TRURO - Wayne Smith is hoping children's facial expressions in Halifax will say it all.
Smith, a welder known for his Trees of Life and cannons, finished his third cannon and is taking it on the road today.
"It's a portable, functional cannon that does fire with compressed air, for our soldiers, police officers and firefighters that protect us and keep us safe 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Smith while his employees worked on finishing touches of the 65-foot cannon.
Always wanting something in Halifax with his name on it, Smith said there was no better opportunity than this summer.
"What is more appropriate for a naval city than a giant cannon. The opportunity was there because of the Tall Ships event and the War of 1812."
With a number of events on the go in Halifax this summer, Smith approached a company that is having a display on the waterfront.
"This is going to be their showpiece. They're going to have other pieces on display too."
Since the beginning of January, Smith has been working on the creation that weighs a total of 20 tonnes in three components. The actual cannon, which measures 65 feet from end to end, weighs 10 tonnes. The cradle weighs four, while the trailer weighs six.
"It's all recycled material from John Ross and Sons Ltd., even the big chain and fuel vessel are recycled."
In total, Smith said about 1,500 hours were spent constructing the cannon, which fires water.
"Water gives you that illusion of smoke or gun fire," he said, adding the water mist shoots about 80 feet.
With two other cannons already under his belt, Smith said the biggest comment he's heard from people, especially children, is whether or not the two smaller ones fire.
"This one will actually move (up and down) when it fires, so I can't wait to see the look on children's faces, and even the adults."
The back of the cannon holds 60 cubic feet of compressed air at 100 psi. There are also mock cannon shells on the base at the back, which Smith said fit into the barrel of the creation. Because of its size, Smith needs a special permit to travel along the highway with the cannon.
With this being Smith's third cannon creation, after having constructed three Trees of Life and a ‘snow cooker,' he said he's able to fund his projects from an account he opened 10 years ago.
"I pretended I smoked, drank and gambled and was able to put away so much money each month. That's how I pay for these," he said.
"You have to have positive thinking and a positive attitude."
Length: 65 feet end to end
Weight: 20 tonnes total - 10 tonnes for the cannon, four tonnes for the cradle and six for the trailer.
Total man hours: 1,500
Fires: Water mist travels up to 80 feet
Plaque on side:
"Like the big guns of yester year
That protected us we have protectors today
They are the heros that have given their lives
To protect all of us
They are the soldiers, police and fire fighters
That keep us safe all day and night
With all of you we know that we will be safe
Thanks from all"