Model Rocket Motors
using recrystallized KN/Sucrose propellant

The Project:  To develop a method of making model rocket motors that are competitive in reliability and performance to commercial motors, using materials and tools that can be found around the house, or purchased at minimal cost from an hardware store.

The only pieces that do not fit the "easy access" requirement are the potassium nitrate (KN, KNO3) and Bentonite clay, which might need to be ordered from a pyrotechnic supplier.

Model Rocket Motors,  A photo-illustrated procedure:  

Motor Tubes made from posterboard1.  Motor tubes - made from posterboard and Elmer's Glue

Nozzle Drill  2.  Nozzle Drill - posterboard, Elmer's, and a drill bit. 

Nozzle - Pressed Bentonite clay   3.  Nozzles - rammed Bentonite clay

Propellant Grains   4.  Grains and Motor Assembly

BATES grains   5.  Bates grains for tiny motors - lower thrust, but longer burn.  Averages out about the same total thrust

Model Rocket Motor Movies - 9 videos, about 40 minutes total play time, illustrating various aspects of the making of these little motors.  

Nozzle Forming Tool - a better way to make nozzles than using the drill.  


Scratch-built airframes:  detailed description, making attractive and functional airframes from materials you might already have.

Airframe body tubes
Nose Cones

James Yawn
Revised 12/21/08