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Airgun with eXplosive air-Release Valve


by chluaid on May 26, 2008

Table of Contents

Airgun with eXplosive air-Release Valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Intro: Airgun with eXplosive air-Release Valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Step 1: Materials and Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Step 2: The valve housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Step 3: The valve shaft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Step 4: Valve air flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Step 5: Plugging up the shaft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Step 6: Add a nut to the shaft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Step 7: Important! Allow the glue to dry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Step 8: Spring loading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Step 9: Seal it off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Step 10: How it works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Step 11: Attaching to a bicycle pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Author:chluaid author's website
I make stuff!

Intro: Airgun with eXplosive air-Release Valve


Forget amateurish sprinkler valves. Look no further than this type of valve for making airguns or anything where you need the air released explosively. This is my own
design inspired by the valve inside an airbrush.

This instructable shows you how to make what I call the XRV (explosive release valve), which can be attached to a bicycle pump. This in turn allows you to turn an
ordinary blowgun or pea-shooter into something a bit more serious.

The video does a lot of explaining, but for more detail including how it works, see the next steps.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


To make the XRV, you need a handful of easy-to-find components:

Materials

1. Flexible bike pump hose - comes with most bicycle pumps)


2. Brass or aluminium tubing (about 1-2mm) - available from hobby stores
3. O-Rings (tiny) - available from hardware stores
4. Small spring - also from hardware stores
5. Tiny screw that fits into the end of the 1-2mm tubing
6. Tiny nut or washer that fits onto the brass tubing (see video)

Tools

1. Hand drill & very small drill bit


2. Fine file
3. Blade
4. Precision screwdriver
5. Pliers or multi-grips (pictured)
6. Hand clamp
7. Superglue

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Image Notes Image Notes
1. hand drill 1. there's one!
2. very small drill bit(s)
3. blade
4. precision screwdriver
5. pliers or multi-grips
6. hand clamp
7. super glue
8. O-Rings (you'll need really really small ones)
9. small spring (like that from a pen)

Image Notes
1. found this in an old clock radio

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Step 2: The valve housing
We need the valve to attach conveniently to any bicycle pump, so cut the MALE connector out of your bike pump's flexible hose.

Image Notes
1. the male connector is the one with the thread on the outside.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Step 3: The valve shaft
Now you need to find a piece of brass or aluminium tubing that fits nicely inside the housing. It is absolutely necessary that this tube slides freely through the housing,
while being a snug fit.

Image Notes
1. there's one!

Step 4: Valve air flow


Air will explode through this small tube, but we need to drill tiny holes to allow this to happen.
With a tiny drill bit, carefully drill two or three small holes into the shaft.
File any rough edges smooth so the tube glides through the housing without sticking at all.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Step 5: Plugging up the shaft
The end of the shaft must be blocked off, so that the only escape for the air is through the tiny holes we've just drilled.

I found that a tiny screw works best, so you'll need to hunt for the perfect screw. The head of the screw MUST be very slightly larger than the shaft itself. The screw must
also be very short (we don't want to obstruct the holes). I found the perfect screw inside a dead clock-radio - - old electronic components are a great source of tiny
screws!

Drop a bit of super glue onto the screw and turn it in to the end of the tube. If the screw is a bit too small for the tube, you could very carefully crimp the tube a bit with
pliers. Then the screw should be a tighter fit.

Image Notes
http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
1. found this in an old clock radio

Image Notes
1. if the screw is a loose fit, try crimping the tube slightly.

Step 6: Add a nut to the shaft


A nut, washer or bush of some kind needs to be added to the shaft, so find something that fits and glue it about halfway along. Once the glue has dried, this valve will be
difficult to disassemble, so be sure everything's in place before you apply the glue.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Step 7: Important! Allow the glue to dry
Allowing the glue to dry deserves its own step because in the next step we're going to add a spring that holds the valve closed. If your glue isn't dry when you add the
spring, then you'll glue the valve shut!

Go have a coffee or climb a tree. When you get back and the glue's dry, scrape off any excess with a blade. Again, this valve shaft must be very smooth and glide
through the housing without any sticking or catching.

Step 8: Spring loading


See the distance between the housing and the nut? You need to find a spring that's about 1.5 times as long. This will ensure that the spring is always holding the valve
shut.

If your spring is a little too short, you can always stretch it a little (that's why mine looks a little irregular in the image).

To how to turn the spring onto the shaft, look at the video in the Intro of this instructable.

Step 9: Seal it off


The final step is to make the valve air tight. To do this, you'll need a very small O-Ring.
Now you can see why the head of the screw needed to be larger than the shaft. The head of the screw stops the O-Ring from slipping off.

And with that, the XRV is complete!

The spring is always holding the valve closed so air will not escape.
You can test this with your mouth. Seal your lips around the housing of the valve and blow.. build up a little air pressure in your cheeks then pull the washer/nut
backwards (don't push it down your throat!) The air should escape through the tube.

Note: if air is leaking through the valve, then it could be that your O-Ring isn't sealing it too well. Try adding a second O-Ring.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Step 10: How it works
The spring constantly keeps the valve shut.
When the valve is shut, the O-Ring seals off any escape.
Air cannot escape unless the O-Ring fails.

Pulling back on the nut (green arrow) opens the valve by exposing the holes in the shaft.
Once the holes are exposed, the compressed air explodes through the shaft.

Step 11: Attaching to a bicycle pump


As we made the XRV from a male connector, it will attach perfectly to any bicycle pump.

You will however, need a bicycle pump that doesn't allow air to go backwards. In other words, it needs to have its own built-in one-way valve. If you don't have this, you
won't be able to compress more than one plunge of the pump.

Many pumps (bicycle pumps, sports ball pumps) come fitted with a one-way valve, but the 'BBB Airshock' pump that I use has a one-way valve PLUS a reinforced hose.
When the end of this hose is blocked (with my XRV), it acts as a small air tank. Air will be compressed in that tiny space and will only be released when I open the XRV.

Opening the XRV into any type of blowgun (simple pea-shooter or deadly ninja blowgun) is the aim of the whole exercise :D

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
Image Notes
1. the valve will connect to any bicycle pump.

Image Notes Image Notes


1. The 'Airshock's hose is flexible but I glued the head to the body so that I could 1. Araldite or some other 'angry bastard' glue that doesn't mess around.
secure a blowgun more easily.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
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Comments
50 comments Add Comment view all 234 comments

sabladask says: Mar 18, 2011. 7:57 AM REPLY


i want all the tubes in step 3.....
where did you get them?

sabladask says: Mar 18, 2011. 7:52 AM REPLY


finaly!! i found somone who actualy knows what hes doing,.'
Grate woork!
i made a simulare gun som years back:) i have made very many air guns, and the valve you made is very good :):)
see my channel i if you are intrested in a springpowerd airpistion gun.
keep up the good woork!

ostomesto says: Nov 15, 2010. 12:33 PM REPLY


hey im planning to make this but dont have the bike tube for it. could i use a ball inflation needle to do the same thing as it. i lost my old bike tub and hope
this will work

atomicwaterstudios says: Feb 9, 2011. 12:20 PM REPLY


why dont you just go out and buy the tube then there probly no more then 5 bucks?

ostomesto says: Feb 9, 2011. 12:26 PM REPLY


i didnt know where to find them. but i got it. I made one well not really. I made one that is a trigger for my spudgun, it's the pilot on my sprinkler
valve.it about 5 in long and never leaks air. It has a huge airflow too. I will post a pic of it and how to build it if you want me to

ostomesto says: Nov 15, 2010. 1:06 PM REPLY


ahahahahaha i found my old tube. it was in my air compressor parts box. i looked in there hundreds of times and it was right in front of me. hahahhaha
im so happy :)

ostomesto says: Nov 16, 2010. 12:06 PM REPLY


one last thing. i made this and it worked great. i am going to try to make a larger scale one for a trigger on my sprinkler valve in my spud gun. any
ideas on what materials i would need to make a larger scale one. oh and would a large scale one hold around 60-70 psi maybe 80

Mr. Bricoleur says: Jan 7, 2011. 2:52 PM REPLY


Happy late christmas. http://nerfhaven.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=19073

Cheeseduck says: Dec 19, 2010. 1:50 AM REPLY


Rather than going through the hassle of hand-drilling, you could just use the small round hand file to make the holes. If you file perpendicular to the pipe, it'll
make a good path for the air to escape.

wellbankj says: Nov 23, 2010. 10:49 PM REPLY


Do you have any idea how much pressure you think this little valve can take? I'm thinking of making a gobstopper gun that I can kill squirrels with and I'd like
to maximize my energy output. I'm thinking of using a compressed air or CO2 tank as a power source and a regulator to tone down the pressure that's
behind the valve.

freerunnin1 says: Nov 13, 2010. 5:20 PM REPLY


i'm going to make one of these tomorrow and im using a piece of pipe from a telescopic antenna :P, they come in loads of different sizes

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
ostomesto says: Nov 18, 2010. 3:00 PM REPLY
ya antenna works great. just take out each pipe form it and u have lots of choices. it is a can bend and is a little flimsy though :(

freerunnin1 says: Nov 13, 2010. 5:06 PM REPLY


great vid! lol, how long did it take you to come up with the valve? oh and how many pumps would it take to propel a bb over say, 75 foot?

moGuyver says: Oct 30, 2010. 10:17 AM REPLY


Excellent animation in the video - also great valve design.

quirxi says: Oct 23, 2010. 6:27 AM REPLY


Cool vid - you should go to the film industry ! :)

Topunisher says: Oct 7, 2010. 4:08 PM REPLY


Can the hose(on the pumping stick) take on the pressurized air with-out getting it explode?

Fredock says: Aug 23, 2010. 8:02 AM REPLY


nice vid

milamber says: Aug 16, 2010. 6:56 PM REPLY


no chance youd make my life easy and sell me one would u ?

EnigmaMax says: Aug 16, 2010. 3:10 PM REPLY


Suspension pumps are not cheap! Would an tire pump suffice?

brum says: Jul 6, 2010. 5:35 PM REPLY


It think adapted with a harmer or something like that with a reasonable pvc tank or something and you might have yourself a multi-shot bb gun. You could
potentially up size into a paint ball gun (uses almost the same principal)

Mattrox says: Sep 15, 2008. 1:46 PM REPLY


this is very cool for a blowgun or dart gun but sprinkler valves are used for their quick release of air which this wont let out enough air fast enough unless you
supersize it. no offense intended very cool design by the way

AnarchistAsian says: Sep 17, 2008. 12:46 PM REPLY


but sprinkler valves are big, bulky, un-stylish and over-priced! this one is small, and looks good with all the brass and other metal parts.

Mattrox says: Sep 17, 2008. 12:52 PM REPLY


true but, they let tons of out because they have big openings. this has a tiny opening have a longer realese time

thejrb says: Nov 13, 2008. 1:47 PM REPLY


How would you know? Have you modded your sprinkler valve or does it still use battery's? This valve is probably faster than an unmodded
sprinkler valve.

blugyblug says: Nov 19, 2008. 11:21 PM REPLY


UNmodded sprinkler valve. If you are comparing the XRV to an unmodded sprinkler valve thats just...stupid

ultimachris says: Jun 10, 2009. 6:21 PM REPLY


that's true, but this valve was intended for shooting bbs, not potatoes. thats why it is so small.

fork me3 says: Dec 23, 2009. 3:37 PM REPLY


guys all you need to do is supersize the XRV!!!! i almost did it yesterday... i used 9/16th brass tubing some pvc a larger spring... larger
orings... larger everything! just remember. its not im possible. all i need to do is make it air tight and im pretty much set. good luck, and
wish me luck. If i get it to work im gonna hook it up to my nerf longshot :D so when i pull the trigger it released the air.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
brum says: Jul 6, 2010. 5:21 PM REPLY
Depending on how big it is dude it may not work that well. Because when you release this valve you a pushing in back against the
stored pressure it may be quite a difficult task pushing a bolt back against 90psi of pressure. I have made a marble gun using a
modified sprinkler valve and the advantage of that is you have a trigger and no effort required (if u dont know how they work:
diaphragm and difference of pressures) and blugyblug, ur not talking much sense when your comparing it to an unmoded sprinkler
valve because an unmodded sprinkler valve is useless for making any kind of gun (do some research and learn how they work). I
do think this is ideal for something like a bb gun. I went to china as a student a few years back and bought a bb gun (illeagal in
australia) and had to pull it apart and fix it once and basically when you cocked it, that was the pumping action and then i think it
may have used a valve similar to this to release. GREAT VID!

AnarchistAsian says: Sep 17, 2008. 1:18 PM REPLY


it's a small valve... the barrel is small, so it doesn't matter much how small the opening is. and about that release time... if you look inside a
sprinkler valve, there is a big loss of power, since the air has to take several sharp turns before it even reaches the barrel. sprinkler valves suck!
they're made to actuate the sprinklers on your lawn! even with modification, nothing beats a custom made one!!!

blugyblug says: Oct 17, 2008. 12:51 AM REPLY


Again, ur exagerrating the loss that twists and turns do. Good release time/flow with sharp turns. Sprinkler valves dont suck.. You cant make
a large version of the XRV. You wont have enough strength to push the valve backwards. There is way more air pressing against it. Like
what? 500x? 1000x for massive guns?

lasermaster3531 says: Dec 23, 2008. 3:44 PM REPLY


you're comparing a squirt gun with a fire hose here,okay? sprinkler valves are good for big guns and xrv's are good for dart guns that
have an id of 3 mm. or less.

blugyblug says: Dec 25, 2008. 4:04 PM REPLY


Yeah But if you upscaled it...

blugyblug says: Oct 16, 2008. 12:39 AM REPLY


Sprinklers have more flow...(I mean scaled up) If there was one of these valves as big as a sprinkler or visa versa a sprinkler would have alot
more flow.

ramses says: Dec 29, 2008. 2:30 PM REPLY


or you could build a piston valve and get the best of both worlds.

blugyblug says: Dec 29, 2008. 5:36 PM REPLY


Yeah true lol. Piston Valves are the best 1-shot valves in my opinion. The best for power is a burst disk but you have to replace it
everytime you shoot. But using the xrv on a large gun would be basically impossible to shoot, unless you trigger(no other words) it
with air like a piston valve. But then a piston valve is easier to make, and there alot of flow, no twists/turns, opens as fast as air
(literally)

ramses says: Dec 30, 2008. 7:35 AM REPLY


actually, a diaphragm valve is the best, and sprinkler valves are diaphragm valves, but you can build bigger ones with better
opening flow characteristics. the only problem is if your pilot valve is good, you might tear the diaphragm. any slow opening valve
can be made better with a burst disk in front of it. even a ball valve.

thejrb says: Nov 13, 2008. 1:50 PM REPLY


I would rather have faster opening time. As soon as the bb leaves the barrel all the air that hasn't been released yet is wasted. For
something this small it has good flow.

AnarchistAsian says: Oct 16, 2008. 2:40 PM REPLY


flow doesn't matter if you have a small barrel, so..... plus, because of the twists and turns inside the valve, the air is slowed down...

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/
brum says: Jul 6, 2010. 5:31 PM REPLY
it makes little difference im affraid mate, we all forget that what you do in these guns is compressed allot of gas in a spase which
pushes out on all sides. When a weakness is found the air expands into that space, the flow is the movement of that air. corners will
make a difference i admit but little difference at that.

blugyblug says: Oct 17, 2008. 12:40 AM REPLY


Hey! I was doing the "..." thing first. Anyway. Flow is waaaay more important than twists and turns etc. Bad flow, but a valve with no
twists is alot worse than a valve with twists but lots of flow. This valve has lots of turns as well. And flow matters, doesnt depend on
the size of the barrel. It matters. It might look like it doesnt matter but thats because theres not much difference with a tiny barrel. But if
you double the flow, it may not seem like much but youre getting 3x-4x more power.

AnarchistAsian says: Oct 17, 2008. 3:02 PM REPLY


no, because the valve hole is the same as the barrel hole.

the barrel would block any extra flow anyways, and sprinkler valves are bulky...

meh, this is a good valve, and can be upscaled, with pipes...

Mattrox says: Oct 17, 2008. 5:18 PM REPLY


And how can you upscale it if you try upscaling it it will need a crank to trigger the valve

AnarchistAsian says: Oct 17, 2008. 7:26 PM REPLY


well, it depends how big you want it... let's stop arguing, unless either of us has actual proof of our views...

blugyblug says: Oct 18, 2008. 3:42 PM REPLY


Lol we are proving our points... Not arguing. Well Im proving my points...

chluaid says: Oct 18, 2008. 5:08 PM REPLY


hehe nobody's proving anything unless they build one to demonstrate their point :D
I have built a larger scale version of this (5mm valve) and it takes no extra effort to push the valve back. This is
because the tiniest opening of the valve results in ALL the air exploding out. There's no gradual or slow release. I
suggest you build one yourself so that you can more effectively offer proof to the contrary ;)

blugyblug says: Oct 18, 2008. 7:26 PM REPLY


5mm... When i said "large scale" I actually meant maybe an XRV for a 30mm-50mm air chamber. (1inch for
those US people)

chluaid says: Oct 18, 2008. 9:19 PM REPLY


lol 30-50mm! What are you firing? Golf balls? Yeah that's quite an upscale you're talking.. I imagine you'd
need an air compressor to fill a tank, then a tubular valve hammer to hit the valve open in short bursts -
though I still believe you could manually open it without too much trouble.. possibly fit a squeezable trigger
to make it even easier. Downside there is that a squeeze trigger will release all the air in one shot, so a
tubular hammer to smack the valve open would be the way to go.

Speedmite says: Mar 8, 2010. 10:31 PM REPLY


No, just when he meant "upscale" he meant to a cannon, not a bb gun/ blowdart thing. Naw... Your
going to inflate it by breathing into it... Of course, though a large pump would work. And thats the point
he is trying to prove. Its not as good scaled up for that particular purpose. Its just easier to get a valve.
And, there is no fails, unless you pull the valve slowly.... But yea, other valves are better suited in
upscale. Just they would be hard to make here, and this is easier, leading to the illusion of superiority.
But I will say, Its a nice homemade bb gun. Yes!!!! Mod time!!!! Maybe make a chamber......

blugyblug says: Oct 18, 2008. 7:26 PM REPLY


oops. not 1 inch.. like 1 1/4' - 2 '

AnarchistAsian says: Oct 18, 2008. 6:20 PM REPLY


I AGREE

ha ha, see? we never argue...

view all 234 comments

http://www.instructables.com/id/Airgun-with-eXplosive-air-Release-Valve/