Popular Science shows you how to build your own wiffle ball pitching machine!
At this year’s Labor Day picnic, don’t yawn through another game of Wiffle ball. Instead, transform the low-key sport into a battle of batter versus machine. With only cheap plumbing supplies and a leaf blower, you can build a Wiffle ball cannon that will barrage players with an endless volley of howling pitches.
The project hinges on a key component: a PVC plastic fitting called a “low-heel inlet elbow,” available at most hardware stores. Although it’s typically used to vent bathroom plumbing, by a miraculous quirk of fate, the elbow happens to be the ideal tool to transform a leaf blower into a Wiffle ball pitcher.
One inlet of the 3”x3”x2” fitting accepts a 3-inch-diameter PVC barrel—the ideal size for a regulation Wiffle ball. The 2-inch inlet connects to most round leaf-blower nozzles (with the help of duct tape). And the third opening supports a vertical loading tube.
That’s where the action starts. Hold a Wiffle ball at the top of the loading tube and wait for it to be sucked in. The stream of air from the leaf blower will blast the ball through the elbow and out the barrel with a speed of about 50 mph. Batter up!
See the full tutorial here.