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  1. #1
    Join Date
    13th September 2017
    Posts
    3

    New to TRF - returning to rocketry

    Hi everyone,

    It's great to find a place so dedicated to rocketry. First a little about myself. I have two boys who are 11 and 13 who both love rockets. I think we have about 10 rockets so far between them and 4 or 5 more still waiting to be built. I got back into rocketry about 3 years ago when their cub scout pack did a rocket launch that I ran for them. We had 20 boys launch their rockets two times each. First with a A8-3 then with a B6-4 engine if it returned. We only lost two rockets so it was a good day.

    I started in the Estes Aerospace Club back near 1980. At least that's the earliest Estes catalog I can find in my old stuff. I still have two rockets from when I was a kid, but both need to be repaired before I could launch them again. One is an X-15 that I'd really like to try again. I also found some engines from that time frame as well. Any chance they are still any good?

    Obviously my experience building rockets is a bit dated so I'm wondering what new tips/techniques folks have developed in the last 35+ years... LOL. Mainly I've been reading a lot about the finish on the rockets. Filling the balsa and making them smooth is something I still need to work on. For my boys' rockets we just put a few coats of sandable primer, sand and then apply the finish coat. It works but its not great. So far we've only lost one rocket, a 2-stage rocket using B engines that simply went too high for the location we were in.

    Anyway I'm happy to find other folks into rocketry and look forward to reading more each day.

    Thanks,
    Eric Finn


  2. #2
    Join Date
    27th March 2013
    Location
    Has Changed
    Posts
    10,010
    Welcome to you and your boys! I can't wait to see what you've got going on for builds (I'm currently in China, and living rocketry vicariously through a lot of other people here)...

    Post Pics!

    and don't forget

    Pointy Side Up!
    Jim

    Dreaming of making the rockets I dreamed of as a kid (and then some).


    NAR L1 Cert flight: Sheridan, Oregon, USA. Sept. 19, 2015. Flew Deep Space OFFl on an I357T-14A Blue Thunder

  3. #3
    Join Date
    14th August 2017
    Location
    Salt lake valley ut
    Posts
    32
    welcome and congrats on finding your way back. thank you for helping with the scouts. what a way to pay it forward. working a launch with that many boys plus help with building can be very challenging but well worth it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    21st April 2010
    Location
    So central WI, USA
    Posts
    5,499
    Hi, welcome to the madhouse . a lot has happened over the years...I'll start by suggesting the 'Handbook of model rocketry' (try the library). gluing paper skins to fins is more common now. also one can buy motors up to G impulse .
    Rex
    L2-competitor 3, AT J350W, 8/27/2016, Bong, 2557'
    my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0gB...?feature=watch

  5. #5
    Join Date
    22nd January 2009
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    3,320
    Welcome back ! Flying rockets with kids is the best fountain of youth formula I can think of. Finishing rockets and the quest for the perfect technique is a rather popular topic on the 'ol forum so you'll find quite a few threads and one or two strongly held opinions on the subject.

    Some popular fillers are:

    Elmers Carpenters Wood Filler - avoid anything with Pro or Maxx on the label or anything with real wood fibers listed as an ingredient.

    Bondo Spot Putty - single tube not the two part auto stuff. Basically a real thick primer.

    Paper lamination - for fins, provides strength and smoothness with very little weight penalty.


    Lots of info on these and other techniques can be found all over this place. The search function can be a little difficult. Try typing this in your favorite search engine for better results:

    "search argument" site:www.rocketryforum.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,471
    Welcome back. As long as your motors were kept dry and relatively temperature stable, they should be fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    31st May 2011
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,546
    Welcome Back !

    As a BAR or Born Again Rocketeer - it is required you get a Crayon Bank from ToysRUs and make it a flyable mid power Rocket ...those other guys who posted should have told you before me .

    Be forewarned ..as an inexpensive project that you didn't take two weeks sanding & painting ..you may opt to take certain liberaties with it ..have lost and shredded my daughters Purpley one twice now .

    Need to make another as I have 2 G138T motors in my range box !

    Kenny
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    Fiesta Area Rocket Team - San Diego, CA

    TRA# 01113 L3, NAR # 38484 -DART, NAR Section #317
    GHS 2011 PB-X ROCstock XXXV GHS 2012 PB XI ROCstock XXXVII PBXII SPRINGFEST 2014 ROCstock XXXIX Oktoberfest 2014 LASTER Blaster ROCstock XL SPRINGFEST 2015 ROCstock XL1 ROCtober Oktoberfest 2015 LDRS XXXV ROCstock XLIII Holtville HAVOC Springfest 2017 Octoberfest 2017 --> Holtville HAVOC 2 :dark:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,471
    Quote Originally Posted by KenRico View Post
    Welcome Back !

    As a BAR or Born Again Rocketeer - it is required you get a Crayon Bank from ToysRUs and make it a flyable mid power Rocket ...those other guys who posted should have told you before me .

    Be forewarned ..as an inexpensive project that you didn't take two weeks sanding & painting ..you may opt to take certain liberaties with it ..have lost and shredded my daughters Purpley one twice now .

    Need to make another as I have 2 G138T motors in my range box !

    Kenny
    Note he didn't say "recoverable".

  9. #9
    Join Date
    19th March 2016
    Posts
    26

    Super awesome sanding sealer...

    If there is one thing I have learned, flight success is inversely proportional to the finish of the model. I.E. if it has the paint job of a Ferrari, you will have a cato, shred, or prang. Fly it once to let the model earn it's paint!!! lol

    Seriously, a very nice sanding sealer can be made from nitrocellulose dissolved in MEK, mix till its a little thick but smooth, add talc for filler. It drys fast and is very easy to sand.
    Simple to make: Get cheap polyethylene 6oz squeeze bottles from craft store like Hobby Lobby less than $3.00 for 2
    Dry out no more than about a half cup at a time. Place on cookie sheet for 2 days in a dry area.
    Fill container about half full with dried nitrocellulose. (It is shipped wet for safety)
    Fill container with MEK to about 1/2" from top. Stir, let sit overnight. Stir again. (Note this is not a dangerous mixture) It should be crystal clear.

    Get some 2 oz dip cups from dollar store for mixing with talc.(or get them from your local deli, like the cups you get extra condiments in at a convenience store. recycle number 5, important if container is anything but polyethylene or polypropylene the container will dissolve!) about 1-1.5 tsp to 1 oz nitro liquid. Get a cheap glass container for storage of wet nitrocellulose (It's wet with water...) Whatever is left in the cup you can let dry. Take it outside and burn it. (burns slow and leaves a little soot) If you are only using the stuff for sealer you could put the dried residue back into the main container and let it re-dissolve, the talc will settle to the bottom. (I don't like to do that, keep it pure)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can get it legally from http://www.firefox-fx.com/ChemN-P.htm If you don't want to mix it up yourself they sell ready mixed qt. sized containers.
    The raw stuff is 1 lb for about $12 will make a lot of sealer. Useful for igniter sealer too.
    Last edited by beeblebrox; 16th September 2017 at 02:19 AM. Reason: typo, and forgot title...DOH

  10. #10
    Join Date
    5th August 2014
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    905
    Welcome back!

    You'll find a lot of great tips, including on finishing, on the Model Rocket Building blog.

    And then there's this little podcast called The Rocketry Show, which I'm told is fun to listen to when you're building.

    Daniel J. Petrie - The Rocket N00b - NAR # 100015
    rocketn00b.blogspot.com
    facebook.com/rocketn00b
    YouTube: youtube.com/TheRocketN00b Twitter: @rocketn00b
    The Rocketry Show Podcast

  11. #11
    Join Date
    26th January 2010
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    13,459
    Welcome back! A word of warning though. The guys here are enablers. When I got back into rocketry, I had no intention of getting into high power. But here I am with Level 2 certification, and having more fun building and flying rockets than I thought possible! Whatever level you're interested in, I highly recommend you find a local club to join. When I did, my enjoyment raised immeasurably! I fly low, mid, and high power.
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    NAR 91107, Level 2

    I really, really hate bugs.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    27th March 2013
    Location
    Has Changed
    Posts
    10,010
    Quote Originally Posted by qquake2k View Post
    Welcome back! A word of warning though. The guys here are enablers. When I got back into rocketry, I had no intention of getting into high power. But here I am with Level 2 certification, and having more fun building and flying rockets than I thought possible! Whatever level you're interested in, I highly recommend you find a local club to join. When I did, my enjoyment raised immeasurably! I fly low, mid, and high power.

    Way to go Cap'n.. blabbing all our secrets... Next you'll show them the secret handshake....



    Really though, getting back into rocketry as an adult can be hazardous to your wallet.
    Dreaming of making the rockets I dreamed of as a kid (and then some).


    NAR L1 Cert flight: Sheridan, Oregon, USA. Sept. 19, 2015. Flew Deep Space OFFl on an I357T-14A Blue Thunder

  13. #13
    Join Date
    30th January 2016
    Location
    US > OK > NE
    Posts
    3,740
    Yeah, the 'secret handshake' is what happens when you reach for your wallet in the vendor trailer ^_^

  14. #14
    Join Date
    26th January 2010
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    13,459
    Quote Originally Posted by dhbarr View Post
    Yeah, the 'secret handshake' is what happens when you reach for your wallet in the vendor trailer ^_^
    Ha! Ain't that the truth!
    NAR 91107, Level 2

    I really, really hate bugs.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    4th October 2014
    Posts
    897
    Quote Originally Posted by NWShark View Post
    ...I have two boys who are 11 and 13 who both love rockets. I think we have about 10 rockets so far between them and 4 or 5 more still waiting to be built. I got back into rocketry about 3 years ago when their cub scout pack did a rocket launch that I ran for them. We had 20 boys launch their rockets two times each....
    Similar story here, when my daughter was in Girl Scouts I hosted a launch for their group, and again after my son went through Cub Scouts. Then I got back into it. The one kit that got me hooked was the Dr. Zooch Space Shuttle, I was searching for a shuttle kit, and found that one to be exactly what I was looking for. Lots of oohs and aahs when you launch that one for a crowd, but I had one smart aleck parent say, why is the shuttle gliding back, isn't is supposed to keep going? Nice to hear of the next generation of model rocketeers getting started.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    5th December 2013
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    7,376
    Ditto on joining a club. Lots of NAR sections and TRA prefectures out there, plus independent clubs. If you want to share where you live (generally), folks here can help you find your rocketry kin.


    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

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