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A water rocket is a type of model rocket using water as its reaction mass. The pressure vessel (the engine of the rocket) is constructed from thin plastic or other non metallic materials (usually a used plastic soft drink bottle) weighing 1,500 grams or less. The water is forced out by compressed air. It is an example of Newton's third law of motion.

Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launchers

Members post instructions to construct water rockets, launchers, deployment systems, staging mechanisms, splicing bottles, and payloads.
A5Ben
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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by A5Ben » Sun May 24, 2009 8:47 pm

Great tutorial! I used a method very similar to this when I made my launcher. Keep the tutorials coming!


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U.S. Water Rockets1
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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sun May 24, 2009 8:55 pm

A5Ben wrote:Great tutorial! I used a method very similar to this when I made my launcher. Keep the tutorials coming!


Ben
The entire launcher build tutorial is almost complete. You can find it at http://www.uswaterrockets.com along with our progress reports and updates. A lot of people make this kind of launcher, and this design lends itself to mass production well if you are a scoutmaster or teacher in need of a lot of launchers.


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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by A5Ben » Sun May 24, 2009 10:18 pm

I'm actually putting together a launcher to send up 4 rockets at once for our Scout competition. We'll have the boys bring their bottles and make the rockets onsite and we'll launch and judge based on distance. Should be a blast! No pun intended :-)


Ben



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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by eljose707 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:11 pm

pretty cool



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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by BGummer » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:25 am

This is a great way to do this. The only other way required reaming the I.D. of the 1/2". Thanks.


Its up up and away. Not superman the rocket dude.

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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:59 pm

BGummer wrote:This is a great way to do this. The only other way required reaming the I.D. of the 1/2". Thanks.
Thanks for the feedback. There have been previous designs which had been done before that involved cutting a fine groove in the PVC pipe to seat the o-ring. We don't recommend that style because the groove weakens the pipe at the cut point and it can fail.


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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by WRA2 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:26 pm

For those of you having difficulties finding the 3/8 inch PVC pipe mentioned in this article, try this supplier:

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=26301


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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:59 pm

WRA2 wrote:For those of you having difficulties finding the 3/8 inch PVC pipe mentioned in this article, try this supplier:

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=26301
Good find! It looks like they will ship anything longer than 5 feet and the pipe is pretty inexpensive per foot.


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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by Willem » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:34 am

Nice idea! I might make something like this too, as I have no ideas for my launcher at the moment.
My old launcher only fits those strong German bottles



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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:45 pm

Willem wrote:Nice idea! I might make something like this too, as I have no ideas for my launcher at the moment.
My old launcher only fits those strong German bottles
Glad you found the method to be useful.

By the way, do you have a way to measure the opening on those German bottles? Is the inside diameter of your bottles the same as the inside diameter of US bottles? If the diameter is the same, then it would be possible to build launchers using US sourced PVC pipe that people could use world-wide. The bottles look very similar on photographs, but the difference could be a few mils and the pipe would not work.


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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by PTrockets » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:54 am

Hi everyone,
I've a problem with this type of launcher. I made a hole around the pipe to fit the O-ring. The problem is that air passes underneath the O-ring :? SC: .
So I decided to replace the O-ring with duct tape. It works, but I need to change the tape constantly. And, furthermore, the launcher gets very basic. :cry:



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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:08 am

PTrockets wrote:Hi everyone,
I've a problem with this type of launcher. I made a hole around the pipe to fit the O-ring. The problem is that air passes underneath the O-ring :? SC: .
So I decided to replace the O-ring with duct tape. It works, but I need to change the tape constantly. And, furthermore, the launcher gets very basic. :cry:
If air is getting by the o-ring, then the problem is that the surface under the o-ring in the groove is not smooth. If you build the groove using the method described in this tutorial, then it will be very smooth.

The other possibility is that the o-ring is not the proper size and does not seal correctly.

Trust us, this method has been tested to thousands of PSI (using materials stronger then PVC pipe, obviously) and it works flawlessly.


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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by sletts02 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:43 am

Hi all,

First time builder checking in. I am trying to use an o-ring as a seal and I'm facing a few problems...

I used the same technique as above with a variety of o-ring sizes that came in a pack. As soon as I get to 10psi (air only) I start getting leaks. Is this normal?

I've got the snuggest of snug fits and nothing seems to help. If I go the next size up I can't get the bottle over it, so I settled for the 'exact size' (well technically slightly bigger than the pipe) then wrapped some tape underneath to make the inner diameter slightly larger so it has a very tight fit yet it still loses air.

Is this a fault of the o-ring? Should I try a more expensive o-ring?



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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launc

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:38 pm

sletts02 wrote:Hi all,

First time builder checking in. I am trying to use an o-ring as a seal and I'm facing a few problems...

I used the same technique as above with a variety of o-ring sizes that came in a pack. As soon as I get to 10psi (air only) I start getting leaks. Is this normal?

I've got the snuggest of snug fits and nothing seems to help. If I go the next size up I can't get the bottle over it, so I settled for the 'exact size' (well technically slightly bigger than the pipe) then wrapped some tape underneath to make the inner diameter slightly larger so it has a very tight fit yet it still loses air.

Is this a fault of the o-ring? Should I try a more expensive o-ring?

Even a crappy sun baked dried out o-ring seems to work for us. The best thing you can do is find the o-ring that is a little bigger than the bottle opening when installed on a plain launcher with no spacers under it. If the bottle is hard to install, you should look at rounding out the inside lip or putting a chamfer on the inside of the mouth of the bottle. Adding some lubricant will help too. Silicone or petroleum jelly will work to make it slip on easy.

If you have trouble there, look at the groove where the bottle sits. The faces of the groove should be sanded smooth and straight, with no nicks or cuts in any of the faces. The groove has to be pretty straight and at 90 degrees to the pipe walls. It won't work on a diagonally cut groove.

You can also try taking a smaller o-ring if that is all you have and when you make the groove, you make it a bit narrower than the o-ring thickness, so it gets compressed by the groove and protrudes out a little but.

If all else fails, you can slap a bunch of petroleum jelly on and under the o-ring and it tends to fill in leaks, but it washes away after a few launches.

Good luck!


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Re: Simple method for adding O-Ring to Clark Cable Tie Launchers

Post by onefromb5 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:23 am

I have a question I hope someone could answer for me. When adding the oring for the launch tube could you use a piece of 1/2 inch copper tube as it fits perfectly inside the pvc pipe?



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