Match Rockets




Introduction: Match Rockets

About: Why fix it if it ain't broken? Because it's fun.

I'm taking a step back from the electronics and reliving my earlier years with an instructable on match rockets. I did not create these, i'm just sharing the idea. These provided hours of fun for me and my friends. Best of all, they are simple, and practically free to build. But as is obvious from the title, these use matches and are rockets, so they do deal in fire. Because of this, a precautionary statement is needed:

WARNING: Match rockets involve fire, and because of that, adult superviosion is required when young children are using the rockets. Always use common sense, and be safe when playing with fire. Always assemble and lauch the match rockets outdoors.

Step 1: Materials

With that out of the way, lets get to it. The first step is to obtain the materials. You will need:
Sheet of aluminum foil (Any size will do)
Box of kitcen matches (Large matches with the wooden sticks work the best)
Piece of wire (about 3 inches in length. You want something thin but rigid. A straightened paperclip works)
Optional: Gas grill lighter

Step 2: Build the Launch Stand

First, bend the wire into a shape as shown. A wide, steady base is needed, and when place on the ground, a stright peice a little more than 1/4 inch long has to be pointed at about a 45 degree angle. This is going to be the launch stand. 

Step 3: Prepare the Matches

Using the scissors, cut the match head off as close to the lighting material as possible. Be careful not to chip the material off when doing this, since it is the match head we want. You can prepare multiple matches at once so you have plently of match heads availabe.

Step 4: Cut the Aluminum Foil

This step isnt very critical. You want a peice about 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch, roughly square. But the exact demensions and size aren't very important. 

Step 5: Build the Rocket

To put the next step simply: wrap the tinfoil around the match head with the tip of the launch stand touching the match head. Make sure that the lighting material is touching the lauch stand when doing this, and that when it is done, the match is completely covered. If done correctly, the rocket will look like a wolf pack popper. And when the launch sand is removed, there will be a hole through which the lighting material is visible. This is the nozzle. However, it is not recommended that the launch stand is removed after wrapping, as it is hard to get it back into the nozzle propperly.
Refer to the pictures for more specific instructions, or watch the video below. To see a video of the launch, go to the last step.

Step 6: Launch It!

Before launching the rocket, twist it on the launch stand and gently wiggle it in all directions. This is to ensure that it is loose and will come off easily when lit. Then, place the launch stand on the ground. You can use either a match or a grill lighter to ignite the rocket. With the match/lighter lit, hold the flame directly under the match head. The heat will ignite the match material, and with a quiet poof, the rocket will shoot of the stand. If it worked the first time, then thats great! If not, thats not unusual. The rockets can be finnicky, and some will launch beautifully while some will just burst on the launch stand. Keep this in mind, and don't get discouraged if the first couple dont work. 

Other suggestions: The rockets can be used for games as well. My friends and I used to see whose rocket would launch the furthest, as well as set up targets, like a coffee can lying on its side, and see who could get the most rockets to shoot into the can in a certain amount of launches. Just don't use anything living as a target, such as another person, because the rockets can be scalding hot after a lunch, and lead to burns. The launch stand can also heat up, so be careful when handling it.

Congratulations on the completion of your Match Rocket!

Below is a video of the launch. The rocket traveled about 5 feet.

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    8 Discussions


    6 years ago

    I copied me


    6 years ago on Step 6

    That's awesome. I use lighters at my house but i don't know where to buy matches.?


    7 years ago on Step 6

    can you make them bigger?


    7 years ago

    does it only work if u use tin foil could u use paper


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I did this but I put tons if Match heads in on foil it didn't end well my eye still hurts


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 6

    That was pure luck that it came out that well. It was actually a little breezy, and my camer kinda crappy with a very slow shutter (It was from when 5 megapixels was a LOT for a digital camera) The stars aligned for that photo