Instructables

Recycle old magazines into colorful stomp rockets

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Safety notes: Either launch a sufficient distance from people or have everyone close by wear safety goggles or both.  Never launch at people.  If launching by direct blowing, you are responsible for checking whether (a) the project meets your local legal definition of a blowgun and (b) whether blowguns are legal at your location.  Children need to be supervised.

Stomp rockets are launched by stomping on a plastic bottle, but they can also be launched by just blowing into a tube.

Ingredients and tools:
  • Old glossy magazine, including some mail-in cards or other cardstock
  • Paper glue (we used Aleene's Tacky Glue)
  • 1/2" CPVC pipe, 12" to 60" as per preference
  • Scissors and/or utility knife
  • Safety goggles for launch
You can just use the above and launch by blowing, blowgun-style, or you can add:
  • 2L soda bottle (we used a Gatorade bottle as that's all we had at home, and this was a quick weekend morning project)
  • segment of old bicycle inner tube
  • rubber bands / shoelaces / etc.
or you can build one of these fancy launchers.

Step 1: Rocket: Tube

1. Cut a colorful page from a magazine.  Make sure the edges don't have rips.  You can use a utility knife and a rule to cut a lot of them at once.

2. Roll page around CPVC pipe.  Make sure it's loose but not too loose.  It needs to slide very smoothly, but if you leave too much of a gap, air will escape.  You can experiment and see what works best.  

3. Glue the outside edge in place.  Make sure none of the outside edge is loose, and don't get glue on the pipe as it'll impede movement.
 
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arpruss (author) 1 year ago
I have since found that it's better to make a styrofoam nose cone. I may eventually make a new Instructable for that version or just update this one. A styrofoam nose cone can be blunter which is (a) safer, (b) more durable and (c) more aerodynamic at subsonic speeds. I basically turned them on my drill press using this method (not mine): http://www.instructables.com/id/FAST-FOAM-LATHE/
bryce20021 year ago
G
tstens1 year ago
Wow, my son just did this exact same project in school today. We had to send in 2-liter soda bottles and magazines (stapled, not glued). I was wondering how they were going to make rockets with them, and this is exactly what they did! Great 'Ible!
arpruss (author)  tstens1 year ago
Thanks! I guess I wasn't the first one to think of making stomp rockets this way, then (I assume they didn't get the project idea from here).

What inspired me is instructions for making cone darts from magazines for blowguns, and then thinking how to modify the method to make rockets.

The nice thing about magazines is that they're slick, so the friction is down, and light.
dlizlovs1 year ago
" If launching by direct blowing, you are responsible for checking whether (a) the project meets your local legal definition of a blowgun and (b) whether blowguns are legal at your location." If this is what our laws have come to with benign, innocent kid projects like this, then common sense has finally breathed its last. About two days ago, I suggested to Father Mike that we have a Mass for the repose of the soul of Common Sense. Father's comment was that these days that would no be a bad idea.