DIY or local source for couplers and bulkheads?

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billdz

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Wanted to add a payload section to an Estes Mammoth, just need to cut the airframe, add a bulkhead and coupler, and move the shock card. However, although the bulkhead and coupler cost just a dollar or two from online vendors, they charge $6-$10 for shipping, which seems a lot. Is there some local source (e.g., Home Depot) product or household products that can be pressed into service? I found a large plastic bottle cap that is the right size for a bulkhead, maybe fill it with epoxy for extra strength. Would that work?
Thanks,
Bill
 

dhbarr

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A hard problem with random plastics is finding the right adhesive.

But yeah, Red Diamond Iced Tea caps fit nicely in a 38mm tube, for instance.
 

Mr Rocket

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Is there some local source (e.g., Home Depot) product or household products that can be pressed into service?
For the couplers I usually just take a similar size or slightly larger body tube and cut a slice out of the side just the right size so that it fits inside one of the 2 tubes that I plan to join without any overlap. Then I take a piece of tube and glue it on the inside edge of the seam to act as a splice plate. I did this today with a piece of BT-60 to make a 6" long stiffy tube to reinforce a BT-56 rocket that got damaged after a hard landing.

If you have a drill press in your shop it is pretty easy to cut your own bulkheads and centering rings from 1/8" plywood that you can get easily at local craft stores like Michael's, JoAnne Fabric or Hobby Lobby. I got a carbide tipped circle cutter from Harbor Freight for less than $10 and it does an OK job (for the price).:wink:
 

tomsteve

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heres a good video from john coker on making couplers
[video]https://www.jcrocket.com/make-a-coupler.shtml[/video]

any local hobby shops that carry estes rockets near ya? hobby lobbys usually carry rocket stuff and might have parts. they also have wood stuff that a bulkhead could be made from.
 

Zeus-cat

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You can always take a section of body tube about 3 or 4 inches long and cut a strip out of it to reduce the diameter. Obviously not as strong as a real coupler as you have a gap in it, but it does work.
 

tightwad

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I do the samething that Mr. Rocket does to make couplers. I overlap the seams by about an half of an inch with another piece of body tube, which is then glued in place. For bulkheads I use whatever I have handy, depending on the bulkhead useage. I will use a hole saw or my band saw on lightweight ply and my x-acto knife on cardboard. Sometimes I have to double-up the bulkhead for the strength and for its usage.
 

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