Robert Lake was the winner of our “What is the handcrafted project you’re most proud of?” Weekend Challenge.
We had a lot of great submissions, but he won with the following answer:
“I built a small 1″ bore cannon complete with oak carriage and brass wheels.”
Wait, what?! A 1″ cannon!? DOES IT WORK?
When he replied with “It does. It fires 3 ounce round lead fishing weights,” we knew we had to do a post on this amazing miniature!
Introducing…. Robert Lake and his handcrafted miniature cannon!
How did you get the idea to build the canon, and how long did it take to make?
“I built the cannon 23 years ago in a college class for machinist training. It is stainless steel with oak carriage and brass wheels. It took a couple of weeks of class time off and on (because of other projects going on at the same time).”
Do you consider yourself an inventor of sorts?
“I don’t really think I have ‘invented” anything in particular but I do like to modify and/or change things to work better for my purposes. I have done some alternate energy projects that help out around the house. A waterwheel that makes electricity from a stream is not new but I built one from scratch that is over 8′ in diameter and about 11′ high overall. Because of the low flow from my winter water source, it doesn’t make a lot of juice but it was great fun to build. I’ve also built a 4′x4′x8′ water tank from plywood and foam insulation that, along with my 5 solar hot water panels, heats water up to boiling if I want. I built a hovercraft many years ago and it worked fairly well. Plans for that came out of an old Popular Mechanics magazine.
Being retired now, I find a lot more time to get into trouble with my wife. She sometimes does not understand the “projects” that some men do for fun and relaxation. All of my AE projects have been paid for by me alone. I have not taken any government tax breaks or assistance for anything I have done because it is my humble opinion that we should all take care of ourselves and keep the government out of our affairs. I would like to see more young people get interested in “tinkering” because it is becoming a “lost art”. I hate to see kids just standing around with their hands in their pockets when they could be tearing something apart to see how something works and then improve it perhaps to be something more than it was to begin with.”
Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Bob! We’ve all got something to learn from your amazing tinkering skills- and with the maker movement a’brewin’, we think we’ll see more and more young folks turning to tinkering in the years to come!
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