Build Thread: Estes Honest John

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messedupryan

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I ran to the hobby shop today to peruse the kits and find something to keep me busy. I'm quickly finding that I enjoy having a task to work on most nights, even if it is something small. I wanted something with a larger tube size and something that would be a new challenge. I found a kit that really ticked a few boxes for me.

I pulled an Estes Honest John. This kit has a nosecone and a tail cone which I had some difficulty with in the past (My V2 build), I want to try to improve this time. It also has fins that need to be glued together and bevelled in addition to rounding the edges. It also has a threaded motor retainer, which I thought would be fun to try.

1617139405823.png1617139419001.png


I'll share pics as I work and learn, hope at least one of you out there enjoys!
 

messedupryan

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I'm trying to learn to use OpenRocket a bit as I build this one. I'd like to be able to understand the impact of different motors and make some choices about what I fly. I found that K'Tesh has an .okr for this rocket (Bless you!) and shared it in this thread.

Based on that, I added the 2 motors I happen to have sitting in bags in my launch box. I tossed the largest thing aerotech had in a 24mm in the list just as an experiment to see if it would scream that this is stupid.

1617149191574.png

I notice higher max velocity and acceleration, though I don't have any context for how much the differences matter. Is this the proper approach if I wanted to select another motor outside of the 3 listed on the package?
 

messedupryan

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Much better experience tonight than when I tried to brute force the V2 tail cone. Scored around each slot over and over till they gave, then cleaned up the edges just a little bit.
1617154700027.png1617154710955.png
That's enough work for one night.
 

ebruce1361

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I'm trying to learn to use OpenRocket a bit as I build this one. I'd like to be able to understand the impact of different motors and make some choices about what I fly. I found that K'Tesh has an .okr for this rocket (Bless you!) and shared it in this thread.

Based on that, I added the 2 motors I happen to have sitting in bags in my launch box. I tossed the largest thing aerotech had in a 24mm in the list just as an experiment to see if it would scream that this is stupid.

View attachment 457654

I notice higher max velocity and acceleration, though I don't have any context for how much the differences matter. Is this the proper approach if I wanted to select another motor outside of the 3 listed on the package?

When I am using Openrocket to determine ideal motors, I usually look for which motor(s) will give me a flight that reaches apogee with the velocity as close to zero as possible. That way, I am squeezing as much altitude as I can while still having a nice, calm parachute deployment. From there, I try out other motors of similar attributes in order to get whatever performance I am wanting (max velocity, altitude, etc.)
My suggestion is to play with the graph settings so you can see when events like ejection and apogee are happening in relation to each other and then see what extreme motor selections do to those events' timing. Simulate flights on ridiculously overpowered and underpowered motors to see what worst-case-scenarios look like and then you will have a better idea of what the finer points of the data actually mean.
 

arconhi

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I ran to the hobby shop today to peruse the kits and find something to keep me busy. I'm quickly finding that I enjoy having a task to work on most nights, even if it is something small. I wanted something with a larger tube size and something that would be a new challenge. I found a kit that really ticked a few boxes for me.

I pulled an Estes Honest John. This kit has a nosecone and a tail cone which I had some difficulty with in the past (My V2 build), I want to try to improve this time. It also has fins that need to be glued together and bevelled in addition to rounding the edges. It also has a threaded motor retainer, which I thought would be fun to try.

View attachment 457630View attachment 457631


I'll share pics as I work and learn, hope at least one of you out there enjoys!
Will do.
 

messedupryan

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Multi-Part fins are new to me. I think it's probably best to do them one at a time. Got the first bits glued, and underneath some weight.

1617236787403.png1617236810148.png
 

kuririn

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Hard to tell from the pic, did you place a piece of wax paper or similar between the wood block and your glued fins? Will keep the fins from getting glued to the block if any glue seeps out from the joint.
 

messedupryan

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2 fins done. They are far from perfect, but with some sanding and some love they should be okay. I'm learning what works and doesn't work, which was part of why I picked this kit.
1617373618001.png
Upper motor retainer glued in and centering rings cut out, and I notice a small hole in one of them. One thing I considered doing with this build is trying to improve on the shock cord. I wonder if this is an opportunity to try a kevlar loop attached to the motor mount.
1617373625667.png 1617373634473.png
Lila is supervising this morning, so hopefully the quality of my work goes up a little bit ;)
1617373649957.png
 

arconhi

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2 fins done. They are far from perfect, but with some sanding and some love they should be okay. I'm learning what works and doesn't work, which was part of why I picked this kit.
View attachment 458038
Upper motor retainer glued in and centering rings cut out, and I notice a small hole in one of them. One thing I considered doing with this build is trying to improve on the shock cord. I wonder if this is an opportunity to try a kevlar loop attached to the motor mount.
View attachment 458039 View attachment 458040
Lila is supervising this morning, so hopefully the quality of my work goes up a little bit ;)
View attachment 458041
:):)It wouldn't hurt to have a Kevlar loop to the motor mount. The fins are awesome. I think the Supervisor approves it.
 

messedupryan

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:):)It wouldn't hurt to have a Kevlar loop to the motor mount.
I picked up some kevlar cord from amazon. One of the reviewers mentioned it for rocketry, and for under $10 I thought it was worth a shot. I need to learn a little bit about how to properly cut/handle this, but i think this will work for my shock cord. My plan, unless proven foolish by smarter folks than me, is to create a loop from the kevlar that doesn't quite extend outside the body tube, then tie the elastic to that loop and secure to the nose-cone. Then I can replace the elastic more easily. and control length better.

1617551442426.png 1617551671337.png
 

messedupryan

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I'm thinking of gluing this in place, and then tying a loop at the other end. I'm hoping that elastic being in the mix should reduce the overall shock to the motor mount, and that this should be safe.
1617555704761.png
 

kuririn

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Looks fine.
Since the Kevlar length is just short of the length of the tube zippering should also be mitigated.
Just be sure to attach the elastic before gluing in the mount to make things easier for yourself.
 

messedupryan

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Just be sure to attach the elastic before gluing in the mount to make things easier for yourself.
I get lucky here, the motor mount is glued directly into the tail cone before gluing the tail cone into the body tube. I can measure, tie and somewhat dry fit it all and make sure I got it right.
1617557317748.png

I didn't have any fancy scissors to cut kevlar, though I did find plentiful advice on TRF about the subject. I have giant outdoor scissors and they seemed to do the job with minimal fraying. I will likely invest in the right tool for the job, but for now this will work.
1617557328457.png
 

kuririn

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If the kevlar is taut it makes for a cleaner cut, no matter what you're using.
 

messedupryan

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Another question I have with these instructions is that they show white glue for attaching the motor mount inside of the plastic tail cone, this seems less than ideal. I've tried to dry fit this, and it takes a good about of force to get the end of the motor tube to 1/8" away from the tail cone. I'm thinking of using CA Gel to secure the mount to the cone.

Gonna mull this over a bit before I decide, can't really go back after this step. 🤣
 

kuririn

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Another question I have with these instructions is that they show white glue for attaching the motor mount inside of the plastic tail cone, this seems less than ideal. I've tried to dry fit this, and it takes a good about of force to get the end of the motor tube to 1/8" away from the tail cone. I'm thinking of using CA Gel to secure the mount to the cone.
Try sanding the centering rings to get an easier fit.
I'm surprised about the wood glue for a plastic to paper bond.
Chris Michiellssen has good results using Beacon Fabri Tac glue for plastic to paper.
Model Rocket Building: Estes Solo #7288 Build, Part 4, Gluing Things Up
I haven't tried it yet.
My choice would be epoxy first, CA second, plastic cement third.
But what do I know.
If it's a glue question, you're gonna get a variety of opinions.
Cheers.
 

arconhi

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I picked up some kevlar cord from amazon. One of the reviewers mentioned it for rocketry, and for under $10 I thought it was worth a shot. I need to learn a little bit about how to properly cut/handle this, but i think this will work for my shock cord. My plan, unless proven foolish by smarter folks than me, is to create a loop from the kevlar that doesn't quite extend outside the body tube, then tie the elastic to that loop and secure to the nose-cone. Then I can replace the elastic more easily. and control length better.

View attachment 458381 View attachment 458383
Exactly right. I did the same on some of my builds. Kevlar line and the wide kevlar is also used highly in sewing. My wife has a bunch of sizes and lengths. 😁
 

messedupryan

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My choice would be epoxy first,
The retainer calls for epoxy, maybe I can use the same stuff. Do you have a recommendation for the epoxy to use for attaching the plastic retainer to the motor tube?

I have some JB Weld ClearWeld™ 5 minute epoxy, is this going to do what I want for this job? (I understand that glue is a sticky subject, so I am just asking your opinion here) This has a mixing applicator tube that seemed attractive for trying to not make a mess of this retainer/tube.

1617566245733.png
 

kuririn

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For motor retainers, most of us use JB Weld paste epoxy, the one with the white hardener and black resin.
Any epoxy should work, but JB Weld is high temp.
Perfect for motor areas.
 

Bruiser

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I seem to remember the centering ring with a hole does have a specific place to go. Look over the instructions carefully and the pictures. Sometimes there's no mention of something in the writing but it is illustrated in the pictures

Ok, curiosity got the best of me and I looked it up. The illustration on page three shows it going at the top of the engine tube so you're good to go.

I used 5 minute epoxy to glue the centering rings to the plastic tail cone. A little goes a long way...

Also, agree on using JB weld for the retainer. I'll sand the inside of the retainer with some pretty rough sand paper to get some good grooves in the plastic then glue it on.

And here is a tip for a "cleaner" build. Apply the epoxy to the motor tube then slide the retainer over and any excess epoxy will be pushed toward the centering ring. If you put the epoxy in the retainer then slide the retainer over the engine tube you'll be cleaning epoxy out from the inside of the motor tube and JB Weld can be pretty messy.

-Bob
 

arconhi

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The retainer calls for epoxy, maybe I can use the same stuff. Do you have a recommendation for the epoxy to use for attaching the plastic retainer to the motor tube?

I have some JB Weld ClearWeld™ 5 minute epoxy, is this going to do what I want for this job? (I understand that glue is a sticky subject, so I am just asking your opinion here) This has a mixing applicator tube that seemed attractive for trying to not make a mess of this retainer/tube.

View attachment 458435
Absolutely you can use this. I have been using it for years. It does set in 5 minutes and it sets hard like glass. It is great for quick attachments. You will see I guaranty it. Mix it as even as you can. Even if one part is a little more it still sets hard.
 

Zman1961

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Try sanding the centering rings to get an easier fit.
I'm surprised about the wood glue for a plastic to paper bond.
Chris Michiellssen has good results using Beacon Fabri Tac glue for plastic to paper.
Model Rocket Building: Estes Solo #7288 Build, Part 4, Gluing Things Up
I haven't tried it yet.
My choice would be epoxy first, CA second, plastic cement third.
But what do I know.
If it's a glue question, you're gonna get a variety of opinions.
Cheers.
+1. I built this kit a few years ago and painted it just like the face card shows. It reamins one of my favorites with dozens of flights, as beat up and reapired as it has become. Do not use white glue for bonding plastic! It may bond initially, but when the plastic tail cone flexes (and it will) the glue will just peel off. Don't ask how I know! Remember to sand the plastic sufaces where the expoxy will go, for better adhesion. This is a great kit, and worth the effort to build. I would also recommend to upgrade the parachute to a 15 inch lower cost nylon version, like Top Flite.
 

rklapp

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I use my hobby cutters to cut the Kevlar. Be sure not to get CA on the cord. I heard it makes Kevlar brittle.

7AF8CFB0-A20F-4964-859C-A3EFED571C5D.jpeg


I lost my HJ to a gym roof (chute failed to open). I built a new one because I liked it so much and wanted to avoid the initial build mistakes I made. The airfoils are better but not flat. I decided to paper fin.

I didn’t trust the notch in the centering ring and attached the Kevlar to the MMT like usual. I just use lots of TB2 to secure the MM. I’m always afraid of getting the MM stuck part way in. For the plastic to cardboard, I use thick CA. On the original, I used yellow glue and the fin can broke off (doh). I used epoxy for the fillets which turned out okay. Someday I’ll get some rocketpoxy for these things.

My only regret is that the decorative ring is a little crooked but hardly noticeable (unless you’re the builder of course and then you notice it every time).

53CEFA7A-060C-40B5-846D-681DA0F60861.jpeg
 

messedupryan

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I would also recommend to upgrade the parachute to a 15 inch lower cost nylon version, like Top Flite.
I think I want to order a batch on Nylon chutes for all of my larger rockets I'm working on. (larger being a very relative term here. I mean the 12-16" range for my Big Daddy, V2, HJ, JBJ and Harpoon)

I built this kit a few years ago and painted it just like the face card shows.
I've never been a fan of painting like the face cards, I always feel like it just sets me up to fail. This time I think I am going to actually apply the decals, I am just swapping red out for another color.

Be sure not to get CA on the cord. I heard it makes Kevlar brittle.
I've heard this from multiple people, seems like great advice. I like those little snips too, may invest in some down the road.

JB Kwick Weld with steel 6 minute epoxy for the retainer.
Noted. Thanks for the tip!
 

messedupryan

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If you put the epoxy in the retainer then slide the retainer over the engine tube you'll be cleaning epoxy out from the inside of the motor tube and JB Weld can be pretty messy.
The instructions are horrid around this point. I appreciate the tip, this makes a lot of sense :)
 

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