I’m not very handy, but I was determined to build a water bottle rocket for my kids. And man, it did not disappoint and it was easier than I thought. Check it out.
This whole idea came about when I bought a homemade water bottle rocket at a garage sale for $2. I thought, “I could make one of those myself.” And here were are. So here’s the steps to make your own.
Step #1: Build your water bottle rocket base
A retired physics teacher had pity on me at Home Depot after standing in front of the plumbing supplies for more than a half hour. He helped me find all the supplies I needed. This is what you need for the base:
- Four 3/4″ PVC pipes (13 inches long)
- Two 3/4″ PVC pipes (7 inches long)
- Four 3/4″ PVC caps
- Two 3/4″ PVC tees (slip not threaded)
- One 3/4″x 3/4″ x 1/2″ PVC tee (slip not threaded)
- PVC pipe cement
You can basically figure out how to assemble the base using the image below. But, here’s the basics. Glue two of the 13″ pipes to each end of one of the 3/4″ tees. Repeat this step with the other 13″ pipe and the other 3/4″ tee. Then, glue the two 7″ pipes to the 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/2 tee with the 1/2″ hole pointing up. Finally, glue the 7″ pipes to the open ends of the 3/4″ tees that you glued in the beginning.
For the last remaining cap, you’ll need to drill a hole and insert a valve stem. I went into a tire store and asked them if I could buy one and they just gave me one. Then glue the cap to the base.
Step #2: Assemble rocket holder
Here’s the basic supplies that you’ll need to assemble the bottle rocket holder that is the actual mechanism to shooting the rocket:
- Eight zip ties
- Duct tape
- 1 1/2″ PVC coupler
- One 1/2″ PVC pipe (13 inches long)
- Nylon string
- Hose clamp
- Two empty 2 liter soda bottles
So, instead of going into the step-by-step details of how I assembled the holder and launching mechanism, I just included a video below. This guy explains it a lot better:
There are also some other ways to assemble the mechanism that allows you to shoot the rocket from a distance. Here’s another video to help you out:
Step #3: Shoot your rocket
So, this is the fun part. My kids like to take turns pulling the cord that shoots the rocket. You’ll want to just fill the rocket about a 1/3 of the way full. Give the bike pump about 10 pumps and then let ‘er rip. Check out the video below to see how ours turned out.
I can proudly say I built our homemade water bottle rocket all by myself (without any help from the hubs). I can’t wait to take this camping and to other fun outdoor activities this summer.
What ideas do you have to making your own water bottle rocket? Leave your comments below.
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