How To Make Black Powder Rockets

Resources for Making Black Powder Rockets:

You can make your own black powder rockets. It's easy if you have the right instructions, tools, chemicals and other supplies. Here's a resource guide to help you get started building black powder rockets.

Black powder rockets usually come in two basic types: stick rockets, and spin stabilized rockets.

Stick rockets usually consist of an engine made from a cardboard tube attached to one end of a wooden stick. The stick acts as a stabilizer to make the rockets fly in the direction they're pointed.

Spin stabilized rockets do not have sticks. They normally consist of a short cardboard tube engine mounted on a metal pin. When ignited, they first spin around on the metal pin, then launch skyward. The spinning causes them to be stable enough to fly. Spin stabilized rockets are often called "stinger missiles," which is also the name of a popular consumer firework of the same type.

Before you make any rockets, you should learn as much as you can about how black powder rockets are made. Skylighter has a number of information resources to help you learn about making black powder rockets.


For More information on each book click on it's name.


  • Crossette Rockets
    Tom Rebenklau, two-time PGI Grand Master, and with 20 years of experience building rockets shows his method of producing his exquisite double crossette (split comet) rockets.
  • End Burning Rockets
    Rocket guru Steve LaDuke developed and shows how to make these extremely short-cored rockets, which have incredible thrust.
  • Hybrid Black Powder Rockets
    A full one hour and forty minute demonstration of black powder rockets that whistle.

Chemicals for Making Black Powder Firework Rockets

The fuel used in black powder firework rockets is made from three chemicals:
- Potassium nitrate
- Sulfur
- Charcoal
Other chemicals are used for the rockets nozzles and can be added to make spark trails.

You can make your own black powder for your rockets fuel either as "green powder" (hand mixed, not milled powder) or as ball-milled powder. Green powder is a fast and easy to make black powder, but is not very powerful. Ball-milled black powder requires a ball mill to make, but is the most powerful and efficient black powder firework rocket fuel you can make.

Here is a list of chemicals you will need for making black powder firework rockets.

Kits for Making Black Powder Firework Rockets

You can get complete kits for making rockets. Rocket making kits typically contain the tooling, tubes, chemicals, fuse, and any other parts needed to make each particular kind of rocket. They’re the most economical way to buy everything needed to make a rocket. And of course, you have the added assurance that all parts and sizes are correct for each type of rocket.

Tools for Making Stick Rockets:
Complete Kits for Making Stinger Missile Rockets:

Tools for Making Black Powder Firework Rockets

The most reliable black powder firework rockets are made using professionally made black powder rocket tool sets. These are custom made for Skylighter by professional firework toolmakers. The different tool set sizes are described as "4 ounce," "1 pound," etc. You can click on each tool set to see the actual rockets size and tube dimensions. The thing to keep in mind is that the tool set size has to match the size of the rocket tube you buy. To make 1-pound (3/4 inch inside diameter) rockets, you would buy 1 pound tubes and a 1-pound rocket set.

The tool sets for making stick rockets are different than those for making stinger missiles. The two types of rocket making tool sets are not interchangeable.

Tools for Making Stick Rockets:
Tools for Making Stinger Missile Rockets:

Tubes for Making Black Powder Rocket Engines

Skylighter's cardboard tubes are custom made in standard rocket tube sizes. They come pre-cut in standard rocket tube lengths or uncut. If you buy the longer, uncut tubes and cut them yourself with a table or other power saw, you could save 30-50%.

Stinger Missile Rocket Tubes

Black Powder Stick Rocket Tubes

As with Stinger missiles, good strong tubes make the difference between success and failure.

Free Black Powder Rocket Project Plans

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