Sac Steam
Harry Mossman, Webmaster

Building a Wine Box Jetpack

wine box

NOTE: My intention was to build a jetpack. IMHO it turned out well. But when I show it to people they sneer that it is too small to be a jetpack. So, I suggest you use a larger box, maybe one designed for three bottles of wine instead of one. Anyway, the interior space and the surface area for gadgets are limited.

Goggles and Victorian clothes are cool, but you gotta have a jet pack. At least, I felt like I needed one. I had seen some pictures of jet packs made from gift wine boxes. That's what I decided to use. I bought this one from Amazon. I now refuse to buy from Amazon or recommend them. But you can find them many places. The box is sturdy but I had to replace the latch, which was flimsy.

basic parallel circuit
Basic Parallel Circuit

For the lights on the pack, I went to a local electronics store for advice. It wasn't Radio Shack, but that could work too if you can find a clerk who knows anything about electronics. Here is a basic parallel circuit, courtesy of NASA. On the left is the battery. I used 9 volt. To hold the battery, I used a clip designed for hanging up a broom, shovel or whatnot. I got a little thingie to attach to the battery and then to the circuit.

knife switch
Knife Switch

I used a main switch, as shown in the diagram. This is called a knife switch. I got it at Radio Shack. It's the kind you see in Frankenstein movies and cartoons. There is a big one on the background image of this site.

After the main switch, I placed a yellow indicator light. Then I added toggle switches for each of the other lights. For these, I got red and blue flashers. All of my lights are able to run on a range of voltages. Make sure that the lights you use will work with your battery. Otherwise you will need to get into stuff like resistors, which I did not.

side of jetpack
Side of Jetpack

I used the flared part of a broken decorative hunting horn for the main rocket. You could use a funnel or cap end of a large soda bottle painted brass or copper color.

On the sides of the box, I added smaller tubes for steering. These are copper tubes with fittings on the end, painted brass to match the rest of the unit. These are optional. I spent way too much money on brass and copper, and now I may get mugged by a metal thief, of which there are many around.

flashing lights

I bought an old brass oil can on eBay and a fuel gauge on Etsy. Also from eBay, I got four refrigerator magnets that look like old gauges. These I glued on. For the sound, I got a tiny mp3 player and a small speaker for mp3 players. I downloaded free, uncopywrited sounds from SoundDogs.com.

bottom of jetpack
Loops for belt

Leather loops at the bottom back of the box hold a belt for around my waist. The shoulder straps are a shoulder harness holster, which also gives me a place for my ray gun. Gotta have a ray gun.