Build thread: Estes Indicator +

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by shanejohnson2002, Feb 14, 2019.

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  1. Feb 18, 2019 #31

    shanejohnson2002

    shanejohnson2002

    shanejohnson2002

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    You're correct about the stock body tube being non-slotted. I had to manually slot this one, which wasn't as bad as I have heard. A good straight-edge guide works wonders, as does the Estes tube marking guide (it has slot cutting guides built in. At least, that's what I assume they are, since they worked perfectly for that).
     
  2. Feb 18, 2019 #32

    neil_w

    neil_w

    neil_w

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    It'll probably be fine. In the future, though: the tab is part of the fin, not an add-on. If you put the grain the way you did, you'll have the weakness GlenP pointed out. If you try to put it the other way (perpendicular to the BT) I bet you'd find it virtually impossible to cut the piece. Learning! :)
     
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  3. Feb 18, 2019 #33

    Rex R

    Rex R

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    index the fins to their slots And do your final slot adjustments after you finish sanding the fins smooth. I like my slots to be a touch on the narrow side(0.001" just enough to feel drag when inserting the fin). a Dremel with a sanding disk makes short work of sanding slots even with fiberglass tubes. a short length (3' or so) of Aluminum angle(3/4") is helpful for drawing straight lines on tubes.
    Rex
     
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  4. Feb 19, 2019 #34

    shanejohnson2002

    shanejohnson2002

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    Update:

    had a day off, so I got some stuff done.

    - Installed all 6 fin assemblies and glued the 2 halves together. I made another jig for alignment for the top (same as the one pictured previously, only with a BT-20 hole in the center). I also quickly made one in MS Paint for making sure the top assembly was aligned with the bottom assembly....basically just a long, straight 1/8" cutout in foam board.

    - Added fillets using DAP Plastic Wood. I know everyone has a favorite, and I know how bad that stuff is for you....but holy cow does it work. It sands easily and seems to form a bond of sorts between the fin and the tube. I don't know for sure how strong the bond is, but it seems strong enough. I shaped the fillets using the rounded end of a popsicle stick, then the ol' Mk 1 Mod 0 Finger, Index, Two Each. These are the best fillets I've done yet....which isn't saying much, but I'm pleased so far.

    - I masked off the nosecone shoulder and motor mount, stuck it on my 5/8" painting dowel, and applied a quick shot of Rustoleum Filler/Primer. I sanded it back using 220 wet/dry, cleaned, and re-applied a second coat. That showed me where all of the deficiencies were in filling....they really showed up around the leading/tailing corners of the fins, the transition, and I had a small crack in the DAP fillet around the aft launch lug. I used a toothpick to apply a bit of DAP to each of the issues (and any other small pinholes I found) that wouldn't sand out on their own. I cleaned up / sanded the newly-applied DAP, and re-shot a final coat of primer.

    And that's where we stand tonight. So far, so good. I'll start tomorrow by double-checking the rough spots, fixing anything that needs fixing, and hopefully doing a final primer sanding at 400 grit. Since I'll be back at work, I'll have to take it slow...not to mention the fact that I'm waiting on an ejection baffle and some red metallic paint to arrive.

    I'll probably go ahead and prime the motor mount as well....I'm thinking about painting it a shiny chrome, gold, or copper...sort of like a nozzle assembly. We'll see.
     
  5. Feb 19, 2019 #35

    shanejohnson2002

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    I cut the slots to be the thickness of the wood before paper was added. this caused some slight bulging in the middle area of the fins, but nothing too concerning. After papering they slid home with a pleasing pop sound.

    I like that Estes tube guide, since it has windows for slotting tubes. Aluminum Is definitely sturdier but im a fan of the windows for sure.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2019 #36

    shanejohnson2002

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    So, small update:

    Got it all tossed together since the last post. Fins went in fantastically, made some small fillets with DAP, sanded the whole thing with 220, shot 2 coats of primer, sanded again, shot 2 more coats, sanded to 400 and hit it with color.

    And that's where everything went wrong.

    The construction is fine, the bird will definitely fly....but the paint was an epic fail. As good as my glitter paint ended up on my Crossfire and my kids' Generics, I was hopeful I could pull it off. I'll be sanding it all back and re-applying, although when the paint started peeling on one of the fins it took the top layer of paper with it and left some nasty scars. I'm going to try to fill that with primer (or maybe 3m auto filler) and try again.

    I'll probably fly it once or twice before I repaint it just to verify construction....but yeah, that's where I'm at today.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2019 #37

    neil_w

    neil_w

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    What kind of paint were you using, what was the timing of your different coats, and what were the weather conditions?
     
  8. Mar 4, 2019 #38

    shanejohnson2002

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    No doubt the weather was the issue. I waited the requisite time on the cans, but we've had a cold/ rainy streak lately. I was hoping I could get away with it but looks like painting pretty much anything will have to wait until later this year.
     
  9. Mar 18, 2019 at 1:56 AM #39

    shanejohnson2002

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    So, news: The Indicator + had its first flight today. Completely uneventful, perfect flight on an A8-3....ugly paint and all. Apogee right at 200 ft, if my OR file is anywhere close to correct.

    Now just to step it up through the impulse ranges until I reach the 900+ the C6-5 is showing to produce.

    Redshifting is pretty fun!
     

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