Rocket Motor Tooling Kits
Please Note: All of our rocket kits are made to fit NEPT (New England Paper Tubes). If you are using anything but NEPT, you will have to send us a sample of your tube so that the kit will fit your special tube.
Custom Rocket Press
Are you tired of using those bottle jack presses? Need a reliable press that can do rockets, star plates, large comets etc.? Then this press is for you. This press will be the last one you will ever buy. Built of the finest components, every item chosen is for extreme duty. All hoses and fittings rated at 8000 PSI or more. Four color-coded leak-proof hydraulic disconnects make disassembly easy for transportation.
The safety shield is made of two sheets of polycarbonate for a total thickness of ¾". Machined aluminum blocks clamp the shield instead of simply drilling and tapping the plastic shield itself. Two ¼" thick hinges support the whole shield unit. Heavy-duty quick release latch holds the shield closed during pressing operations.
Power is supplied by a 1-HP Haldex pump preset to 2500 lbs giving you 17,671 PSI at the 3" diameter ram cylinder with an 8" stroke. Easy accessed relief valve on the pump lets you adjust the loading pressures of rockets, comets, star plates etc. to a predetermined level when pressing multiple rockets of the same diameter. Heavy duty power switch to shut off the pump during idle working times. Unit comes with a 12 foot power cord.
The main frame rails are 2" x 6" x ¼" thick structural steel that is 32" tall giving you the pressing room for items like the Clark's Fountain. Every 4" there is a welded step so you can easily adjust for different heights of rocket tooling. All welding is done by a certified welder and all critical surfaces are remachined after welding to make sure all the surfaces are square and true. The rails have a coat of primer and a finish coat of gray hammer-tone paint. There is 11" between the frame rails for pressing star plates.
A ¾" thick steel pressing stage is included along with a 2½" cylinder adaptor for general rocket pressing.
A 4" diameter pressure gauge is mounted at eye level that shows you hydraulic pressure delivered to the piston cylinder. Action is regulated by a log splitter valve. This type of valve was chosen for its long life and its ability to regulate piston speed from a slow creep to full speed.
The generous sized aluminum base plate has 4 drilled holes so the press can be mounted to a work station or bench.
You can see more pictures of this press on our gallery.
The increased loading pressures on rocket spindles make it difficult to remove the spindle from the loaded cases. By removing the base and attaching the spindle puller you can pull the spindle out of the loaded rocket case with ease.
Machined from 6061 aluminum with a knurled grip and two machined flats to grip in a vise for a stuck spindle. Tooling included is a threaded rod, nut, washer, and instructions on how to remove the spindle.
Special Modification on Spindles:
If you have an existing spindle from our tool line we can remove the pins and screw, clean the base and supply a new screw for your rocket spindle (Item 300-CL).
Rocket Cone Formers
These rocket cone formers produce pointed headings for your rockets. The complete cone is formed from 2 separate pieces of Kraft paper. The first is formed from a circular piece of Kraft paper, which is taped together while on the rocket nose cone former. A template is used to cut the second piece of paper that is later wrapped around the rocket head former and taped. After the two pieces of Kraft paper are formed they are assembled into the completed head as shown.
The rocket nose cone former and the rocket head former are sold separately. The rocket nose cone former is universal and can be used with any rocket head former. The rocket head former is sold in 3 different sizes and comes with the appropriate template for the given size.
Black Powder Rocket Kits
If you're just starting out in pyrotechnics, black powder rockets are an ideal place to start. They are simple and require very little time to make yet they put on a great show. No complicated fuels or presses required, just a big mallet and you're in business. Spindles are machined from aluminum and coated with Nituff to resist wear and scratching from fuels containing titanium or other harsh elements. The 2 oz and 4 oz spindles are machined from stainless steel.
All spindles are permanently screwed and pinned to a 2½" square x ½" thick aluminum base to prevent loosening. All sets include 5 rammers (except the 2 and 4 oz sets which have 3 and 4 rammers respectively) and a puller handle to assist in removing the rammers from the case. All rammers also include a no pass line, which is machined directly into the rammer. Driving the rammer into the case beyond this line could cause the rammer to stick on the spindle and cause possible damage to the tool set. Formulas and instructions are included with each set.
Rocket Tube Waxing Kits
Thanks to David Forster for testing and recommending a solution to a problem that has plagued rocket people for years. In the American Fireworks News, David Forster suggests that, to increase reliability of your rocket motors, you use a paraffin wax treatment. He has confirmed the value of this technique, ultimately achieving nearly 100 pounds of peak thrust on a 1-pound black powder rocket.
We are offering a basic kit that contains an aluminum rod, a plastic handle, one pound of paraffin wax, and a felt dauber for rockets.
End Burning Rocket Kits
With these rocket motor kits you can build the big brother version of the hobby store motors. Spindles are made from stainless steel. Spindles are made from stainless steel, all rammers are made from 6061 aluminum, and the puller is stainless steel. The kit comes complete with spindle, base combo, two rammers, puller, and instructions.
Fuel is ball milled black powder. If the fuel needs a little extra kick, 4F can be added. Whistle mixes may also be used as fuel. If whistle mix is being used as a fuel, the rocket motors must be pressed.
Extreme Performance Whistle Rocket Kits
These whistle rockets were developed with the help of Jim Biersach. We started with a clean slate and the goal of seeing how much performance could be achieved with whistle mix. Starting with an extremely long spindle, we had nothing but chaos at the beginning. Gradually shortening the spindle after each test, we finally settled on a spindle length that gave a bullet-like performance - nothing but straight flight, with no rocket lay-over. Initial take off is like trying to watch a bullet. This is a real winner!
The kit comes with a stainless steel spindle and aluminum base. 4 oz and 8 oz kits come with 2 rammers, while 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 lb kits come with 3 rammers for proper length and a steel puller.
Jim Biersach recently made a 4 oz. Extreme Whistle rocket using a 3-ton Arbor press. It flew like crazy. Needless to say, he was excited.
Stinger Missile Kits
No fins, no stick, it's spin stabilized for a straight flight. Made and looks like a standard rocket motor, except for the vent hole drilled in the side of the rocket case. The rocket is ignited through this small hole by a piece of visco fuse. The exiting gas causes the rocket to start spinning, and as the flame burns into the core the rocket takes flight.
The tool kit comes complete with spindle/base assembly, 2 rammers, puller, and instructions. This kit does not include the optional stinger missile drill fixture, which is recommended for drilling the hole in the side of the rocket case. Tubes are a standard ¾" I.D. rocket tube cut down to 2½" to 3" long. Larger sizes are also available. Note: This rocket is not recommended for carrying large payloads because any payload that is unbalanced will result in erratic flight. The 4 lb and 6 lb kits come with 3 rammers. And kits 183-1, 183-2, 183-3, and 183-4 are all Nituff-coated on the spindles.
Optional Stinger Missile Drill Fixture
Proper spin depends on the correct hole location. Unlike some stinger missile kits available on the market with adjustable drill fixtures, which are fabricated out of angle iron and hard to hang onto, these high-quality aluminum blocks are fully machined. They hold the loaded rocket case firmly and in the correct position for drilling.
No by-gosh and by-golly engineering on this one. Repeatable results every time. The fixture comes complete with drill bit.
Bottle Rocket Kit
This novelty rocket item is for the beginner or even perhaps the seasoned pyrotechnician. A secondary use for these little rockets would be for shell inserts, such as flying fish or serpents. Adding a little salute powder to the top of the tube would certainly give these serpents a real bite!
Each kit comes with a spindle base, a spindle, 2 rammers, and a sample rocket case.
Optional Bottle Rocket Funnel and Rod: As an option to the bottle rocket kit, we also offer a funnel and loading rod to be used with the kit as an added convenience.
Strobe Rocket Kits
You have seen them at past conventions, shooting skyward with that distinctive popping sound. Strobe rockets are a unique two part fuel rocket, utilizing both whistle and strobe fuel formulas. These rockets are more labor intensive to construct than black powder rockets.
They must be pressed, never hammered. This makes their construction difficult if you do not have access to a press.
The kit comes complete with a Nituff coated spindle which is screwed and pinned to a square aluminum base, 3 rammers, puller, and instructions.
Master rocket builder Steve Laduke spent years developing these rockets, finally perfecting them in 2001. We are proud to offer his creations to you.
Long Winded Screamer Rocket Kits
The screamer rocket is another development from Steve Laduke, which he first produced in 2001. It utilizes a whistle propellant that produces a screeching sound for the entire flight. As with the strobe rocket, the long winded screamer must be pressed, never hammered. A suitable hydraulic press must be used to produce these rockets.
By no means should strobe rockets or long winded screamer rockets ever be rammed with a hammer or mallet.
The kit comes complete with Nituff coated spindle, 3 rammers, puller and Steve Laduke's instructions. Available in 2 lb. (7⁄8" I.D.) size only.
Steve Laduke's Hybrid-Universal Rocket Kit
In 2002, Steve Laduke combined the Universal and Hybrid rocket kits into one design that encompasses 6 different rocket types: Strobe Rocket, Long Winded Screamer, Black Powder Motor, Hybrid Motor, Black Powder Whistle Assist Rocket, and Color Tail Rocket. We are the only company licensed by Steve to offer this particular kit. All come with updated formulas and instructions. Also included is a video that Steve made in 2001, in which he gives step-by-step instructions on how to build these rockets.
Kit consists of stainless steel spindle and aluminum base, and 4 aluminum rammers and puller. Currently available in the ¾" I.D. (1 lb.) and 7⁄8" I.D. (2 lb.) sizes. In dyno tests done by Steve Laduke on 1" I.D. (3 lb.) hybrid rockets the initial thrust was measured at 49 pounds easily capable of lifting a 6" ball shell with no problem.
Please note: Since most of these rockets have a type of whistle mix in them, these must be pressed and not rammed.
Pressure Conversion Gauges
Strobe rockets, whistle rockets, and other rockets that use whistle mix for propellant require a sturdy press that's capable of pressing with a force of up to 8800 P.S.I. This pressure conversion gauge reads the force that's being applied to the rocket tooling. An added note from Steve Laduke: If you want to know the correct loading pressure of say 6800 PSI on a 3/4" I.D. rocket multiply the square inch area of the rocket (.441 sq. inches) x 6800=2998 is what the gauge should read. That means no guesswork as to what cylinder size your press has and converting that information into useful working pressures for your tooling.
Different diameter rockets require different loading pressures. Simply look up the required loading pressure on the chart provided and place the pressure conversion gauge into your press. Press down on the pressure conversion gauge with the press's ram until you reach the required pressure. Set your press's pressure relief valve at this point and you're ready to go. If your press does not have a pressure relief valve, the reading on your press's pressure gauge is the pressure you would want to press to, to achieve optimum loading pressure on the rocket tooling. This eliminates the time consuming process of mathematically calculating the required loading pressure on your press. The pressure conversion gauge does it all for you.
Be sure to check our Rocket Pressure Pressing Conversion Formulas that show optimum pressing pressures for rockets using whistle type mixes.
I have also listed the actual pressures for both the Black Powder fuels and Whistle Mix fuels for each size rocket, and they are available in this pdf file.
Another tip: If you need a quicker reacting gauge, remove the black cap at the top of the gauge and pour out the glycerin. The gauge will react much faster especially in cooler climates.
This pressure conversion gauge is machined from solid 3" diameter aluminum and is built with Premium VITRON seals and a stainless steel 2½" diameter glycerin filled 0-10,000 P.S.I. pressure gauge. It is then tested for 18 hours at 4,000 P.S.I. for any leakage. The pressure conversion gauge comes completely assembled and ready for use. Each gauge comes with a chart showing the required pressure for various sized rockets.
Replacement Pressure Relief Adjuster
Are you tired of adjusting your pressure relief valve on your press only to find when you lock it down it has moved from where you set it? This replacement pressure relief adjuster eliminates that problem. It is precision machined so when you set your pressure relief valve and lock it down, the pressure stays exactly where you set it. This replacement adjuster is meant to replace adjusters with ¾" -16 threads only and is made only for the presses we make.
In order to use as much of those expensive rocket, gerb, fountain, or driver cases as you can, you ram the composition as high as possible and then find you have more loose clay than you have open tube. Sound familiar? A simple case extender adds extra inches to the case and provides a built in funnel, which helps keep the work area neat.
Each case extender is machined from aluminum with a small step that drops over the top of the case. It can be easily removed for the pressing operation.
Note: At this time I have not found a reasonable priced tube that can be used for the 4 lb. (1¼" I.D.) case support. I will keep looking.
Notice: All special tube supports will be made for Hobby Horse (NEPT) tubes unless specified otherwise.
Special Tube Support
The PVC tube supports work well for limited rocket production. As your production increases you look for better ways to increase your output.
This tube support is not your ordinary standard or bargain basement support sleeve. With this support sleeve you can forget all those hose clamps, wrenches and screw drivers. Simply drop in your tube, close the 2 halves, swing the lock bolts in place and tighten the 4 knobs. Made from solid aluminum and machined to fit your case exactly with no gaps. This is the Cadillac of tube supports.
If possible provide one sample case for proper fit.
Notice: All special tube supports will be made for Hobby Horse (NEPT) tubes unless specified otherwise.
This optional T-wrench for our special support sleeves makes loosening thumbnuts a snap. It's great for thumbnuts that occasionally stick after pressing a rocket. Simply slip the T-wrench over the top of the thumbnut and twist.
The T-wrench is machined from aluminum and has a steel cross pin. The T-wrench is shown here on one of our special support sleeves.
Can't thank you enough,
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