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I Still Have All My Fingers: How To Build A Big Sugar Rocket On A Budget Without Losing A Limb Paperback – November 5, 2012
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In this book, Dan takes us step by step through the construction of a fairly large (3" diameter) amateur rocket, capable of flights well over a mile into the sky. Each step is clearly illustrated, and -- as opposed to most step-by-step guides -- he explains the reasoning behind each step, explaining not only what to do, but why to do it, and why to do it in the particular manner that he recommends.
Even if the reader never builds the rocket project at the core of this book, it's impossible not to learn something from it. This is a great manual for understanding the "why" of amateur rocketry, from construction to the aerodynamics of flight, and the fundamentals of rocket propulsion.
I have every confidence that any experienced rocketeer, and most careful beginners, could complete the projects in this book safely, and build and fly the rocket described in these plans.
My only real concern is that a beginner would be unlikely to know all of the legal requirements to do so. Rocketry is regulated fairly heavily in the US, with federal, state, and local laws and regulations sometimes making it quite difficult to find a place to fly legally. At the federal level, for instance, flights of a rocket of this size would require FAA authorization (through the "waiver" process, which has a minimum of a 45-day lead time). Many states (including California) also impose licensing requirements for flyers, and many local jurisdictions don't allow rocket flights at all.Read more ›
This is no seat-of-your-pants, back-alley instruction manual that would cause your mother to cringe and your father to scream, "Not, in my garage, Mister!" It is a professional masterpiece supplemented by videos, templates, updates and photos at Mr. Pollino's website <...> - one of the best rocketry websites out there.
The author has more than enough rocket building experience to write a book of this nature, reinforced by the fact that his rockets and motors (the same type documented in this manual) have been featured on G4 TV's "It's Effin Science" television show. No small feat for a guy who builds humongous rockets using drain pipe, plastic wine glasses and ordinary sugar. And this book is just as sweet.
After a career writing technical manuals, translating geek-ese and programmer English into simple, understandable, normal human language, I have to say I'm jealous; this is the best manual (on ANY subject) I've had the pleasure to read. But let's face it: reading a how-to book is one thing. Following the instructions to a successful ending is another.
And that's where this book REALLY excels.
Each chapter is a module, instructing the reader on constructing a component of the finished rocket.Read more ›
What it isn't: A discussion of why the author made many of the choices he did, or what principles to follow if you'd like to do something a bit different. If you'd like to change the size of the tube, motor dimensions, or height of the rocket, or substitute materials you'll be left with little guidance.
I gave the book three stars, not because it's not an excellent set of instructions for building the author's model, but because it didn't meet my expectation of providing more general information. For instance, I had expected some parameters to guide in building a successful sugar motor rather than just plans for building a specific motor, etc., etc.
However,just remember, this isn't a project you will be able to knock out in a single weekend, or with just some spare change. even though this rocket is relatively inexpensive compared to other rockets of the same class, rocketry is an expensive hobby. also, because many of the parts are custom, and may not be found at a local hardware store, the project requires much shipping from online suppliers, adding to the build time significantly.
All together though, this is still one of the best guides on amateur rocketry out there. So buy it, and go build a rocket!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this was a great book for learning how to rocket building. Each step has a picture that goes with the detail instruction. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christian K.
The book was copyrighted and published in 2011, and I've come across a few hiccups already. The link he provides for the 16 oz. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Robot Cowboy
And so began my journey. May 26, 2015, approximately 10 days after the Spring, 2015 school semester had ended, was when I placed my first parts order. Read more