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Black Aero fin guides

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Tonimus

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Disclaimer: I received a set of fin guides, in exchange for my honest review. Here we go.

I volunteered to receive and review a set of the Black Aero 3D printed fin guides. They are available at www.BlackAero.com.

Firstly, I was surprised at how substantial they were. They have a little bit of heft to them. And for being 3D printed, the resolution they are printed at is quite good. The quality of the print is also very good. There's just enough surface texture to make them easy to handle, but not so much that they seem sloppily made.

The set I received were for 54mm thinwall fiberglass tubing. The fit was spot on. There was just enough play for an easy slip fit.


Secondly, they have just a little bit of flex in them, which I like. I was able to use them like a clamp to wedge my fins in tight to the motor tube. I accomplished this by using masking tape between the guides, and pulling the tape tight, until I had a bit of deflection in the guides:


Thirdly, I like that one set of guides fits a bunch of different fins, and allows you to do surface mounted fins while leaving room for the glue. This way you don't have to worry about gluing your guides to your rocket. Quite an ingenious design. I also like that what size tubing they are for is printed directly into the part. (54T)


I was able to use them without any trouble. I expect that these will see use on all future 54mm builds with thinwall. Thank you for the opportunity. And damn you, because now I expect I'll have to buy other sizes... *cough* 4 inch *cough*
 

Banzai88

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As a frame of reference for tube and fin fit, what kit are you doing?
 

cerving

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Any thought about doing 3" or 4" fin guides?
 

MikeyDSlagle

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As a frame of reference for tube and fin fit, what kit are you doing?
I would guess a Wildman Punisher Sport. Likely a LDRS Special.

Any thought about doing 3" or 4" fin guides?
Kyle mentioned in another post that he wanted to see how well received are the fin guides before committing to the larger sizes. I've used them in 38mm, and they are great.
 
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BLKKROW

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As a frame of reference for tube and fin fit, what kit are you doing?
The fin guides are designed to fit standard sizes for thin walled tubing and standard tubing. Also, the fin sizes that fit the fin guides are as follows:

38mm : 1/16″ and 3/32″

54mm : 3/32″ and 1/8″

Any thought about doing 3" or 4" fin guides?
Yes, for more information you can see my latest post about this here:

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...d-Fin-Guides-Black-Aero&p=1614241#post1614241

Tonimus,

Thank you for your review!
 

Banzai88

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The fin guides are designed to fit standard sizes for thin walled tubing and standard tubing. Also, the fin sizes that fit the fin guides are as follows:

38mm : 1/16″ and 3/32″

54mm : 3/32″ and 1/8″
I get that, but it's not that easy. There are always differences in lot to lot run of tube. Even amongst the "same size" from different sources there can be a notable difference. That's why I asked about what kit (who's tubing) the guides were evaluated against.
 

BLKKROW

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I get that, but it's not that easy. There are always differences in lot to lot run of tube. Even amongst the "same size" from different sources there can be a notable difference. That's why I asked about what kit (who's tubing) the guides were evaluated against.
I understand what you are saying I was just trying to be helpful. As far as I know all of the tubing between vendors is very close to each other. I have tested the fin guides on Wildman Tubing and Rocketry Warehouse Tubing all with no problems.
 

Tonimus

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I get that, but it's not that easy. There are always differences in lot to lot run of tube. Even amongst the "same size" from different sources there can be a notable difference. That's why I asked about what kit (who's tubing) the guides were evaluated against.
It is a Wildman LDRS special. The contact points are sized as such that it would be easy to use masking tape as shim material if the fit was a touch loose. Tight, a couple passes with sandpaper should do just fine.
 

patelldp

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Do the guides have a way to assure that they are aligned to each other, not just the fin? This can be accomplished with three rods extending between them or with a flat on the OD so they can be aligned to a flat surface.

Without the alignment method, they will only work on fins constrained to a fin slot and will not be adequate for surface mount fins.
 

BLKKROW

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Do the guides have a way to assure that they are aligned to each other, not just the fin? This can be accomplished with three rods extending between them or with a flat on the OD so they can be aligned to a flat surface.

Without the alignment method, they will only work on fins constrained to a fin slot and will not be adequate for surface mount fins.
I don't understand your concern as I have used these for surface mounted fin's several times. Once you place all three/four fins in the jig it self aligns and the fins are parallel to the body tube. So if I am misunderstanding your concern please let me know.

In the past I have tried using all-thread between the fin guides to ensure they are straight but found that doesn't add any benefit.
 

patelldp

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I don't understand your concern as I have used these for surface mounted fin's several times. Once you place all three/four fins in the jig it self aligns and the fins are parallel to the body tube. So if I am misunderstanding your concern please let me know.

In the past I have tried using all-thread between the fin guides to ensure they are straight but found that doesn't add any benefit.
You don't want the guides to be aligned by the fins that you are aligning, especially if they are a thinner and potentially flexible material like 1/16" G10. My recommendation for a flat on the OD would mean that you could place the guides on the tube without any fins and then constrain the alignment of the guides to one another using a flat surface. The guide is then constraining the fin whether there are 1, 2, 3, or 4 fins present in the guide. See this thread:

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...elocity-Rocket-for-LDRS&p=1419538#post1419538

It's a simple addition that will be very beneficial. You won't need to juggle with multiple fins to get everything aligned.
 

BLKKROW

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You don't want the guides to be aligned by the fins that you are aligning, especially if they are a thinner and potentially flexible material like 1/16" G10. My recommendation for a flat on the OD would mean that you could place the guides on the tube without any fins and then constrain the alignment of the guides to one another using a flat surface. The guide is then constraining the fin whether there are 1, 2, 3, or 4 fins present in the guide. See this thread:

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showth...elocity-Rocket-for-LDRS&p=1419538#post1419538

It's a simple addition that will be very beneficial. You won't need to juggle with multiple fins to get everything aligned.
Oh I see what you are saying. Typically when I use the guides I take a T-Square and place it on the end of the tubing and take a pencil and scribe a straight line down the body tube. I then get my guides and fins in place and align the first fin I am going to adhere with this line.

I have never had a fin not align perfectly to that line before, but I can understand your concern.
 

patelldp

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Oh I see what you are saying. Typically when I use the guides I take a T-Square and place it on the end of the tubing and take a pencil and scribe a straight line down the body tube. I then get my guides and fins in place and align the first fin I am going to adhere with this line.

I have never had a fin not align perfectly to that line before, but I can understand your concern.
Yep. That's one way to do it. Putting a flat means no t-square, no line, just precision alignment. Just bang up alignment with minimal effort.
 
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