Introduction: Bottle Rocket Launcher
WARNING: BOTTLE ROCKETS, LIKE ALL PYROTECHNICS, ARE INHERENTLY DANGEROUS! THEY MAY ALSO BE ILLEGAL WHERE YOU LIVE. USE CAUTION AT ALL TIMES!
This is a bottle rocket stand I made last year. It is designed to fold flat for storage. It has an adjustable angle, and is a very stable platform for all sizes of bottle rockets. You are free to adjust the dimensions as needed. This is just the general idea.
I did not take pictures as I went, but the design is pretty simple. If you have any questions, please ask!
Step 1: Gather Materials
I used 1/2" copper pipe. It is non flammable, easy to work with, and most importantly, I had lots of scraps laying around from when I redid my hot water heater. You could also use 3/4. I suppose you could use PVC as the bottle rocket will not be in contact with the end of the tube for long, especially if you are using larger rockets. I will list out everything as 1/2" copper. If you wish to use something else, you may need to adjust the measurements a bit.
Sweating/soldering the joints is not strictly required, but makes everything a lot more stable. Also, these joints are not holding water, so if you are not very good at soldering pipe, this is a good item to practice on. I will not cover how to solder copper pipe in this instructible. There are many resources out there on how do this this that are much better than what I could do.
For this project you will need:
copper soldering supplies (torch, flux, solder)
copper tubing cutter - A hacksaw will work, but is not as clean, and can leave sharp edges that are harder to assemble.
3 - copper T joints
4 - 90 degree elbows
some 1/2" rigid copper pipe. I used:
2 pieces at 8 1/2 inches (B)
1 pieces at 6 1/2 inches (D)
4 pieces at 5 inches (A)
2 pieces at 11 1/2 inches (C)
Step 2: Prepare the Pieces for Solder
I found it easier to assemble everything and then solder it all together later in one go. To make that easier, there is some prep work that should be done. Sand the ends of the pipes, and coat inside the T's and 90's and the outsides of the ends of the pipes with flux. This will make assembly easier, and you won't have to take it all apart again to do it.
NOTE: None of these joints need to be water tight, so if you are not good at soldering copper pipe, this is a great way to practice. I will not cover how to solder copper pipe in this instructible. there are a lot of other resources out there on how to do this. The internet is your friend.
Step 3: Assemble the Launcher Arm
Take the piece that is 6 1/2 inches and put it in the 90 degree part of one of the T's. take the two of the pieces that are 5 inches and put them in the straight parts of the T. You should now have a piece that is about 11 1/2 inches long, with a 6 1/2 inch sticking out of it. Place a T at each end, into the 90 Degree part. (I did the best I could to show this with photoshop)
Step 4: Assemble the Frame
Measure how long the launcher arm is. This should match up with how long pieces (C) are. Mine ended up at 11 1/2 inches Finish assembling the frame with the launcher tube in place. This gives you a chance to make sure all your pieces fit, and make adjustments if needed.
Step 5: Solder Everything Together
On a hard, flat surface, make sure the frame is flat. It is a lot easier to make adjustments now, rather than when things get soldered together. Make note, do not solder the pivot joint with the launcher arm on it. This will allow the arm to pivot up and down. If you do solder this, you will not be able to adjust the angle of the arm.