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1/4 inch rod source?

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walterb

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I've looked at the rack at my local home improvement stores and only see 4 footers. I have the Estes pro stuff. I think six would be better. I don't see that shipping one would be good for it. I see the estes pro pad but don't see a two piece rod there.
 

blackbrandt

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My local Lowes has 1/4" 6' stainless steel rods. Weird. Have you looked at McMaster?
 

tomsteve

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look in your yellow pages for steel suppliers.
 

Buckeye

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I've looked at the rack at my local home improvement stores and only see 4 footers. I have the Estes pro stuff. I think six would be better. I don't see that shipping one would be good for it. I see the estes pro pad but don't see a two piece rod there.
Same here. Do you have a Grainger or Fastenal near you? If they don't have in stock, they will ship to store for pick up.
 

Screaminhelo

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I have had good luck with ACE Hardware and Tractor Supply if either one is convenient to you.
 

JoeG

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All of my older stuff that used to use 1/4" rods has been converted to buttons. Just a thought. Rails are easy to find.
 

neil_w

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I've also shopped speedymetals.com... problem is, for rods like that the shipping cost is pretty annoyingly high, much higher than the cost of the rods themselves. I also can't seem to find appropriate stainless rods locally.
 

pyrobob

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I've bought from both Lowe's and Home Depot.
 

dr wogz

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have you asked your local hardware store to order you one (or 2 or 3)?

Don't forget to pick up some fine emery paper when you buy it, to keep it shiny & smooth (slick!)!
 

Cabernut

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Just make sure it's not regular steel. I bought a steel 3/16 rod and it will corrode if I don't keep it lightly oiled.

I'm wondering though, while we're on the subject, what about aluminum rods?
 

NAR29996

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Just make sure it's not regular steel. I bought a steel 3/16 rod and it will corrode if I don't keep it lightly oiled.

I'm wondering though, while we're on the subject, what about aluminum rods?
In my experience, aluminum rods bend too easily.
 

Kruegon

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+1 on aluminum. Way to easy to bend. My experience has been that it also generates a noticeably larger amount of rod whip.

If you can find stainless local, that's the way to go. If not, shipping often outweighs the benefit.

I use standard steel rods. I spend about 15 mins cleaning my rods after a launch. Use a cleaner like gum out carb cleaner, dry thoroughly, and lightly coat with 3 in 1 machine oil. Remington gun protectant works really well, but can be costly. I sand lightly with 800 grit when they get really bad.
 

walterb

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my Lowes had them today. Who know when I will use it.
 

gna

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I got a 6' stainless rod from Grainger.
 

dave carver

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McMaster-Carr has O1 tool steel drill blanks. They are ground to size plus you can get them in diameters slightly undersized for a bit looser fit. I got the 3 common sizes a few thousandths undersized. Because they are ground they are smooth like cold rolled steel isn't The big problem is the rods are not all in the same place, mine were in 2, doubling shopping costs. There is a silver lining, the 6 foot shipping tubes are the same sizes in diameter as our 2" and 3" motor tubes :)
 

Winston

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+1 on aluminum. Way to easy to bend. My experience has been that it also generates a noticeably larger amount of rod whip.

If you can find stainless local, that's the way to go. If not, shipping often outweighs the benefit.

I use standard steel rods. I spend about 15 mins cleaning my rods after a launch. Use a cleaner like gum out carb cleaner, dry thoroughly, and lightly coat with 3 in 1 machine oil. Remington gun protectant works really well, but can be costly. I sand lightly with 800 grit when they get really bad.
I bought mine at the local Grainger outlet as neither Lowes nor Home Depot has 6 ft 1/4" rods for some reason:

Stainless:

https://www.grainger.com/product/GRAINGER-APPROVED-Rod-2EXC8

Steel:

https://www.grainger.com/product/GRAINGER-APPROVED-Rod-2HJT4

I chose steel ones rather than stainless based upon metal hardness as related to potential rod whip although that is entirely theoretical. I degreased them and applied paste car wax, but don't know how well that will hold up - sure are slick though.
 

TangoJuliet

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I bought a 6' SS rod from my local Grainger. I then bought a length of 2" PVC pipe, put an end cap on one end and a screw off cap on the other and I keep all of my rods (3' x 1/8", 4' x 3/16", Makerbeams, and 6' x 1/4") in it for storage and transport in the van.
 

DanielLW

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All of my older stuff that used to use 1/4" rods has been converted to buttons. Just a thought. Rails are easy to find.
+1

I went ahead and got an 8' section of 1010 rail from 8020.net and I'm never going back. Everything that has a 24mm or greater motor will now use buttons. You can get buttons from rocket stores or save money and buy the bits and pieces yourself.

I like to use low thrust motors for slower takeoffs. Launched my ventris a couple times on an F22 and the rail gave it that extra few feet needed to get it to a safe minimum velocity. And the rigidity eliminates any rod whip issues.
 

dford

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All of my older stuff that used to use 1/4" rods has been converted to buttons. Just a thought. Rails are easy to find.
I have a harder time finding rails in my area.
Wierd.
 

DanielLW

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I have a harder time finding rails in my area.
Wierd.
Finding rails at launch sites or to purchase? Once you factor in the time and energy of driving to a bunch of hardware stores, it's easier to just order it from the source: 8020.net Plus, you can get whatever length you want, and any associated hardware you may want. I got an 8' section shipped, and the shipping cost was not that bad.

If its an issue at the launch site, you could get ambitious and build a HPR pad out of 8020. Most clubs would probably appreciate being leant an extra mid/high power pad. Plus, it's always nice to have a good pad on hand if you wand to do some larger MPR on your own.
 

bobkrech

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Grainger, 80/20 and other suppliers sell 80/20 rails or their industry standard equivalent. If you order on-line and pick them up at your local store, you don't have to pay shipping.....

Mcmaster.com carries 80/20 and as long as you order 6' lengths the shipping is not escessive.
 

Micromeister

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Grainger, 80/20 and other suppliers sell 80/20 rails or their industry standard equivalent. If you order on-line and pick them up at your local store, you don't have to pay shipping.....

Mcmaster.com carries 80/20 and as long as you order 6' lengths the shipping is not escessive.
I strongly second McMaster-Carr. they carry 1/4" dia 304 & 316 stainless steel rods which make excellent 1/4" launch rods. also 80/20 1" Rails. with modest shipping.
 

ksaves2

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Longer than 4 foot, rod whip is more of a problem. Buttons and appropriate rails are a better remedy as mentioned above.
That said, I still have some large three "E" motor cluster rockets that fly well off 1/4" rods. I sprung for a titanium one many years back but that wasn't necessary. Kurt
 

Handeman

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Although MPR on F and G motors will fly pretty well on 1/4" rods, I would highly recommend using rail buttons and 1010 rails instead of 1/4" rods. I started out with 1/4" rods on MPR and small HPR but converted to rails about 10 years ago. That is a change I've never regretted and would never go back to. I even put button on all my Estes Pro Series rockets. I would never consider rods for that size of rocket any longer.
 
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