Tuesday, April 29, 2014

1st attempt at splicing soda bottles

I decided to proceed and try to splice some soda bottles. I followed the US Water Rockets tutorial. I chose this over the method described on my favorite water rocket site, Air Command Water Rockets, because it is a little simpler and requires one less type of glue that I don't stock in The Dungeon. After I leave the splice to set for 5 days or so, I may add a sleeve over the joint as described on Air Command. Or maybe not. I don't think I will be using the pressures used by the Air Command folks.

I bought 2 bottles of Safeway brand diet cola, most of which was poured out. I really need to wander the neighborhood on recycling day. This week is chilly and rainy and I preferred to invest a buck fifty on the wasted soda.

PL Premium polyurethane glue seems to be preferred by water rocketeers everywhere. I'm unsure why it is better than other similar glues but decided not to question the experts.

I won't repeat the tutorial linked to above, but will make some observations.

I dipped the bottle in hot water bath for a couple of seconds. My thermometer said it was under 160 degrees but, nevertheless, the bottle shrunk too much. I lopped off the part that was badly warped and it seemed to nest nicely in the un-shrunk bottle.

I tried to get a uniform, thin layer of the glue. After the bottles were pushed together tightly, it appears that most of the glue got pushed out of the joint. I cleaned off the outer bead but obviously left the inside bead. I'll report back in 5 days.

I aligned the two bottle sections using a barrel from my air rocket launcher.

My ending thought is that this process is kind of a pain for one splice. So far, water rockets seem to be more work than simple 'pyro' rockets. But the fuel is cheap and they hopefully will entertain the grand critters. It would be better to gather a whole bunch and have a party. I worry that the air/humidity sensitive PL Premium will go bad if I wait too long. Need...more...bottles...