How to Make a Bottle Rocket Turret

How to Make a Bottle Rocket Turret

Maybe you’ve declared war on your neighbor, or maybe you love making things fly fast and with force. Regardless, rockets are exciting and fun to build. This article will show you how to build a really simple bottle rocket turret using some basic materials. Much of this article relies on your ability to follow along with the un-mentioned steps and information. That being said, if you run into trouble feel free to comment and I’ll clarify.

Here’s a video of the final product:

Parts


You’ll need:

  • A 2L pop bottle
  • A 1/2 inch PVC pipe
  • A 1/2 inch ball valve
  • A 1/2 inch to air compressor connector
  • An o-ring rubber sealer
  • Some average-sized zipties. See pictures below
  • An old camera tripod
  • A 1 1/2 inch connector
  • Hose clamp
  • Some string and tape
  • Pipe fastener (comes in a roll)

Lets Get Started On Building the Rocket


First things first, ensure your pipe fits into the pop bottle. I bought a standard 1/2 inch sprinkler connector from my local hardware store and it worked perfectly, but yours may not depending on the make. You want it to be as snug as possible without causing much friction.

Fitting tightly but not too tight.

Fitting tightly but not too tight.

Grab your file and carve out a little notch half way up the pipe, deep enough so that the o-ring fits in almost all the way.

Filing down the pipe

Filing down the pipe

Now test to ensure the o-ring fits.

Filing down the pipe

Fitting the o-ring

Now cut your zipties long enough to be flexible, about four inches. Then fasten them into the hose clamp like so:

Zipties Fastened

Zipties Fastened

Place the 1 1/2 inch connector piece over, then ensure the bottle fits accordingly:

Bottle Rocket and zipties

Bottle Rocket and zipties

The theory here is that when the 1 1/2 inch connector is slipped over the zipties, it acts as a brace. This holds the zipties onto the lip of the bottle, effectively holding it in place. When the connector is pulled downwards, it releases the zipties to pop off, launching the bottle.


The tripod is a bit of a challenge, because all are different. I’ve uploaded pictures of how I fastened my rocket assembly to the tripod, hopefully you can glean some useful information on how to fasten your own.

Tripod Bottle Rocket Turret Assembly

Tripod Bottle Rocket Turret Assembly

The screw you see laying between the straps and the PVC is for extra tension. You may not need this, depending on what method you use to fasten the launcher to the tripod.

Moving to the other end of the PVC, wrap up the threads in plumbers tape like so:

Wrapped Threads

Wrapped Threads

Now, screw on the ball valve:

Ball Valve Assembly

Ball Valve Assembly

Finally, fasten on the compressor connector to the ball valve:

Compressor connector

Compressor connector

Now tape your string around the 1 1/2 inch connector. This is a safety precaution so launching from a distance is possible. Fill your pop bottle about 1/2 full and slide over the PVC!

The entire setup should look like so:

Finished bottle rocket turret

Finished bottle rocket turret

Again, if you have any questions or comments feel free to post below, I will respond!

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