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Estes Rocket Tubes

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Michael L

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I bought my grandkids an Estes Flash. We launched it 4 times over the Thanksgiving holidays. You should have seen all of the jumping, whooping, and hollering :) I could barely hear my grandkids over all of my noise šŸ˜ Kidding, a little. On the last launch the guidance had a glitch, that would be me, and the rocket ended up coming down in the top of Pecan tree. We didn't figure out a way to get it down. Fast forward to the week before Christmas and I noticed it wasn't sneering at me from the top of the tree. Sure enough, it was intact, a little (lot) damp and it looked repairable. I took the plastic bits off carefully, straightened up the chute and cords, and inspected the tube. The tube was going to have to be replaced. A month exposed to the elements had left a soggy white main body tube. The pretty colored wrap was gone. I measured the tube and started looking for a replacement. Standard BT series tubes are too big. I found some ST-10 tubes on ERockets. I bought one ST-10 tube and one ST-11 tube. The ST-11 tube was 1" long :) Didn't matter. The ST-10 tube is too small and the ST-11 is too big.

Does Estes use oddball rocket tube diameters?
 

neil_w

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According to their website that is a 28mm tube, which is indeed oddball, right between ST10 and ST11. I've noticed that some of their ready-to-fly stuff is in weird sizes, but I have no idea why.

I would humbly suggest that for a rocket like that, replacement is probably a better option than repair.
 

Michael L

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I agree and I have done that. I habitually repair broken things. I have two options, toss the parts or make my own tube :) I won't be surprised if I don't go with option two. I have a LOC Graduator and LOC IV to build. Hoping for my Level 1 in the first quarter of this year.
 

cbwho

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Repairing rockets is part of the fun imho. I've re-tubed before. If it were my parts, I'd fit the next size larger tube and make a spacer out of glued paper for the fin can and nose cone.
 

prfesser

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Repairing rockets is part of the fun imho. I've re-tubed before. If it were my parts, I'd fit the next size larger tube and make a spacer out of glued paper for the fin can and nose cone.
I'll second this. The difference between the Flash tube size and T11 is pretty small.

I would try cuting a strip of heavy cardstock about a half-inch wide and the length of the cardstock. Cut a piece from this which fits inside the t11 with no overlap (if the ends don't quite meet, that's ok). See if the nose cone fits snugly inside the tube. Pick up the tube-nose cone by the tip of the nose and see if the tube falls off the cone. It should be tight enough for the tube to stay on but slips out easily with a two-fingertip pull. If the fit is good, glue in the paper strip, wiping off any beads of glue that ooze out.

Check the fit again to make sure the nose fits, and check fit with the fin unit. If it's all good, then glue in a strip in the other end of the T11, and re-assemble your rocket.

If one layer of cardstock doesn't bring up the i.d. of T11 enough, try a second layer. Or go with something thicker (maybe file-folder cardboard?)

Holler if you need help. If I'm not around, several "someone else-es" will undoubtedly help. People on TRF are very happy to help, it's what some of us live for. :)

Best -- Terry
 

Michael L

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Of course!! This is a "why didn't I think of that moment". The Flash will live again! It'll be a while before I see the grandson's again but it'll be nice to show them that repairing is always an option. Once I get it fixed I'll come post some pics. Thanks a ton!!
 
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