Make a rocket?

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To make a rocket, choose a design based on cost, purchase a kit or assemble from scratch. Materials needed include cardstock, tape, adhesive, wooden dowels, sandpaper, and maple wood. Assemble the body tube, fins, and spinner, then attach the motor and igniter. Customize with paint or stickers.

With thousands of different rocket designs available, there are just as many ways to create a rocket. The first step in making a rocket is deciding on a design, which will be largely influenced by the costs involved. The most common way to build a rocket is to purchase a prepackaged kit; however, many builders choose to assemble from scratch. Some materials are required before construction, including cardstock, double-sided tape, and spray adhesive, as well as three wooden dowels with diameters of 0.75, 0.50, and 0.25 inches (1.9, 1.27, and 0.64 centimeters), a piece of fine-grit sandpaper, and a piece of maple wood.

The first step in making a rocket from scratch is to assemble the body tube by cutting the billboard into four equal rectangles, each measuring 11cm wide and 27.94cm long. Use the 14 inch (35.56 cm) dowel to pre-roll both 0.25 inch (0.64 cm) edges of the cardstock by curling the cardboard around the dowel and rolling it a couple of times. Then, place a strip of double-sided tape along the length of one of the pre-rolled edges. Apply an even coat of spray adhesive to the side of the panel opposite the side with the tape. The edge of the taped cardboard is then rolled around the 11 inch (27.94 cm) dowel towards the glue side until all of the cardboard is rolled to form a cylindrical tube.

Follow the instructions above using a 11 x 20 cm (27.94 x 50.8 inch) sheet of cardboard and the 0.50 cm (1.27 inch) dowel to form a second tube. Cut one inch (2.54 cm) off the end of this tube and insert it into the rocket body. Apply all purpose glue around the inside of the body, about 3.5cm from the bottom. Push the cut section of the tubing along the body until it contacts the glue. The bottom of the tube should be 8.89 inches (3.5 cm) from the bottom of the body tube.

The next step in making a rocket is making the fins. You will need a piece of maple 12 inches (30.48 cm) long, 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) wide, and 3/32 inch (0.24 cm) thick. Mark a point in the center of the piece of wood to use as a reference. You will then mark another point along the bottom edge of the piece 1 inch from the left edge and another point along the top edge 1 inch from the right edge.

Mark the last two points 1 inch (2.54 cm) from the top left and bottom right centers. Cut the wood diagonally from the lower left mark to the upper left mark and diagonally from the lower right mark to the upper right mark to form the fins. Sand the leading edges of the flaps to a point with a fine grit sandpaper to improve aerodynamics. Use all-purpose glue to secure the lugs at even intervals around the base of the body tube.

Use a 2-inch wide by 3-inch long piece of copy scratch paper and roll it around a 1/8-inch dowel to form the launch flap. The paper should be glued together using an all purpose glue. Glue the launch fin vertically, next to one of the fins.
To make the spinner, mark the center point along the top edge of a 3×5 index card. Roll the left edge inward and wrap the right edge around the left section to form a cone. Note that the nose of the cone should be in the mark made in the center of the card.
Unroll the cone until you only see the first crease made on the left side and apply spray adhesive from where the left edge meets the paper to the right edge. Rewind the cone now that the glue is in place. Trim the excess paper from the bottom of the cone, making sure the diameter of the bottom of the cone is 0.75 inch (1.9 cm). Use all-purpose glue to attach the cone to the top of the body tube.

Apply a small amount of glue to the rocket motor casing and insert the motor into the bottom of the rocket. Connect the igniter to the rocket motor via the plastic cap included with the motor. To make a rocket unique to your personality, apply paint designs or vinyl stickers to the body and fins.

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