. Place your thumb over the hole and shake the fluid. This will make a flammable gas. After a good shaking, quickly move your thumb away and light the hole with a lighter or match. Whoosh! The ball should launch.

Part 4: Problems and warnings

About 30% of my cannon shots fail. Here are some reasons:

1: not enough shaking
2: too little OR too MUCH lighter fluid
3: hole in side of can is too big
4: tennis ball is too tight
5: gas never lit because of a small hole


1: do not hold the cannon when firing (duh….) it has a lot of kick
2: be careful when lighting. On most failed attempts, instead of the rush of heat and flames shooting the ball, it shoots out the firing hole.
3: Make sure the cannon is supported well in the back when firing.


It’s not my fault you dweeb!

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