This story started a long time ago, in 1965. Mike H. and his father
built the first "two juice-can rocket."
Wooden dowels provided the fin
rails, and used tag board for fins. This contraption sparked quite a
bit of interest from Mike's first grade class. The first "two juice-can
rocket" never flew.
(Each picture is linked to a large-scale JPEG file)
Here is the raw material for our "Juice-Can" motor: a
32 oz juice can. These are hard to find, but in 1964 they
were in every home.
You can see in this photo the seam that runs the length of the can.
This seam makes the motor much weaker than the modern deep-drawn soup can.
Here I am forming a dome in the end of the can, like my father did, using a
wooden tool padded with a towel. I am pounding the can on the tool end.
The result is a dome on the end of the can that is ready to hold the pressure.
Here is the finished motor. Note that the nozzle is a 1/2 inch
copper tube soldered into the bottom can before the two cans are
soldered together. A flange on the tube, inside the
motor, helps make the solder joint stronger.