Picture of Homemade rocket with rocket fuel and engine
I really like and enjoy estes rocket, and I decided to make one myself. 
I also made the fuel and the engine. All is made from the materials you can easily obtain or even have at your house right now. 

They can go up to 300 meters (1,000 ft) on this fuel. 

Making the fuel involves working with the ammonium nitrate, please before you do it, read this article - http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm
Especially the "What are the immediate health effects of ammonia exposure?" paragraph, so you realize the risks you are taking and I am not responsible for the consequences.

Step 1: Material for the fuel

Picture of Material for the fuel
At first lets make a fuel of our rocket. 
What we will need:
1. Ammonium nitrate (how to get described in the next step)
2. Baking soda
3. Water
4. Sugar
5. Jar/bucket
6. Measuring cup 
7. Newspaper

Cold packs in the USA no longer contain ammonium nitrate. Instead they

are made with a salt solution.

what do I use for the body tube?

theegghead4 months ago

do you know about what size roll makes which rating (the commercially sold ones have ratings such as A-8, C-6 so on so forth). Also, with the estes rockets, will the parachutes be able to deploy? And one last question, can this be ignited electronically? (just wondering because this looks awesome and I may try it...)

quatzecoatl2 years ago
I could be wrong on this, but I'm pretty sure you need an LEP to make rocket fuel
fishik (author)  quatzecoatl2 years ago
I think he means "Low Explosive User Permit" or LEUP. It's certain you need one to store homemade rocket motors or propellant; whether you need one to make propellant is open to a certain level of interpretation, but the commonest reading appears to be that you can make non-detonating materials (like rocket propellant) without a Federal permit as long as they're used the same day they're made, i.e. not stored. State and local restrictions may cause you some heartburn, however.

As noted below, there are also some Federal restrictions on purchase of certain chemicals that are precursors or process ingredients in making methamphetamine -- for instance, I found recently that I can no longer buy "strike anywhere" matches, not because they're hazardous (no more so than they've been for 150 years or so) but because the tiny amount of phosphorus in the heads was being used in making meth. If ammonium nitrate is in that category, American farming is on its way out...

The phosphorus is in the striking pad and not the head of the match.

That's true of safety matches (the kind you can only strike on the striking pad) but not of classic strike-anywhere type. It's the tiny bit of phosphorus in the head that lets you strike them on a zipper, shoe sole, even a particularly coarse five o'clock shadow.

jhopkins92 years ago
Another concern is the felony charge of "Possession Of Precursors To Manufacture Methamphetamines". Purchasing those chemicals together here in Mississippi will almost instantly have you flagged for questioning before leaving Walmart. Other states I'm sure are different. However, I could just imagine the look on the cops face when you inform him you are making rocket fuel not meth... I can't help but think of that scene from The Astronaut Farmer...

You are confusing cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine with cold packs containing amonium nitrate. Two completely different things.

fishik (author)  jhopkins92 years ago
Well, the only "chemical" you are really buying is an ice pack so I don't think its that suspicious.
right on here in missouri it is forgot about that thanks
ReneeH25 months ago

I did everything you said and these engines didn't work. I did it just like you did and it just smoked. Have you even tried this???? What were your results?

If you used a cold pack to get ammonium nitrate you must be aware that not all modern cold packs use ammonium nitrate.
If you did this correctly it would have worked.
one of your steps must have been incorrect......I suspect that IF you did try this, then your mistake was in the type of cold pack used.
I used the same exact ice pack the guy used and the main ingredient was ammonium nitrate

Another possibility is if you didn't leave air space in between the pieces of fuel when you rolled the newspaper up. This design functions as a core-burning rocket, so if the fuel is rolled too tight, there are no "nozzles" built in to direct the burn. I would suggest trying this again, but try rolling it around a toothpick or a bamboo skewer to create an inbuilt fuel nozzle.

Archetype446 months ago

How much thrust, in newtons or pounds, does this engine produce?

C.S.Aswini8 months ago

other than explosive items like potassium nitrate&ammonium nitrate can we use someother.please suggest some

There is no way to make rocket fuel without something that explodes. It wouldn't work at all if there was no explosions.

You don't always need explosives to propel a rocket, for example, if you have ever seen a bottle rocket, it just shoots straight up from fuel, that's why it makes a" swoosh" sound when it takes off

In case you didn't know, rocket fuel needs combustion to create thrust. If you don't want to use chemicals like KNO3 and (NH4)(NO3), then try a bottle rocket. They run on water but they are not as fantastic as a fire propelled rocket.

just an fyi, not sure, about ammonium nitrate, but potassium nitrate is an oxidizer, meaning that by itself, it is not flammable. if you add the other ingredient you needed to make the propellant (powdered sugar), then it becomes dangerous and flammable. the potassium nitrate and powdered sugar is a better and less hazardous way to make rocket fuel anyways, no production of ammonia gas.
bhavjot.malhi6 months ago

can u pleazz send the video that this thing realy work or not

NickHunter1 year ago
So is the 1:1 mixture of baking soda and potassium nitrate supposed to be by volume or mass? I see that you used volume but i was just curious because in everything I have done, mass was used for the ratios. Thanks
buddybro1 year ago

after adding the sugar, im just gonna evaporate all the water out

mshaban1 year ago

can i use matter other than potasium nitrat if i dont have it ?

mshaban1 year ago

when i try it the mixture color turns to brown because of burning of sugar . what i must do ?

dallmanne1 year ago

Im making a rocket and i was wandering how you put the engine in the homemade rocket

Weekend project this!!!
Muharib1 year ago
Hey man, I really like your instructable but I had some concerns 1) when I tried it we had a little less ammonium nitrate (1/4 cup: 60ml) and we used 8.5 cups of water with that. but when we boiled the water and ammoniumm nitrate, We accidentally mixed baking powder instead of baking soda, so when we boiled it the solution would just rise up and out again and again little help please :)
Lenwo2 years ago
Wow that looks interesting - can not wait to make it myself! Pretty excited to see the videos! :)
AmmarJ2 years ago
I tried this launching just the engine, and mine started smoking and hissing but did not take off, would you know why?
fishik (author)  AmmarJ2 years ago
I don't really know, but it could've been because the wick wasn't installed correctly. It should be deep inside the engine, so everything ignites at once and it takes off.
This is cool I think I need to take the chance an create this with my friends
Hospital here I come!!! ;)
my wookie2 years ago
cold pack's probably not just the easiest, but also cheapest and fastest. (some people might not be too exited if you were buying fertilizer for rockets)
thebear12 years ago
very good   one thing i would do is to put at the top of your instructable  the statement listed below

Please before you do it, read this article - http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm
Especially the "What are the immediate health effects of ammonia exposure?" paragraph, so you realize the risks you are taking and I am not responsible for the consequences.
which you put in after the  boil picture ok outside of that very good job
i have voted for you
fishik (author)  thebear12 years ago
Thanks a lot for the advise and for voting!