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Laymens Term: If your afraid that you might hurt yourself or others around you...DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS PROJECT. Let me make this perfectly clear. Were are dealing with volatile materials. Even though I personally have never had a dangerous situation arise when dealing with these materials, it can happen. I have been safe mostly due to the fact I have followed the instructions on making this fuel to the letter. Also, all my static and dynamic motor testing, as well as fuel testing, have been done under great care to the idea of caution. Safe test firing solutions will be discussed later on in this project.
Recommendations if you do decide to attempt this project:
1. Follow all directions carefully.
2. Read the steps fully and understand them.
3. Take precautionary steps of safety.
4. Use sound judgement when dealing with volatile materials such as these.
5. Make sure such a project is not a violation of local laws. (In the light of recent events, anything could be against the law anymore, F***** patriot act!)
<Sigh> That just about takes care of that. </sigh>
First off, lets do a quick run down of the Why, how and when.
Answer: For some of us, just getting it to work is half the fun, the other half being that you know you accomplished something that wasn't the easiest thing in the world to do. Oh yeah, and trust me when I say this....If you think HomeMade rocket engines are cheaper than Commercial ones like "Estes", its not. Well, at least not initially. I think i have spent $40 dollars alone, and I'm just now to the point I can trust my motors from failing enough to install them in an actual model rocket.
Answer: Using home-made tools and materials to build and test your own rocket motors. Only a few parts and materials will need to be ordered/obtained.
Answer: This project has already taken me about a month and a half (about 7 accumulated hours a week) to get to a reliable engine that will not fail. My failure rate is down to 5% or less. When I started it was about 90%. Why the huge diffrence in failure rates? Easy answer to that one is "Experience". This project is not one you can do in a day. This is a time consuming project to undertake. But the payoff, well at least for me, is one of educational and personal satisfaction.
Notice: I will be using the information I gathered from another website, my own experience and techniques to write my own version on how to build the rockets motors. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how well one can follow my steps/instructions.
Finally, with all that rambling out of the way, lets get on to the project itself. First, lets go ahead and get all the materials and tools neccesary. I do however suggest that you read all the relative pages and text I have prepared on this project before you decide to buy anything neccesary to complete this project. I have set this up in a checklist type format to make it easier.
Parts and Tools Checklist:
___1.Heavy-Duty aluminum foil
___2.(2) Pieces of Poster Board
___5.(2) 1/2 Inch Hardwood Dowels
___6.Sugar (Any type will do, I suggest just normal sugar cane type)
___7.(2) Pyrex 9inch Glass Pie Plates (Found mine in wally world for cheap.)
___8.Bamboo Skewers (Like for shish kabobs.)
___9.Clear Packaging Tape
___11.YardStick (Ruler will work, but makes work harder)
___13.Oven Tempature Guage (Optional, if you dont trust the temp. setting on your oven.)
___14.Oven Mitts (A MUST)
___15.Spoon (one you dont mind ruining)
___16.Airtight Storage Container
___17.Two Part 5-Minute Epoxy
___19.Plastic Packaging Tape
___20.Mixing Containers (cup, styrofoam types work well.)
___21.Airtight Containers (ziploc bags work as well, but gladware containers are ideal.)
___22.Plenty of rubber bands. (Just lots of them and nothing to big)
___23.Medium grit sandpaper (Choose a grit that will just make hardwood smooth.)
___24.Scale or weight, accurate to within 1 gram. (must be able to handle up to 200 grams max and weigh to an accuracy of a gram)
___25.Epoxy Putty (Stuff that hardens like metal)
___27.Bandsaw or Hacksaw (Either one will do)
(The next two materials are harder to obtain, I had to order both of these.)
___. Bentonite Clay (Search on ebay: "Bentonite Clay", got mine from ebay seller: "koinaturalenhancer", just make sure whatever bentonite clay you get that its a fine mesh type.)
___. KNO3 (Potasium Nitrate...aka "Salt Peter") <Please refer to the link about "KN/Sucrose Fuel" at the bottom of this page to find out where to obtain this stuff.>
Ok, now that we got all the materials neccesary to complete this project, lets discuss how this is gonna be done. The steps to making a rocket motor are somewhat time consuming and laborious. I will organize it into subsections for simplicity:
Section 1. Motor Tube Construction
Section 2. Making The Nozzles <section COMPLETE>
Section 3. KN/Sucrose Fuel (Making the fuel) <section COMPLETE>
Section 4. Molding The Fuel <section COMPLETE>
Section 5. Rocket Motor Construction (Bringing all the parts together) <section COMPLETE>
Section 6. Ignitor Construction <section COMPLETE>
Section 7. Static Testing <section COMPLETE>
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