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Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2009
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would like to make the occasional paper rocket and the applewhite free pyramids look like a fun change of pace. What is a good cardstock weight to look for? What is too thin? (of course normal paper is too thin but I also see 65lb or so in addition to 95lb) is any cardstock easily available too heavy?


I've built almost all of the Applewhite Freebies and have found that in 13mm and 18mm, 65# usually works fine although I have usually used 110# for most since I have a lot of that sitting around.

We did have a kid who showed up at one of our launches who had built a Qubit with 18# bond. Not pretty!

On the other hand, I would think that 24# bond would work with some of the MMX designs.
I have used picture framing matte board for cubits. (HobbyLob puts it on half-price often and it comes with many possible colors already applied to one side)

Kinda hard to run through the printer to get the patterns drawn directly on the cardboard, but it is possible to use 3M spray adhesive to stick paper printouts to the cardboard. The stealth cubit is going to end up colored all black anyway...
Almost all printers can readily handle the 65-67lb range of cardstock. When in doubt, that's the safest bet.
Reading/watching others trials & mistakes is another good leaning tool. Of course, the best will be your own experience.
Can you use too thick? YEP!
It's your printer specs that will tell you if you can handle the 110lb category. You can try and run it through and see how well it works, but If in doubt check with your printers customers service.
110 is a good. and my choice for Art's 18mm quibits. I've had no troubles with 67lb for the 13's. On smaller detailed models such as those MMX sized, 110 is tougher to fold/roll, and looks chunky, whereas the 65-67lb type works, constructs much easier with better looks.
Using a slightly thin cardstock may cut down on the flight life of your model, but that's cheap compared to a new printer. ;) :2:

I have always used Georgia-Pacific 110 lb. white cardstock, which I buy in ream packs at Walmart for around $5.25. This is also the cardstock that Art himself usually recommends. It goes through my printer (a 10 year old HP DeskJet) without a problem; even the automatic duplexer can handle it without a hitch. Here is a partial list of items that I have used it for:

  • many versions of every one of Art Applewhite's 13mm and Micromaxx Qubits, saucers and cone rockets
  • 13mm and Micromaxx versions of Art's Six rocket
  • numerous prints of Art's fin can pattern for his design of the Bic Stic rocket
  • many, many versions of the FlisKits Midnight Express, including downscales as small as Micromaxx and upscales as large as 29mm minimum diameter
  • many versions of the FlisKits Caution! rocket
  • several versions of the FlisKits Nebula rocket
  • boattails on all three of my Astron Midgets
  • my builds of Eric Truax's flying cardstock models
  • a few different versions (downscales and upscales) of Greg Poehlein's Lemon Drop rocket
  • numerous static card models, including my Currell Graphics SpaceShip One, which involved fabricating a myriad of intricate parts entirely out of paper (including patterns to make 3D surface details that were smaller than a pinhead)
  • fin templates for all of my cloning projects - I print out the patterns on this cardstock, cut them out and use them to trace the patterns onto fin stock
  • more transitions and shrouds than I can even remember
Let me repeat: this is merely a partial list. I have used this cardstock in literally hundreds of projects, and that is no exaggeration.

It is great stuff, and it comes at a great price. There's no need to look any further - you can use this cardstock for everything.

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thanks - was thinking of starting with the applewhite 13mm pyramid plans so think i will try it with the 65lb stuff to start with - the printer I have will do photos so 65 will work - will have to see about the 110 stuff for something bigger

Some TRF'er mentioned using school folders due to the wide range of colors available. We did up some of Art Applewhite's saucers in holographic silver and they turned out great. I think we did have to use some double sided tape because the glue didn't work well on the shiny surfaces.
I'm building my very first cardstock rocket this evening - a Fliskits Midnight Express - and am using the #110 lb. stuff from WalMart. Seems to be going OK....

And it printed just fine on my $32 HP ink-jet printer.
The Midnight Express has been a very well received paper rocket over the years. In fact, it was slated to be a production kit but when I calculated the cost of printing the skins in color it became prohibitively expensive so we put it up as a free download :)
Just another plug for Art Applewhite's designs! The Priority Stealth free plan is another cool one. I just burned through a stack of G80's last weekend on it. Screams and lands 10' from the pad. Can't beat that! (or the cost).

I'm off to the BEMRC monthly launch with the Midnight Express ready to try. It's a little breezy but at least it's not raining....
No 'before launch' pics to compare with what it'll look like after?:D

...Just Kidding, I always got at least 3 flights from all my builds.
Have fun!:cheers:

No - I should've as it's less pretty now. But it does fly very well. Cardstock rockets aren't the best choice for landing on "it rained hard last night" fields - so it's less pretty now after three flights. I'm going to have to make up a few of these to keep as weather sounders - it works nicely for that and handles winds over 10 mph (measured at ground level) well.

This is a great rocket for Quest A6-4s with their relatively slow thrust build actually see it take off. On an Estes A8-3 it was just about gone instantly (but followed and recovered OK).

Time to go update my flight logs on EMRR.
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If I have something paper I make that turns out really nice, regardless of the designer, Iike to add on a thin coat of Krylon acrylic spray. Just a little bit, not enough to soak the paper, or make it, but it helps repel water, and can make getting minor stains off easier, kind of like Scotch Guard. :)


Yes.... am planning to do that with the next one....but this was my first attempt and I didn't really know how well it was going to work out (though since it was from FlisKits I should've known it was gonna fly just fine....)

BTW one of the first things I did when we got a new printer late last year (even though it's a $32 HP) was print out your 2009 holiday bell on cardstock...but I didn't put it together, yet.