Homemade polished aluminum deployment charge canisters

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by Nathan, Jul 21, 2019.

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  1. Jul 21, 2019 #1

    Nathan

    Nathan

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    If you like those aluminum deployment charge canisters but don't want to spend $20 for a pair of canisters or would just rather make them yourself, then here's how I make polished aluminum charge canisters for cheap.

    First get some aluminum tubing. I got this three foot piece of 3/4" aluminum tube from Home Depot for about $10 and it will make a lot of charge canisters. They only have two sizes of aluminum tubing at Home Depot but you can get any size you want from McMaster-Carr.

    [​IMG]

    Cut the tubing to the desired length. I used the band saw but a hack saw would work.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Sand with progressively fine sandpaper. First I smooth out the rough cut ends with 120 grit, then I sanded with 600, 1000, and 2000 grit. If you want them to have a satin finish like the $20 charge canisters then stop there. If you want a mirror finish like this then polish with aluminum polish. I used Mother's Aluminum Polish.

    [​IMG]

    I make the bases out of 1/8" plywood and epoxy. I used Aeropoxy. They are plenty strong; I've made them like this for years and have never had one fail. First I rough cut squares on the band saw and then shape them into round disks on the belt sander until they just fit into the canister tubes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rough up the bottom of the inside of the canister to give the epoxy a good grip.

    [​IMG]

    Insert the plywood bases and cover the inside of the bases with a big drip of epoxy and spread it to the edges.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the epoxy cures, all that's left is to drill holes and and attach with bolts. I use #4-40 machine bolts.

    [​IMG]

    Finished! This is the av-bay of my Upscale Onyx which I am in the process of upgrading from single deploy to head end dual deploy.
     
    Tobor, Mugs914, PhysicsGuy and 2 others like this.
  2. Jul 21, 2019 #2

    cwbullet

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    Good job. There are limitless options for canisters.
     
  3. Jul 22, 2019 #3

    hobie1dog

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    Nathan- I can envision your casket. Mirror polished Stainless Steel, polished gold plated handles, French polished Brazilian Mahogany interior, hand engraved sterling silver accents.

    But I would have bet one of the family jewels that you only used CO2 cartridges to eliminate that nasty black powder residue.
     
  4. Jul 22, 2019 #4

    BABAR

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    Very impressive.
    Does the polishing make these more functional than unpolished canisters?
     
  5. Jul 22, 2019 #5

    dinoburb

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    Of course, the functionality is directly related to the effort to polish.
     
  6. Jul 22, 2019 #6

    Nathan

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    No more than painting rockets makes them more functional than unpainted rockets.
     
  7. Jul 22, 2019 #7

    Bat-mite

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    Well, a nice paint jobs like yours will get your rocket more altitude! But you aren't getting any more charge out of your BP with a polished well. ;)

    You should really consider selling those. Custom made, for people who want something other than the Doghouse or Rocket Junkies sizes.
     
  8. Jul 23, 2019 #8

    caveduck

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    Well, since longer wells provide more complete powder burn at high altitude, it follows that more polished metal causes improved performance, QED.
     
  9. Jul 23, 2019 #9

    jjwb22101

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    I mean, while it doesn't impact performance in the slightest, a couple hours spent polishing at the start will certainly make the cleanup go a lot faster than if they were rough.
     
  10. Jul 23, 2019 #10

    mpitfield

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    Assuming they work as well as a "regular" charge well, I simply like them because they look great, even if it is just before use. I appreciate the efforts that some go to in seeking visual perfection.
     
  11. Jul 23, 2019 #11

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    Wow the polish look great! I think maybe you should save the polished one as a show model like for display, because it'll become pointless after the black powder fires.
     
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  12. Jul 23, 2019 #12

    Nathan

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    Black powder residue wipes right off polished aluminum, but they will get scuffed up.
     
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  13. Jul 23, 2019 #13

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    I didn't think about that. come to think of it, the unpolished one will have residue sticking problems
     
  14. Jul 27, 2019 #14

    Tobor

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    Very cool. I will be adopting your approach.

    Thx for sharing.
     
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  15. Aug 8, 2019 #15

    SammyD

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    Thinking about doing those myself now - just ordered some Dog House charge wells and am always surprised at the cost....
     
  16. Aug 10, 2019 #16

    blackjack2564

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    Are you doing this with a buffing wheel and several grits of jeweler's rouge/polish ?
    I'v done brass and copper items made from pipe and rod,in a matter of minutes.

    Certainly not by hand and paper?
     
  17. Aug 12, 2019 #17

    Mugs914

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    Sure! Just like he said; 600, 1000 then 2000 grit sandpaper, then some kind of metal polish (I think he said he used Mother's Metal polish). I used to polish up motorcycle parts all the time. I like to do the sanding wet (seemed less messy to me) then I use Simichrome Polish (in the tube) to finish. I always though it was kind of fun (and somewhat theraputic!o_O).

    Of course if you have a rag wheel and rouge it'll take about a tenth of the time! :p
     
  18. Aug 13, 2019 #18

    ghostfather

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    Maybe I'm missing the point, but why polish a charge well? It's utilitarian, inside the rocket, and not a show piece.
    Or do you polish all your hardware, including eye bolts and nuts and washers and such?

    As far as removing black powder residue, I generally don't bother with the hardware (charge well, eye bolt, wing nuts and such), but run a baby-wipe through the interior of air frame.
     
  19. Aug 13, 2019 #19

    Ez2cDave

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    I think they are cool . . . Polished or other finish is up to the rocketeer.

    Dave F.
     
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  20. Aug 13, 2019 #20

    Binder Design

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    Dog House Rocketry will soon have an option to upgrade all of our charge wells to aluminum, possibly with a choice of anodizing colors, I haven't decided on if I feel like anodizing and dying them. Pretty simple to do on our same machining equipment.
     
  21. Aug 13, 2019 #21

    Zertyme

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    I basically did the same thing except I turned a small piece of aluminum that hold the e-match in place. The two parts are then epoxied together. I also did some groves on the bottom to help the epoxy bond.
    IMG_20190811_200423_338.jpg IMG_20190811_200423_340.jpg
     

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