Archive for August, 2009
|Josh firing our 6F Big Bang Cannon|
At the beginning of the summer, my son was firing off our little 6F Big Bang Cannon. One of my neighbors heard it and checked to see what he was doing and we got talking about the cannons. He mentioned he had a cannon somewhere that he doesn’t remember ever firing. He thought it was in pretty bad shape and might not be fireable (is that a word?).
The next day he came over and he’d found an old cannon in his basement that was the size of a 10FC, but with military green finish (not currently available). I’ll have to do some research to see what cannon it is exactly. It wasn’t in too bad shape, but it needed some work. He asked me if I would mind getting it working and I gladly agreed (I need to keep his wife’s plum goodies coming).
It took me about two days to clean it up, but this mostly involved soaking time. The loading mechanism was fused and needed some work. I soaked it overnight in WD-40, cleaned it up (it must be completely dry to work), and put some graphite on it and it worked fine. There was a bit of calcium buildup in the chamber, so I soaked it for about an hour in CLR, which cleared it out nicely. Other than that, it just needed a bit of cleanup, spiderwebs cleaned out of the barrel, a new "spark plug" and it was ready to go.
I returned it to him with a new tube of bangsite. He brought it back later that evening for my son to fire and it worked great! It was very loud and Josh had a great time with it.
My neighbor wasn’t sure how long he’d owned the cannon, or where he got it from. He was pretty sure he’d never fired it. But with just a little work, it’s good as new. He was fortunate that no parts were missing, but those could mostly be replaced as well.
I’ve been thinking about this. There aren’t many toys out there that you could say this about. Perhaps some older wooden toys could be sanded and oiled and would be good as new if they were kept dry. But Big Bang Cannons are certainly unique. A little bit of cleanup and it’s usable. No need to keep it on a shelf and never touch it to preserve it for future generations. Just make sure you flush the chamber after use, keep it dry, and keep all the parts together.
My son enjoys firing ours. I keep an eye on him to be sure he is using it properly and cleaning it up once he’s done. But he gets the "bang" of fireworks with almost none of the dangers. He certainly enjoyed the larger one too (are you listening Santa?).
Following are some photos of our neighbor’s cleaned up cannon. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take any pictures before and during the clean up.