Estes Phoenix Fin Bevelling help please?

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jjp161

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Over the last few years I've tried to improve on my rocket buidling skills and build my rockets with as much attention to detail and quality workmanship as possible. I've also recently started with a couple of medium power rockets and have my sights set on the high power rockets. Things have gone well and my rockets have improved greatly.

My current project is the Estes Phoenix. I would like to get the most accurate and uniform bevel on the balsa fins that I can. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you.

Joe
 

Micromeister

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Joe:
Weather sanding fin bevels or glider wing airfoils one of the best $10.00 bucks i've ever spent was to purchase a piece of 1/2" x 12" x 18" plate glass. i've since picked up a few additional smaller pieces of 1/8" 1/4" and 3/8" to use as spacers to get very straight alignment lines on body tubes. but the main 1/2" piecs is where all my bevel and airfoil sanding is done.

You will also need a roll of 1" double faced masking tape. don't try using the 3m scotch d/f clear tape the adhesive is far to agressive. run a line of tape along an edge of your glass sheet. with another straight edge, I use a square, align the piece to be sanded and press onto the tape. I use 1" x1"x12" balse sanding blocks covered with various grit sandpapers to do the sanding. I've seen some alum T type sanding blocks that seem to be good also. to maintain a consistant angle tape a stop block along the back side of the glass piece after determining the angle you wish to maintain. Sand away in one direction only, do not try to sand with a back and forth stroke...One direction at a time only. you can change your seating direction and reverse your sanding stroke but to keep consistant pressure you can only sand one way or the other at a time. I draw a center ling on the thickness of the wood being worked balsa, bass, even plywood on all 4 sides before beginning. once you've sanded very nearly to the line on one side, use a flat spatula or piece of very thing plastic to carefully seperate the piece from the d/f masking tape. flip the piece over, carefully realign and continue sanding on the opposite side. finish sand with finer grits all the way down to 600grit. Hope this helps.
 

jjp161

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John:

Thank-you very much for your valuable insights. Is there anyway you could post a picture I'm having a little trouble visualizing the set-up. Thanks again.

Joe
 
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