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Cobbler from Portland, OR, built a water rocket and added video, capturing how awesomely his rocket flew, as well as renewing the adoration of his daughter!

I built the Water Rocket project from vol. 5, made a few small modifications, and shot a video including aerial footage from the on-board camera. Of course, I opted for the increased speed and pressure of an air compressor running at 150 PSI instead of the hand-operated bike pump.

In the Maker Shed:

MAKE: Volume 05
Our Price: $14.99
Homemade electric vehicles, high-powered water rockets, electricity-generating windmill, jet engine in a jam jar, and a backyard zip line!

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal



  1. OrangeWhip says:

    I would hate this guy as a neighbor. I don’t need junk hitting my house, trees, etc. Go to a place with more room like a park! Sorry, I realize I’ve become the cranky “get off my lawn” guy.

    1. Dan French says:

      Yeah, he’s renewing the adoration of his daughter and the enmity of his neighbors.

      I hate to put a damper on anyone’s creativity or adventures with their children (and he gets bonus points for attaching the camera to the bottle), but there is a time and place for everything and the cul-de-sac of your quiet little suburb might not be it for a water rocket.

      Easy for me to say that, of course, having a park directly across the street where my daughter and I go to explode things.

  2. Wind Up Toy says:

     the curvature is from the lens distortion of the camera.

    1. Kevin Groce says:

      I am sure he was joking with the curvature remark.

  3. Kevin Groce says:

    I still want to stress that using plastic pipe for air is easy but not the safest idea. This stuff can fail rather catastrophically and send flying pipe into anyone or anything around. A typical two-liter bottle can generally reach the 100 psi without failure. But even at 100psi you need  to make sure you know what is going to happen to the bottle when it eventually ruptures after continuous reuse. Just a few tips. Be safe and have fun.

  4. Jason King says:

    Kudos to your nice project! I use a similar setup for science outreach at my University. Let me caution you against pressurizing soda bottles to 150 PSI, as mentioned in your video. While I’ve never had a problem with Schedule 40 PVC breaking on me, Soda bottles begin to unpredictably fail at about the 110 PSI mark (This varies on the make, how many times they have been used, and exposure to sun). While I doubt you would hurt anyone, the possibility of getting a shard of thin plastic in your eye is very real (not to mention scaring the bejeezers out of your daughter with the blast).

    Stay safe and have fun!

  5. John Cannon says:

     What kind of video cam did you attach to your rocket?

  6. Adding your camcorder is a great idea! What type of camera do you use for this? Did you use some kind of parachute to prevent the camera from getting damaged?

    Arnold from

  7. Adding your camcorder is a great idea! What type of camera do you use for this? Did you use some kind of parachute to prevent the camera from getting damaged?

    Arnold from

  8. I built a similar one but joined two bottles together end-to-end to come up with a better profile.  The launcher is similar, except for the latching mechanism.  Yours is a lot simpler!  Vid: