The Invention Studio prototyping instructors had a Secret Santa gift exchange, and we had to make something based on our person's interests. Because my recipient loved space, I made him an adorable wooden rocket desk toy. I wanted to give it a "realistic" see-through acrylic window, using an acrylic rod inlay in the blank. If you finish the rocket well enough, people will think that there's just a hole in it... that is, until they go to pick it up!


assorted scrap wood with a 2x2" cross section

clear acrylic rod - 1/2" diameter

wood glue



paper towels

Required Tools:


drill press


wood lathe & lathe tools



scroll saw

Step 1: Ideate!

I drew a LOT of different shapes of rockets. While this isn't necessarily a key part of building the project, doing a bunch of quick sketches can help you collect your thoughts. It also gives people a chance to give you feedback before you spend a lot of time making a thing.

After I made some quick thumbnail sketches, I had my friends pick which one they thought was the cutest. I scaled up the drawing of their favorite.

<p>Nice build! According to my experience, you may get a clear aspect to the acrylic without using super glue, just by sanding to a higher grit.</p><p>I do this for acrylic pen blanks. I use micromesh sanding pads, going up to 12.000 (slightly wet the pads to avoid super fine dust).</p><p>I guarantee your acrylic window would look clear again with grits above 1.000 :)</p>
<p>That's a great tip! Our shop very rarely has sandpaper over 400 grit since we're an academic makerspace and students rarely have the patience for that much sanding, so I don't have a lot of experience with crazy fine grits. Maybe we should invest in some. Thanks!</p>
<p>now give it a flip top &amp; put a shot glass inside; you're welcome. &quot;Rocket shot&quot;<br><br>ADD or give it a flip top &amp; put a 50ml bottle inside</p>
<p>Very Cool, Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>As the recipient of the original, I can confirm that it's a pretty awesome gift! At some point I think I'll make a little light-up stand for it or something.</p>
<p>How about an LED that shines up through the bottom of the acrylic rod and illumiates the windows?</p>
The acrylic is inserted from the side so I'd need to drill up through the bottom in order to do that. Although I'm sure I could make it work I'd rather not modify the rocket itself.
<p>This turned out really well! It's adorable :)</p>
<p>I love lathe puns!</p>
Really nice! Voted
<p>Thank you so much!</p>
<p>That is wonderful, definitely going to have to try this project out. Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>Thanks! It was a pretty quick project - like 2 days of work - especially if you do the fins more efficiently than I did, haha.</p>
<p>Absolutely beautiful!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an engineer, designer, and maker studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
More by vspencer:Make MDF Look Like Ceramic Wooden Rocket with a See-Through Window Paper Circuit Simon Says 
Add instructable to: