How to Make Fireworks: Homemade PVC Rocket

How to make a simple rocket with some sugar, stump remover (saltpeter), kitty litter, a piece of PVC pipe, and a stick

This is very simple, you’re just making a simple solid rocket engine and attaching a stick to it as a stabilizer, the PVC functions as the rocket engine body and combustion chamber, the kitty litter caps the front and rear to contain the expanding gases, and the sugar/salt peter combo function as the propellant: the sugar is the fuel and the salt peter is the oxidizer–FYI salt peter is the original oxidizer used in black powder for the past thousand years or so.

A couple things before the video, specifically about the ingredients: the potassium nitrate he uses seems to come from either fertilizer or (and this is your best bet) stump remover, which is usually 98% pure KNO3 (potassium nitrate), and you shouldn’t have a hard time finding and buying that at all, Home Depot and Lowes, etc., should all carry it. You can also find it in herbal remedies stores and on Amazon under the name “saltpeter”. Here we go:

Also note that you can scale this up as much as you want, just be careful and try not to piss off the FAA, okie-dokie (see photo below)?


Additional Resources and Further Reading

If I had to recommend just one book or resource for people who want to make their own homemade fireworks, this would be it. It’s an 819 page (yes, 800+ pages) e-book covering every possible aspect of homemade firework design, building, and firing. Everything from aerial shells to rockets to homemade black powder, ground effects, and how to do fuses an electrical ignition, and even how to modify store-bought consumer fireworks to do all sorts of cool custom stuff! It’s called: Fireworks & Pyro Projects (click here to check it out).

If that interested you, then I’d also encourage you to check out my other stuff on rockets, such as: how to make a butane bottle rocket, how to make a rocket engine with alcohol and nitrous oxide, and how to make a match rocket (matchstick rocket).

Skylighter newsletter and articles–these guys have been around forever, they’re very professional and safe, and they’re also kinda considered the net’s go-to guys for homemade fireworks supplies and chemicals.

Pyroguide looks like a really cool wiki-style setup for pyro’s and fireworks enthusiasts, check it out.