Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Best $2 You Can Spend!

Some where at some time at some point I heard mention of a thing called a "marshmallow gun."  Turns out you can make a mighty fine one for about $2!
Basically you need some 1/2-inch PVC and a few other bits.  Get "Schedule 40" PVC... typically marked on the PVC as "SCH 40".  It's the most common stuff you'll find at Home Depot.  ...what I'm saying is don't buy sprinkler line or anything like that... just get SCH 40 PVC.  You can buy a 10-foot length of 1/2-inch  PVC from Home Depot for a dollar and change.  A 10-foot length piece will yield five guns... or you can buy a 2-foot length of 1/2-inch PVC for $0.87, but clearly the 10-foot piece is the better deal.  In addition to the 1/2-inch PVC, you need the following PVC pieces for each gun:
  • 2 - 1/2-inch "90s"
  • 2 - 1/2-inch "Ts"
  • 2 - 1/2-inch caps
For cutting the PVC, I used a PVC cutter (because I happened to have one).  You could use a hacksaw, or something similar, but every house should have a PVC pipe cutter--it can cut hoses, PVC, rubber tubing, etc... and it's only $13 from Home Depot.  It looks something like this...
... and if you use a saw, you have "burs" you have to sand clean, yada yada... (just buy a cutter... you'll use it for lots of things).

As I mentioned earlier, you can get five guns from a 10-foot length of PVC.  To make things easier, cut a 2-foot length (24 inches) off the 10-foot piece.  Take a tape measure and layout the following marks on the 2-foot piece PVC you just cut... 3"... 6"... 9"... 12".... 15"... and 19-1/2"... then cut the PVC at these marks with your PVC cutter.  This will yield the following pieces:
  • 5 - 3-inch pieces
  • 2 - 4-1/2-inch pieces
Now you're ready to assemble...

I annotated this picture to show you where everything goes...
Don't use any sort of glue... you don't need it... it's probably not safe to put in your mouth... and you'll need to disassemble the gun to either remove stuck marshmallows or to put the disassembled parts into the dishwasher from time to time to clean 'em.

You "shoot" the gun by blowing into the open end of the 4-1/2" pipe.  The most effective way to get the maximum "punch" from the gun is to load the marshmallow into the hole where you blow--just insert the marshmallow into the hole and push it in an inch or so... then BLOW!  Make sure you inhale prior to putting your mouth on the PVC or you'll suck a marshmallow into your throat and risk death!
  1. The gun is pretty darned accurate for what it is!
  2. A bag of bullets is super cheap!
  3. Your dog will find and clean up any unfound bullets!
  4. And most importantly... you get BIG smiles!

Sunday, December 06, 2009


I purchased a new book from Borders... because I had a 30% off coupon. The book is Understanding Close-up Photography. You can always learn something new... and I liked the title, since it said “close-up” instead of “macro.” If nothing else, it inspired me to get the camera out this morning and play around a bit. The following image is the result:
The image above was produced from the image below...
I LOVE the details you see going in close.  I don't think most folks typically take the time to “zoom” in...

I added these pictures and more to the Flowers photo album on (you can find it here).