Fliskits Decaffeinator Build Thread *Lite*

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KenECoyote

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Given how lightweight this Styrofoam rocket kit is (it's mostly made of Styrofoam cups and foam board!), I'm doing a lightweight build thread to share my experiences with this unique and fun kit.

Kit.

Screenshot_20230116_122454_Chrome.jpg

There was a detailed build thread from 2009:
2009 detailed build thread by JAL3

However, I figured a newer one may be helpful since there was a notable update and "Fliskits is back!" :D
 
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I'll skip anything the other build thread covered and add some of my notes, advice and experience.

When I first heard about this kit back in ~2015, I thought that the price + shipping was a bit steep for a bunch of Styrofoam (Edit: actually it'ssome other foam). However, I didn't see that like a gourmet dish, it's often not the price of the ingredients you're paying for, but genius of the chef!

Additional notes:
  • I wasn't aware earlier that this was a rear eject!
  • When I read that "we have made the decision to sell it only with the foam glider" and thought well, what the heckinbob will a free flight glider do for me? Well, I later found out it was a parasitic glider that you can latch onto the rocket! Cool!
  • They also now include an extra cup so that you can build it so it can be disassembled into two parts and taped together for flight!
  • 4 sheets of printed color wraps and fin stickers are included. You have to cut them out, but I really loved this and it definitely makes me feel I'm getting much more for my money than I expected.
  • Edit add: There's also a massive BT70 balsa plug that likely isn't cheap.
 
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Assembly is using a hot glue gun. I initially wasn't sure what temp gun to use, but I figured the hotter the better (as long as it doesn't melt the Styrofoam!) and I had an 80W dual temp gun, which I used on the high 80W setting and it seemed perfect!

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I had experience with glue guns since my family enjoys crafts of all types, but it can be a tricky and potentially dangerous tool to use.

Glue gun notes:
  • Always be mindful that the HOT glue can burn you! Always keep body parts away from the glue and glue dripping down.
  • Work in an area where there isn't danger of knocking over the glue gun.
  • Use a scrap piece under the glue gun or work over newspaper since the glue usually drips out of the gun as it heats up and while heated.
  • I'd recommend the bigger gun and sticks like the ones in my pic above because a small gun may allow the glue to cool and harden before you're even able to put the parts together, which sucks.
  • The hotter the glue, the more time you have to work with attaching the pieces, but also the higher the chance of burns if you touch the hot glue and higher chance of melting the foam.
  • 80W hot glue didn't melt the foam, however, the metal glue gun tip would if I put it directly against the foam.
  • Practice running a nice bead of glue on cardboard first. Observe how long it takes to harden.
  • When I got too much glue at the joints, I found it easy to simply peel off the excess. YMMV
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My one gripe was not with the kit, but with the included glider.

The glider had a mold seam on each part... some pretty big.

The instructions noted that you can sand it down, so I did, but sanding foam is quite unpleasant with little bits of foam flying around and sticking on everything given that for me, it's winter indoors in a cold and dry room.

I ended up washing my hands (to get them wet and remove static) and had a wetted towel nearby while sanding downwards into a large garbage can.

20230116_104602.jpg

Another trick I learned after breaking down foam in the past is to "huff" onto your hands and the moisture in your breath should make the foam bits fall off or blow away. In extreme cases of static, you can "pfft pfft" them off like you're spitting out poppy seeds. :p
 
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Glad you’re enjoying this unique build 😁

fun point of note…. “Styrofoam” is a foam insulating product whose trademark is owned by Dupont. DuPont. Doesn’t make cups…

there’s no such thing as a “styrofoam cup”… 😂😂. It’s some other poly-styrene foam
 
Glad you’re enjoying this unique build 😁

fun point of note…. “Styrofoam” is a foam insulating product whose trademark is owned by Dupont. DuPont. Doesn’t make cups…

there’s no such thing as a “styrofoam cup”… 😂😂. It’s some other poly-styrene foam
Hi Jim!

Thanks for that clarification!

Lol, that's an old school habit along the likes of "let's go to the videotape" and "dial it up!" 😆
 
I'm kind of surprised at the use of hot glue. I really dislike it so I have to ask if regular white glue will work, or if there is some reason it has to be hot glue.
There are other options such as taping the cups together and I believe epoxy works. There's also foam safe glues including some CAs, but I'm not sure how well they would work and they usually work best when there isn't any gap.

Personally I think learning to use a glue gun is a useful skill to have and from Jim's accounts, it makes repairs a cinch.
 
There are other options such as taping the cups together and I believe epoxy works. There's also foam safe glues including some CAs, but I'm not sure how well they would work and they usually work best when there isn't any gap.

Personally I think learning to use a glue gun is a useful skill to have and from Jim's accounts, it makes repairs a cinch.
I don't dislike hot glue because I can't use a glue gun. I dislike it because I don't put much stock in its durability for a rocket that is going to be flown repeatedly. I've seen hot glue soften severely on hot days.
 
I don't dislike hot glue because I can't use a glue gun. I dislike it because I don't put much stock in its durability for a rocket that is going to be flown repeatedly. I've seen hot glue soften severely on hot days.
Ah, good point!

I think JAL3 had that issue where the rocket had partial self-disassembly in storage, but repairs are also easy.

Velcro? 🤔 😆

Come to think of it, I may use velcro to connect the two halves instead of tape. :)
 
I don't dislike hot glue because I can't use a glue gun. I dislike it because I don't put much stock in its durability for a rocket that is going to be flown repeatedly. I've seen hot glue soften severely on hot days.

Its a rocket made of Styrofoam cups.....How advanced and robust are you expectations for such a rocket? :)

Hot glue works just fine. It worked great on the Flis-Kit UFO kit. These two kits are made of Styrofoam and have their own thrills and spills that hot glue its best suited for.

I would rather repair a clean glue joint than have the glue joint hold and have the cup(s) crush.

Andrew
 
I used this for mine. It worked well during the build, but the rocket hasn't flown yet, so I can't comment on how durable it is.

aleenesfelt-foam-tacky-glue.jpeg
 
To answer the other part of your question, white glue (like Elmer’s) will NOT work as the glue will not adhere to the foam…. The various “safe for foam” glues available are good choices, but I always use hot glue and a wrap of color electrical tape. Easy to apply, looks good (with the tape) and is a breeze to repair if (when) need be 😁
 
Oh, another great thing about this kit is that once you get the basic construction down, you can use another kit (or rebuild the current one) to try some of the other suggestions Jim provided, including a 2-Stage and a 116 cup rocket (which I thought was very clever and inventive):


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Someone please build Humongous! :D
 
Oh, another great thing about this kit is that once you get the basic construction down, you can use another kit (or rebuild the current one) to try some of the other suggestions Jim provided, including a 2-Stage and a 116 cup rocket (which I thought was very clever and inventive):


View attachment 557873
Someone please build Humongous! :D
The two stage definitely got my attention.
 
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