Anyone roll yer own?

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Well-Known Member
May 2, 2009
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Kraft Paper Tubes?

what adhesive do you prefer?

i just made a few 38mm MMT tubes using a motor casing for a mandrel, and Scotch spray adhesive...
i have some Modge Podge too...
and Titebond...

lots of choices.

home-rolled tubes ROCK!
custom wall-thickness, different colored Kraft papers are available and with the proper mandrel, any length tube is possible...and only ONE seam to hide, no spirals...
Apogee has a great document on this on their website. I believe it is $4.95. It is well worth that. You can roll your own tubes and they turn out rock solid also. I use them for liners and casting tubes in EX work. But with the way you can wrap them you could easily make low to mid power rocket airframes out if it. You should check it out.

Also, wrapping them so that they spiral results in a stiffer tube that won't be as susceptable to warping, ie convolute vs. spiral wrapping. The longest I have gotten is about 36", then they start to get a little crooked.

I've done MMT tubes out of card stock by rolling it around a homemade mandrel made from aluminum. There's one in my V2, as a matter of fact. ;)
o yyou know I role my own.

....o wait we are talking about body, sure.

Just kidding ;)
Gummed Kraft Paper....enough said though...the Apogee Document has the rest.

any time soon.

i used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive this time.
i'm gonna go for a 4" tube next using a piece of PVC pipe as a mandrel. I guess i'll have to figure out the optimum number of wraps by trial and error.

doesn't your tongue get kinda dry making tubes with the pre-gummed paper tape?
I've tried and succedded making my own tubes by using the gummed craft tape.

I do the first layer of spiraled with the sticky side out.

The second layer I reverse the spiral so the "grain" of the paper crosses and with the gummed side in.

Really strong too!

The hard part is making a mandrel to roll it on...the tube is easy.

Having a lathe helps too! After you make your mandrel I chuck it into my lathe. The lathe makes a great holder to apply the craft tape really tight.

Heres how I roll micro-maxx tiny launch lug tubes and body tubes. The same procedure works for larger tubes also, nice for those Odd size Scale tubes;) I use elmor's yellow or white glue for all my applications. depending on the size of the tube I use white printer paper or brown 90lb kraft paper. yellow glue and mod-podge after drying. most mandrels are wood, metal or delrin. wood and metal need a mold release agent application before rolling.
I've rolled my own out of fiberglass/carbon/composites.

There comes a time in every young rocketeers life when they push the envelope too far and start to exceed the speed of cardboard.

Usually when you start playing with 54mm motors.

If you are at all interested in rolling composites, Tom Cloud posted a great reference to RMR shortly before he died.

Bob Fortune of Aerocon has archived it here:

This is the text I have followed to roll my own composite tubes up to and including 8" in diameter.

part of this is practice so i don't waste materials when working with compposites.

you bring up an interesting point; at some point, paper fins aren't enough and balsa must be used, then plywood, then there any rule of thumb to figure out when it's time to switch to a stronger material, or is empirical data the only indication?
I don't really have a rule of thumb, per say. I'm at the point where I glass/carbon all my fins, etc.

Same with my airframes.

For fins, the two main factors are Speed and fin shape.

For example, and unglassed EZI65 on a J415 WILL shred. The fin shape is such that it starts to flutter at high speeds.

Swept fins don't do so as badly.

*shrug* others will swear by G10 fins