3/4" Black Powder Core Burner Rocket
Posted by Jason Musselwhite on 21 March 2013 05:25 PM

3/4" BP Core Burner Rocket Tooling

Items needed:

  • - 3/4" ID x 7.5" long tubes
  • 3/4" tube plugs
  • small funnel
  • 1 teaspoon measuring scoop
  • fine clay
  • BP fuel
  • masking tape
  • wooden rocket sticks (generally 5/16" dia x 36-48" works well)
  • 3/32" or 1/8" visco fuse
  • 16 oz dead blow mallet
  • wood glue or super glue

1) Set the 1 motor tube over the spindle until it is seated against the base.

2) Using your scoop and your funnel, dump 1 level teaspoon powdered clay into the motor tube.

3) Insert the #1 rammer (the long cored rammer with a slight taper on one end) and ram the clay with a 6-7 blows from your mallet. Throughout the entire ramming process use a couple light blows to consolidate the clay or fuel. Follow this up with 4-5 solid whacks to produce a tight fuel grain. NOTE: Each rammer has a line machined into the end of it.  This is a "no pass" line. Should you ram fuel or clay so that this line disappears below the end of the motor tube you will damage your rocket spindle. If your rammer is a bit difficult to pull out of the tube, insert the puller into the cross hole in the end of the rammer to help you twist and pull the rammer from the motor tube.

4) Remove the rammer, clean out the core and dump another level 1 teaspoon of clay into the tube and ram with your mallet.

5) Repeat step #4 but using fuel instead of clay.  (You will use the #1 cored rammer for 5 individual 1 teaspoon increments total; 2 increments of clay and 3 increments of fuel)

6) Switch to the #2 rammer (the shorter cored rammer with a flat face) and ram 5 individual 1 teaspoon increments cleaning out the core after each ramming.

7) Switch to the #3 rammer (solid) and ram 5 more individual 1 teaspoon increments.

8) Dump in a little pinch of loose fuel and cap the motor with a tube plug securing it with a bit of glue. This loose powder will produce a small poof at the end of the rockets flight. There are other chemical mixtures that can be used to produce a loud report or a small colored header, however, these are beyond the scope of this project.

9) With a slight clockwise twisting motion remove the motor from the spindle. Tape or glue the rocket motor to the end of a rocket stick.

10) Insert a small length of fuse into the motor nozzle and secure with a bit of tape.

11) Launch your rockets from a tube (plastic or cardboard).



Notes Across all Rocket Types:

1) When making your BP fuel, follow the instructions provided in the kit. However, DO NOT add any starch or other binding agent to the mix. With rocket fuel used in hand rammed black powder motors, you want the fuel to compress easily into one solid grain inside the motor tube.  Adding starch makes it harder to compress this fuel into a single unit.  Simply mixing the ingredients together, dampening with water and granulating through a screen will work just fine.

2) Use a 16 oz plastic "dead blow" type hammer with BP type fuels only. Do not attempt to ram any other fuel type (whistle, strobe or fuels containing metals) using the method detailed here.  It doesn't take much effort to ram the fuel into a solid grain.  A couple medium taps on the rammer with a dead blow hammer will help seat the fuel. A couple more solid whacks will produce a nice solid grain.

3) Clean the cored rammers (the ones with holes in the ends) after ramming each increment of fuel. This is extremely important as keeping the cores free of fuel will help prevent an accident or damage to your tools. A dowel rod or short length of brass or stainless rod works quite well. Do not use any item containing a sparking material (ie. drill bits or similar) to clean the core.
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