Homemade bottle rockets

Picture of Homemade bottle rockets
A while back my friend asked an easy way to make a bottle rocket this Instructable was born

  • Make sure to wear the proper protective gear such as some kind of glasses for eye protection, safety glasses would be best .....

*some sort of breathing protection would also be advised

  • gloves help as well so you don't burn yourself

Check the video for a picture of me dressed like a ninja with homemade safety wear and my first three rocket launches

I tried embedding it but alas, photo bucket is lame. so you get a crappy long link ....YAY

PS. if you like it ....rate it up .....don't flake !
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Step 1: What You Will Need

1. Post its
2.A Hammer
3. a small bit of fuse
4.a small mixing bowl
5.A mortar and pestle
6.needle nose pliers
7. duct or scotch tape
8. wooden skewers
9.A Pencil
10. A nail
11. Black Powder
12.kitty litter

  • Pictures of these will be listed in order below

Step 2: Begin Rolling The Tube

Fold your post it in half horizontally sticky side up so the sticky part bonds with the non-sticky part

And Begin rolling the tube

Step 3: Tape The Tube

Picture of Tape The Tube
Using scotch tape preferably, tape the tube tightly on the pencil
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sikkmate6 years ago
sweet i just have a quick question is black powder just gun powder like out of bullets??? and does the skewer go flying with the rocket wen it lights

And yes, the skewer goes up with it.

black powder is "old school" and was used in muzzle loading riffles(think lewis and clark). the gun powder in new age ammo is smokeless and less explosive but burns quicker building up gases to propel the projectile to its target. bottom line: they are two different things.
technicaly, smokeless powder doesnt explode at all. just burns extremely rapidly. much faster than blackpowder in fact. however, the pressure and gasses created would burst the rocket well before it even started to move, so dont try it. not good for rockets. good for mini paper pipebombs. (and by default getting in trouble with the police in most places...)
codycnnn043 years ago
How did you know that the nail would be a big enough nozzle for the right amount of thrust for the rocket, without detonating the rocket or being to little thrust?
guess work and multiple tries, i'd think. provided you can get your hands on real blackpowder (i doubt pyrodex would work..but maybe) these are cheap enough to build. so a few test runs shouldnt be hard. just get away before they go off. to be safe.
what exactly does the litter do?
it works as a substitute for the clay found in most rocket type fireworks
it IS the clay found in most rockets..... just used for something else. yay sourcing.
but, chemguy is right, it makes everything go one way, and restricts the flow, increasing pressure and directing force.
Re: Insane_Pyro_Genius! remark from 2008
This grinding process can be dangerous.
If the KNO3 is dry it can ignite while grinding with a surprising flash and a lot of heat. So always wear gloves, safety glasses, and safety clothing.
Back in 1947 when I was a child,between 8-11, in NYC I made rockets using a modified black powder recepe. The fuses were made with cotton string soaked in KNO3 dissolved in water at room temperature and then the fuse cord was rolled in finely divided magnesium and sulfer and air dried. The fuses worked but were not very reliable time wise, between 15 and 60 sec/inch. Never bothered to fine tune the fuses as I was more interested in flying rockets and testing rocket fuel.
yinyumi1 year ago
Where can we buy all the materials that does not require buying from the internet??
what would the sealent do
finnally a new picture (me)
Can you use something like flash powder instead of black powder?
You could use flash powder in the tip then it should explode at the end of the burn.
Flash powder burns way too fast, just gonna explode once the fuse reaches the powder ;) so the answer is no, you can't use flash as "rocket fuel".
wax the pencil then use glue after the first 1.5 wraps . Use removable tape to hold in lace til dried remove that less waste and lighter. Use exterior wood glue it dries hard and waterproof, you can coat the entire outer tube when done and wrap a paper label over the stick (which is glued on as well) . Mount a nail of correct size through a board and then you can pour stuff in from the top and tamp away knowing you will have right hole right length (trial and error will get you the right length, but then you have it)
WendyLD33 years ago
what is a good tested black powder sub
what other powders can you use and wheir can you find them?
ab02s4 years ago
Use small straw instead of post it and you will get a nice smoke trail and is easier than taping the paper into a cylinder. Awsome otherwise!
lucius108 ab02s3 years ago
no man it needs to be solid after compression and i dont think dirt will do the trick
wizkid74 years ago
Could dirt be used as a substitute for kitty litter?
no man it needs to be solid after compression and i dont think dirt will do the trick
Rhayel723 years ago
i think sand would do the trick...
debob6 years ago
Hi I have been reading your articles on fireworks with interest. Many years ago in my teenage years I spent a lot of time developing large black powder rockets using the soapstring method. which required some specially made hand tools. for further information just leave a request on this forum.
sajada debob6 years ago
Can you please tell me what the soapstring method is? Cause' My only gunpowder source are the matchtops. And thats really not a lot... With all do respect
For cheap easy gunpowder cut open shot gun shells (windchester super sonic have the most) even has little ball bearings/bb's (hint hint)
yay! lets build an RPG just for laughs!
What is the soapstring method?
tigerboy4 years ago
dumb question, will adding kitty litter in the middle and make a large nozzle and then add more powder and cap it...make it a single stage with a explosion at the end?
Is this it?==>
tigerboy4 years ago
will FFFg be fine enough.
tigerboy4 years ago
Would fine sand work?
ok i have all the ingredients for my "homemade" black powder. the only think i am missing is the sulfur, because i mistook the phosphorus on matches for sulfur. does anybody know where i could get some sulfur not on the internet, preferably at a wall mart? would there be a bottle of sulfur pills or something to that effect in the medicine isle? if not, what can i replace the sulfur with? and a coffee grinder works wonders for me on the cat litter. after 20 seconds it is completely powdered. but i strongly frown upon using the coffee grinder for your oxidizer if you are taking the "make your own black powder" approach.
even though you dont wanna deal with the internet click here Goto chemicals and meatals and scroll down to s's and click add to cart on sulfer

P.S were do u get saltpeter (potassium nitrate)
 It depends where you live really...
In the UK you can only buy it online. When I got some I bought it from a website called "HobbyChemicals" it costs £9.99 for 2 Kg.
If your in the US then you can get it in big tubs of stump remover which is usually like 99% KNO3 so thats good enough. I don't know about other countries though :P
P.S there's also a version of the website for America :)

grants stump remover avalible at home depot or ace or any home improvement store. Its mostly kno3 with something else, but its not much so just grind it.
Spectracide is better then grants because it is already powdered. where as grants is granules.
actually i went to home depot and they didn't sell it. they sold something else that was non flammable/explosive. so i went to lowes and got Spectricide stump remover and it contains 100% KNO3
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