Intro: Air-Powered Potato Rocket Launcher and Ammunition
Do you need a weapon to protect yourself at work? Or are you a rocket scientist who can't afford a fancy rocket? The air-powered potato rocket launcher is a simple project made out of a few household items. All you need for ammo is a potato. A water bottle serves as an air pump that compresses the air behind a potato projectile until the potato goes flying out. Prepare to be BLOWN away by this simple rocket. Watch the video of the rocket in action above. I think you'll have to view it on a computer.
Step 1: Supplies
Before you build your potato rocket you need to gather a few supplies. Find a 2" piece of 1/2" pipe. You will also need a 1/2" elbow. Also collect electrical tape, a potato, a rasp or file, a craft/hobby knife, and a water bottle. You will want the cheap type of water bottle that has thin plastic that is easily squished in your hand. The craft/hobby knife isn't mentioned in this instructable, but is handy to have around.
Step 2: Bevel the Edge of the Pipe
First, you need to put a sharp edge on one end of the 1/2" pipe. Hold your pipe at a 45° angle to the rasp and swipe it in strait strokes. Continue this, turning your pipe constantly, until you have a consistent bevel edge that is sharp enough to cut a potato.
Step 3: Connect Your Pipe
Next, slide the end of the pipe without the bevel edge into the elbow. You do not need to glue it in, but make sure the pipe is tight and firm in the elbow.
Step 4: Tape on the Water Bottle (air Pump)
The next step is to add the water bottle to your rocket. Wrap the electrical tape 2-3 turns around the empty end of the elbow. Force and turn the elbow into the mouth of the bottle. If it won't go in at all, then you have to much tape. If it slides in easily, wrap a few more turns of electrical tape around the elbow. Lastly, wrap some more electrical tape around both the bottle and elbow to give it a final seal.
Step 5: Load Your Rocket
Your finished. Now all you have to do is load your rocket. Stick the bevel edge into the side of a potato about 1/4" to 1/2". Jerk it to the side to break off the piece of potato. Next, pull the launcher out of the potato. Squeeze the water bottle quickly and your potato piece should shoot away. You may not make a perfect piece of ammo the first time, but within a few tries you should be launching rockets galore. Have fun!