First time build - rookie mistake

Bigsur2

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So I JUST got into rockets at the age of 40 so I don't go insane after work every day. My son bought me an Estes kit for Christmas. Somehow, I managed to miss the step where you have to ensure the launch rod holes are lined up correctly, so it was glued wrong. I'm pretty sure I can't take the thing apart to fix it, so wondering if any of you folks have any suggestions. Is there a way to safely launch the rocket......or is my first rocket a conversation piece on a shelf?

ANY help is VERY much appreciated.
 

jnobels

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Well, that’s better than missing the step of gluing the fins on straight..

Just use a sharp knife to carefully cut off the offending lugs. If they’re still usable, glue them back in straight or glue on a new set - you can buy them separately or use a suitable substitute. Use some glue of filler to patch things up. If you can’t get them off, leave them and glue a straight set to the opposite side.


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Zeus-cat

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At least you glued the lugs on. Lots of VERY experienced people have built beautiful rockets, painted and sanded them to within an inch of their lives. Put the motor in the rocket, walk it out to the launch pad and had to turn around without putting the rocket on the pad because they forgot to glue the launch lugs on it.

jnobels had good advice. Cut the lugs off and reuse if you can or just glue another set on the other side of the rocket. You can use straws or other small tubes if you need to replace the originals.
 

jnobels

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At least you glued the lugs on. Lots of VERY experienced people have built beautiful rockets, painted and sanded them to within an inch of their lives. Put the motor in the rocket, walk it out to the launch pad and had to turn around without putting the rocket on the pad because they forgot to glue the launch lugs on

Lol...I’ve never made it quite as far as the pad but I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s done this.



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samb

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Welcome to the forum Bigsur2 ! Which kit are you building ? Sometimes you can get away with a slight misalignment. A picture would help but I think the forum will block that until you hang out here a bit and post a few more times.
 

Bigsur2

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Thanks for all the help and quick responses. It's and Estes kit that came with both an "Amazon" and a "Crossfire ISX". The lugs came prefabricated......one to the body coupler and one on the base, so I didn't have to glue them on specifically. My next kit will hopefully be more advanced.

Unfortunately, the misalignment is more than slight, there off by 90 degrees easy lol. HOWEVER, GREAT to hear that I can buy some new lugs separately and glue them on. It's for the Amazon. Although a entry level rocket, it pained me to think it was unlaunchable.

Also with the fins......they slid on via a "pin and groove", so although the kit said to check alignment, that confused me because they only go on one way ????

In any event, thanks again guys. Hope you all have a good weekend.
 

CoachSteve

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If you have a local hobby shop there is a possibility they carry some rocket stuff. If not there is always EBAY or Amazon.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Estes-...111091&hash=item5af0aa8a0a:g:jIsAAOSwVGFZspP8

take a piece of launch rod, slide it through one of the lugs on the Amazon, slide a piece of similarly sized lug over the other end of the rod, line the 2 up to be perfectly straight up the rocket and glue the new one in place (you may need to scratch up the rocket body just under where you want to place the new lug for it to stick well.) A small brush and some testers paint and you will never know :)

For your next build, any Estes skill level 2 kit will get you into the world of gluing fins on and prepping Balsa Wood to look good with paint on it.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/FLYING-MOD...506401&hash=item4b130b08f2:g:kIAAAOSwv0tVb6oa

Good luck and post up here, we all will be glad to provide tips and suggestions - I have been a member here for about a month and these guys are great!

And, welcome to the addiction - just wait until your first rocket goes up - Fire, , noise, speed, it is a great feeling
 

Bigsur2

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If you have a local hobby shop there is a possibility they carry some rocket stuff. If not there is always EBAY or Amazon.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Estes-...111091&hash=item5af0aa8a0a:g:jIsAAOSwVGFZspP8

take a piece of launch rod, slide it through one of the lugs on the Amazon, slide a piece of similarly sized lug over the other end of the rod, line the 2 up to be perfectly straight up the rocket and glue the new one in place (you may need to scratch up the rocket body just under where you want to place the new lug for it to stick well.) A small brush and some testers paint and you will never know :)

For your next build, any Estes skill level 2 kit will get you into the world of gluing fins on and prepping Balsa Wood to look good with paint on it.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/FLYING-MOD...506401&hash=item4b130b08f2:g:kIAAAOSwv0tVb6oa

Good luck and post up here, we all will be glad to provide tips and suggestions - I have been a member here for about a month and these guys are great!

And, welcome to the addiction - just wait until your first rocket goes up - Fire, , noise, speed, it is a great feeling

Yup....already found a shop to check out. Will be lug shopping here shortly.

Appreciate the recommendation on the Level 2 rig!!
 

CoachSteve

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I second Balsa Machining service when your ready for scratch building parts and pieces (I order from them ll the time) - I will say though, balsa nose cones take a good bit of work to look good and you really need to know what your ordering to get proper sized components to fit together. BMS is also a really good place to get a good price on engines :)
 

CoachSteve

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The Estes Der Red Max rockets are fun build with quite a cult following :) these are level one but still require the full fin treatment

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Estes-Der-...648404&hash=item4b3992b3cd:g:ZBAAAOSwmRFajEph

One of my favorite Estes kits that takes a bit more build (still not crazy) is the V2 - great looking kit.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ESTES-7235...910936&hash=item3affac49d2:g:kMUAAOSwzbxacIgL

and after you have built a number of rockets the Estes Level 5 stuff is demanding but rewarding (I would build a good number of rockets first :) )
https://www.ebay.com/itm/ESTES-7235...910936&hash=item3affac49d2:g:kMUAAOSwzbxacIgL

Then there is Scratch building - possibly the most rewarding of all - I think I may have a problem :)
 

samb

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Haha! Watch it Big, the TRFers are all about helping you spend your money ! The Crossfire you already have will give you some balsa fin experience. The Amazon is a very good flier, relatively low and slow on B motors and a nice motor scooter on C's. Hope you can get the lug fixed up on that puppy.
 

CoachSteve

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So true - some of us do indeed have an addiction - and sharing it with new folks is half the fun :)
 

GlenP

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...Estes kit that came with both an "Amazon" and a "Crossfire ISX"...

That is a great launch set, two great rockets, fun builds and great fliers. If you want to see the Crossfire again when launching it on a "C" engine, use a large field and cut a hole out of the middle part of the chute or it may drift away out of sight.

I got one of those 808 keychain cameras and strapped it to the top of my Amazon, pretty cool movie, here is a screenshot. Where did I buy that camera? You can find one on ... AMAZON of course.

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 5.40.51 PM.png
 

jlabrasca

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Yup....already found a shop to check out. Will be lug shopping here shortly.

Appreciate the recommendation on the Level 2 rig!!

Use a straw. The straws that come with those shelf-stabilized milk boxes are typically just about the right size for a low-power launch lug. In fact, the milks we get locally come with an expandable two part-straw; the bottom part that is cut to pierce the foil in the spout of the box is about 1/8" I.D. Tthe upper portion (the part that goes into the child's mouth) is a little larger than 3/!6" I.D.

You can also roll your own lugs from any reasonably heavy paper and white glue.
 
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Bigsur2

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Use a straw. The straws that come with those shelf-stabilized milk boxes are typically just about the right size for a low-power launch lug. In fact, the milks we get locally come with an expandable two part-straw; the bottom part that is cut to pierce the foil in the spout of the box is about 1/8" I.D. Tthe upper portion (the part that goes into the child's mouth) is a little larger than 3/!6" I.D.

You can also roll your own lugs from any reasonably heavy paper and white glue.

VERY good to know. I have started to go this route for the Amazon. Will be more careful moving forward.
 

Bigsur2

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And thanks again to all of you for the comments. Very responsive forum compared to other forums I participate in.
 

Bigsur2

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Just in case anyone is still watching this thread, I glued a straw on the Amazon and launched with too small of an engine. First launch ever.......rookie mistake.

Now I'm on to the Crossfire but, as usual, another rookie mistake. Broke one of the wood fins while rounding the leading edge. Just glue and clamp...then sand it down??? I know I'm probably supposed to be filling/sealing/sanding the fins but this is only my 2nd build and the instructions don't say to do it so I skipped that. I'll take any recommendations in that respect as well. Should I coat the fins with filler and sand down or fix, paint, and launch??
 

Zeus-cat

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You should finish your rocket to the extent that you want. If you want a mirror finish on it that is fine. If you want t o fly it naked you can do that. Let me be clear, the rocket is naked, not you, but do whatever you want regarding clothing depending on local ordnances.
 

Andrew_ASC

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First multistage competition HPR I designed in a college team had the interstage connection implode at Mach 1.5. You will make an error in rocketry. The scary part is when you and other people miss that error from either lack of experience or lack of attention. Oddly the few Estes kits I flew as a kid were somewhat helpful. The principles were similar. The learning curves were completely insane in complexity for multistage high power. We were able to fix the design errors and design/launch a second rocket then place 3rd nationally at UTC for SEDS2017. It's amazing how it starts with a $20 Walmart kit and a few C motors then you can expand knowledge.

Asked an RSO what his worst day was, he said a flyer told him fins were "snap" on for a high powered rocket. That was after I was relatively embarassed about a rail guide epoxy failing while sliding a 3.5 pound L-1 certification high power rocket down a launch rail. What I'm trying to get as is there will always be mistakes so don't feel too bad about the launch rod guide being off center but try to learn from it. They called my fillets gravel. It survived a mile fall when a shock cord snapped.

I've seen rockets longer than cars blown in half by people more experienced out on salt flats. They still had that goofy grin and exclaim pushed it too far. Anybody can make a mistake. Figuring out what failed and why is part of the hobby. Fixing broken stuff is another.
 

Scott_650

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VERY good to know. I have started to go this route for the Amazon. Will be more careful moving forward.

Hit the local “dollar” store or party supply store - cheapest source for heavy duty paper drinking straws - paper straws are easier to glue securely than plastic straws. Last time I stopped at the local Dollar Tree found a bag of thick walled perfect diameter paper straws - couple dozen for a buck.
 

Andrew_ASC

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You can also get those party pack solo cups for mixing epoxies and foam poster boards to cut fin jigs out. And Popsicle sticks for mixers and fillet tool.
 

Bigsur2

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Any feedback on my last post? Should I glue the fin or wait and get some balsa / cut a new one???
 

Scott_650

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Any feedback on my last post? Should I glue the fin or wait and get some balsa / cut a new one???
Glueing fins together is a pretty typical task - balsa is strong for its weight but it can be fragile- just glue it, sand it and press on. Rather than do the fill and sand thing - which isn’t hard but can be messy - you can paper the fins. Plenty of threads on this forum on that topic. The Crossfire is a nifty little rocket, my first one was my first lost rocket as a BAR, I built my second without the little “rudder” fin things and painted it as a pseudo sounding rocket. Flies great on mini engines with an adapter!
 

neil_w

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Yeah, as Scott says you should be able to glue it back together. Use a double glue joint and it'll be good as new. Don't sand the edges that broke, just fit them back together the way they came apart. Heck, lots of fins start off in multiple parts anyway.

That said: you haven't provided any pictures of what you're dealing with, so we're guessing a bit.

Whether to fill and sand before attaching is a matter of preference. I generally find it easier to do my filling and smoothing before assembly *most of the time*, depending on the situation. Actually, I usually paper my fins with label paper, which is much much easier to do before assembly as a general rule.

Certainly, sanding of balsa parts must be done *gently*. :)
 

LithosphereRocketry

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Any feedback on my last post? Should I glue the fin or wait and get some balsa / cut a new one???

You don't even need to do anything to your fins if you don't want to. I still don't fill or paper LPR fins... With plywood, I use CWF because I can just attack it with a palm sander rather than sanding by hand. I do paper fins on some heavy LPR to light MPR models, but only for strength.

I would *personally* just glue the broken fin and maybe sand a bit, then leave the surface as it is. :2:
 

cobra1336

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Sorry if I missed this but where are you in PA. I'm in central NJ. Have a stash of parts.
 

dpower

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So I JUST got into rockets at the age of 40 so I don't go insane after work every day....
Welcome to the hobby, and TRF! You'll get your questions answered fast here, and often with conflicting answers! We all like to do things our way, so pick the answers that seem like they'd work for you, and if they don't, try something different next time.
 
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