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  1. #1

    Wadding Alternatives?

    I've got my first club launch tomorrow-and I've just realised that I have lost all my wadding.
    So, are there any alternatives to the estes wadding-or will I have to try to borrow some off a club member?

    Tom

    Last edited by rocketman; 5th December 2009 at 02:17 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I've seen people use "dog barf" which is treated *cellulose* insulation used in buildings. Don't use anything fiberglass based as it isn't environmentally sound. You can buy an enormous bale for a few dollars. You'll then spend the next year or two trying to give it away to your rocket buddies.

    Will Marchant, KC6ROL
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  3. #3
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    A couple of other alternatives I've heard people here use (I haven't so this is just heresay):

    * Decorative Poms (these things are fire retardent squares of tissue paper sold for decorating floats - I've seen them advertised online and at Blick's Art Supplies)

    * Toilet tissue soaked in Borax (homemade version of Estes wadding - the Borax makes it fire resistant).

    * Leaf Lettuce - the ultimate in biodegradeable wadding and the high moisture content keeps it from burning.

    * Recovery Pistons and Baffles - permanent solution that has to be installed in each rocket and is custom designed for said rocket.

    (I take it back - I HAVE used baffles before and they do work)
    Greg Poehlein

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  4. #4
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    Lately we've been using recycled/leftover party steamers (crepe paper). After someone's birthday we just bag 'em and take them to the rocket lab.
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  5. #5
    Try these: http://www.rocketstore.co.uk/shop/pr...hFor=&PT_ID=81

    They are small squares of nomex that your parachute is wrapped up in. They have a small hole in one corner for the shock cord to attach to, and the best bit is they are PERMANENT! You will never need to put one piece of wadding in your rocket again All of my rockets now have these installed, and I haven't had one burnt chute (I also use rip-stop nylon chutes, as they are far better wearing and more durable than the crummy plastic things most kits come with).

    Hope this helps

    Silverfish

  6. #6
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    I saw a guy use grass.

    Readily available, cheap, environmentally safe, fire proof, organic, renewable resource and it worked like a charm. I suppose it would also act as a fertilizer as it decomposes.

    Be sure its green, not brown. I suppose green leaves would work as well.
    What; me worry?

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickburst View Post
    I saw a guy use grass.

    Readily available, cheap, environmentally safe, fire proof, organic, renewable resource and it worked like a charm. I suppose it would also act as a fertilizer as it decomposes.

    Be sure its green, not brown. I suppose green leaves would work as well.
    I need to try this. I heard some HPR guys use lettuce, too...
    NAR 88789 L1 8/14/2009

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by The EGE View Post
    I need to try this. I heard some HPR guys use lettuce, too...
    lettuce?!!!

    Are you sure it's safe?
    If so, then this could well be my choice.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    lettuce?!!!

    Are you sure it's safe?
    If so, then this could well be my choice.

    It does work but for very small rockets it may be too stiff, and may get jammed in the rocket. You can always borrow wadding at a launch, people usually have too much.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    lettuce?!!!

    Are you sure it's safe?
    If so, then this could well be my choice.
    I prefer cabbage but lettuce will work too
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peartree View Post
    Lately we've been using recycled/leftover party steamers (crepe paper). After someone's birthday we just bag 'em and take them to the rocket lab.

    I have to second Crepe' Paper. It's fireproof and it comes in rolls or sheet. Crumple it up real good then re-expand then stuff it in. Quite a few of my rockets the wadding never comes out so I stuff it back in and reuse it
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  12. #12
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    Angelo Castellano
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  13. #13
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    As you are overseas:
    baffles
    Angelo Castellano
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The EGE View Post
    I need to try this. I heard some HPR guys use lettuce, too...
    Great, now I know what I can do with all those stinkin' collard greens Im fixing to be overrun with from my garden. Planted them although I cant stand them, now no one wants any......

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by New Ocean View Post
    It does work but for very small rockets it may be too stiff, and may get jammed in the rocket. You can always borrow wadding at a launch, people usually have too much.
    For small rockets you want to switch to cole slaw... LOL

    Seriously, though, breaking up the lettuce into a handful of loose 'pieces" (like a salad) should keep it from jamming... but make sure that it forms a long enough wad to keep the particles away from the chute... OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  16. #16
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    While we're discussing veggies, it seems a properly sized floret of broccoli might form a decent baffle
    Dick Stafford
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  17. #17
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    Clarification please

    Quote Originally Posted by rstaff3 View Post
    While we're discussing veggies, it seems a properly sized floret of broccoli might form a decent baffle
    Which raises the question (broccoli being a gas generator on its own), exactly what and where are you baffling?
    This is the country that built the transcontinental railroads, the Hoover dam, the Panama canal, coast-to-coast interstates, and put men on the moon....but we can't build a fence.

  18. #18
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    lettice and cabbage as wadding, i like the idea and will give it a try at my next high power launch. thanks for the tip.
    UKRA 1547
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by dave carver View Post
    I have to second Crepe' Paper. It's fireproof and it comes in rolls or sheet. Crumple it up real good then re-expand then stuff it in. Quite a few of my rockets the wadding never comes out so I stuff it back in and reuse it
    I third it. Get yer crepe paper at the dollar store - 2 rolls for a buck.

  20. #20
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    another it 1/2" or 3/4" Teflon Plumbers tape. As permanent wadding in the form of teflon tape "Pom-Poms" 12" long straps of tape are tied with a short length of kevlar line. These pom-poms generally outlast the model and can be reused in other models. I generally use one in models BT-5 to 50, 2 in BT-55- BT60 and 3 in BT-70-BT-80 sizes tied to the shockcord.
    After each flight simply shake them out, reapply some talc baby powder and they're good to go again.
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    Last edited by Micromeister; 6th December 2009 at 04:56 PM.
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  21. #21
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    "I saw a guy use grass."

    Thanks Quickburst - I don't know why, but just that one line struck me as funny. I actually laughed out loud! (And no I don't use the LOL abbreviation, even though I just did.)
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  22. #22

    Thumbs up Crepe paper rolls

    Another vote for the crepe paper 2" rolls. I buy it in shades of green so it's never seen in the grass before it is mowed up and decomposes.

    Caution: If buying sheets instead of rolls, test it first. Many party decor and gift wrapping sheets that look like crepe paper are NOT fire retardant.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderburner View Post
    Which raises the question (broccoli being a gas generator on its own), exactly what and where are you baffling?
    Unfortunately, the resulting emissions are invisible but not odorless...exactly opposite of what you want for rocketry.
    Dick Stafford
    The Original Rocket Dungeon
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  24. #24
    Thanks for the helpful, creative, and wacky replies everyone! Sadly, the launch on Sunday was cancelled , but it gives me time to invest in a large roll of crepe paper!


    Thanks again everyone,

    Tom
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  25. #25
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    Wink

    It's got to be cabbage, if it is good enough to cool off Babe Ruth's melon,it must be good enough for us.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickburst View Post
    I saw a guy use grass.

    Readily available, cheap, environmentally safe, fire proof, organic, renewable resource and it worked like a charm. I suppose it would also act as a fertilizer as it decomposes.

    Be sure its green, not brown. I suppose green leaves would work as well.
    Green grass is hard to find underneath the snow. Seriously, pick yourself up a head of iceberg lettuce or a head of cabbage. The water content in the leaves provides excellent fire resistance; the leaves of these two vegetables hold much more water than do the leaves from deciduous trees. It is the easiest recovery wadding to get when you are pressed for time, like when you are on your way to a launch and suddenly realize, "OMG, I don't have any wadding!"

    Besides Estes, the other major producer of flameproof recovery wadding is Quest Aerospace. Dog barf is undoubtedly the most popular type of disposable recovery wadding in use by experienced rocketeers, though. Kevlar and Nomex blankets are also extremely popular, because they work well and can be reused dozens of times. (Kevlar blankets can potentially be reused hundreds of times.) But the method that I use most often is a baffle from Semroc. I have them installed in several of my rockets, and I have never even gotten so much as a spot of soot on any of my parachutes in those rockets. I coat the baffles with a thin layer of epoxy before I install them in order to make them more durable. I place my completely unprotected nylon parachutes above my Semroc baffles with absolute confidence that they will still be pristine when I recover the rocket.

    MarkII
    Mark S. Kulka NAR 86134 L1, ASTRE 471, Adirondack Mtns., NY
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke strawwalker View Post
    For small rockets you want to switch to cole slaw... LOL
    I was thinking of brussels sprouts.

    MarkII
    Mark S. Kulka NAR 86134 L1, ASTRE 471, Adirondack Mtns., NY
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstaff3 View Post
    While we're discussing veggies, it seems a properly sized floret of broccoli might form a decent baffle
    With the thick stems (even on the branches), it might be kind of heavy, though. It might also be hard to create a good gas seal with it. (Insert joke here.)

    I wonder if you could use a section of corncob (without the kernels) as a piston?

    MarkII
    Last edited by MarkII; 9th December 2009 at 04:49 AM.
    Mark S. Kulka NAR 86134 L1, ASTRE 471, Adirondack Mtns., NY
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  29. #29
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    Hmmm... corncobs would smolder quite efficiently so I don't necessarily think that's a good idea... farmers typically used to keep two pails of corncobs in the house-- one by the woodheater for 'fire starters' and another in the bathroom, for, well, other reasons...

    As a farmer/rancher who provides his farm to the local club (Challenger 498) I really prefer dog barf if one chooses to use paper wadding, which probably accounts for 98% of all flights... (never seen anybody use vegetation first hand). I don't oppose using 'toilet paper' sheet wadding (Estes wadding), in fact in my high school days when the whole place was plowed up and cotton fields, I typically used regular toilet paper since there was virtually NO fire risk landing on bare dirt). However, sheet wadding does come down in unsightly 'litter' lying about on the field, and is slow to decompose. Dog barf settles through the grass to the soil surface and is rapidly broken down with the next rain... sheet wadding tends to stay up off the ground and survive a few rains before it starts to disintegrate.

    But, then again, I get some 'free wadding' roaming around the pastures picking it up after a launch, which you don't get with dog barf... Neither one bothers me in the least-- it's actually a fertilizer since our soils (as are most in the US) are deficient of boron, an essential micronutrient.

    Of course for those going green, the leaf lettuce surely is the lowest environmental impact and is readily decomposed or eaten (if the animal in question can get past the sulfur stink).

    Later! OL JR

    PS.... NEVER use fiberglass insulation like some folks were thoughtlessly doing a few years back... that stuff NEVER disintegrates... OL JR
    The X-87B Cruise Basselope- THE ultimate weapon in the arsenal of homeland defense and only $52 million per round!

  30. #30
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    Question re: PomPoms, are these attached to the tube somehow? How do you keep them from ejecting and being lost?

    Input on wadding alternative: DO NOT use dryer lint. Bright idea I had one day. My girl scout wife scolded me. It's extremely flammable (they used it to start campfires.)

    Tip 1: Always keep your wife around when flying rockets.


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