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How to make ball bearing guns?

Old 11-10-2008, 04:29 PM
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Default How to make ball bearing guns?

Can anybody tell me or show me a link that explains how to make ball bearing guns with pictures and detailed plans? And a parts list would help thanks!
Old 11-11-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default RE: How to make ball bearing guns?

Depends on whether you are wanting Small/Fast Gun style (fire B's) or Big Gun style (different calibers up to 1/4").

There are tons of diagrams and tutorials on both - on their respective formats' sites. If you are looking for detailed plans of a multi-barrel Big Gun style turrets, you might want to check out BDERC.com, who sells detailed plans- they also sell the guns. Battler's Connection sells good Small.Fast Gun style guns. For those, it might prove easier to buy a proven design and reverse engineer it if you have the talents and tools necessary to build them.

As a starter for the Big Guns style, you might want to check out the How To sections on RCWarships.org and NTXBG.org.

Cheers,

Wreno
Old 11-11-2008, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: How to make ball bearing guns?

Hey why are the cannons at BDERC.com so expensive?! It says there cheapest gun is $160**. So its one hundred and sixty dollars for a gun?! Cant a person just make his own for under 20 dollars instead? I dont get it. Oh and hey, when you buy plans, are they usually full size? an i build from just making everything from the plan sheet and its measurements? How do i build it actually? How to i frame the wood and the frame and how do i put the thin balsa wood sking on the hull frame after? I have no idea how this works and nobody's clubs help.
Old 11-11-2008, 09:46 PM
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Default RE: How to make ball bearing guns?


ORIGINAL: brickhead179

Hey why are the cannons at BDERC.com so expensive?! It says there cheapest gun is $160**. So its one hundred and sixty dollars for a gun?!
Yeah, that's about right for Big Gun cannons, which is what BDE sells. That's $160 for a turret, which may have several barrels (basically, 1 multi-barreled cannon simulates the multiple individual guns in a mount). Nobody at BDE is getting rich selling cannons. Parts & materials eat up most of that cost, plus there are some fairly expensive tools involved & a bunch of time.

A long time ago, I worked out what I call the "$150 Rule" to roughly calculate what it costs to build a Big Gun warship. Basically, it states that "everything costs about $150." For example:

$150 for a fiberglass hull (often depends on size; scratch building from wood can be very cheap, but takes a lot more time)
$150 per turret (depends on magazine size, number of barrels)
$150 for a CO2 delivery system (including bottle, regulators, fittings, etc. costs add up)
$150 for a radio (cheaper ones can be found; 6 channels are the norm)
$150 for misc. (motors, props, shafts, glue, wire, etc.)

Using this formula, a "typical" warship with 3 armed turrets would cost about $1050 in parts, materials, & equipment. I think most people would agree that that hits pretty close. What isn't included, though, is the value of the builder's time.

Cant a person just make his own for under 20 dollars instead? I dont get it.
If you're a good machinist, with access to decent equipment (mill, lathe, drill press, etc.), & have lots of free time, you might be able to do it for about $120 or so if you can find a good source of scrap materials. For (I think) $25, you can buy a set of cannon plans from BDE. Be warned, though, what they have is pretty "dated", with many improvements having been made by various builders that aren't documented.

Oh and hey, when you buy plans, are they usually full size?
Sometimes they are, sometimes not. If not, it isn't terribly hard to use them as-is, or you can take them to Kinko's & get them copied in the scale you want.

an i build from just making everything from the plan sheet and its measurements?
The plans are usually pretty basic, & just give you a look at the ship from 3 (sometimes 4) angles, plus cross-sections of the hull at various points. There are usually no patterns for cutting, or step-by-step instructions. It's up to the builder to figure out how to turn a pile of materials into a 3-D object that resembles what's on the paper. There are plenty of well-tested methods of doing that.

How do i build it actually?
That's a huge topic that's spread all around this & several other forums, as well as many club & personal web sites. There really isn't any single way to do it; everybody builds a little different than everybody else. I think it's best to think of a warship in terms of a collection of systems: Hull, propulsion, steering, radio, electrical, CO2 delivery, & weapons. Understand each system - what it does, what it needs, how it works, & how it interacts with the other systems in the ship.

How to i frame the wood and the frame and how do i put the thin balsa wood sking on the hull frame after? I have no idea how this works and nobody's clubs help.
Cut out the pieces, assemble the pieces (I use jigs to hold things in position), & glue them together. If you can build a simple box, you can build a model ship hull without too much more trouble. Skinning a hull is a pretty simple operation that has to get done pretty much after every battle. Glue the balsa to the frame, fill gaps & blend the edges with wood filler, sand, & paint.

I'm curious what clubs have refused to help. Usually, they're eager to help people get started. Many have web sites with illustrated tutorials showing how to build ships.

JM

Old 11-12-2008, 12:02 AM
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Default RE: How to make ball bearing guns?

Wow thanks man! I have one more question though..after you build the hull ribs you end up with a skeleton of the ship to be right? Then do you just shape the balsa around it and thats it? What about the fiberglass hulls that people buy? Do they also make it into a skeleton by cutting or do they just use that as a hull and patch it up after battles like you would balsa?
Old 11-12-2008, 08:12 AM
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Default RE: How to make ball bearing guns?

Short answer - Yes.

Long answer, with a fiberglass hull, you cut out penetration windows, making it similar to the wood-framed ship. Then you glue sheets of the appropriate thickness of balsa "skin" to it, seal, silkspan, and paint.

By the way, you will find Small/Fast gun cannon about $35-50 barrel, last I looked, for several models. That works out pretty close to BDE's price for a 3-4 barrel system - and each requires separate actuators. And the Small/Fast Gun guns are made with mostly off-the-shelf plumbing bits, while the BDE guns are all custom machined.

Cheers,

Wreno
Old 11-12-2008, 10:43 AM
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Default RE: How to make ball bearing guns?


ORIGINAL: brickhead179

Wow thanks man! I have one more question though..after you build the hull ribs you end up with a skeleton of the ship to be right?
Right.

Then do you just shape the balsa around it and thats it?
Basically, yes. There will be some gaps to fill, & some sanding to get it to the final shape.

What about the fiberglass hulls that people buy?
You need to cut "windows" that simulate a ribbed frame.

Do they also make it into a skeleton by cutting or do they just use that as a hull and patch it up after battles like you would balsa?
You've got to cut windows. What you're left with is about the same as if you'd built a skeleton frame, but it's a lot faster. You trade money for time, plus you can be reasonably sure that the shape is right. I always figure that, they day a fiberglass hull arrives on my doorstep, I've gained 4-6 weeks in the building process vs. scratch-building a skeleton frame. I can cut up a fiberglass hull in about 30 minutes.

Club rules require balsa, so that's what has to be used. A fiberglass hull has to be cut away & skinned over with what's allowed (i.e. balsa) in what the club defines as "penetrable areas".

Also, think about it this way: Anything that can put a hole in about 1/8" of fiberglass (remember, the whole idea is to shoot holes in each others' ships) is going to do a lot more than just "hurt" when (not if ) it hits somebody on shore.

JM


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