Introduction: Make a Soda Bottle Rocket Mortar Launcher

About: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.

In this video I build an upgraded mortar style housing for my Soda Bottle Rocket Launchers!

The design I build in this video was primarily pieced together from spare parts lying around in my garage from past projects. Some PVC from an old potato cannon, a metal strip used to support my aluminum crucible in an earlier video, foam pool noodles from my Nerf style artillery project...A lot of parts were used out of pure convenience. The purpose of this video was less to provide an exact guide for this specific modification of my bottle rocket project, and more to demonstrate how many options for customization such a design can have. The only limit is your imagination.

For those curious, here is a list of all the parts I used:

  • 3" x 36" PVC Pipe
  • 3" PVC Couplings (x2)
  • 1" x 1/8" x 36" Mild Steel Strip
  • 1 1/2" x 1/4" Bolts (x2)
  • 1/4" Washers (x6)
  • 1/4" Locking Washers (x2)
  • 1/4" Nuts (x2)
  • 3" x 8" Foam Pool Noodle (Foam pipe insulation may be a workable replacement)
  • 1/2" x 24" PVC Pipe
  • Replacement Barbecue Igniter
  • Spare Wire
  • Paper Hot Glue
  • Soda Bottles
  • Duct Tape

The rockets are fueled by the combustion of rubbing alcohol, which is ignited by the spark from a barbecue igniter. I used rubbing alcohol with a concentration of about 90% in the video, but any concentration of 70% or greater should work just as well. When fueling the bottles, the most important step as shown in the video is to whip the last drops of liquid alcohol out of the open end. This brings the fuel/air mixture to the proper level for a good combustion, and reduces the liquid alcohol particles expelled from the rocket upon launch that otherwise could melt the plastic blast shield or cause minor burns.

Be sure to wear both eye and ear protection whenever doing experiments involving any sort of rocketry.

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