Homemade launch pad

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

peestick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2010
Messages
52
Reaction score
8
I whipped up a launch pad using John cockers plans. I modified it a lot and used square tube steel since I can weld steel. It came out pretty well, so good I thought about making a few and selling them if the price was right.

I used 1 1/4 square tube and 1 1/4 flat bar that was 1/8" thick. I also used 2" flat bar for the main T connect. The main pivot pin doubles to lock the unit in place when folded for transport. I also used some old hard drive magnets to secure the legs during transport. I also have plans to secure the stakes inside the legs using foam to create friction. I'm still working on that piece. I hope to have it painted by this weekend. Using high heat manifold paint. I'm curious to see how well it handles AP motors.

image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
 

o1d_dude

'I battle gravity'
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,379
Reaction score
1,274
Location
A Banana Republic
Nice work.

A small suggestion...round off the points of the top and bottom retainer pieces that hold the y-legs.

Take your finished launchpad out to Lake Lucerne and you will probably get a few orders.
 

JohnCoker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
849
Very nice looking! If you put together a web site, let me know and I'll add a link from my page.

The desert playa tends to rust steel quickly, so you probably need to coat it. I chose aluminum to keep the weight down and avoid oxidation issues. (Those pads are still going strong after 15 years.)
 

DRAGON64

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,452
Reaction score
600
Location
Toney, AL
Nice work on the launch pad. I have loved this design ever since finding it on John Coker's website. I built mine out of aluminum, and bolted everything together. I just recently replaced all of the zinc coated hardware with stainless steel... and I added a blast deflector.

IMG_8865_zpst3ufugpe.jpg


IMG_8864_zpsgygsl9iw.jpg
 

Kevin W

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
96
Reaction score
0
Location
Show Low AZ
I agree about using aluminum for construction. I up scaled John's pad from 3" square tube with 1/4" wall thickness. The weight of pad without the rail is 77#.
Still a handful for one person but manageable. IMG_20160402_131759694.jpg Thor and Pad.jpg
Side plates and hardware are SS, pivot bolts are zinc plated.
Welding was done with pulsed MIG aluminum the remaining attachment was drilled and tapped. Pretty minimal amount of welding.
Kevin
 

Tweeks

Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Our club recently acquired a new (never used) original Black-Sky rail pad. Pretty nice.. but it only came with two 2ft rail segments.. to I'm a little hesitant as most of our members sim their flights on 6-8ft rails.

Anyone know where to source BS-Rail segments and related hardware?

Tweeks
 

Tonimus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
1,511
Reaction score
8
80/20 makes 1010 rail that should fit. Just replace all the Blacksky rail hardware with 80/20 stuff.
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
8,408
Reaction score
7,258
Location
Hawaii
Grainger sells 80/20 and Faztek 1010 rails in various lengths and finishes, including black anodized if you prefer. If there is a Grainger franchise near you, you may be able to ship it there for free and pick it up. That's how I got my 6' rail and 8 foot 1/2" aluminum launch rod with no shipping charges. Here is an example:

https://www.grainger.com/product/FAZTEK-Framing-Extrusion-5CXU9

You can also get rail attachment and extension hardware there. Happy flying.
 

terryg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
2,550
Reaction score
79
Location
Tucson, Az
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001F0K4KA/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

If is like our Black-Sky rail pads, the opening for the rail is smaller than a 1" x 1" rail will fit thru. You can attach a rod to the end of the rail to allow mounting. The other approach is to enlarge the opening in the pad base to fit the new rail. We had a member who worked at a welding/metal working shop modify ours.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tweeks

Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
18
Reaction score
6
Talking about the classic (original) BlackSky pads.. We have one (the black, angular, carriage-bold-together one with the slim, black rail), but only have the first 2ft section of it's specialized (small light wait) black machined rail.. We were going to adapt a 6ft 1010 rail to it.. but the original BlackSky pad is a very lightweight tripod style, really for medium to smaller HP rockets from the 90s.. and so we're worried about it's stability (and CG) by going to a heavier, longer 1010 (80/20) rail. Plus I kind of want to keep it "stock", for its historical significance as it was a transformative time in the hobby.
Some photos of the original BlackSky pad and rail can be seen here:
https://archive.rocketreviews.com/reviews/all/bs_railsystem.shtml

Are there any sources for the original BlackSky modular rails (instead of the fatter/heavier 1010)?

T.Weeks
www.NRVR.org
 
Last edited:
Top