How to Make a Razor Clam Gun

Written by cindy crabtree
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If there's one thing on your plate that should be so fresh it's practically still moving, it's a razor clam. You can build yourself a clam gun -- for digging razor clams out of the sand -- with the tools in your toolbox and a few items from a hardware store. Clamming doesn't require a significant investment, and it pays for itself with the reward of a tasty meal.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 4-inch PVC pipe, at least 24 inches long
  • 1 1/4-inch PVC pipe, at least 16 inches long
  • Hacksaw
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • 4-inch PVC end cap
  • Drill bits, 3/8-inch and bolt diameter
  • Power drill
  • 2 bolts, 3-inch
  • 4 washers, to fit bolts
  • 2 nuts, to fit bolts
  • PVC cement
  • Hand file or power sander or grinder

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  1. 1

    Measure the 4-inch diameter PVC pipe, the "tube," and mark a length of 24 to 36 inches with a permanent marker. Measure the 1 1/4-inch diameter PVC pipe, the "handle," and mark a length of 16 inches. Cut each pipe at the mark with a hacksaw.

  2. 2

    Draw a straight line across the middle of the PVC end cap using a ruler or straight edge and a marker. Measure the diameter of the end cap, and mark a spot 1 inch in from the edge on each side.

  3. 3

    Measure the handle, and mark a spot 7 inches in from the edge on each side. Check to make sure the marks on the handle line up with the marks on the end cap.

  4. 4

    Drill a hole through the end cap and handle at the marked locations with a drill bit that matches the diameter of the bolts. Place a washer on each bolt. Thread the bolt through the handle and the end cap. Attach another washer and a nut on each bolt, and tighten until firm.

  5. 5

    Brush a continuous layer of PVC cement along the inside edges of the end cap, and quickly twist it into place on the end of the tube. Check the PVC cement label for curing time, and wait for the PVC to set.

  6. 6

    Grip the handle, as if you were pulling the tube up from the sand, and find a comfortable location for the thumb hole that will provide the suction you need to pull the razor clam out of the sand. Mark this location, and drill a hole no larger than 3/8 inch.

  7. 7

    File the open end of the tube with a power sander, grinder or hand file to give the tube a sharp edge for digging into the sand.

Tips and warnings

  • Over-tightening the bolts may cause the PVC pipe to crack.
  • Read the warning labels and use caution when using PVC cement. Some brands are flammable or toxic. Use in a well-ventilated area, and store properly.
  • Read the instructions and understand the dangers of using power tools and saws.

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