Introduction: Scratch Built Model Rocket

About: I like anything to do with RC, Model Rocketry, and Crafts! Follow me for fun things to do in your free time!

3…2…1… LIFTOFF

Hey all! For this instructable I have created a fun 1 stage model rocket that is capable of house an A,B, or C engine! This guide will be for beginners and people just looking for tips! I have been in this hobby for about 5 years now and I would like to share what I have learned. I have built many Estes and other companies rockets (like the Gnome, Cheetah, and Moon Lander). This is version 2 of the rocket because I blew up the first one. I hope you have just as much fun making/ launching this as I did! If you like it please vote for me in the Move It Challenge!

Step 1: Knowing the Engine

The first thing to do for building a homemade model rocket is you have to understand what's powering it. So in this step we will manly be focusing on the C6-7 Engine. The first thing we will talk about is the motor class. The class of an engine tells us if an engine will go higher than another engine. For example, you have a C engine and a D engine. The farther down you go in the alphabet the higher the rocket will go. So that means the D engine will go higher than the C engine. How do we know this? We know this because each motor gives off a certain number of Newtons of force. The C engine will give off between 5 to 10 Newtons (total amount of impulse). But that's a broad range of impulse isn't it? So now we have to know the average amount of newtons it gives off. This is where the 6 in the C6-7 comes in. This number gives us the average amount of Newtons the engine will give off. That means the C6-7 gives off an average 6 Newtons! So now that we have learned about the C and the 6 lets learn about the 7! The number after the dash is the length of time which the delay burns for in seconds. The delay is what deploys the recovery out of your rocket. This means that it takes 7 seconds from the time that the delay burns to the time that your parachute deploys. Now that you know this valuable information lets get onto the materials!

Step 2: Materials

Most materials you can find at your house or buy for cheap online! * items are not shown in picture.


1. 1-2 sheets of paper (It doesn't matter what color you choose but it should be light colored!)

2. 1 paper clip

*3. Nose Cone (you can buy off Ebay for 5.00 or make our own)

4. Medium sized rubber band

*5. Recovery System (Tumble, Streamer, Parachute, etc)

6. Non corrugated cardboard (cereal box)

7. Tape (packing is the best but scotch works fine to)

8. Printer paper

9. 1-2 inch straw

10. An A,B, or C engine.


*A. Hot Glue Gun

B. Scissors

C. Ruler

D. Protractor

E. Pen/ Pencil

Now that you know how to actually make it, lets move on to building the fuselage!

Step 3: Building Fuselage

So in all the kits that I built there is the fuselage and then the engine housing. In this rocket the fuselage is the engine housing. So it's like a 2 for 1. To build the fuselage get a piece of the brightly colored paper you chose and roll it up so that the diameter of your tube is about 1" (I like to wrap the tube around my middle fingers knuckle, I found out that it's about 1"). After your done tape it together nicely. Now wrap the second piece of paper around the one you just rolled up and tape it together to make it even more sturdy. Now that the fuselage is built, lets make the fins.

Step 4: Fins

For the fins we will use the cereal box. This will provide a sturdy and light fin so you will have more control over your flights. The first thing you will want to do is follow the pattern in the first picture and cut it out 4 times with your scissors. The optional thing is to spray paint your fins so they look better when putting them on, but I'm going to leave mine be. After you are done with cutting them out hot glue them onto your rocket like in the second picture. Now you are done with your fins.

Step 5: Engine Resistor

Now that you have your fins done you can now put the engine resistor in. What this does is it resists the engine from blowing up through the nose cone and wrecking your rocket. What could possibly do that you might ask? A paperclip. Insert the paper clip through an open side of your rocket fins and make sure it is long enough to go through the other side. Put a dab of hot glue where your holes are to make it sturdy. Don't make this resistor too high or else the rocket will get stuck and you will have a hard time getting it back! Also make sure you have enough for it to reach down below your engine to stop it from coming out of the bottom. Done? Ok lets move on to one of our final steps. Recovery System.

Step 6: Recovery System

In this step we will talk about what type of recoveries there are. I would pick one of two options. For this rocket either tumble or streamer should work just fine. You could go parachute but you might lose it if you don't have a big field. Here are the different types:

Tumble: This type is basically letting your rocket fall to the ground.

Streamer: This is when you attach a streamer to your shock cord and it creates drag.

Parachute: This attaches to your shock cord as well. Generally the rule of thumb is for every 2 grams on your rocket you want to add an extra half inch to your parachute

Glider: this is when the actual body is the recovery system. It glides down in any way you want (straight, loops, or turning to a side). Generally you want to have a big field to use this type of recovery system.
For the rocket we are going to build we will be using a 4 inch orange streamer. This way the rocket will come down a little slower and the nose cone won't stick 5 inches into the ground. To attach the streamer we first have to attach the shock cord. To do this cut the rubber band in half and fold a piece of paper over one end of it (pic #1). Glue this piece of paper about 2 inches into the inside of the nose cone (pic #2). Then tie the other side onto the nose cone. No nose cone? Roll the printer paper up at an angle (see pic #4) just enough to put over the rockets fuselage and cut down the excess. Then take another cutout of paper and fold and glue the other end to the inside of the nose cone. After you have done that, take one end of the streamer and fold over the rubber band then tape it together (pic #3). There you have it. A nice recovery system and nose cone!

Step 7: Launch!

So now you have this rocket and you think what to do now? Should I put it on a shelf and leave it or should I launch it? You launch it! Before you launch it you have to make a guider. This is to keep the rocket guided up straight or wherever you are pointing it. Just cut out a piece of straw and glue it to the side of the rocket (pic #1). It doesn't have to be too big. An inch or so is fine! To launch the rocket attach the engine to the rocket and put in the screw thing along with the igniter. Slip the rocket down your launch pad and attach two leads to your battery and your rocket. You now have LIFTOFF! Thank you for reading this Instructable and please vote for me in the Move It Challenge! Here are some tips to make it better:

Add different recovery systems.

Rotate fins a little so the rocket spins on its way up.

Use a Spektrum remote and receiver to control the rocket on the way up.

Add more fins

Build out of cardboard (Version 1, was a little too heavy so I had to use paper)

Use a bigger engine!

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