Instructables
Picture of Making Rocket Tooling
In this instructable I'll tell you how to make tooling for 1/4 inch diameter black powder bottle rocket tooling.I looked all over the internet for 1/4" rocket tooling, but couldn't find a set. Using things that can most likely be bought from your local hardware store, like aluminum rods, you can make a set for under $25 (excuding the drill and Dremel tool).
 
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Step 1: Materials

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You will need-

-Dremel tool
-reinforced cut wheel
-abrasive polish
-polishing wheel
-Drill
-1/4" aluminum rod*
-Tubes that fit the rod
-Ruler
-Vice grips(not required, but handy)
-Sharpie marker
-Some other polish (not required)
-Coarse sandpaper

*Aluminum must be used because that it is completely non-sparking

Step 2: Marking and Cutting the Rod

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You'll need the Dremel tool, drill, sharpie, vice grips, rod, reinforced cut-wheels, and ruler.

First, measure down from one end of the rod 1 1/4", and mark it with the marker. Then, measure down 1 1/2" from that mark and mark again. Then mark 2 1/4" inches from that, and do the same. Once again, mark 2 3/4" fron that mark and mark it. At the mark you just made, cut through all the way with the Dremel tool, using the cut wheel. Set the unmarked section to the side.

Puth the marked rod into the drill, and tighten it.Take the dremel tool with one hand, and turn it on. With the other hand, spin the drill. Push the spinning cut wheel against the mark CLOSEST to the drill. spin the drill while doing this, and cut it off.Loosen the drill and repeat until all the rods are cut apart.

Note: the rod does not have to be all of the way cut apart; you can bend it apart when a little remains (see fig.3).
What do you use this for?
PetervG7 years ago
I'm curious. Could you also just use the dowel you made the case with? It would the the right size, and it won't spark because it's made of wood. I playing around with my case and dowel right now, it could be hammered down and I think would be a perfect ram. I want to hear your thoughts.
PetervG PetervG7 years ago
Pictures.
IMG_0801.JPGIMG_0802.JPG
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
Wood is good, but you can't clean it as easy, and it can break. Wood is better, but usually only on larger cases because on smaller cases it will break (like on the 1/4" casings shown here). Also, If you need a larger number of casings, you are not going to make them, your going to buy them (they are cheap, consistant, and usually better quality than what you could make). One thing that I didn't add in the instruct able is that these are spiral-wound, so they need a sleeve that prevents splitting.
So I can go ahead and make my bottle rocket? I've made fuses that work very well, and black power from pot nit off of ebay, sulfur from a gardening store, and charcol from a hardware store lol. Maybe it will fly, maybe not. I with I had a smaller dowel though. The BP is annoying to make
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
If you think your casings thick enough, and you really know what to do, then yeah. What size dowel are you using? 1/2"? 3/4"? What type of fuse? (Black match, etc.) Are you using a nozzel, and out of what?
1/2 Homemade Black Match And I'm not sure about the nozzle. Kitty Litter? And I was wondering, when I start to do the ramming, there won't be a hole through it because it will have no spike. Where do I put the fuse then, if there no hole.
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
Half inch Casing are good, if a little big (I havent made one that big yet)
Haven't made black match yet-I use american visco from skylighter.
Kitty litter or oil absorbing clay stuff works, as long as it is bentonite.Do you have a ball mill? If you do, grind it into a powder, which is pretty much necessary to use it as a nozzle mix.(grinding is quicker if you fill it less than you'd normally fill it)
Use a nozzle drill, and pound in this order:
-stick tape on the bottom of the casing,and pound in a layer of bentonite.
-use a nozzle drill to drill the nozzle
-put the tape on again and pound in the black powder
-pound in the end layer of clay.

Nozzle Drill
I have a rock tumbler with led weights for fishing. It's quite funny if you see my routine for making black power. It's really stressful to make for me because I'm using all this random stuff. But it works, a bit slow burning though.
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
Also, when you make the rocket, you must make sure that everything is packed, or it will explode.(speaking from experience)
This looks like a promising, even burning propellent ,worth testing(w/o the aluminium).
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
Try using pocket change AND the lead fishing weights. Since you don't live in the U.S., try using the coin thay is the heaviest, that won't spark (before I got my ball mill from pyrocreations.com, I used a rock tumbler with nickels, quarters, and lead fishing weights ti grind my powder, and they never spark.). Grinding the bentonite into a powder is important, it allows for an even, strong pack. If you were desprate, you could grind it up on smooth concrete or a piece of old tile,kind of like this. Also, they say to make your nozzle layer of clay as thick as the caing's inside diameter.
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
Using a half-inch casing, I wouldn't make it over 5" long(~13cm)
John Smith (author)  PetervG7 years ago
John Smith (author)  John Smith7 years ago
Your case is thin, what are you using it for,or are you going to use more layers? Out of curiosity, what glue, paper, and size dowel are you using?
jetnutter7 years ago
never use this tooling for wistle rocket with a hamer you will blow your self up wistle mix fuel must only ever be pressed prefrably with a blast sheild infrunt of your press sorry for being so blunt but its for the safty of the user of this tooling. new member jetnutter
John Smith (author)  jetnutter7 years ago
But that's for whistle rockets. This can be used for black powder, RP, or sugar rockets, which are perfectly safe for hammering (i've never saw sugar explode). Whistle rockets are not safe to ram, but that was not the point of this. In theory these could be used for pressing rocket fuel too.
I fully agree with you but in the orignail instruck the writer sead it mite be possible to use the tooling for wistle rockets that was the bit i was worried about if used with blackpowder I carnt see a problem. jetnutter
rhino7 years ago
I need to know where the instructable is that tells me how to use this instructable. Thanks.
John Smith (author)  rhino7 years ago
Kiteman7 years ago
Aluminium can be used, but it is not completely non-sparking. Powedered aluminium is actually an important rocket fuel.

If you want completely non-sparking, use brass rods or 1/4 inch dowels.

There are some good ideas for mass-producing rocket motors here: http://balloons.space.edu/ndra/nickle.html

Unfortunately, it's very illegal in the UK (a nice man from the local police station carefully explained that I'd be breaking at least three different laws before I even lit them).
Biopyro Kiteman7 years ago
Interesting, did he say which laws?
Kiteman Biopyro7 years ago
Health and Safety, explosive manufacture and anti-terrorism were the ones that sprung immediately to mind. It may also break the special laws about making fireworks as well, but he wasn't sure, and he did ask nicely, "please would I not make him have to find out?"
Biopyro Kiteman7 years ago
Ah interesting. many people in the uk do make their own fireworks, and although i think that many do break laws, It's more a police discretion kind of thing. If you're not doing anything to wind anyone up, then the police will leave you to it. If you're causing a promblem they'll take you down. Check out UK rocketry + pyro forums
mje Kiteman7 years ago
Powdered, flaked or atomized aluminum will burn, but then, so will finely dispersed flour, or atomized brick dust. Aluminum tools are as non-sparking as any other metal sold as non-sparking, like monel, aluminum bronze, etc. Pyrotechnicians have been using aluminum tools for a long time.
John Smith (author)  Kiteman7 years ago
It might not be completely non sparking, but I'm okay with that semi-remote risk.
chuckr447 years ago
Non-dairy creamer also ignites nicely when in a fine powder in the air. A few years ago a plant that makes the stuff blew up. Some people were hurt but no one killed.
mje chuckr447 years ago
Almost anything will burn when finely atomized (unless it's already oxidized). There have been many explosions in flour mills, and mine explosions are typically due to the ignition of clouds of dust.
westfw7 years ago
What's the point in different lengths of rammer if there's no core?
John Smith (author)  westfw7 years ago
I see your point. It is not required that you have all 4 rammers. You can be just fine with 2 or 3, but I don't like ramming a clay endplug with a fraction of an inch at the top with a 2 or 3 inch long peice of metal.My hands aren't steady enough for that. Another reason it that it looks good.Is there a problem with that?