15th April 2010, 10:32 AM
Anyone interested in a post about making a tail cone? And then making it look good? The one in the first picture is just a template, olny the start of the process.
The second picture is of a finished tail cone, ready for paint.
Last edited by bradycros; 15th April 2010 at 02:18 PM.
16th April 2010, 02:19 PM
Boy, ya'all are a tough crowd.
16th April 2010, 02:40 PM
I'd be interested in hearing yours and other builder's techniques.
Personally, I hate paper shrouds and tailcones. Seams, bad fits - you name it. I've been there and wonder if there is a better way.
16th April 2010, 05:56 PM
I'd like to hear from ya'll, so I can learn more also.
Originally Posted by hcmbanjo
By the way, I really like your Squatty Body rocket. I purchased one, but haven't built it yet. I saw the upscale (I was also thinking of a upscale) someone did, cool!
Last edited by bradycros; 21st April 2010 at 11:00 PM.
16th April 2010, 10:40 PM
www.payload.com has a tool I like to use to make transistions (aka tail cones). Enter your measurements on the set up page, click submit and then veiw template when it's ready. When your template comes up make sure the percentage box is at 100%. It seem to always come up at 102%. When your ready to print, make sure your printer is set to "No Scaling".
In the first picture you'll see I cut out the template. This template is in the goldie locks zone, it's just right. It might fit great, but there's nothing to hang on to. We need to be able to handle it and adjust it. A "handle" needs to be made. Expand pictures 1 & 2, I've labled them template #1 and template #2. Template #2 needs to be 110 lb card stock (can be found at Wal Mart, next to the printer paper). Take the #1 template and lay it on a new peice of 110 lb card stock and trace it out. If you were wondering about that missing corner, we'll fix it up with these next steps. You can see from template #2, I added a 1/4 inch tab on one end. You'll need to add it also. Measure 1/4 inch up from the 3 inch curve line in several places and make tic marks at this measurment. Connect the tic marks by laying template #1 on them and tracing the curvature. You just fix'd the missing corners, added a tab and a handle. You can cut out template #2 now. Roll some curvature into the template like the third picture. Roll it carefully so you don't put creases in the card stock.
Why didn't I just extend the length of the template with the computer?
Adding the 1/4 inch in the computer would have changed the curvature of the 3 inch line. While this really isn't important, someone doing this for the first time might think thier doing something wrong when the ends don't line up. When all is said and done, the 1/4 inch "handle" we added is going to be sanded off later, so the edges lining up really doesn't matter.
What is important is getting the template cinch'd up to the body tube joint and the coupler tube joint. You want the template to extend a little past the 3 inch body tube joint and the coupler tube joint, like the fourth picture. They will be sanded down later. Don't chinch it so tight you put creases in the paper, nor loose enough to be sloppy, a little wiggle is fine. Put a piece of scotch tape on the seam when you find the goldie locks zone.
Last edited by bradycros; 20th April 2010 at 06:30 PM.
17th April 2010, 01:34 PM
Put tic marks where the card stock over laps, top and bottom. Take the template off the tube and slice the tape. Lay the template out flat. With a straight edge , connect the tic marks. You just made the tab. Now slice it off. It will be glued back on the inside of the tail cone to hide it and to keep the two outside edges flush.
Cut a 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of the tab so it doesn't bulge out the surface of the tail cone at the glue joints (glue joints that will be made later in this process) of the 3 inch body tube and the coupler. While you have the template flatten'd out you could trace it out again and make another tail cone to nest inside the first tail cone for added strength. Just trim the large and small curvatures down a 1/4 inch, (maybe more, eyeball it)just be sure it doesn't interfer with the glue joints your going to be making when you put the tail cone on permanently. Cut, test fit and repeat as needed.
CA half the tab (lengthwise) onto the tail cone (not a template any more, its the real deal) , be sure the curvature of the tab and the tailcone match each other. CA applicator tips are available at www.hobbylinc.com/htm/hca/hcahcar3780.htm. I got the Mercury thin CA at a local hobby shop.
CA the the tail cone together. See picture three.
Be caerful with the CA. Enlarge picture four. See that little smear right in the middle of the seam? That's skin from my thumb where some CA leaked out.
Last edited by bradycros; 18th April 2010 at 02:39 PM.
17th April 2010, 10:53 PM
Take a look at these pictures, (enlarge for a closer look) then re-read the part about nesting. Any questions? I'd be happy to answer any I can.
Last edited by bradycros; 18th April 2010 at 03:13 PM.
18th April 2010, 11:59 AM
I dipped a Q tip into thin CA and used it like a brush to coat the inside of the tail cone, then set it aside to dry. I coated the outside of the nesting tail cone with thin CA in the same manor and set it aside to dry also. They where joined by wicking thin CA with a CA applicator (see linc above) along the joint(s) of the tail cone and the nesting tail cone. Then I coated the inside of the nesting tail cone with thin CA. After the adhesive cures, the tail cone is ready to be permanently glued onto the 3 inch body tube and the coupler. No point in taking a picture, because it still looks the same as the 2nd picture in the post above. But it's alot stiffer.
Last edited by bradycros; 18th April 2010 at 03:59 PM.
18th April 2010, 02:11 PM
Boy, you learn something new every day.
On larger tailcones and transitions, that nesting cone is a great idea. It's funny, after years in the hobby, it never occurred to me to try that.
On a large tailcone, if you were to go with heavier cardstock (for strength) you run the risk of creases and trouble forming. The nesting idea would certainly strengthen it up.
You're like me, I coat the inside of the cones with CA. I've seen other builders harden up the cones by applying CA to the outside of the tailcone surfaces.
Good work, thanks for the tips!
18th April 2010, 02:25 PM
This is a copy of a shroud post I made yesterday on TRF in the "Trouble with Nell" thread talking about smaller shrouds: The "Nell" thread didn't mention shrouds in the title, so the content might not be found by someone who might benefit from it. This thread was about smaller shrouds, without interior gluing tabs.
Everybody has their own preferences, this is what works for me - for now. I'm still figuring it all out.
Like MarkII, if I'm making a shroud from a Shroud Generator I'll make extras, maybe three or four.
After forming and gluing all of them, I'll test fit all and use the one that best matches the body tube diameters on both sides.
If I'm making a shroud from a kit, I'll scan and make copies of the single shroud supplied. Or, I'll plot the diameters and length of the finished shroud into the software shroud generator.
Fliskits are the only manufacturer I know of that supplies you with a few extra shroud patterns to get it right. Thanks Jim!
A note on preforming the shrouds:
I never drag the shroud over a countertop edge to give it a curl. Depending on what cardstock it was made with and how smoothly you pull, you can end up with creases.
If you get ahold of the Dr. Zooch Soyuz, be ready for many small shrouds.
I've had great results by forming small shrouds in the fleshy, softer heel of my hand. The skin gives just enough to give a smooth round shape and prevent creases. This will work well for small nozzles and up to about a 20/50 sized shroud. Note the sharpened dowel - it helps with the form.
The long tweezers help hold it shut while the glue dries. The inside surface of the tweezers are smooth.
Some builders use thin CA on the outside of the the shroud for strength. I apply it on the inside of the shroud before it is glued to the model. It'll still strengthen the shroud and leaves a smoother outside surface prior to priming.
Ditto to MarkII about keeping your hands clean when making shrouds.
18th April 2010, 07:12 PM
Glad you like the nesting. I've been trying to think of a way to present precurling the card stock. It's hard to discribe, since feeling it in your hands is as large a portion of doing it as seeing it with your eyes.
Last edited by bradycros; 19th April 2010 at 01:47 AM.
19th April 2010, 01:27 AM
[QUOTE=bradycros;93823] I modified the shoulder of a Executioner's nose cone to prevent zippers. By modified, I mean the shoulder was removed completly. The base of the shoulder was removed first, then the shoulder. This left a plastic ring. All the molding seams and edges were sanded smooth. The ring was then glued into the top of the body tube.
To replace the shoulder, I cut a piece of coupler lengthwise and inserted it into the plastic ring. I traced a line where the edges of the coupler over lapped and then cut along that line to remove a slice of the coupler. This will be the new shoulder. Glue the little slice back onto the inside of the joint, if it's to small, make a new on from some scrap body tube.The coupler was soaked with thin CA and sanded smooth after drying.
The inside of the nose cone was rough'd up with course sand paper where the coupler/nose cone glue joint will be for better adhesion. Coupler was reinsert'd into the plastic ring and I rubbed the tip of a pencil around the top edge. The coupler was rised up enough so when the nose cone was placed over it, the coupler would bottom out on the inside of the nose cone. The coupler and the nose cone were then pushed down until the base of the nose cone and the top of the body tube mated. The nose cone was given a twist to transfer the the pencil lead from the coupler to the nose cone. Now you'll know right where to put the glue. Remove the nose cone and clean off the pencil lead from the coupler, it's slippery and you don't want anything slippery around when you make the glue joint. You'll have to make a bulkhead to put an eyebolt into.
The other dodad you can see in the nose cone picture is my adjustable nose weight thingamabob. And down the body tube you can see the plastic ring (that use to be the nose cone shoulder) and the anchoring ring for the removeable baffle, then the baffle. The baffle compartment is below the anchoring ring. Also the nose cone/body tube profile.
I had this in the Support and Recovery section, but decided to move it here. It does have to do with recovery, but I made the parts. That's scratch built. That's my story, and I'm stick'n to it.
I'll be doing more with the tail cone for the logo rocket soon.
Last edited by bradycros; 17th April 2011 at 03:01 PM.
19th April 2010, 11:42 AM
This is a Executioner, there are many Executioners, this Executioner is my Executioner...
Motor Mount is 29mm
Fins are 1/4 inch, I wanted a beefy look
Fins are bevel'd on leading edge and tip
Sculpted luanch lugs
Sculpted leading edge and body tube joint with large fillets
Bottom of rocket finished off
and the goodies shown in the post above
Weights in at 15.8 oz (it is a big mid power rocket, now it's at the high end of mid power, or the low end of high power)
I wanted to get a tight shot of the lunch lug in the first photo, but that didn't happen. Expand picture for a better look.
Second shot shows the leading edge/body tube joint done a bit differently. When I was making the fillets they kinda started to make themselfs that way. I though,hmmm... I like that. So I kept building them up and tweak'n 'em out.
Then I carry'd the shape over to the launch lugs.
The bevel on the fins kinda makes them appear stock when the rocket is veiwed in the normal manor. When the rocket is upended, you can see they are a bit beefy, and the bottom is finished off.
Then there's the full monty shot. Still looks like a Executioner.
Alrighty then, back to the tail cone for the logo rocket.
Last edited by bradycros; 19th April 2010 at 02:37 PM.
19th April 2010, 10:00 PM
Apply a bead of glue (I like to use JB Weld because of its anti-gravity properties, even upside down, it stays where you put it) to where the 3 inch body tube is going to contact the inside of the tail cone.
Apply a bead of glue to the inside lip of the 3 inch body tube.
Apply abead of glue around the outside edge of the coupler.
Slide tail cone into place and check for alinement. Give the tail cone a slight twist so you feel that it's bottomed out. Check the alinement again.
The two beads of glue at the 3 inch body tube joint were put in place so they will merge into one bead of glue as the tail cone is slipped into place.
Since the "handle" we made is going to be sanded off flush with the body tube, the merged beads of glue on the inside of the tube/tail cone are going to be what's holding it together.
Inspect for any blobs or smears of glue and clean them up before they set.
Check alinement again.
Put aside to dry.
You are now done with construction.
Last edited by bradycros; 19th April 2010 at 10:27 PM.
20th April 2010, 01:39 PM
You can use this same process to build shrouds (transistions). You'll need to get the adjustment for the smaller of the tubes right on the money. The "handle" can still be built on to the side for the larger tube.
Last edited by bradycros; 20th April 2010 at 08:49 PM.
20th April 2010, 09:09 PM
This labor saving device is a "must have" tool. The next steps of removing the "handle" that was made for the tail cone can be done in minutes, vs...well vs. a long time when you have to do it by hand. This one came with everything you see except the dremal packages in the bottom tray. Those were gotton on a "as needed" basis.
21st April 2010, 02:23 PM
The printing on the sanding drum only says it's rough. I would say it's in approx. the 100 to 120 grit range. If you are new to using a rotory tool, I'll caution you about the tool going "rabbit" on you. A rabbit is when the tool bit suddunly digs into the work surface and takes off in some direction, generaly about 70 degrees away from the the direction you wanted to go, leaving a gouge where ever it went. This is highly undesirable and generally frowned upon. Ask how I know this.
I think rabbiting is caused by having the RPM to high, to much downward pressure on the tool bit and only using your finger tips to hold the rotory tool instead of having a firm grip on the rotory tool with your entire hand. You can use the finger tip method for detail work but you should wait until you get use to the tools ability and reactions before you do that.
You want the body tube/tail cone to be held in a stationary position, I tuck it in between my left side and forearm, holding it in place with my hand. Holding the rotory tool with my right hand, a low RPM is selected, about 1 or 1 and a half for this sanding job. I lay my right forearm on my side for stability and using light pressure and small passes, begin to remove the paper handle.
Picture one shows that several light passes have been made and the paper is nearly gone.
In picture two the paper is gone and the glue joint is just starting to be worked on.
The extra paper on the end of the tail cone has already been removed with the rotory tool, do not attempt to use this rough sanding drum to get down to where the finish is going to be, leave yourself something to work with. After you have it rough'd out, then you can smooth out the joint by hand with a small sanding block.
Enlarge photos to see details.
Last edited by bradycros; 22nd April 2010 at 01:04 PM.
22nd April 2010, 11:52 AM
Get your sanding block and put some course sand paper on it. I'm using 120 grit to get through the glue. In the first picture I've put down a wrap of paper on the body tube and have drawn arrows on it to show the direction the sanding block should be pushed and then lifted. At the same time your pushing the sanding block away from you, follow the curvature of the tube for about a inch. Rotate tube as needed. LIFT the sanding block and repeat in the places were the glue is the thickest. Don't sand back and fourth or in small circles. Those techniques have thier place, but don't use them here.
The push then lift method gives you much more control as to where and how much material is removed. You can see the body tube is starting to peek through the glue. Look at the top and to the left of the sanding block and you'll see it (enlarge photo). The wrap of paper was put down as a visual aid, but you could put one down and make it a sacrificial wrap to prevent over sanding the body tube. I'm applying a small pressure with my forefinger right on the excess glue, with the sanding block still riding flat aginst the body tube.
Picture two, turn the tube around and do the same thing from the tail cone side of the joint.
DO NOT try to sand down the glue all the way down in any one place all at one time. Alternate back and fourth from body tube side to tail cone side until the glue is removed evenly around the joint. Ask me how I know that.
In photo two you can see this process happening. When you judge your getting close to where you want the joint to be, switch to 320 grit sand paper to finish it off.
Enlarge photos to see details.
Last edited by bradycros; 2nd May 2010 at 08:23 PM.
23rd April 2010, 11:34 AM
If we could do everthing perfectly, the body tube/tail cone joint would be a straight line curving all the way around the rocket. That's not going to happen. So... do your best and get as close as you can. Then hide some of those wiggles in that line by putting a slight bullnose on the joint(pic. one).
Anyone who doesn't know, a bullnose is the rounding off of a corner, you can see it all around you in every day life. How much of a rounding off is up to you. Slight works for me.
If you went hog wild with your sanding and have some bad wanderings away from the glue joint and into the the body tube or tail cone, there's still hope for you to get that good looking tail cone you want.
Wood filler and feathering of the wood filler.
Last edited by bradycros; 2nd May 2010 at 08:25 PM.
23rd April 2010, 12:52 PM
I put some tap water into the wood filler container and then just pour it back out. Then you can lift out the desired consistancy with your finger or a tool. I use both. The top will be thin, dig in a little to get thicker or really dig in to get thick. Works for me. To get any consistancy you want on the top, just use your finger to mix in the water with the top layer of wood filler until it's where you want it to be. What could be simpler? I keep a used empty container around to mix a large batch up if needed.
My tailcone looks good except for one place. Some how the tiny amount of play ended up all in one place instead of being evenly distributed around the joint. First pic shows that spot and applying the filler at that spot, then starting to feather it out. Looking at picture two, you can see that spot is under the fin slot number'd 2. Let's keep a eye on #2 and see how it looks when I'm done. Then I rubbed in a layer of filler over the entire tail cone. Since the filler is out I filled in the spirals with a tool from the spatula set I mention'd earlyer. This one has a chisel tip and is well suited for packing the filler into the spiral. After that has dried, I dip my finger into the filler and go over the spirals again, feathering them out to. Picture three shows that and the bad spot is already starting to disapear.
To get the filler to conform to the shape of the body tube and tail cone, and get the finish I want, I needed to make my own sanding blocks.
Last edited by bradycros; 24th April 2010 at 01:24 AM.
24th April 2010, 03:30 PM
What could sand the curvature of a 3 inch body tube really good? Another peice of 3 inch body tube, thank you very much. There's a few things that need to be done to the peices of tube first.
When you make your cuts, the knife's point pushes up a pressure ridge on the inside side of the tube. This needs to be sanded off in order to get the maximum useable FLAT sanding surface. I remove the cap off a bottle of thin CA and dip a Q-tip into it. Using the Q-tip like a brush, the CA is soaked into the peice of body tube. This done to make it hard, and to prevent peeling off a layer of card board when the sand paper is changed.
After the CA drys, sand smooth. Glue on you craft stick handle. Cut out some sand paper to fit. Lightly mist the back of the sand paper with the spray adhesive and apply to your brand spanken new custom made sanding block. The sand paper is now replaceable.
Make one to use on the insides of tubes and couplers while your at it.
Picture two shows the "bad spot" (see post # 49 , picture two and compare) I got by fin slot #2 is nearly gone after several fillings with the finger method and sanding sessions (this is where you would use the up & down, back & fourth and all around sanding technique) with the custom sanding blocks. The filler in the spirals were sanded down to. You can see from the feathering of the spirals, that what seemed to be a brand new smooth tube was really kinda bumpy.
Picture three, enlarge the photo and the seam of the tail cone can just be seen between fin slots #3 and #4.
Last edited by bradycros; 2nd May 2010 at 08:19 PM.
27th April 2010, 12:12 PM
I soaked thin CA into the body tube and tail cone (I recommend you do this outside). You can see light reflecting off the body tube.This was done by dipping a Q-tip into the bottle of CA and using it like a paint brush. You could use a real paint brush, but you won't get very far before the bristles become rock like. Ask me how I know that. The Q-tip method works much better.
Why, some may ask, are you performing what seems to me, a completly unnessasary task?
Because the wood filler has no strength of its own. If it were to be twisted, pushed or pulled it would fracture. Fractures cause crumbling, and crumbling leads to dust. The coat of CA lends it strength and stops all that. Also the paper fuzzys on the tube from sanding will become hard and can then be sanded smooth. The whole body tube/tail cone unit will not soak up a bunch of primer on its first application.
These reasons pretty much much push the coat of CA task into the nessasary zone for me. It works for me, if it doesn't work for you, skip it.
Sand everything smooth with your custom hand made sanding blocks (Again, I recommend doing this outside). Then a little finger tip sanding where needed.
Remember that your at the start of the finishing process right now. Any flaw you can see now, your really going to see after primer is spray'd on. Repair all blemishes between coats of paint as you find them. Do this between every coat of paint and the final paint will be killer. If your thinking the paint will cover all them little flaws, you would be mistaken. Paint, repair and sand...repeat...paint, repair and sand... repeat....
All this sounds like alot when your reading it (even more so when your writting it). But when your actully doing it, it's not alot.
The bad spot by fin slot # 2 is now gone. Enlarge picture to view.
Last edited by bradycros; 2nd May 2010 at 10:54 PM.
28th April 2010, 12:42 PM
How to make a pointy nose cone tip for TLP kits
I'm going to show how to make the nose cone for the TLP Lance pointy like I did for the TLP Flail I built last winter. I did not use the paper cone extention that comes with the kit.
Last edited by bradycros; 28th April 2010 at 12:49 PM.
28th April 2010, 01:51 PM
"What it looks like now" and "What it's going to look like" photos.
28th April 2010, 04:04 PM
Option 1: Mess with the little paper hat that comes with the kit. No thank you.
Option 2: Extend the tip of the nose cone with epoxy clay from www.apogeerockets.com/epoxy-clay.asp I think thats a bit price'y for what you get. Then add in the shipping cost, I think they charge way to much. I say forget that.
Option 3: Make a pointy cone your way.
Good 'ol JB Weld. Looks fine, last a long time. First on the list is to have patience. This process will take several applications of JB Weld and then waiting for it to cure between the applications.
Sand off the molding flash on the seams. Sand the mold release off the entire exposed surface of the nose cone. I use 320 grit to do this. This will greatly promote glue, filler and paint adhesion later. See the differance between the shoulder and the rest of the nose cone in picture one. The shoulder was not sanded.
Drill (www.hobbylinc.com/htm/htm/tam/tam74050.htm) a hole through the tip of the nose cone, I went with the 3mm (www.hobbylinc.com/htm/tam/tam74049.htm) drill bit. See picture two.
You know what TTW is, this is TTNC (thru the nose cone). This will become the anchore for the new pointy nose cone tip. Rough up the tip of the nose cone with some 100 grit sand paper. This will give the glue something to really bite into.
Last edited by bradycros; 28th April 2010 at 05:43 PM.
29th April 2010, 11:20 AM
Mix up a small batch of JB Weld. You'll only be able to apply and work a small amount at a time. The tip of the nose cone can not be done all at once. The second application can't be apply'd until the first application is hard, and so on with the third. Patience is required. Go to post #54, second picture, middle nose cone. That took three applications. But is strong like bull, hard like rock.
Actually it's easyer to use what JB Weld is left over from working on another project, like a motor mount (or what ever), because so little is used at once on the nose cone tip. Have your TLP nose cone ('s) out and ready in advance so you can use up that left over JB Weld on the nose cone tips. If it doesn't matter to you, mix up a fresh batch.
After the mixing is completed, let it stand for around 20-30 minutes. JB Weld is still workable even after a hour, so.. no problem. I just want it to stiffen up some and stay where I put it. There is no need to rush any thing when your using JB Weld. In fact you can shape it much better if you move it slowly.
Picture one shows a tooth pick being dipped in to the JB Weld and coming out with the glue all strechy and gooey.
Picture two is trying to show that if you roll the tooth pick between your thumb and finger, the strechy gooey tail can be rolled up into a usable ball on the end of the tooth pick. You can now apply it just where you want it. Cram the JB Weld into the hole in the nose cone. When your satisfied with the cramming, pile some onto the tip of the nose cone.
I cut up some card board from food packaging into strips, the card board is a bit stiff. I'm going to use these strips as an alinement guide and as a scraper at the same time. See picture three. Lay the scraper along the top section of nose cone, using it as a alinement guide, scrap off any surplus glue. Remember, your not going to get this done all in one shot. Just get off the surplus, the tip will be built up more with the next application. Any slop or shmears can be clean off with a Q-tip thats been dipped in isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
When you have gotten the tip shaped as good as it's going to get, invert the cone and place it into a body tube. Level the cone out so the tip will be pointing straight down. Place a scrap peice of paper under the body tube to catch the drip, if there should be one. Ask me how I know that. Set aside to cure. After a hour or so, when the glue is really setting up, push a dowel up from the bottom & inside of the nose cone and gently tamp the blob of glue down, forming a JB Weld rivet type of deal. Set aside again and relevel cone.
Repeat applications until the nose cone is built up to where you want it. Don't try and get it perfect. You'll be trying for perfect when your shaping/sanding skills come into play with the filler. Go to post #54, enlarge and review the first picture to see what I mean.
Last edited by bradycros; 30th April 2010 at 10:56 AM.
30th April 2010, 12:23 AM
Look at the numbers on the scale display. Read in grams. 6 gram differance. 100% pointyer.
Last edited by bradycros; 30th April 2010 at 10:19 AM.
30th April 2010, 05:46 AM
Thanks for the well-explained post. Sorry if I seemed impatient, I didn't mean to be Paper with epoxy inside would weigh some as well, 6 grams isn't bad at all. I've never used JB weld before, I'll have to get some and do some experimenting.
30th April 2010, 07:59 AM
Just got done reading this whole thread, you really do some innovative, quality work. Nice of you to share it with us.
30th April 2010, 10:36 AM
Glad to do it. The steps for making the tail cone should come in handi for your Lance build.