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Help with BULK Rocket build information please!

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Nick@JET

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Hello;
I have been asked to do a special rocket bulk build for a Makerspace with kids and have a few questions. FYI I do have some experience with this however I know that some people on here have done the same thing and accomplished it pretty quickly.

How long can this take- these are pretty smart kids.
- I'm hoping that this can be done in one session 1.5 hours (no painting), then next session will be the launch.
- I currently lead 4-H aerospace - and 1.5 hour to build a rocket seams to be an issue - but I know there are tricks to getting fins - glue to dry etc.

What are some tricks to finish the build - level 1 will be fine - I prefer no E2X.

I also prefer TTW just for longevity - but doubt these are available in bulk pack.

I prefer to fly on B6-4 / C6-5 ish

thanks for the help
 

blackjack2564

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Fliskits http://www.fliskits.com/index.htm
makes a very user friendly school build rocket called the Doo-Dad and a larger version called Thing-A-Majig.

They use a simple 3 fin unit you build as a jig, then slide the airframe into. Go to site and give a look. You simply cannot screw up fin alignment with this. More importantly, it's a very fast way to build a rocket,especially needed for school type builds.
I know he sells bulk packs with special pricing for school builds, you will have to find that or give Jim a call. He loves working with kids and can give you all kinds of tips on how to plan for this seamlessly! He specializes in that.

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 3.04.51 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 3.05.11 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 3.06.38 PM.png


All part are very high quality... be sure to visit his "Education" page, this is what your looking for.

Edit: bulk packs found on Education page along with curriculum.
 
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blackjack2564

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If you want a REAL education.......

What ever kit you decide on,plan on building one in advance & timing the build. For a super-duper reality check, grab your wife,or young person in age group of school build.[ someone with no experience] Have them build the kit while you are explaining and time the whole thing.

This will bring out most issues and what will really be needed time wise.
I was involved with this 3 times.
After the first it was determined that to fit in time slot of 2 hrs, we needed to pre assemble some items for the students. Parachutes were assembled and handed out. Motor mounts were also pre-assembled & they mounted them in airframe.

3rd time went with rocket where no motor mount was needed, that alone was MAJOR time saver......by building one yourself/or guinea pig you will find where most time is needed. That is usually glue drying. Yellow carpenter glue is faster than white, by the way.

If you happen to find some kids in class with any experience, question them to verify, use them as team leaders.

Magic markers & stickers from Micheal's etc. can be supplied if you want the kids to personalize their build. It's fast & your pretty safe with these. In advance tell kids & moms that little Johnny & Sally should not be wearing their best cloths for this. Some will wipe their glue contaminated hands on their pants/shirts/dresses. It WILL happen.

Have paper towels or wet wipes handy for this and spills.
 
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KennB

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+1 on the Fliskits rockets available on the Education tab of his site. The dooDad or the Thing-a-Ma-Jig would be good for the motors you've listed.

The dooDad is a minimum diameter; I saw a number of these yesterday where a few had been built with the engine hook installed above, not below, the thrust ring. This meant the motor wasn't captured by the aft end of the hook. Some tape made for safe flights (a couple of club members helped with the launch but not the build).

The Thing-a-Ma-Jig uses a motor mount and centering rings so the assembly is a little more difficult but smart kids should be able to follow the written instructions and verbal advice.

Either of these can be done in a classroom setting within your 90 minute session.
 

blackjack2564

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Some bulk-packs come with only 1 set of [just a few] instructions. You will need to copy them if you want all kids to have.

Or they build with head of group......one step at a time..with helpers wandering around the room...helping those that are stuck.
Some bulk-packs are just that, parts must be separated into individual kits before class begins. Be sure to check in advance or lose precious time sorting during event!
 

KennB

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Some bulk-packs come with only 1 set of [just a few] instructions. You will need to copy them if you want all kids to have.

Or they build with head of group......one step at a time..with helpers wandering around the room...helping those that are stuck.
Some bulk-packs are just that, parts must be separated into individual kits before class begins. Be sure to check in advance or lose precious time sorting during event!
Whatever you end up using, make sure you have enough copies of things like fin marking guides and shock cord anchors.

Bulk packaging can be a benefit as you can hand out only the parts the kids will be working on in the next step; if they have too many parts to play with, something will get lost or glued in to the wrong place.
 

DavidMcCann

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I've done Alpha III's with cub scouts in about an hour. I can't help you with non-E2X advice, however for group builds I highly recommend breaking down the kits. My wife and I opened them all up, and used zip lock sandwich bags to separate all the parts for each step for each kid (one bag for each MMT assembly, etc). We also made the one cut each kit needed in the MMT for the engine hook.

Put each series of parts in it's own box, and line them up on a table. We started by passing out the motor mounts, and then demonstrated each step on an extra set of parts, or just pick up one of the kids and dry fit it to show everyone.

Having a bottle of glue for each kid greatly speeds things up. CJ is dead on with having wandering helpers I'd recommend at least one for every 5 kids.
 

Marc_G

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Also reconsider the B6-4 and C6-5... on the C6-5 these little rockets are going to go out of site and likely be lost if there is even a breath of wind. Stick to A8-3 so they can see the whole Launch, coast, deploy, recovery lifespan of the flight.

B6-4 maybe, only if you have a large field, and the wind is <10 mph.

Kids get upset if they lose their rocket on the first flight.
 

Nick@JET

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Thanks guys for the Great advice!
I've reached out to Jim @ Flis and even though I've not built a Flis I'm leaning strongly that way even though I like to idea of Estes TTW bulk kit.

Great to know about the individual bottles and pre assembling if necessary also trying out someone with no experience.

My boys are turning into season rocketeers and they are excited to help. They've both at 10 & 12 completed LOC kits and a Madcow FG been to LDRS etc.

Thanks again for the help and suggestions
 

blackjack2564

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One last thing, but of major importance.

Depending on kit you use:

In advance draw line where launch lug will go on all the tubes. This will help the kids immensely getting lug on straight & ensuring straight flights when launch time comes!!!
 

dcullen

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Hello;
I have been asked to do a special rocket bulk build for a Makerspace with kids and have a few questions. FYI I do have some experience with this however I know that some people on here have done the same thing and accomplished it pretty quickly.

How long can this take- these are pretty smart kids.
- I'm hoping that this can be done in one session 1.5 hours (no painting), then next session will be the launch.
- I currently lead 4-H aerospace - and 1.5 hour to build a rocket seams to be an issue - but I know there are tricks to getting fins - glue to dry etc.

What are some tricks to finish the build - level 1 will be fine - I prefer no E2X.

I also prefer TTW just for longevity - but doubt these are available in bulk pack.

I prefer to fly on B6-4 / C6-5 ish

thanks for the help
As noted, Fliskits have some nice rockets for this application.

Also check out Balsa Machining Services School Rocket. $5.25 each in any quantity. TTW fins, BT 50, 14" tall, Real Balsa Fins and Nose Cone. Not advertised but you can request a payload section for $1.50 additional.

Teach Double gluing and you should be able to complete your task. Have students cut a fin guide out of cardboard (use payloadbay.com for the fin giude tool. http://www.payloadbay.com/index.php?page=Tools&action=FINGUIDES )



Good luck, have fun
 

mikec

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As to not using E2X/plastic fins, etc. I understand why you want to do it this way, but depending on your goals it may not be the best idea. I did a build session with young Boy Scouts once with the Estes Viking (cardboard fins) and it didn't go so well. Alpha IIIs, etc, may not be the "real balsa" purist's rocket, but a whole set of problems are avoided that way, especially if flying rather than building is your primary emphasis.
 

Nick@JET

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For time I would like plastic fins and an E2X but these kids are used to building things as this is a Makerspace project. So that is another reason I'm leaning toward the FlisKits interlocking basswood fins to bridge that gap between an E2X and a typical Estes balsa kit.

But to your point, I've had issues with balsa find and kids getting good adhesion - thanks for that warning.
I may even go with a balsa machining kit too to try out the TTW.


Thank you for all the responses - nothing worse than an unsuccessful build project with a bunch of kids - the goal is the assembly and the launch so I'm expecting 100% success and will build a few to prepare for not so much .
 

mikec

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these kids are used to building things as this is a Makerspace project.
In that case just have them laser-cut the fins and 3d-print the nose cones :)

Kidding, best of luck however you do it!
 

AlfaBrewer

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I built the Fliskits WhatchaMaCallit (13mm MD version of the Doo Dad/Thing a Ma Jig) with my daughter's Daisy troop (6-7 year olds). One parent helping each girl (the dads all showed up to this meeting!!). We had the entire rocket built and ready to decorate in your time frame. Since these are 13mm, it helps limit the altitude. They fly fine on 1/4A and 1/2A motors.

One word of caution on using markers to decorate - they can bleed/rub off the glassine layer.
 

BEC

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Not to take away from the Thing-a-ma-Jig and such.....but a kit available in bulk with balsa TTW fins is the Balsa Machining Service School Rocket. (ah, I now see dcullen beat me to it)

Doing any balsa fin rocket in 1 1/2 hours and have things dry enough to safely handle is going to be dicey....but probably the Fliskits models would have the best shot at that. You might be able to do it with the BMS School Rocket as well.

I've done Estes Make It - Take It models (go together just like an Alpha III) in a group session in about an hour by doing some pre-work including some marking and cutting the shock cord mount out, and heavily rearranging the build so that the things that take the longest to dry are done first (the aforementioned shock cord mount).
 
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Nick@JET

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Wow just checked out BMS school rocket - great price and looks to be a pretty good value! May end up being between the Doodad and School rocket depending on timing.

Looks like I may wind up doing this again for school group to boost our failing 4-H.
 

BEC

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I forgot to mention that the School Rocket is a very reliable flyer even in a pretty good breeze.
 

michigander

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My wife's group is using Estes Wizards 12 pack was 29.95 ea shipped , I bought all 5 they had on eBay :)


motor plan is 1/2 A6-2's we don't have much room to work with
 

soopirV

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A lot of this has been said already, but what the heck: I did this for my sons' birthday parties (combined them into one, since they were turning 8 and 10 and are only a month apart anyway) with 27 kids and as others have mentioned, consider/do the following (we used the Generic because of the plastic fin unit):

Premark the body tubes for LL and fins (if required)
I cut the slot for the hook in the MMT, but next time would consider preassembly of the entire motor mount.
Precut the shock cord anchors, maybe even preglue them- I precut, and this was probably the messiest part- also hard to make sure everyone got theirs in deep enough, but that will happen anyway, unless you prebuild the whole thing).

We built and launched the same day- assembled, had pizza and cake while the glude dried, and launched after. The biggest chore was getting everything prepped for flight- thankfully I had some adult helpers who could stuff wadding, fold parachutes and install engines. We let each kid install the igniter with adult supervision, that was the favorite part of many. All flew on A8-3 except one I built as a sacrifice- we put that up on a C6-5- we could see the whole flight, but the 12" chute carried it to places unknown. Thankfully everyone else got theirs back.

Oh, last thing- I had two pads set up, and we cycled through the launches alternating pads once the previous one was on the ground. Probably not necessary, but it kept things moving and helped keep some semblance of order.
 

DavidMcCann

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Oh, last thing- I had two pads set up, and we cycled through the launches alternating pads once the previous one was on the ground. Probably not necessary, but it kept things moving and helped keep some semblance of order.
I did three pads and we were able to load three, launch in sequence, and load the next as the others recovered.

Next time I do that... I will removed all keys from the controllers, and use one shared key.
 

manixFan

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I've done a number of these for scouts and other youth groups. One thing I've used is the 5ml medicine syringes from the pharmacy for glue. They have little caps that cover the ends and have just the right amount of resistance. It allows you to have lots of glue applicators. Obviously you need to fill them ahead of time. Several times when I went to the pharmacy to get them they donated them to me once I told them what they were for. The cost was pretty minimal otherwise.

I know some folks will think it's crazy to hand young kids a small syringe full of glue but it's no different than a regular glue bottle. In the many builds I've done using the syringes I never had an incident where a child tried to shoot the glue out at someone or something. You can stop by just about any pharmacy and get one for free (they are often in a box on the counter) to try out and see what you think.

Good luck,


Tony
 

Nick@JET

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These are all great suggestions, thank you! All these tips and tricks are really going to help as I see I'll likely be doing this again in other venues.

I do have a simple 3 pad setup that I can expand to 4 but only one LPR / HPR controller ( so I can have 2 sets of leads - may have to remedy that pretty quick to 3 or 4.
 

BEC

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I've done a number of these for scouts and other youth groups. One thing I've used is the 5ml medicine syringes from the pharmacy for glue. They have little caps that cover the ends and have just the right amount of resistance. It allows you to have lots of glue applicators. Obviously you need to fill them ahead of time. Several times when I went to the pharmacy to get them they donated them to me once I told them what they were for. The cost was pretty minimal otherwise.
Now THAT is a brilliant idea!
 

manixFan

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Now THAT is a brilliant idea!
Thanks! I've kept a couple of filled syringes with caps in my range kit for several years and the glue was still good when needed. So it's also a great way to keep glue in a range box that won't dry out or drip all over.


Tony
 

bob jablonski

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Nick if you havent made up you mind yet I have Custom Razor kits Pre colored tube fin rockets. I used these with cub scouts with good results I may not be able to give you the AC supply price but a nice discount over MSRP (20%). And if needed I can bring them to the Sod farm Sunday.
 

Reinhard

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In that case just have them laser-cut the fins and 3d-print the nose cones :)

Kidding, best of luck however you do it!
Well, something along this line is what I would have suggested in earnest. :)
(depending on the equipment at hand at the Makerspace, of course)

Prepare enough 3d-printed and/or laser-cut components for all the kids in advance, so the kids don't have to wait for them. In addition, another set can be made in parallel to the kids building the rocket, so they can experience the manufacturing process too. This way, the kids learn about rockets and modern manufacturing. As a bonus, the final assembly complexity can be easily tweaked to the desired level.

Reinhard
 

lcorinth

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I just wrote a blog post about selecting bulk pack kits for the camp I just finished teaching. It's here.
 

tmacklin

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As always, Daniel's rocket tutorials are among the best, most understandable and "user friendly" tutorials around for both beginners AND veteran builders. I urge everyone to go to his blogs and social media pages. You won't be disappointed! :cheers:
 
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