American Daddy Build Thread

techrat

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OK, it took me a while to get all the bits and pieces required, but I am going to start (over the next few weeks), a build I'm calling "American Daddy" which was named by @novahobbies , when I was discussing kit-bashing the Upscale Citation Patriot and a Big Daddy, rather than using Der Big Red Max. Having just completed a build of a BT-55 rocket called "Fintastic" (photo #1), all the other bits arrived in the mail today including the Upscale kit from Galactic Manufacturing.

Right away I ran into two issues : #1) The centering Ring assumes 3 fins, so, I could either modify the centering ring, OR ignore it entirely and just glue the fin tabs right to the 29mm motor mount. (See photo 2)

Well, after checking that by dry fitting the parts, it seems like I may have to modify the centering ring. No biggie. Even if I'm off by a bit, it'll be good enough to get away with.

Issue #2) is that the plywood I got from the $1.25 store (inflation!) is just a little bit off, and I'm missing a tiny edge off the bottom of the fin (see photo 3). Again, close enough to get away with it. The $1.25 plywood is actually just a tiny bit thicker than the kit's fins, so some sanding is in my future, although I should say that for *all* the fins. That's the update for now, hopefully more will get done tomorrow!
 

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techrat

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Ok, got the centering ring sorted out and I'm working to fabricate the fourth fin. Cutting plywood with that little hand-saw is a lot of work!
 

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techrat

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Ok, this thing is going to be gigantic! 3" diameter and over 3 feet tall, easily the biggest rocket in my collection. Time to start gluing stuff together. I will spend part of today trying to get the motor mount and fins epoxied, which will be the hardest part of the entire project, then need to modify the nosecone as Big Daddy's nose is notorious for never popping completely, so, have to saw off half the shoulder and put in a nice plywood bulkhead instead.
 

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techrat

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Ok, I epoxied the two upper rings, leaving the bottom ring off for now. I'm using paracord in place of kevlar, since that's what I've got here, and epoxied that as well as wrapped with some electrical tape. The lower ring will stay off until I get the fins on, epoxy from the inside of the tube, and then I can seal everything up. That will be a big job, and one that I will need to hold off on until I can get more coffee.
 

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Off Grid Gecko

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I need more small rockets, lol.

Looks great. The epoxy is prolly a bit overkill but if that's your preferred method than run with it. Looking great. You hoping to fly this one on an H someday?
 

techrat

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It's 29mm, so "F" minimum (unless it ends up light enough to fly with an adapted E) -- although not likely the way I overbuild. I tend to apply HPR techniques even to LPR's.
 

techrat

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Fins are in! Taking a break as epoxy needs 30 minutes to dry (and given the damp conditions today I'm betting double that), but the toughest portion is already over. And I've got sticky fingers now and I'm getting it all over the keyboard now too... Ugh.
 

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Off Grid Gecko

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It's 29mm, so "F" minimum (unless it ends up light enough to fly with an adapted E) -- although not likely the way I overbuild. I tend to apply HPR techniques even to LPR's.
I have one with that mount size that will just barely get off the pad at the right speed with an E16. I launch it from 8' rails just to be safe when I do that. I kinda stopped using epoxy unless the situation calls for it cause wood glue is a little easier for me. But everyone builds different. When I start a FB glass kit obv wood glue isn't going to cut the mustard on that one.
Can't wait to see it with paint.
 

Off Grid Gecko

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I don't think that humidity affects the rate that epoxy cures, but temperature does. The predictable cure time is one of the main reasons that I like epoxy, even for small rockets.
For the places I use it on smaller rockets, that's exactly my reason for using it. Plus that self-leveling effect on small fillets. Actually doing some epoxy fillets rn on a cardboard/plywood rocket.
 

techrat

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Added more epoxy on the inside surfaces, added the rear centering ring, and stood the model upright, which necessitated that I put the coupler on, the big tube and nosecone to see what it finally looks like. What a monster! With four fins, I'm realizing that to do a proper Patriot paint job, two of the fins will have to be black, not just one. I guess. I have no decals for this, so I'm going to have to come up with something. I could ink-jet print something and then cut them out and stick them on. But there's still a ton of work to do before I get to that step.
 

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gldknght

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Patriot paint job, two of the fins will have to be black, not just one. I guess. I have no decals for this, so I'm going to have to come up with something...
Give Mark Hayes <[email protected]> a call or an email. You will need to know your "measured" body tube circumference. He will quote you a price, which shouldn't be too bad, since he already has Citation Patriot decals on his website.

he has done excellent work for me in the past.
 

techrat

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Give Mark Hayes <[email protected]> a call or an email.
On my "to-do" list. I'm looking at this thing and realizing that the 4 huge fins are going to make hella drag, so even with an "F" motor, I should only expect flights of about 400 feet, and the 3" diameter, 3-foot long body means it'll be 100% visible for the entire flight. I should try to OpenRocket sim this bird in some way, but I'm still a total noob at the software.

I did round 1 of fillets on the fins, that might be enough for today. Next task is to work on the nosecone.
 

techrat

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Nosecone, nosecone, nosecone, I cut you up today.
Nosecone, nosecone, nosecone, with nosecone I will play...

Ok, here I am about to trim half the NC shoulder off with my dremel, and then also cut a plywood bulkhead to glue into the nosecone. Note that I'm using an Amazon box as my work surface, because the hole-cutter thing requires drilling a hole into the wood first. However, it turned out that I needed a 3" wide bulkhead, and I didn't have a 3" wide hole cutter, so... back to the dremel to try and cut up some plywood. (sigh). I will get this right. Mostly.
 

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techrat

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Ok, bulkhead cut and drilled for a U-bolt. Needed to find a second set of nuts for the flipside. A trip to Home Depot is in my future as I obviously need more little bits of hardware than I suspected. I bought a set of 10-10 rail buttons, but don't have the bits they are supposed to screw into on the inside of the body tube. Maybe I'll just epoxy in some nuts there as well. I'll figure something out.

Anyhow, after slathering epoxy on the underside of the bulkhead to glue the nuts into place and using that little metal plate that comes with the u-bolt, I roughed up the inside of the nosecone with sandpaper, slathered in more epoxy and glued the bulkhead in place. Given the length of the body tube, there's now more than enough weight in the nosecone for stable flight, and those 4 large fins guarantee a nice straight, low and slow draggy flight for this bird.
 

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BABAR

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And I've got sticky fingers now and I'm getting it all over the keyboard now too... Ugh.
great build. Are you using epoxy without gloves? others on this forum have mentioned that repeated And/or prolonged contact with epoxy can cause some sort of skin sensitivity to later use of epoxy, so just a word to the wise. I believe nitrile gloves are the type you want.

i like the FinTastic. Did it weathercock much? I am curious, as I think with that many fins all the same size and at same level, the fins “shield” each other somewhat from lateral wind forces. Remember before modern sims like OpenRocket and RockSim, we had Barrowman (which I think the modern sims use extensively), and before THAT we had CardBoard CutOut. I have always looked at the 2D cardboard cutout and considered that it can’t really distinguish three fins from 20, and figured weathercocking propensity was largely proportional to total surface area directly perpendicular to wind direction. Whereas multiple fins certainly proportionately affect CP, at least until there are so many there is inadequate space for free flow between them (almost like you have formed a Torus or donut around the fin can core.)
 
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BABAR

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. A trip to Home Depot is in my future as I obviously need more little bits of hardware than I suspected. I bought a set of 10-10 rail buttons, but don't have the bits they are supposed to screw into on the inside of the body tube. Maybe I'll just epoxy in some nuts there as well. I'll figure something out.
.
if these are the mini buttons for the 10x10 makerbeam, to my knowledge (at least the one I got online) they are not intended for (nor long enough to add) a nut. I just drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the bolt, hit it with thin CA which immediately dries, and screw the button with the spacer and outer flange-like thing right into the body tube.
 

techrat

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if these are the mini buttons for the 10x10 makerbeam, to my knowledge (at least the one I got online) they are not intended for (nor long enough to add) a nut. I just drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the bolt, hit it with thin CA which immediately dries, and screw the button with the spacer and outer flange-like thing right into the body tube.
After some research here, I decided to glue in some thin cedar cut from a "shim", and glue those into the body tube. I'm going to use wood screws instead of the supplied bolts, which will allow me to replace the rail buttons as needed. I've marked the body tube where I need to drill, and hopefully that'll work.
 

techrat

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OK, for those wondering about how well "Fintastic" flies, the answer is very nicely! We had very light winds today, so I can't answer any weathercocking, but it flew straight up, and was very easily recoverable using a C6-5, about 2 dozen feet from where it launched from, so almost straight up and down. Couldn't ask for better than that!

A Nike-X by comparison, flew into the wind, westward, and I had a long walk to get it back.
 
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