If you are like me, you like experimenting with designs without spending a lot of money in case it goes miserably, and you like to do things without safety taking too high a priority and obstructing or ruining a good chance to experiment. If you are not like me, it is probably for the better as you will probably live longer, but you will miss out on all the fun. In this Instructable, I will tell you how to make a inexpensive rocket out of CPVC pipe. This method of making a rocket may very well be common knowledge. Though I thought of the Idea on my own, others had thought about it as well. You could probably just do a Google search and find this-you don't need to tell me. In fact, I searched this out and I read of how someone else did this, so I felt more comfortable attempting it. Advise is most welcome. This is my first Instructable, so sorry if it is confusing. Sorry that I don't have any videos or that many pictures at the moment. Enjoy.

One more request. Please stop referring me to Google.com. I get the idea.


Step 1: Things Needed


7" of 3/4" CPVC pipe.(I am not exactly sure what that is, but I found it at Ace hardware. You might find a lighter type of pipe, but make sure that the rocket engine fits snugly inside the pipe.) You will have to get it in one foot length's, so it is up to you if you want a longer rocket.

A 1" rubber stopper for the cone. (if you can think of something else, it is up to you.) You can also get this from Ace.

A sheet of balsa wood about 6" by 5" (I used a different type of light wood, But I am clueless as to what it is called.)

A normal plastic bag (for the parachute)

Thin Super Glue

Tough string for parachute ( You might could use fishing wire for this- I used what I had on hand)

Metal eye.

Thin rubber band (shock cord)

Drinking straw

Model Rocket engine. (I would use a C6-2, a C6-3, or C6-4)

Tools needed:

Protractor (would immensely help)


Razor (or sharp knife)

Scissors (both light and heavier duty)



Ear swab

Hot glue gun (with glue of course)

File (moderately large, but not a rasp)

Optional Paint.
from my experience you will want to re-enforce the balsa with glue (kinda like fiberglassing) and insure that the grain is at a 90 degree angle to the rocket. If you have the grain parallel to the rocket it will split and fall off during flight, sending the rocket in a uncontrolled spiral with no predictability.
But balsa wood is so weak it will break if setting it down on the launch pad. I've never myself had a problem with the fins breaking in flight...perhaps in landing I have.
 Paper/ Cardstock is a better material for rockets. PVC is a dangerous material to use. PVC during motor CATOs will shatter and act as shrapnel.Even a small model rocket motor like an C, D, or E can be quite explosive if they CATO. I've seen them do this. Please be careful and use lighter less dangerous materials. 
perhaps you are right....what are &quot;CATO&quot;s?<br /> <br /> I know it is un-traditional, and If someone can obtain cardstock or paper sturdy enough, then I by all means encourage them to do that. <br /> <br /> Anyway, any rocket no matter how carefully constructed STILL&nbsp;can fataly injure anyone, so the real issue is to just use your head with rockets:) but I appreciate your comment.
Nice design Kiddo, Its good to see people building their own rockets 4/5 just for the fin design Most of mine fail due to me using homemade (and often too powerful) rocket motors
Thank you. As I mentioned in the instructable, I got some ideas from another sorce, but I mainly just put it together out of my mind. Thanks for rating it, but you should know that the fins break of the rocket quite easily and need to be reglued freaquently. I like making my own stuff, but when it comes to rocket engines, I am willing to pay 5-6 dollors for a good rocket motor, even though I bypass 20 for a rocket that could eisily break or get lost. After I succesfully launch it, I plan to post an instructable on a rocket that will cary and reaturn a payload of an egg safely to the ground. Then a simple one that the ejection charge ignites BP, TATP, or something else (though I cant reccomend it due to legality issues) Sorry I am puting all this in my reply-College does not allow much time for editing, so this is somewhat to everyone.
no worries, for this specific rocket design what has been the best size rocket motor? C class?
Yeah, I don't know the delay time, But C does well. D or E are to expensive and often different sizes. If you can get a C11, I would recomend that (I am guessing), But I dont know if a C-3 would work. So I would recomend C-6or C-11
For what it's worth: CPVC is crosslinked polyvinyl chloride. It's used in household plumbing because it can withstand typical domestic hot-water temperatures, where plain PVC begins to soften. I've made model rocket tubes out of paper, laid up with diluted Elmer's glue. More tedious than plastic pipe, but definitely cheaper.
Yeah, I only used cpvc pipe cause the inside diameter was just right and I am no good with paper. Otherwise, I would rather the benefits of a lighter rocket. A variation of this that would require cpvc and not paper would be if you wanted to make an air missle, which paper wouldn't work well. Also, balsa wood is hard to find in my area, so I needed something that could take heavy parts. But if you are able to make your own, more power to you-but don't use any of the parts in this instructable(with the possible exception of a parachute) as they will be much to heavy.
The model is very well done but , where is the engine for the rocket? What is this (C6-2,3,or 4 model rocket engine) explain yourself.
O-kay. The important thing is the beginning "C6". If you have a C6-5 engine, the "5" means that the ejection charge will fire 5 seconds after the blast ends. Because this is a heavy rocket, I will say to use a C6-2 engine, or a C6-3 engine. Sorry that was not clear. I'll try to fix that soon. Thanks.
One more thing. You might could use a C11 engine for more power, but I have not tried it yet.
Crystal clear. Now I can use a firecracker rocket and inside the tube and make it work. This is easy and cheap. Thanks---
Video of ignition! Video of crash landing! Video of burning debris!
Yeah, sorry I do not have any of those videos-that would be cool-but this rocket doesn't do any of that except one time I did a hurried job packing the parachute and it free-fell a few hundred feet (the only damage was a broken fin and that was easily re-glued). Sorry to disappoint you, but I will have to build a sloppier rocket to show you any of that cool stuff.<br/>P.S. Why would the debris(CPVC, Rubber, and wood be <em>Burning?</em> Let me know if you know a way to get a rocket engine to make CPVC catch on fire. I would be most interested.<br/>
I can't think of anything off hand that would outright ignite it, but tires burn and they are rubber, and everyone knows wood already burns, seems to me like you just need to have some kind of amazing accelerant in there to really kick things off like coating the fusalage in polyurethane .. or maybe just guide the rocket into an acetone factory!
How true. Pardon me. I should have added not to launch this in the city or in a dry season fire hazard. And definitely not near a gas station. However, it seems that the made-in-China rockets might be just a little easier to catch fire. But you are right. It should not be launched in any other area than a large field.
-1 for saying "this is my first instructable, so..."
What do you mean? I see people do that that everywhere. I figured I would get a lot of negative comments and people telling me that it was sloppy, so I figured I would say it first. However, I appreciate your comment and I guess something like that should go somewhere else than the description.

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