September 17, 2013

Family Project Rocket

Granted, this post has nothing to do with doctrine or theology. But, it does have something to do with dads building fun things around the house with their crews… that explode! Dads should teach their children about God and His creation… AND have fun with them.

The kids and I finished building our first family rocket today. We all had lots of fun and it was actually pretty simple. Now that I know it works I’m going to let the kids paint and decorate their own rockets.

It shouldn’t cost all that much if you have a few of the materials laying around the house. I followed the instructions from a youtube video I found the other day. If you are looking for a way to spend some time with your kidos and be able to teach them a little science in the process, this is a great idea.

I believe I only changed one element from the guy’s video that I thought would make an improvement. Other than that, I did everything just as he did. I did have a few misfires and I haven’t quite gotten the height he seems to be getting yet. I think it’s all a matter of figuring out how much hair spray to put into the launcher. You need to have the right fuel to air ratio to get an ignition. Once you get that ratio figured out, you’ll be good to go.

UPDATE: After some trial and error, I found a few ways to have less misfires. First, drill a small hole (the size of the screws or smaller) in the bottom of the launcher tube on the opposite side of the screws. This will allow a little air to mix with the fuel. Also before your first launch, find a way to heat the inside of the launcher tube. Spray some hair spray in the tube and use a long lighter at the top of the tube to cause a small explosion. The heated tube allows the hair spray to vaporize more easily.

You may be able to find some of this stuff, or at least good substitutes, laying around the house.

  • Thin foam camping pad
  • 2′ piece of 3″ PVC
  • 3″ PVC cap
  • Electric grill ignition (They had the manual one he uses in the video, but I got the electric one for the quick repeated firing.)
  • Self tapping screws
  • PVC cement and primer
  • A 2 liter soda bottle
  • Duct tape
  • Can of aerosol hair spray

My Rocket Launch Video

[vimeo 74785317 w=340 h=600]Family Project Rocket from Chad Gray on Vimeo.

Instructional Youtube Video


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