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

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Chicago Review Press, 2001 - Science - 169 pages
12 Reviews
Ordinary folks can construct 13 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 -- a match-powered rocket -- to the more complex -- a scale-model, table-top catapult -- to the offbeat -- a tennis ball cannon. 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.

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User Review  - cookierooks - LibraryThing

I bought this book to use in an after school science enrichment class I teach. It did not disappoint, the kids thought all my exploding stuff was great. Along the way they also learned terms like ... Read full review

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User Review  - nictome -

My kids loved it! And got them outside! Read full review


Keeping Safety in Mind i
The Potato Cannon i
Back Porch Rocketry

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About the author (2001)

William Gurstelle is the author of Absinthe and Flamethrowers, The Art of the Catapult, the bestselling Backyard Ballistics, Building Bots, Whoosh, Boom, Splat, and Notes from the Technology Underground. He is a professional engineer who has been researching and building model catapults and ballistic devices for more than 30 years. He is a contributing editor at Make magazine and writes frequently for Wired, The Rake, and several other national magazines. He can be contacted at

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