# Getting Back into it For The 2nd Time

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#### Hank1986

##### Member
Got bored during the pandemic and thought it would be fun to build again. (sorry for this wordy post but I'm stuck inside due to the ice storm)

Here's the back story: About 50-couple years ago I was into model rocketry pretty heavily. In fact, I won my 7th grade Science Fair with my rocketry display. I remember some of my favorites. Astron Scout, Streak, WAC Corporal, Big Bertha, a see-through payload rocket (the name escapes me now) and a Centuri Groove Tube to mention a few. About 20 years ago we moved to a new house. I started to get back into the hobby again then and built an Estes Prowler. But, our new house was within hearing distance of an RC airplane field and I got hooked on that hobby instead.

Longing for something to do this winter I built the Big Bertha and Citation Patriot. I'm now awaiting calm, warmer weather in order to paint and then fly.

Check out my oak launcher crafted 20 years ago (below). Still, I needed a blast plate now and found two metal electric box plates at Lowe's for 80 cents each. These blast plates may be a little small but I'll see how they do. Drilled a hole in the center for the launch rod. Clothes pin on the leg helps keep the launch wires stable.

Back during my first run at model rocketry 50 years ago, I recall using Asbestos wadding. In what year did they quit using it?

Here's a question for launch day: The Big Bertha and Citation Patriot each have quite a long body tube. Is it better to place the wadding close to the rear of the engine or closer to the parachute? Or does it make any difference?

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
I like to tuck a half square of wadding in the top of the motor, then some dog barf ( blown cellulose insulation), and another square or two before laundry ( cord & chute ).

#### hobie1dog

##### Hi-Fi Nut
Asbestos quickly went away n the early 80's. I think your new Dog Barf wadding should be placed closer to the parachute if you have a long body tube, but when you place a good sized parachute down into the tube, it will automatically push the dog barf down close to the engine anyway.

#### Patternflyer

##### Well-Known Member
I just maidened my Patriot a couple days ago. Didn’t go too well. I’ve attached the video for your “entertainment”. My advise is to use a C6-5, as the B motor just didn’t give it the “punch” for a high enough altitude for ejection. I’ve since repaired it, but it isn’t mint anymore........... My motor might have been a dud or maybe I built it too heavy, but in the end, I wish I had sent it up higher for a safe ejection. Good luck with whatever you decide! Welcome back to the hobby!

#### SharkWhisperer

##### Well-Known Member
I just maidened my Patriot a couple days ago. Didn’t go too well. I’ve attached the video for your “entertainment”. My advise is to use a C6-5, as the B motor just didn’t give it the “punch” for a high enough altitude for ejection. I’ve since repaired it, but it isn’t mint anymore........... My motor might have been a dud or maybe I built it too heavy, but in the end, I wish I had sent it up higher for a safe ejection. Good luck with whatever you decide! Welcome back to the hobby!

You got a crummy motor that destroyed your rocket. Write to them with pics or that video, make note of the motor lot number, and they'll send you a new kit and pack of motors for free. They're pretty good that way...

#### neil_w

##### Marginally Stable
TRF Supporter
I just maidened my Patriot a couple days ago. Didn’t go too well. I’ve attached the video for your “entertainment”. My advise is to use a C6-5, as the B motor just didn’t give it the “punch” for a high enough altitude for ejection. I’ve since repaired it, but it isn’t mint anymore........... My motor might have been a dud or maybe I built it too heavy, but in the end, I wish I had sent it up higher for a safe ejection. Good luck with whatever you decide! Welcome back to the hobby!

I would tend to agree with @SharkWhisperer that the motor was a dud. A 3 oz rocket should do better than that on a B6.

The maiden flight of one of my scratch rockets went about that high on a D12 (predicted altitude ~600'). I was lucky the soft landing area meant no damage. I spent all kinds of time trying to figure out what the problem might have been; eventually concluded a dud motor was the only plausible explanation. Sent it up on another D12 and it flew as expected.

#### SharkWhisperer

##### Well-Known Member
Got bored during the pandemic and thought it would be fun to build again. (sorry for this wordy post but I'm stuck inside due to the ice storm)

Back during my first run at model rocketry 50 years ago, I recall using Asbestos wadding. In what year did they quit using it?

Here's a question for launch day: The Big Bertha and Citation Patriot each have quite a long body tube. Is it better to place the wadding close to the rear of the engine or closer to the parachute? Or does it make any difference?
View attachment 450532
Welcome back Hank! Cool launch table. You might want to drill holes for 3/16" and 1/4" (4-foot) launch rods, too, if you plan to upsize your collection. Steel from Home Depot/Lowes, not that crummy hollow aluminum stock from Estes. Just gotta wipe it clean and give a coat of oil/WD40 to prevent rust (even if galvanized--the zinc doesn't last...).

For chute protection, the Dog Barf you pay a lot for is just repackaged bulk cellulose insulation--here's a pic of a 19 pound bag from HD that costs $14. That's 304 ounces, or less than a nickel an ounce. There's also cheaper brands available. The last online vendor sold me a 2 ounce bag of Dog Vomit (value 10 cents including bag/label) for around$3. Exact same stuff repackaged. You decide--5 cents/ounce or 150 cents/ounce (plus shipping)?

The Estes website sells 75 sheets of single-ply toilet paper that's made fire resistant for $5.49, though you can find it online (BP motors, too) for 40% off retail. That's over 7 cents for a single sheet of toilet paper that's been soaked in borax and dried. And it's not even special cushioney 2-ply like Charmin! Rip-off. Just 1-ply cardboard-like TP that still gives me gas station nightmares of a roadtrip in Hungary. Make it yourself for super cheap--just soak TP or paper towels in a saturated baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) solution (or borax, sodium borate, like Estes does) and dry it out. That$5.49 plus perhaps 50 cents in baking soda will allow you to convert 12 double-rolls of Walmart 2-ply Angel Soft into years' worth of chute protection. Unroll it first, though, or you'll be miserable tearing off chunks once they fused together during drying!!! I'm not going to do the per-sheet cost savings calculation but you get the idea.

Dollar store crepe paper, usually in 2" rolls, is usually fire-resistant, but you need to test it because the Chicoms don't always do things right. Plus, you need to police up that stuff, if you can ever find it, cuz it's friggin' litter. An option, but not the best.

Use plenty of wadding, packed loosely (and pack your recovery laundry loosely, too), and your rockets will survive many flights. Even if you can't find them after they land, at least you'll know that they did not suffer on the return trip! Even if I'm using Dog Vomit, I typically wrap a single sheet of (better than Estes) TP around the bottom of my chute/shroud lines that're going to see the most heat.

Or...if you really just don't like money or you feel you have too much of it laying about, then give it away to somebody who'll be more than happy to sell you some "special" TP or insulation! Special price!!!

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#### PatD

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Just 1-ply cardboard-like TP that still gives me gas station nightmares of a roadtrip in Hungary.
Ooooh, did it had chunks of visible wood in it like the gas station TP in Germany? (circa 1970s)

#### SharkWhisperer

##### Well-Known Member
Ooooh, did it had chunks of visible wood in it like the gas station TP in Germany? (circa 1970s)
Man, I just don't know. Some kinda cross between cardboard and fiberglass. Single-ply, of course. Some things you learn with the years that you just don't really want to know the answer to. But my cornhole was not enthused. It would have preferred I used a dried chollo cactus instead.

#### PatD

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Man, I just don't know. Some kinda cross between cardboard and fiberglass. Single-ply, of course. Some things you learn with the years that you just don't really want to know the answer to. But my cornhole was not enthused. It would have preferred I used a dried chollo cactus instead.
That's about the truth of it!