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Water Bottle Rocket Launcher

Water Bottle Rocket Launcher

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Published by toddwilliams
Instructions for how to make a bicycle-pump powered launcher out of PVC pipe that will launch a 2-liter bottle
Instructions for how to make a bicycle-pump powered launcher out of PVC pipe that will launch a 2-liter bottle

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Published by: toddwilliams on Apr 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A Webelos Project. By Todd Williams, Cubmaster, Pack 3732 2007In addition to the opportunities to do Scientist Activity Badge requirements, this is building “a usefulitem using materials other than wood”, per Craftsman Activity Badge.Here are the plans to make a launcher that will send a 2-liter plastic soda bottle high into the air.For each launcher you will need:
3½PVC slip cap (C1, C2, C3 below)
1½PVC Tee slip x slip x slip (T1 below)
1½PVC Tee slip x slip x threaded (T2 below)
5 feet½” PVC schedule 40 pipe
1½” threaded sprinkler riser pipe, 6” or longer – OK to use cutoff riser.
1 footelectrical tape
1valve from a tire inner tube – get valve stems from the tire store – They will often giveyou a handful for free!
PVC pipe cement and primer 
1 footTeflon tape
1bicycle pump
1empty 2 liter plastic bottle
Sandpaper for deburring
Gloves? Eye protection?
Paper towels, drop cloth?Completed launcher looks like this:TOP VIEW
C1C2T1T2P1P2P3 P4 C3
Pre-Assembly (by an adult , to be done well in advance):
1.The only difficult part of this project is to install the valve into the end cap. This will require aspecial hole of a special size, depending on the type of valve you have. You may need to use adrill bit and ream it out further. Do it well in advance.2.This project requires 8 glue joints and 3 cuts of a 5 foot pipe. You may want to do some of thecuts and some of the glue joints in advance, leaving the scouts a cut or two and a glue joint or two – that will probably be more than enough!3.For the assembly instructions below, we prepared the supplies as follows:a.One 2-foot pipe with an end cap on one end and the base of a slipXslipXslip Tee on theother end. (This will become C1+P1 and P3+T1). b.One 3-foot pipe with a plain end cap one one end and a prepared end cap with air valveon the other end. (This will become C2+P2 and C3+P4).c.This leaves us with 2 cuts and 4 glue joints to do.
Assembly Instructions:
1.Protective gloves and safety goggles are recommended.2.Remember that a scout is CLEAN. Be sure to LEAVE NO TRACE.3.ADULT discusses Teflon tape.4.Wrap a few turns of Teflon tape around the riser and screw it into the threaded tee (T2). T2 hasnothing connected to it at this point. Set it aside.5.With a pencil, MARK 
of the two prepared pieces of pipe, approximately 12 inches from the plain end cap.6.Show an adult where you marked it.7.ADULT discusses methods for cutting PVC pipe (hacksaw or pipe cutter) and important tips(right angle, deburring)8.With a hack saw or PVC pipe cutter, cut each of the two pieces of pipe at the mark you made.9.ADULT inspects saw cuts and discusses need to DRY FIT.10.DRY FIT all pieces.11.ADULT discusses primer and glue needs and methods and DEMONSTRATES.a.What is primer? What does it do? b.How to primec.How to glue: amount to use, don’t make a mess. ¼ turn and hold 30 sec. Howlong to wait.12.Prime and Glue the C1+P1 piece into the T1+P3 piece. (orientation is unimportant, both sidesof the Tee are the same)13.Prime and Glue the C2+P2 piece into the T1+P2 piece. (the remaining side of the Tee)14.Prime and Glue the C3+P4 piece into the T2 piece (that has the riser on it).15.Now we are ready for the last glue joint. Orientation is important this time. Prime and Glue theassembly into the T2+P4+C3 piece, making sure that the riser is pointing straight up.16.Wrap electrical tape around the threaded riser pipe so that there is a tapered, water-tightconnection when a 2 liter bottle half full of water is pushed onto it.17.ADULT discusses friction while the glue dries.18.ADULT discusses theory while the glue dries.

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