Picture of Professional water rocket guide
This Instructable will show you the how to build and fly water rockets. Featuring two stage rockets and drop away boosters, and also some basics.
This instructable is based on my knowledge of water rockets, that I have learn in the past few years.

I am not responsible for any damage you infict on your self or others from launching or building water rockets

Have fun building and flying!
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Step 1: Lets get Started

Picture of Lets get Started
A water rocket is propelled by pressurised air forcing water down though a nozzle. This creates thrust.

If you took a standard two litre fizzy soft drink bottle and pressurised it to120 psi the rocket would reach about 100 or so feet.

But then if you took 2, two litres bottles and pressurised it to 120 psi again the rocket would go about 150 feet or so because the rocket has more air in it therefore creating more thrust. The rocket will only go 50 feet more because of the added mass. You can stop this by making a two stage rocket. A two stage rocket will work better because it would not have to carry the full payload on all of its flight.

Step 2: How to build a fins and nose cones

Picture of How to build a fins and nose cones
In the next few steps you will be shown how to build the basic needs of a bottle rocket.
This step is to get to grips on what a rocket needs.

Step 1: nose cone

cut the top and bottom off a 1.25 litre bottle. Then cut the neck off the top.

Step 3: Step 2: Nose cone

Picture of Step 2: Nose cone
Step 2:

Cut a ping pong ball in half with a craft knife,
Then glue half of the ping pong ball into the top of the 1.25 litre bottle 'top'.

Use a Plastic adhesive glue, Or if apperance doesn't matter you could just tape it on!

Step 4: Step 3: Nosecone

Picture of step 3: Nosecone
Glue or tape the nose cone to the top of the rocket.

Adding wieght to the nose cone may help, It will move the centre of gravity higher, thus being more stable.

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Samd211 days ago

Can someone please make an equipment list for this? It is just simply frustrating to through the whole thing and pick each piece of equipment out one by one

AlirezaJ5 months ago

oh i made it some years ago later

AlirezaJ5 months ago

oh i made it some years ago later

firezone5 years ago
do you actually own the copyright to these diagrams, i highly doubt you have gone through what is needed to have the copyright for them and putting that little "copyright OscarThompson" in your pictures doesn't actually do anything
Everything is copywright from the moment someone comes up with it he is just saying they are his or someone elses
nlane6 RGalliath9 months ago

I think they are referring to the fact that he may have placed an illegitimate copyright tag on his work. Doing so without first acquiring a legal copyright is illegal in the US, I believe. Yes, he may own some or all of the ideas/photos, but he is not automatically awarded a copyright or patent. I'm no expert but I think US law provides that he must first go through the process with an official agency (US Patent Office) to determine if this work is not only his own, but that it is copyright-worthy (or patent-worthy). The comments above are questioning the fact that he acquired an official copyright with such an insignificant amount of work.

nlane6 nlane69 months ago

I just looked into this further, and I was wrong on the point of automatic awarding of a copyright. According to "Your work is under copyright protection the moment
it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible
either directly or with the aid of a machine or device." However, I after reading more of this article, I believe people are confusing Copyrights with Patents. It depends on what he is trying to protect, as Copyright does not cover ideas, facts, systems, or methods of operation. If he wants these protected he will need to look into getting a patent or some other type of protection. The big deal here is that he's claiming a copyright on material that he is intending to be public. Which is just making him look like a jerk.

don't be mean to the person it is a good rocket
He is just putting acknowledgment that it is his.
Ian01 firezone5 years ago
I'm pretty sure you get copyright automatically, even if you don't claim it.
oscarthompson (author)  firezone5 years ago
I have only put it in so people can't use my pictures, unless they want my name on it. The my pictures as i drew them on paint, it really doesn't matter too much that i havn't copyrighted them.


nlane69 months ago

I know you have heard this same thing many times before, but I'm sending you this message because I feel you can do better than this!

Whenever, someone puts “Copyright[insert name/date here]” embedded
in a photo or creation, that person is really doing nothing more than
alienating their audience. I fully understand why you have done this. However, I
feel in doing so you have tainted your otherwise-good tutorial.

To put it plainly, viewers just don’t care where your ideas
came from or who the first to think of it was. As long as the tutorial contains
enough clear and quality information to complete the project, and the viewer is
not offended by such content, they will usually give positive feedback. What
you have done here is inadvertently offended/alienated the viewer by using a
copyright stamp, they are most likely offended because the use of a copyright
stamp usually denotes the expectation of payment due to its common use in industry
to prevent copy without consent. Let’s be honest, nobody likes to pay for
things, so as soon as somebody sees this they will probably lose 50% of their
interest in the project (especially when browsing a free-for-use content site

Another factor playing into this is the assumption/doubt
that this is a legate copyright. If you have indeed gone through all procedures
to acquire such a copyright, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you are wasting
your time! These allegedly copyrighted ideas/illustrations are easily replicated
without a copyright stamp by simply placing a white square over the affected
part using common software such as MS paint. Although illegal, this is how many
works are stolen and claimed by others to be their “original work”. If these
copyrights are false or you do not rightfully own the content covered, you are probably
in violation of patent law. Either way, all you have done is turned off your audience
from any further business with you, the author due to your choice to exhibit a

Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would/should acknowledge
all the sources from which they have pulled. In reality this just not practical.
First off, nobody is going to be able to recognize each and every individual
who may have contributed or had a similar idea. This is because on almost every
simple project (such as those on Instructables), nobody knows where all the
ideas came from. For example, Leonardo da Vinci is commonly credited with
inventing the parachute. Although this was never entirely his idea, he may have
put his own spin on it, creating his version, known in the history books. This
was most likely done by compiling numerous other concepts, created by others,
most of which even he wouldn’t know the origins of. He may have even incorporated
concepts that he was familiarized with during childhood by his mentors, years
before he first thought of the invention. It is this type of idea-building that
has driven millenniums of technological progress.

Bottom line is, unless your idea is a complex piece of
highly-developed, never-before-seen technology, and is at-risk of being copied (for
profit) by another party, copyrighting it is a waste of time and is frowned
upon by your audience. You have presented these ideas on a website known for
offering free-to-use tutorials/content, in addition to the fact that you have blatantly
told anyone and everyone how to build your device. These facts show that you
are intending for your project to be free-for-use/public domain. And therefore
should never have been copyrighted.

The part that disappoints me the most is that you have used
ideas from another site (no credit given to Air command Rockets) and all the
while expected us to give you credit for your ideas. Note that Air Command’s boosters
also function by being “held on by the upthrust of the bottles” (step 14), (see
for comparison). It would have been fine for this site had you left it at something
like “I have created boosters that fall away after the trust is depleted…”. But
you just had to dig yourself a trench by saying “These drop away boosters are different
to Air Commands.” (step 14) “Professional” indeed!

oscarthompson- My suggestion for you is to:

  • Remove the false copyrights if they are illegitimate
  • Revamp this Instructable to include citations
    where necessary, OR re-word it as not to claim ownership of any questionable-owned
  • Try to be more considerate of you audience in
    future postings by not attempting to copyright things that are to be posted as
  • Stop trying to be a company, you are a man with ideas, not some business trying to make a quick buck!

As for anyone thinking that copying ideas and claiming them
for their own is okay:

Copyrights are in place to protect those who have worked
hardest on their intellectual property. An example of a clear violation of this
would be somebody copying an entire Instructables, such as this one, editing
out the author’s name, and re-posting the ideas represented as under their own
name. Even though this is not copyrighted, it is still not your property, and illegally
copying it as “your work” is considered plagiarism (which can also be illegal).
A good rule of thumb is to go with your gut-feeling, if you don’t truly feel/know
it belongs to you, then don’t use it, or at least don’t take credit for it as a
”completely new idea”. Even better would be to hunt down the work, from which
you originally got the ideas, and properly cite them. This shows your audience that
you value their interest and encourage them to find out more about your
project. One last point to consider, is to not try to label a work as private
property, when it is supporting content intended to be freely used by others,
on a regular basis. That’s not a law, it’s just polite.

that looks intense

Dude is this okay.

What are you doing?

but cool

Talal Aziz1 year ago

i cant understand how the parachute will open ???

DOWNESJE2 years ago
cool rocket
paulmtchj2 years ago
hello oscarthompson could i plz have ur email because i have a few questions on specific aspects of the project :) thank you
Chemdude1182 years ago
I use small sections of threaded lamp rod for my water rockets, but I don't know about oscarthompson.
enzo aspire2 years ago
nice project do you have a video of it flying i wana see how it fly's so i know if it worth making
RGalliath3 years ago
Adding weight in the nose cone will shift the center of gravity up making more unstable and more likely to tip over in flight
except that you are wrong. think of the difference between throwing a cottonball and throwing a marble the same size. there is the same air resistance on each, but the marble goes further because it has more inertia and is better at penetrating the air because it is heavier. now think of an arrow. there is weight on the tip, so that it flies straight because there is more drag and less weight at the back (feathers and no metal tip). there is a reason airplanes are more stable when nose-heavy than tail heavy. i think you are confused because the thrust is coming out the back and you think that weight in the nose will make it try to point lower and wobble around. but remember, the thrust will only spin the rocket around if it has a loose nozzle that will try to keep going the same way while the rocket spins. i see why you were confused though. your idea would work great in a vacuum with gravity but no air (like the moon) so there would be no drag, but not in atmospheric conditions.
cbills3 years ago
nice water rocket
do you have a web site
oscarthompson (author)  cbills3 years ago
Unfortunatly not. You should check out aircommand water rockets though!


i like it!! definately gonna make sumthin like this one
teenuvibhav3 years ago
verry good ilike
leiamme3 years ago
What kind of plumbing coupling?
famos_amos4 years ago
what with the picture?
rocketman204 years ago
how long will the pressure hold
Wow, this is amazing! Keep up the good work!
Kryptonite4 years ago
Wow, nice build!
popscott34 years ago
What kind of glue should I use
oscarthompson (author)  needfortoast4 years ago
I used bostik soft plastics glue and it works fine for me. Although you can use PL premuim, but this is a bit more expensive and harder to get hold of in the UK, but it may give you better results.

who cares if he has a copyright?!?!? this is a great instructable that i used to spend a few hours with my daughter AND an instructional speech for my speech class. but the instructions you put on here were clear and easy to read. and i researched the launcher online for several hours and i believe this to be the best one.

i used the 2 bottle design and i used gorilla glue (which is stronger than hot glue). the thing reached 15 to 20 feet in the air and the reason for this failure was my choice of glue. the glue expanded like it is designed to BUT this glue is not a good adhesive for the plastic in the bottles.

i can see the potential if i just follow instructions (this was a problem for me growing up). i always think i can improve the process, but once again i am wrong. but my daughter had an awesome time, i had a great time, and we got the whole family together for the launch so the project was still an overall success. i will be building bigger and better in the near future.

thanks for the great instructable oscarthompson!
I used to make make water rockets when I was a kid.  All I ever used was a 2 liter bottle, duct tape, and the valve stem from a tire.  Drill a hole just slightly smaller than the valve stem in the plastic lid and jam the sucker through it as far as you can, wrap the bottle with duct tape (just one layer is fine) - this is a "better safe than sorry kinda thing" -  never had one blow up.  Fill the bottle about 1/5 of the way with water, use a hand pump or air compressor to add about 45 psi, turn upside down and unscrew the lid.  Mine usually went above 100 feet easy, of course I used a bit more pressure.  ;)
oscarthompson (author)  jason.buckmann4 years ago
Thanks, you made my day !
TSC5 years ago
I'm gus this does not go high   it looks to big to go high!!! But any way sweet!!! 5stars!!!!!!!!
Lowney5 years ago
Can we see a video of your big rocket?
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