Saturday, August 15, 2009

Two Liter Bottle Rocket Launcher Tutorial


This is a PVC pipe, 2 liter bottle rocket launcher. We finally got it made this weekend, to replace the one that broke last year. I am going to share with you how to make one of your own. It is really cool, no matter how old you are.
This is the supply list:
1 - 1"x10' 40 gage PVC pipe
Cut into: 1 - 17" piece, 4 - 12" pieces, 4 - 8" pieces, 1 - 2" piece and 1 - 1 1/2" piece.
4 - 1" 90 degree elbows
3 - 1"x1"x1" slip tees
1 - 1"x 1/2"(threaded) x1" tee
1 - 1" coupler
1 - 1" cap
1 - 1/2"x 10" threaded nipple
2 - #11 O rings
1 - tire stem (the kind used to replace stems in tubeless tires)
An old wire clothes hanger- the heaviest you can find.
1 long piece of light rope.

Equipment: clear PVC pipe cement, PVC pipe cutter, Drimel tool and tips, wire cutter, drill with 1/2" and 1/4" drill bits.

Once you have cut the pipe pieces (you will have a little left over), you will need to put the differing parts together.

1st: Using the Drimel tool you will need to make two trenches in the 1/2" threaded nipple, for the O rings to rest in. These ditches will measure 2" and 2 7/8" from one end of the threads. (See above picture). If you blow it and break it, don't worry, just turn it over and try it on the other end. The O rings need to be near the threads. These threads will screw into the top of the tee that has the 1/2" threaded end. Use an empty 2 liter bottle to make sure that the bottle mouth will fit tightly over the O rings.

2nd: Gather the tee with the 1/2" threaded end, the 1 1/2" piece of PVC pipe and the 1" coupler and the cement. Using the 1/4" drill bit, drill two sets of holes in the 1" coupler about 1/2" down from the top. These are placed so that the wire trigger can slide through the holes once the bottle rocket is in place. Cement the PVC pipe piece over the 1/2" threaded opening of the tee. Then cement the coupler over the PVC pipe with the holes to the top. ( this is the piece on the left in the above photo.) Screw the gray nipple into the threaded part of the tee.
3rd: Using the drill and the 1/2" bit, drill a hole in the middle of the 1" cap. Pull the tire stem up through the hole until it snaps in place. (You may need to ream out the hole a little to get it to fit.) Cement the 2" piece of PVC pipe to the cap and to the center of one of the slip tees.
4th: Cut a 8" piece of the coat hanger and fold it into a v-shape for your trigger.
Now that you have all the pieces gathered, then you can cement them together.
1. Cement the 17" piece with 2 elbows
2. Cement the tee with the gray nipple coming out the center to two of the 8" pieces and the center parts of the 2 remaining tees.
3. Cement the tire stem part with the two 8" pieces and on the other ends the last 2 elbows
4. Then Cement the 12" pieces between the other sets to make a complete unit. Do your best to make the gray nipple point straight up. Let it dry for 24 hours.

Attach the rope to the trigger wire. Remove the wire. Put your bottle rocket 1/3rd full of water neck down over the gray nipple. Make sure the mouth is resting on both O rings ;) Replace the wire. It should rest above the grooves of the mouth of the bottle rocket. Pump the bottle full of air. Count down, from 5 to blast off. On "BLAST OFF!" pull the wire out using the rope. Watch your rocket fly into the air.
Kids just want their rockets to fly. Grownups want their rockets to go higher and farther, so experiment with ways to make your rocket fly better. Have FUN. The cost for the basic supplies is $15-$20.








1 comment:

  1. that looks fun!! i think my kids over fed your fish they love them!!!

    ReplyDelete