Backyard Ballistics : Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 9/1/2012
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press
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This bestselling DIY handbook now features new and expanded projects, enabling ordinary folks to construct 16 awesome ballistic devices in their garage or basement workshops using inexpensive household or hardware store materials and this step-by-step guide. Clear instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build projects ranging from the simple match-powered rocket to the more complex tabletop catapult and the offbeat Cincinnati fire kite. The classic potato cannon has a new evil twinthe piezo-electric spud gun and the electromagnetic pipe gun has joined the company of such favorites as the tennis ball mortar. With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also gives tips on troubleshooting, explains the physics behind the projects, and profiles scientists and extraordinary experimenters such as Alfred Nobel, Robert Goddard, and Isaac Newton. This book will be indispensable for the legions of backyard toy-rocket launchers and fireworks fanatics who wish every day was the fourth of July.

Author Biography

William Gurstelle is the author of Absinthe & Flamethrowers; The Art of the Catapult; Building Bots; The Practical Pyromaniac; Notes from the Technology Underground; and Whoosh, Boom, Splat. He is a professional engineer who has been researching and building model catapults and ballistic devices for more than 30 years and is a contributing editor at Popular Mechanics and Make magazine and writes frequently for Wired, The Rake, and several other national magazines. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Preface to the Second Editionp. xiii
Introductionp. xvii
Time Linep. xxii
Keeping Safety in Mindp. 1
The Potato Cannonp. 9
The Classic Potato Cannon
The Spud - Zooka
Back Porch Rocketryp. 31
The Paper Match Rocket
The Hydro Pump Rocket
The Pneumatic Missile
The Cincinnati Fire Kitep. 59
Greek Fire and the Catapultp. 71
The Tennis Ball Mortarp. 87
The Sublimatorp. 99
The Flingerp. 109
Pnewton's Petardp. 123
The Powder Kegp. 139
The Dry Cleaner Bag Balloonp. 147
The Carbide Cannonp. 157
The Electromagnetic Pipe Gunp. 173
The Ballistic Pendulump. 183
Ideas for Further Studyp. 193
Advice on Procuring Materialsp. 201
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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