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  1. hcmbanjo

    How do you terminate Kevlar cord?

    Wood glue will stop fraying Kevlar. CA will run up the line and make the Kevlar brittle. After the wood glue dries, you can use diagonal wire cutters on Kevlar. Never use scissors to cut Kevlar! Kevlar will quickly dull a sharp knife blade.
  2. hcmbanjo

    Red max

    Gray primer is fine. Best to use a white undercoat before the red. It brightens the red color. Here's my blog build - Scroll down, it goes from finished model to the start of the build:
  3. hcmbanjo

    Any recommendations on making custom decals?

    From my experiences with home print decals - All printers are different. For the most part - go into settings or preferences and pick "Cardstock" and"Best, Glossy Photo Prints" The printer should use more ink for a more opaque decal print. Black decals will look like a very dark gray over...
  4. hcmbanjo


    Years ago Estes would recommend an A8-3 for the Big Bertha. Today? No. An A8-3 in a larger, heavier model could result in a poor flight with possible rocket damage. Go with the current kit engine recommendations.
  5. hcmbanjo

    A few fun builds

    Here's the blog pages that cover the tower and capsule assembly: When you get to the Jim Z's instructions, go to page 5 and 6 for the Centuri way of how to assemble the tower and capsule...
  6. hcmbanjo

    Question regarding NAR renewal?

    After years without a NAR membership, they were able to give me my old member number - 19086. I've wrote an article for the NAR Sport Rocketry magazine. It was a smaller submissions but got printed. The article got me a one year NAR membership!
  7. hcmbanjo


    This old Centuri "Stellar" wadding got me to try some flame resistant crepe paper. (See picture below) Here's the type I ended up buying, don't unroll it and cut into 4.5" squares: When I was a kid, my Mom could make...
  8. hcmbanjo

    Big Bertha memories

    I've never owned a Big Bertha, but did pick up a few Quest Big Bettys. I added a fourth fin, baffle and a two engine cluster mount - Renamed the BIG GIRTHA! Here's the whole saga:
  9. hcmbanjo

    filling spirals

    You mentioned you are new to this - I'd shy away from using a marker (or pen) to mark your spirals. Inks can bleed through your finish paint. You'll have better end results with a pencil. 120 grit is pretty aggressive for a paper or Kraft tube. Start with 220 and move to 400 grit.
  10. hcmbanjo

    filling spirals The advantage to this method is the filler is directed into the seam with the CWF on the knife blade. Best to use an older blade. The CWF coverage area ends up narrow, a little wider than the seam being...
  11. hcmbanjo

    Estes Destination Mars Longship

    I did a blog post about the long decal concerns on the Low Boom SST: Here's the whole build from finish to start: I did write...
  12. hcmbanjo

    Estes Destination Mars Longship

    The decal placement sheet is two-sided as there is two decal sheets of different colors. I get into recommended decal placement order on the blog build. Some decals should be placed in an order for better spacing.
  13. hcmbanjo

    filling spirals

    I wouldn't recommend spraying filler/primer then using CWF. Filler/primer will seal the tubes. Even if you sand the filler/primer to the tube and fin surface, filler/primer is still left in the BT seams and wood grains. CWF applied afterwards won't stay in the seams and wood grain as well. CWF...
  14. hcmbanjo

    filling spirals

    Years back I tried to wet-sand a body tube . Never again! I dry sand body tube and fins filled with CWF and then sprayed filler/primer with 400 grit. You can extend the life of your sandpaper pieces many times over by (circular) brushing out the clogs with a soft brass brush under a stream of...
  15. hcmbanjo

    Nose cone ballast. Plumber's putty?

    Deleted post -
  16. hcmbanjo

    filling spirals

    To put it another way - It's easier to fill the body tube seams without fin root edges and fillets in the way.
  17. hcmbanjo

    Build thread: Blackfish

    One follow-up: hcmbanjo said: I do a two step fill. First is the CWF to fill 80% of the balsa grain and tube seams. The second step Duplicolor Filler/Primer fills any remaining grain and seams after sanding. Removing most all of the filler/primer is not for weight reduction. I'm a sport flyer, a...
  18. hcmbanjo

    Pigasus with a BAR

    Nice work on your Pigasus! Very smooth and shiny - Remember, with all that wing area, It can weathercock on a windy day -
  19. hcmbanjo

    Build thread: Blackfish

    I tried to answer all your questions. Your quotes are in italic - Questions from Neil W - "Valid questions. Let's have a go: I am mostly using the finishing strategy that @hcmbanjo has documented on his blog. In this strategy, filler/primer is functioning primarily as filler. So you sand off...
  20. hcmbanjo

    Getting Started in MicroMaxx

    I typically use an Estes 6 volt (four 1 1/2 AA battery) controller to launch Micro Maxx motors. Using a six volt controller you've got to press and hold the launch button for a few seconds to get ignition. One good thing about a 6 volt system, it won't usually burn through and break the wire at...