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Beer Bottle Rocket

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cobra1336

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I have seen these in pics in magazines and I found a 2 foot tall? plastic beer bottle bank. Would love to build this into a rocket, you know with the clear fins. Just would like some input of mounting fins / mounts etc. onto the plastic housing. A build thread is always cool.
 

tquigg

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Some years back I purchased a large Pepsi bottle coin bank (about 2-3 ft tall) from Toys R Us, and turned it into an odd roc. It was a simple matter of using a 54mm tube up through the middle of the rocket as the core, used a hand made wooden plug on the underneath of the bottle cap for a nose cone, and cut fin slots through the bottle, using LOC Magnum fins for through the wall construction. It's flown a number of times on H and I impulse motors very well.

Best Regards
 

SwingWing

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Through the wall (TTW) to the motor tube mounting would be best. Trying to surface mount fins onto the plastic would be difficult, especially with mixed plastic types.
 

burkefj

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Handeman

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There are so many possiblilities there. The Smiley Face, the Cat in Space, Large Eyed Frog, the Chrome Gnome and the best ones of all would be the Piggy Banks. Who can pass up saying "Just a minute!" when someone says, "When pigs fly!"
 

CharlaineC

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i like the parking metter and the fire hydrent
 

dh4664dh

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I have built two bottle rockets with clear fins, learning from the first one such that the second one is a better overall design. My first comment is make sure you use Lexan fins; other plastics will snap. Second, there are very few glues that will stick to the bottle reliably, so I do not depend on the bottle holding anything. Effectively, I build a rocket inside the bottle with the fins sticking out.

First, I empty the bottle of any contents and cut off a hole in the bottom about 4 inches in diameter. I then wash the inside (if the bottle came with popcorn, it will be full of grease) and let dry.

For attaching the fins, I use two PML 54mm-6 inch centering rings. The rings are cut to the same diameter as the inside of the aft end of the bottle. These rings end up being sliced and having pins because they are bigger than the aft hole of the bottle so they will get reassembled inside the rocket when they are finally installed. Each fin is a mirror image of the other and have three 1/8 dados in them and holes. The dados are where the three fins will end up, and the holes allow tabs in the fin to lock the fins in place. The inside of the centering ring is notched where at each of the dados so that the alignment U-channel will fit over it. Additionally, there are 3 more holes. On the upper centering ring, T-nuts (10-24) are installed facing away from the fins.

Next I take a 54mm tube and glue 3 five inch pieces of 1/8 brass U-channel to one end, starting about 3/4 of an inch away from the end. Eventually, these will be used to align the fin and the centering rings so these need to be evenly spaced around and parallel to the tube. Also glue a recovery strap to the inside tube.

I then temporarily put the rings on the 54mm tube and use my longest 10-24 screws to space the two centering rings apart. The fins are cut so that they fit between the centering rings with tabs where the holes are. Make sure you can still have the screws in and the centering rings far enough to allow the tabs to come out. Otherwise you will not be able to put the fins in once everything is inside the rocket. My fins are elliptical outside the bottle but you can make any shape you want. After making sure the fins fit, remove the fins and centering rings from the 54mm tube. Reassemble the centering rings inside the bottle, making sure everything is oriented correctly.

With the centering rings in the rocket, I put the tube inside the rocket with the U-channel on the aft end and it sticking out about 1/4 inch on the forward end. Using the centering rings to align the tube, I use a clear hockey tape (or any other tape that epoxy does not stick to) to seal the small space between the 54mm tube and the top of the bottle. With the bottle pointing down, I then fill the space between the tube and the bottle with about 1 inch of liquid epoxy (such as West System) which I squirt through a piece of airline tubing inserted into the rocket (the tubing avoids making a mess). The epoxy conforms to the shape of the neck so the bottle if firmly joined to the tube even if the epoxy does not stick to the plastic. When the epoxy is cured, I remove the hockey tape.

I then glue the aft centering ring to the 54mm tube as far aft as it will go. Once cured, I do put a little bit of Gorilla glue between the centering ring and the bottom of the bottle. The Gorilla glue will expand enough to cover the space and does stick to the plastic (but the 54mm tube takes all of the forces in this design). Using the outside ends of the dado as guides, I carefully cut three slots in the bottle where the fins will go. The three 10-24 screws are put through the aft centering ring and screwed into the T-nuts in the forward centering ring. The forward ring is slid forward and the three fins are put in place. The screws are tightened and the tabs hold the fins in place. This allows the fins to be replaced if one is broken (but Lexan will not break!).

The next, two holes are drilled through the bottle, one into each centering rings. These will be used to mount the rail buttons. Initially, the hole is big enough allow the rail button to be threaded into the wood. Then the hole in the bottle is drilled large enough to enable a spacer to fit between the centering ring and the button. This way, you rely on the centering ring to hold the rail button in place and not the bottle. Screw the rail buttons and spacers into the centering ring. Do not use glue in case you ever have to remove a fin.

Add your motor retention. I prefer a 54mm Aeropack as it will keep all forces on the 54mm tube and not on anything else.

The nosecone is simply a 54mm piston with an eyebolt facing inside the piston. A few washers and the plastic bottletop are put on the outside of the piston. I do not allow the bottletop to snap onto the bottle. The piston provides enough friction to prevent it from coming off so the bottlecap rests on the end of the 54mm tube, just looking like it is fully on the bottle.

You will need to add weight to the "nosecone" and additional washers on the eyebolt work fine.

This is not your average build-in-a-weekend and does require some special tools to get the dados right (I use a radial saw and it's kerf is the same size as the fins) this could be gotten around if you did not have the tools.

Mine bottles have flown many times. One kept the original beer labels and is used in general launches. The other I peeled off the original label and installed a vinyl enlargement of a local brewery's root beer. I use this at launches aimed at kids (i.e. Cub Scouts).

One final note. I live in VT and we fly all winter long. But I do not fly the beer bottle rockets when it is cold. The plastic for the bottle gets brittle below about 40 degrees.
 

peter_stanley

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I have seen these in pics in magazines and I found a 2 foot tall? plastic beer bottle bank. Would love to build this into a rocket, you know with the clear fins. Just would like some input of mounting fins / mounts etc. onto the plastic housing. A build thread is always cool.
I saw clear Coca-Cola banks about this size at Wal-mart over Christmas, tons of them. Apparently it was a seasonal thing though; can't find them anymore.
 

DavieRockets

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I have seen these in pics in magazines and I found a 2 foot tall? plastic beer bottle bank. Would love to build this into a rocket, you know with the clear fins. Just would like some input of mounting fins / mounts etc. onto the plastic housing. A build thread is always cool.
I have built and flown a beer bottle rocket using a 2 foot tall coin bank that I found in a gift store. I made Lexan fins for it with through the wall construction. First the fins pass through the beer bottle wall then through a 54mm (2.1") phenolic tube and butt up to the 38mm motor tube. The strength of the fin mounting is primarily at the joints between the fins and each of the two phenolic tubes. It is very difficult to obtain a structurally sound glue joint between the Lexan fins and the thin plastic beer bottle.

The beer bottles that are currently available (Big Lots stores seem to have them around Christmas time filled with popcorn) differ from my original bottle. Not only are they not as accurate shape-wise, the current ones have a wider mouth and seem to be thinner. The easier one to build is the earlier one with a bottle cap measuring 2.5" OD versus the one with 3.125" OD, the reason being that a 54mm phenolic tube inserted through a hole in the bottom of the bottle will jam itself in the tapered neck approximately 2" below the top opening. Then a nosecone can be constructed using a short piece of 2" OD grey PVC electrical conduit tube which just happens to be a near perfect friction fit in the top of the bottle.

The wide mouth bottles require a bit more work to secure the 54mm tube in the neck since the mouth of the bottle is substantially larger than the tube. I am currently working on one of these and have developed a novel way to secure the tube. Basically it involves cutting a centering ring in half with a thin kerf saw and inserting each half into the larger of the two bulges in the bottle neck. Then the tube can be pushed up into it and glued. I'll do a bit of a build thread as time permits. I have attached some photos in the meantime.

Dave's Beer Bottle Rocket.JPG


Dave's Beer Bottle on Pad.JPG


Dave's Beer Bottle Liftoff.JPG


Beer Bottle Nosecone.JPG


P1050405 (Medium).JPG
 

Brent

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I bought a plastic Coke bottle with the intentions of making a rocket out of it at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago. I have not figured out the best way to make it look like there is Coke in it yet though.

002.JPG
 

Cyril's Scribe

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Build a waterproof rocket and fill it with Coke ;). That'll make for a nice low and slow flight, actually I might just have to do that... Hm, Coca-cola filled drag races anyone?
 
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Eat, sleep, and Fly

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No ejection charge needed, use the pressure from the carbonation after the jolt of the launch.
:rofl: Probally wont have a very predictible delay, and may spill Coke all over the launch field, but everybody who gets lucky can enjoy a glass... or rocket full of no longer carbonated Coke:gavel:
I may just have to build one... LOL
 

DavieRockets

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I bought a plastic Coke bottle with the intentions of making a rocket out of it at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago. I have not figured out the best way to make it look like there is Coke in it yet though.

I saw a Miller High Life Beer bottle bank at Big Lots and passed it up because it was clear. I prefer the dark brown or green colors because they look more realistic. Here's a shot of a $10.00 brown Coors Light from Big Lots that I'm currently working on. The popcorn inside wasn't too bad either! :pop:

Dave's Coors Light Rocket.JPG
 
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JStitz

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What great timing for this thread to come back!
My buddy has 25 pounds of coins in a Bud bottle that I swear is past my knees (over 24")
Wednesday I poked fun of him for not turning the coins into cash.
He mumbled something about it being his current retirement fund.
BUT! he said he'd give it to me if I gave him an empty plastic water cooler bottle.
Too bad the Bottle cap is missing.:sad:
I guess I could grind one down from a piece of 1x4 pine.

He loves the Simpson's and suggested I paint a "DUFF BEER" label on it.:D

110px-Duff_beer.jpg
 
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DavieRockets

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Too bad the Bottle cap is missing.:sad:
I guess I could grind one down from a piece of 1x4 pine.D
Don't fret. One of the guys in our club made a cap on his beer bottle using two-part foam. It looks like beer suds! See attached pic.

p18_turnbull_01.jpg
 

NorthwoodsRockets

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Does anyone have a rocksim file for something resembling a bottle? I just got a Coke Bottle Recycling Center that I would like to make into a rocket like dh4664dh. I would rather not reinvent the wheel. It sounds like an awful lot of transitions to make a rocket look like a coke bottle! Is there an easier way?
Thanks
 

nealkas

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Build a waterproof rocket and fill it with Coke ;). That'll make for a nice low and slow flight, actually I might just have to do that... Hm, Coca-cola filled drag races anyone?
No ejection charge needed, use the pressure from the carbonation after the jolt of the launch.
A new Class M motor category.

For Mentos powered. :p
 

cobra1336

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I can't believe this thread came back. I have since flown mine 4 / 5 times mostly on a H73BJ. Always a crowd pleaser.
IMG_0582.jpg

0727101711.jpg
 
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