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Hello! I've learned so much from reading through and searching these forums. I still have questions...

My two oldest (11 and 9) are interested in rocketry. They've put together several Estes level 1 rockets. They've gotten better each time, but are still having difficulty making the seams between the fins and tubes disappear completely. Tips?

We've read on here about papering the fins to make them stronger, and while this may be a really good idea, it is not something recommended by the one person we (sorta) know irl. Are there other good methods for strengthening those fins?

My oldest would like to attempt a level 2 rocket-but as she's done several level 1's, we've noticed there is a wide range of skill needed within that level (hoping that sentence makes sense!) What are some good "advanced" level 1's or "easier" level 2's that you would recommend.
Everything she's used, we've picked up at hobby lobby. Is there another place we should be looking at?

As part of my girl's interest in rockets, I've been asked to teach a class (6 weeks, one hour each week, additional adults to assist) to a group of 12 (ages 5-13). FTR, I'm a complete Novice, so everything I'm going to teach I first need to learn (or build in some cases). We are going to build paper rockets (1 week), water rockets (1 week), Estes Vikings (3 weeks: 2 to build, 1 to launch) In addition to building I want to cover the history of rockets, safety code, parts of the rocket and launch. Any suggestions for filling that sixth week (or maybe I'll need more time to complete one of the other projects? Or less?) ANY help/ideas/advice you can offer would be great!

Lastly, the viking has numerous fin configurations. Why? How do the various configurations effect the rocket?

I'm sure I have other questions, but that's all for now

TIA
 

JJSR

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"My two oldest (11 and 9) are interested in rocketry. They've put together several Estes level 1 rockets. They've gotten better each time, but are still having difficulty making the seams between the fins and tubes disappear completely. Tips?"

A picture would be good in order to answer this question.

"We've read on here about papering the fins to make them stronger, and while this may be a really good idea, it is not something recommended by the one person we (sorta) know irl. Are there other good methods for strengthening those fins?"

I would say for for 5-13 year olds papering with white glue would be best for you. you can soak the fins with thin CA glue, but I don't recommend kids that young using super glue.

"My oldest would like to attempt a level 2 rocket-but as she's done several level 1's, we've noticed there is a wide range of skill needed within that level (hoping that sentence makes sense!) What are some good "advanced" level 1's or "easier" level 2's that you would recommend.
Everything she's used, we've picked up at hobby lobby. Is there another place we should be looking at?"


Maybe a skill level 1 two stage like the "Mongoose" or something different like "Jetliner". not knowing what you've built (there are lots of on line sites that sell kits, look in the vendor section)

"As part of my girl's interest in rockets, I've been asked to teach a class (6 weeks, one hour each week, additional adults to assist) to a group of 12 (ages 5-13). FTR, I'm a complete Novice, so everything I'm going to teach I first need to learn (or build in some cases). We are going to build paper rockets (1 week), water rockets (1 week), Estes Vikings (3 weeks: 2 to build, 1 to launch) In addition to building I want to cover the history of rockets, safety code, parts of the rocket and launch. Any suggestions for filling that sixth week (or maybe I'll need more time to complete one of the other projects? Or less?) ANY help/ideas/advice you can offer would be great!"


There is a lot of info on the NAR and NASA sites,,,, http://www.nar.org/educational-resources/ ... http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/rocket/bgmr.html

"Lastly, the viking has numerous fin configurations. Why? How do the various configurations effect the rocket?"

This is something you could explore in your class


By the way WELCOME TO THE FORUM !!
 
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Rex R

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history of rocketry could take a while, there is something like 1400 years to cover :). as for which rockets to buy, I would suggest getting the Estes catalog(one can download one from here; http://www.estesrockets.com/customer-service/full-catalog/ ), the table of contents lists the starting page for each skill level, from a quick glance the kits start easy and get more difficult as you progress through each section. I will note that the skills learned at the basic level will carry through to high power rockets(the materials may change but, the skills remain the same). a good read is 'the handbook of model rocketry, by G. H. Stine' which cover most of the questions you have brought up and more that you might not have thought of yet:). and lest I forget, welcome to the forum (we like photos :)).
Rex
 
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"My two oldest (11 and 9) are interested in rocketry. They've put together several Estes level 1 rockets. They've gotten better each time, but are still having difficulty making the seams between the fins and tubes disappear completely. Tips?"

A picture would be good in order to answer this question.
I'll see if I can manage this. I seem to have difficulty doing this on other forum boards. Really, I'm guessing in part it's a sanding issue. But her obvious (to me) problems is making the space between the fins appear smooth (currently you can see where the glue fillets are on both sides of the fins.) She needs those to disappear.
"We've read on here about papering the fins to make them stronger, and while this may be a really good idea, it is not something recommended by the one person we (sorta) know irl. Are there other good methods for strengthening those fins?"

I would say for for 5-13 year olds papering with white glue would be best for you. you can soak the fins with thin CA glue, but I don't recommend kids that young using super glue.

"My oldest would like to attempt a level 2 rocket-but as she's done several level 1's, we've noticed there is a wide range of skill needed within that level (hoping that sentence makes sense!) What are some good "advanced" level 1's or "easier" level 2's that you would recommend.
Everything she's used, we've picked up at hobby lobby. Is there another place we should be looking at?"


Maybe a skill level 1 two stage like the "Mongoose" or something different like "Jetliner". not knowing what you've built (there are lots of on line sites that sell kits, look in the vendor section)
She has built Fat Boy, Baby Bertha, Yankee, and Crossfire. She also helped her 4yo brother put together Shattered. :)
"As part of my girl's interest in rockets, I've been asked to teach a class (6 weeks, one hour each week, additional adults to assist) to a group of 12 (ages 5-13). FTR, I'm a complete Novice, so everything I'm going to teach I first need to learn (or build in some cases). We are going to build paper rockets (1 week), water rockets (1 week), Estes Vikings (3 weeks: 2 to build, 1 to launch) In addition to building I want to cover the history of rockets, safety code, parts of the rocket and launch. Any suggestions for filling that sixth week (or maybe I'll need more time to complete one of the other projects? Or less?) ANY help/ideas/advice you can offer would be great!"


There is a lot of info on the NAR and NASA sites,,,, http://www.nar.org/educational-resources/ ... http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/rocket/bgmr.html

"Lastly, the viking has numerous fin configurations. Why? How do the various configurations effect the rocket?"

This is something you could explore in your class
Yes. That is my current plan. But after we see the effects I'd like to be able to explain why what happened happened.

By the way WELCOME TO THE FORUM !!
Thanks!
 
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history of rocketry could take a while, there is something like 1400 years to cover :). LOL, yes. as for which rockets to buy, I would suggest getting the Estes catalog(one can download one from here; http://www.estesrockets.com/customer-service/full-catalog/ ), the table of contents lists the starting page for each skill level, from a quick glance the kits start easy and get more difficult as you progress through each section. I will note that the skills learned at the basic level will carry through to high power rockets(the materials may change but, the skills remain the same). a good read is 'the handbook of model rocketry, by G. H. Stine' This is recommended all over these boards. Mine is already on order from the library. Should arrive on Saturdaywhich cover most of the questions you have brought up and more that you might not have thought of yet:). Yikes. I already have other questions- just not sure how to put them into words. Hopefully reading this book will help. Thanks for suggesting it. and lest I forget, welcome to the forum Thanks! (we like photos :))Me too. I'm just not sure I can get them to load from my phone, but I'll try! What is helpful to have in the photos? Close ups of the work in progress? Final projects?



Rex
Thanks!.
 

Rex R

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to answer the question about photos, yes. okay :), more specific all of the above and launch pictures. some of us (for various reasons) can't do rockets so we like to 'live the life through others'. as to which edition of the handbook (if you are curious) about the only real difference is the sources for stuff change, the basics are largely timeless(oh and some chapters about electronic payloads change a bit). Stine wrote numerous science articles and some science fiction.
Rex
 

Screaminhelo

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For stepping up to level 2 rockets, you may also consider these from Estes: Vagabond, Bullpup and Goblin. You could branch out to FlisKits and order the Cheetah or go to the eRockets website and look at the Semroc kits (many good ones to choose from).

BTW, welcome to the TRF boards.
 

Cabernut

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The easiest skill level 2 kits that I can think of are the Loadstar II and Super Nova. Both are simple enough to construct but are probably level 2 since they are 2-stage. You can always fly them as single stage as well. Not a big difference between 1 and 2, but skill level 3 is a bit of a jump.
 

dhbarr

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Given any thought to working through NARTREK together?
 

tomsteve

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please take note that there is more rocket kit manufacturers than estes available.

as for fin strength, personally i take one of the balsa fins and use it as a pattern to make the fins from 1/8" plywood.
 
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For stepping up to level 2 rockets, you may also consider these from Estes: Vagabond, Bullpup and Goblin. You could branch out to FlisKits and order the Cheetah or go to the eRockets website and look at the Semroc kits (many good ones to choose from).

BTW, welcome to the TRF boards.
Thanks for these suggestions! We'll look at them later today
 
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The easiest skill level 2 kits that I can think of are the Loadstar II and Super Nova. Both are simple enough to construct but are probably level 2 since they are 2-stage. You can always fly them as single stage as well. Not a big difference between 1 and 2, but skill level 3 is a bit of a jump.
That's really good to know. THanks for the specific suggestions.
 
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please take note that there is more rocket kit manufacturers than estes available.

Absolutely. My difficulty is I don't know where to go online. I don't know what she needs, which makes ordering difficult. We live rural and the nearest store (hobby lobby) is 75 miles away. There is no independent hobby store and no rocket club near us that can assist us with what we need. I would love for her to try other products-estes just happened to be what was easily available to us.
as for fin strength, personally i take one of the balsa fins and use it as a pattern to make the fins from 1/8" plywood.
how difficult is it to cut the plywood? What tools do you use?
 

Rex R

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I have used a coping saw with a 32 tpi blade. one problem with plywood and low power rockets is keeping the cg far enough forward to have a stable rocket as plywood is heavier than balsa.
Rex
 

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lcorinth

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As for the seams between the fins and body tube, sounds like you're describing small gaps between where the fin is glued on and the actual tube, right? A fillet of glue would fill that gap and strengthen the joint. Just run a thin line of glue down the joint between the fin and body tube, and smooth it out with a quick swipe of your finger, wiping off the excess, but leaving a little there in the joint.

I used Vikings for one of my rocket camp classes. The fin configurations are just for variety and fun. The rocket is plenty stable in all those configurations, and because the fins are card stock, not balsa, it doesn't matter which way you glue them on. With balsa, you want the wood grain running parallel to the leading or forward edge of the fin, so there's really only one direction to glue on fins with most model rockets. Those card stock fins give kids (or adults) a choice in how the rocket looks.

Fewer fins will reduce drag, so a 3-finned Viking should go higher than a 5-finned Viking. But, really, those things go so high, drag reduction is not something you'll need to worry about. You more need to worry about whether you'll find the rocket again, because on a C motor, it will go out of sight.

So, if you're doing a class with Vikings, you can let the kids try different fin configurations, which they'll want to do. Each kid could have a totally different rocket!

Here's one where the kid even decided to put four fins on, with one set in opposite directions of the other set. Still flew great.

[video=youtube;wFZAFVB20DI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFZAFVB20DI[/video]

Note: That was just on an A motor (and the altitude calculation was really a rough one). On a C, you wouldn't even see this thing!

Check out The Handbook of Model Rocketry. It'll really get you well acquainted with the basics if you're going to teach kids. There are also a lot of free resources on the Internet. If you google "Estes Classic Collection" you'll find downloadable PDF files of easy-to-understand technical reports from Estes which covers much of the basics as well.
 

Mymrmarty

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Staying on Baby Bertha I inherited a Baby Bertha kit minus the engine mount. I'm ordering a 18mm engine tube and some 18mm to 41mm center rings. I got a 18 mm screw on motor retainer.
Just a lil fooling around project.
The idea of a 29mm motor conversion is FASCINATING!!!
 

Rex R

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a 24mm mount would be fun, but one would about 14g(0.5oz.) of nose weight* to keep the cg in the right place.
Rex
*roughly, about 21g for a composite F39 :).
 

kcobbva

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There is always the Big Daddy. My daughter was 11 when she built this and is now 12. She just loved this rocket!


As you grow together, check out the Madcow Momba. That also had my girl written all over it. She just finished it and can't wait to launch. It's so awesome you have your kids involved doing this with you. I count myself very fortunate to have the same with my girl and boy(9) also building with me.
 

tomsteve

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how difficult is it to cut the plywood? What tools do you use?
plywood, the 1/8" i use, it very easy to cut.as rex mentioned a coping saw is a good choice- something with lots of teeth to cut smoothly.
personally i have a scrollsaw. i nail the 3 or 4 fins together and cut then at once. then before pulling the nails sand the edges flat. but doing it that way i have to fill the holes, which isnt a hassle for me.

imo, hobbylinc would be a good online source for you for kits, materials, and motors.

http://www.hobbylinc.com/index.htm
 

TopRamen

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Welcome to the fold.
It's great that your kids are into it too!

Plenty of friendly and helpful folks here on the forum.
You'll see lots of differing opinions on how to do things, so try to understand that each method has it's merits as well as it's shortcomings.

Since you are working with kids, I'de recommend that you give the fin papering a try using something like Titebond II and 65# cardstock, and start by trying this method:

[video=youtube;JnYBSbYr8ZE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnYBSbYr8ZE[/video]
 
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Can I i ask follow-up questions here? Or should i start a new thread?

I've finished reading "handbook of model rocketry" and "MAKE: rockets". There's a lot of math. Good math. But math. At what point is the math important? What about the string test? When building simple kits do you use the math? The string test? When talking with young kids, when does this information need to be presented?
 
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I don't think anyone has recommended ... if you want to teach rocketry accurately, everything you need to know is in here. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0471472425/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
It was suggested. I read it. Lots of great info. So here's a question: at what point do you introduce the math behind a build? From the start? When they start level 2 builds? When they start asking why? When they are 12? After they've had algebra? Something else?

My class has 5 year olds. They don't care. My 12 year olds might. But is it needed to shoot level one builds? I assume those kits are pretty much idiot proof (assuming directions are followed).

When does the math become important? When should a string test be performed?
 
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Bat-mite

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I do a good bit of teaching in my church, and my practice is this: know the material, and teach what is appropriate or what fits in the time slot. Having the knowledge gives you the ability to teach with authority, rather than by rote. For instance, you'll want to teach stability in some form to your kids. If they understand that the CG has to be one tube width forward of the CP, then they'll know what to do. But if there are questions, you'll want to know why that is true, and then explain it insofar as the kids can understand. Make sense?

No, I don't think they'll care much about the math at that age (I could be wrong). But for you to be able to say, "There are tested mathematical principles of aerodynamics that reveal what makes a rocket stable," sounds a lot better than, "Well, everybody I know who builds rockets says the CG has to be forward of the CP."
 

Bat-mite

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I missed your last sentence. Again, you can simply show them the cardboard cutout method of determining CP, and do a swing test for stability. But you could also explain why the cardboard cutout is a half-way decent indicator of the CP, and explain what is happening while swing testing. They may or may not understand it, but if they swing test a stable rocket, then go launch!
 

Rex R

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at what point should one worry about locating the cp you ask? one answer might be, when you move to mid-power...better answer is when you move away from kits and start doing scratch builds. this is where design software comes in handy. I can't be sure, but most kit instructions from companies other than Estes for mid power and up tell you what needs to be done, they don't usually show you how it is done.
Rex
 

Bat-mite

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at what point should one worry about locating the cp you ask? one answer might be, when you move to mid-power...better answer is when you move away from kits and start doing scratch builds. this is where design software comes in handy. I can't be sure, but most kit instructions from companies other than Estes for mid power and up tell you what needs to be done, they don't usually show you how it is done.
Rex
Well, suppose a little kid builds a kit and uses about 3X the amount of glue he needs. Now the CG may be too far back, and he'll want to know why his rocket spun around in crazy eights when he launched.
 

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