Quantcast

Aldi has a BIG sturdy Model and HPR capable Launch Pad for $30!

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,738
Reaction score
639
Last year, I almost built my own Bike Repair Stand out of PVC. Looked up some homemade ones and realized the size of PVC needed and other hardware to make a sturdy enough stand, it might cost $20-30 and still might not work out so well in sturdiness or holding the bike, and time was short. So I dropped the idea.

Monday at Aldi, I looked at some big stuff they currently have for sale, the limited time “Special Buy” kind of stuff. They had a bike repair stand for $30. Box felt sorta heavy, a good indicator that the was not something flimsy, And five legs that deploy as a group, kinds of like a tripod that deploys all three legs at once but this does all 5.



So, I got it. And it’s really nice. Very sturdy (Steel), unfolds (and folds back) easily and quickly, VERY stable with the legs over 28” long each



But I’m mostly posting this for a different reason. The same clamp that can grab securely onto a bike, can just as easily grab onto a rail, or onto any 3/4” diameter or larger round object.



Like an adapter to hold launch rods. Yes, it can be a GREAT pad for rockets. Whether for HPR (other than huge or ultra-heavy models), or Model Rockets. It can hold the rod/rail several feet above the ground, so that can make hooking up the clips a lot easier. How to reach the top of the rod? Easy, by loosening one of the clamp knobs to allow rotating the clamp to horizontal for loading the model sideways. It also rotates left-right (azimuth) very easily. It is heavy enough with a wide enough span that it should not be able to blow over easily unless it has a really big rocket on it in a lot of wind.

With a rail, no provision for a deflector yet:





I made a rod adapter for it. Ironically I recently received a Drill Chuck I’d gotten via eBay for a little over $6, to use with a 3/8” 24 fine thread bolt to attach the whole thing to a very nice quality sturdy camera tripod ($3 from a local Flea Market) to use as a launch pad. But that tripod's leg span is not wide, I was going to add some hooks so I could used stretched bungee cord staked into the ground to keep it from falling over. So now Ii’ve swapped that Drill Chuck to use with the bike repair stand Launch Pad, epoxied a 3/8” bolt into a short piece of PVC pipe suitable for the clamp to grab onto. I used a “T” fitting for 3/4” PVC, with the side of the T for 1/2” PVC. I did the so I could easily add a horizontal piece of 1/2” PVC to help support a piece of plywood or hardboard to block exhaust smoke (read further).



3/8" bolt, 24 TPI fine thread, embedded into PVC fitting:



Link to the drill chuck I got: https://www.ebay.com/itm/221827065561

I have a pretty large blast deflector I can use, about 8” diameter. But still part of the horizontal bar for the clamp would be exposed to exhaust smoke residue. So I’ll come up with something to shield it, even if it’s just a piece of plywood or even hardboard (should never see any true flame that could burn it, short of a massive cato or launch accident). And I’ll do that more to keep the stand cleaner for use as a bike repair stand in between launches.. Other possible sources for wide deflectors could simply be pot lids (as in cooking pots) or skillet lids. Or sheet steel at hardware stores like Lowes / Home Depot.











For size comparison, the white rocket is 3" diameter and 46" tall.

Each leg has a plastic flip-out “foot” with about a 3/16” hole that could allow bolting it to a workshop floor or sheet of plywood, or using very skinny spikes int the ground. What I’d do is to drill out those holes to a larger diameter to allow using larger stakes if I was concerned about the pad being blown over (like a G Superroc using a 12 foot rail).



Aldi won’t have these for long. So if anyone is interested in this at all, I suggest trying to get one in the next few days. Maybe call your local Aldi in advance to see if they have any in stock. I mean, Otherwise it may be many months or so before Aldi would have them again.

Name and # of the stand is: Bikemate Bicycle Repair Stand #94556

IMGUR album with the pics: https://imgur.com/a/sv8is

I shot some video demonstrating it being set up and adjusted. That will also give a better idea of how big it is. I need to edit it and it will take hours to upload it to Youtube. I'll post a link when it's done.

FWIW - That nice tripod I got at a Flea Market for $3.



With the Bike Repair Stand.
 
Last edited:

T-Rex

Ordinary Average Guy
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
51
Aldi, as in the grocery store? There is one of them just off the highway on the way back to the hotel, might have to stop in and see what they have....

Thanks for sharing!
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,738
Reaction score
639
Yes, Aldi, the grocery store. This is in the area where they have "special Buy" household items. Look around and if you don't find it, ask if they have any bicycle stands left. Some stores might be sold out.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,993
Reaction score
1,445
Very nice, biking forums say they have these two or three times a year.

Anybody want to get a picture next to a jawstand? 66lb limit on the bike stand, apparently.
 

shreadvector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
9,061
Reaction score
236
Wow, I have an Aldi not too far away. Might just go by there and see if they have any. Thanks for the post!!!
 

Brent

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
65
Would not be all that difficult to have a blast deflector made to bolt to the rail.
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,738
Reaction score
639
And here is the video.

[video=youtube;hSLTO3J9n7k]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSLTO3J9n7k[/video]

Some video notes. First part, I wish i’d had the camera closer, didn’t realize until after seeing the footage that there was a lot of wasted space. But you can see the basics and certainly how big this stand is.

A bit past 2:30, after attaching a 6 foot rail, I lay it nearly sideways and tighten the knob to stay sideways, but it slowly slips. Retightened it and held, but I would recommend having a second person hold the rail while loading a model rather than tighten it too much.

At a bit past 3 minutes, I repeat some of the rod and rail attachment and action seen earlier, but had the camera close-up for a very good view. A bit past 4:40, I unclamp the rail, then rotate the lever-knob to open the clamp wider, to show how the clamp is adjusted for different diameter tubes or rails.

I did not show how to pack it back up, which would be the process of removal of the clamp assembly, vertical extension bar, and folding it up. But of course it’s the reverse of setting it up, which is easy.
 
Last edited:

OverTheTop

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
4,891
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Melbourne Australia
Great idea! I will have to pick one up next time they are on sale. I have thought about having one for when servicing my bike, and now I more impetus to purchase.

They generally have great products. Because they sell worldwide, if anything was a problem it would cost them a fortune in warranty, their products are generally good quality and good value.

I have to say their 4' fluorescent tube LED replacements are great in the workshop too. Same light output as my triple and quad phosphor 36W lights, but for half the power. I have replaced all the 4' tubes in the house with these. Recommended also.
 

T-Rex

Ordinary Average Guy
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
51
Stopped on the way back to the hotel last night and picked one up. They were marked down a little to $24.99. I guess price might depend on how well they sell in a given area.
Glad you posted, George, I saw a couple other things I may pick up on my way out of town if they still have them.
 

Marc_G

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
6,667
Reaction score
725
Location
Indianapolis Metro Area
I might have to go in and see if the Aldi near me has these. I'll admit, I think of Aldi as a dirty, grubby, off-brand outlet that I would use as a last resort for groceries. This is based on the two times in my life that I've been in one of their stores... burned out light bulbs, boxes of product on the dirty floor instead of proper shelves... ugh! But hey, if I can get a good MPR stand for cheap, I'm in!
 

TangoJuliet

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
9
Aarg! No Aldi near me and I really need something like this for the rail that I bought; I'm worried that my current pad won't support it firmly enough.

Hey George, any chance I could send you the funds to purchase one for me? :lol:
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,738
Reaction score
639
Aarg! No Aldi near me and I really need something like this for the rail that I bought; I'm worried that my current pad won't support it firmly enough.

Hey George, any chance I could send you the funds to purchase one for me? :lol:
Shipping would be pricey.

I did find this on eBay. Seems to be a 4 legged version but looks like the same kind of upper clamp / adjustment assembly. $30.99 plus $10.99 shipping.

https://tinyurl.com/ybbt6zqq

Also some of the actual Aldi / Bikemate stands on eBay but from what I ran across, a higher price and shipping (like $35 plus $18.99 shipping).

Also take a look at your local Craigslist, I've done a few Craigslist deals and they've all gone OK (Such as my bike, used treadmill, & laptop I'm using right now)
 

Peartree

Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Administrator
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
5,358
Reaction score
840
Location
Alliance, Ohio
I might have to go in and see if the Aldi near me has these. I'll admit, I think of Aldi as a dirty, grubby, off-brand outlet that I would use as a last resort for groceries. This is based on the two times in my life that I've been in one of their stores... burned out light bulbs, boxes of product on the dirty floor instead of proper shelves... ugh! But hey, if I can get a good MPR stand for cheap, I'm in!
That's odd. While I don't do the bulk of the shopping, Aldi is in the top tier for our family's grocery shopping. It tends to the second choice for my wife and first choice for my daughter. It's always as clean or cleaner than any of the other grocery chains and the prices are almost always better. Their selection tends to be somewhat limited so it isn't a "one stop" place, but their produce tends to be superior than the rest so we often go their for fresh fruit.
 

TangoJuliet

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
9
Shipping would be pricey.

I did find this on eBay. Seems to be a 4 legged version but looks like the same kind of upper clamp / adjustment assembly. $30.99 plus $10.99 shipping.

https://tinyurl.com/ybbt6zqq

Also some of the actual Aldi / Bikemate stands on eBay but from what I ran across, a higher price and shipping (like $35 plus $18.99 shipping).

Also take a look at your local Craigslist, I've done a few Craigslist deals and they've all gone OK (Such as my bike, used treadmill, & laptop I'm using right now)
I expected that; hence the laughing emoji. I'll have my GF on the lookout locally for me. She's a very frugal shopper and goes into places I would normally bypass (some of the places she goes, I'd feel like I needed a shower afterward) to get great deals.
 

hcmbanjo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,325
Reaction score
140
Boy, that is slick George.
Thanks for taking the time to make and share the video.
 

shreadvector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
9,061
Reaction score
236
Stopped at one Aldi in Beuna Park CA and they did not have them. The checkout clerk said that they had them a couple of weeks ago and that most of these non-food items sell fast and are gone.

I may check another one or two locations just in case....they do not have telephones in the stores.

All of our Aldis are relatively new in this region. They opened in various long-empty retail spaces.
 

Massrokit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
537
Reaction score
10
Thanks for the heads up. Picked mine up for $20 from aldis here in Mass.
 

dcannell

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Just picked up mine at the Windham, CT Aldi's for $20...

Aarg! No Aldi near me and I really need something like this for the rail that I bought; I'm worried that my current pad won't support it firmly enough.

Hey George, any chance I could send you the funds to purchase one for me? :lol:
 

OverTheTop

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
4,891
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Melbourne Australia
Down here in Oz the Aldi stores are quite clean and well lit. Remarkably similar to Woolworths (Safeway) or Coles supermarkets.

I will vote for their TVs as well. We purchased a 55" and a 65" for $900AUD each. They work great! More reliable than our Sony ones of the past.
 

KennB

I-95 Envoy
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
239
Location
Amesbury, MA
Thanks for the heads up. Picked mine up for $20 from aldis here in Mass.
I snagged one in New Hampshire for $19.99. Now I have to decide if I want it. :confused2: There was another one in the store so may drop by tomorrow to see if I can get that one, too. Someone in the club will want to have this in their stable.
 

shreadvector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
9,061
Reaction score
236
Got one in Anaheim CA for $29.95 plus tax. Last one there. I will save it for a TARC team or for someone who will get a rail and bring it to club launches.
 

Marc_G

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
6,667
Reaction score
725
Location
Indianapolis Metro Area
Thanks for this thread. Snagged one for $25 from the ALDI's near me. Was looking for something more sturdy than my old porta-pad for D/E launches.
I still say my ALDI's is relatively grubby compared to other food stores near me...

Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk
 

Peartree

Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Administrator
Global Mod
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
5,358
Reaction score
840
Location
Alliance, Ohio
T
I still say my ALDI's is relatively grubby compared to other food stores near me...
I'm guessing that has a lot to do with local management. Aldi generally runs a pretty tight ship. If you think it's substandard, it might be worth dropping a note to headquarters and telling them so.
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,738
Reaction score
639
I go to Aldi a lot. Mostly to get produce like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and lemons. And other things like bread, ketchup, and spices. A few other things here and there. Prices MUCH lower than anywhere else on things like that. Then I’ll go to some other grocery store or Target or Wal-Mart to get the groceries Aldi does not have, or some brands I prefer. Sometimes they have a great thin crust BBQ Chicken pizza at nice price as a Special Buy, I stock up on those when they have them but they do not have them often enough.

Funny thing…. I stopped by today for groceries. Figured i’d also see f they had any bike stands left (yep), and if they’d dropped the price as some stores have (nope). Local club member Neal Higgins happened to be there, and picked one up. So now there’s two left at my local store.



Last night, I made up a better rod holder. Used 1” PVC pipe and fittings. Two pieces of PVC pipe, a 90 degree elbow, T fitting, and a 1” to 1/2” PVC coupler (left)



The “T” fitting had a 3/8” hole drilled into the “bottom” of the T fitting, making sure it was centered. Got a three inch long 3/8 x 24 TPI bolt at Home Depot, Lowe’s also has them (got a nut too). The 24 TPI “Fine Thread” bolts are in the sliding drawers, not the common 16 TPI bolts in bins. At Lowe’s they are in one of the “Grade 5” non-metric drawers. At Home Depot I do not recall how the drawer was labeled, but they do not have very many drawers to look at. The 24 TPI thread is important since that is what the Drill Chuck requires, 16 DPI is no good.

3” is a perfect length for attaching the bolt into the T fitting and have enough sticking out for the drill chuck. I added a nut to it, which was not necessarily needed but it would help to further secure the bolt once I poured in resin to embed the bolt. I used some CA to tack-glue the bolt into place, centered, with the drill chuck temporarily tightened onto the bolt to hold the bolt aligned,

I cut some BT-55 coupler tube to make up temporary plugs for pouring in the resin. The coupler tubes were a bit loose, used a few wraps of vinyl tape to get a good fit while butting up against the inner lip, to keep any resin from getting into the area that the PVC parts would be glued into later. I stuffed paper towel into the BT-55 couplers to block the resin from pouring out. It did prevent resin from leaking out, but a lot of resin also was absorbed by the paper towel ("D’oh”), so when it had cured I had to deal with an unexpected problem. Photo just before mixing up and pouring the resin in.



Anyway, I mixed up the first batch of resin, which was Alumilite casting resin. Epoxy also could be used. I noted the resin didn’t leak out, but also realized the resin was soaking into the paper towel too. After the resin started to set up, I mixed up more. I poured in enough to almost fill the inner middle of the T fitting, leaving about 1/4” of free space at the top. This is because the Drill Chuck threaded attachment is not flush, it sticks down inside a bit,

After it was all cured, then I had to deal with removing the couplers and resin soaked into the paper towel. The only way I could get rid of the excess resin soaked into the paper towel was to use a drill press and 1/4” drill bit to drill la bunch of holes parallel, and just hog out as much resin as I could. At least Alumilite machines nicely, so this was not hard to do, just annoying. Finally got the resin removed, leaving the inner coupler surfaces clean and ready for gluing.



If I had it to do over, I would have taken a big candle, lit it, and dripped hot wax onto the inside face of the paper towel stuffed into the coupler tubes. So that there would have been a solid skin of wax on the inside, preventing resin from soaking in and making it a lot easier to remove the BT-55 couplers and have the inner areas of the T fitting ready for gluing the PVC parts.

Below, photo of the Drill Chuck before attaching it to the T fitting. Note the resin is recessed about 1/4”. The Chuck's base is simply screwed on tightly, friction holds it nicely so I do not think there is a need to use any epoxy or contact cement as I had considered.



Completed assembly after gluing the PVC parts together.



New rod holder clamped onto pad. The length of the horizontal piece of 1” pipe (to left of T fitting) allows the drill chuck to be centered with the vertical post of the bike stand.



The coupler for 1/2” PVC allows plugging in a piece of 1/2” PVC (right) for holding micro-clips, or other things.



Wider view of the pad, with the vertical part of the PVC assembly lowered closer down to the clamp.



And, oh yeah, it can also hold my bicycle while I work on it…. :)

 
Last edited:

Trident

Retired, plenty of kits
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
861
Reaction score
9
For the question about comparison to Rockwell JawStand, here is mine with an 8' mini rail. The rocket is my scratch-built Super Orbital Transport I flew at NSL 2017 in the upscale contest. Took second (got edged out my John Boren, Estes R&D guy ...). I guess if you are gonna get beat, might as well lose to a pro! :)

What I like about the JawStand is that it is extremely robust. For smaller rockets, I would not mind having the bike stand. We do not have Aldi stores here. Can someone tell me the brand of the bike stand?

IMG_1205.jpg
 
Top