Homemade recovery wadding?

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by Tom, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Jun 19, 2019 #1

    Tom

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    I saw a short video the other day with a guy who makes home made recovery wadding. He does it by mixing up some baking soda in a saturated solution with water, then soaks a roll of toilet paper in it for a while.

    Then pouring off the excess water and let the roll of paper dry.. for like a week... or two.. or more :)

    Anyhow supposedly as he demonstrated the paper will not burn! It will scorch but will not ignite! He demonstrated with a BBQ lighter some regular recovery wadding and was able to get that to burn up. The soaked / dried TP would not.

    Anyone ever tried this?

    I don't know yet mine has been drying out for almost two weeks now.
     
  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    Tom

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    Oh yea.. uhh here is the video, forgot that ;)

     
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  3. Jun 19, 2019 #3

    tenspeed

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    I've done this with paper towels cut in quarters. With smaller tube rockets I use insulation but since insulation is so crumbly I'll wrap it in a paper towel for larger tube rockets. It works as good as recovery wadding.
     
  4. Jun 20, 2019 #4

    Tobor

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    Yep, I've using that baking soda solution for a few years now. It works great. Note that is is a good idea to test a small piece after completing a batch.
     
  5. Jun 20, 2019 #5

    kuririn

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    I think I'm going to try this.
    IIRC I remember reading that Vern Estes would make his own wadding by soaking toilet paper in a fireproofing solution, but don't know what that solution was.
    I liked the suggestion in the video to use lettuce for recovery wadding. Biodegradable, sustainable and environmentally friendly.
    And if you have a misfire you can put it on your BLT. Cheers.
     
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  6. Jun 20, 2019 #6

    rharshberger

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    Borax and Boric Acid (roach killer) and water is a commonly used solution to make things flame "proof", I have used it on canvas to make chute protectors. The formula is available on the internet.
     
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  7. Jun 20, 2019 #7

    Tom

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    I liked the suggestion in the video to use lettuce for recovery wadding. Biodegradable, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

    Heh I mentioned that to my wife as I thought it was funny. She reminded me that a head of lettuce costs more than a pack of toilet paper and does not last nearly as long :D
     
  8. Jun 20, 2019 #8

    OverTheTop

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    Just go to a party supply shop and buy crepe paper streamers for a couple of bucks for a bag of them. If you use a reputable shop the streamers have fire retardant in them. Don't buy from Chinese discount shops as results can vary.
     
  9. Jun 20, 2019 #9

    BABAR

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    Certainly do-able, although sorta takes scratch rocketry to an extreme. Depends on what your time is worth.

    You can get it delivered to your local Walmart for pickup for $6.61 plus tax. So for 75 sheets about 10 cents a sheet, which seems a bit much

    httpshttps://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Hobbies-Collecting/Rockets/Recovery-Wadding/p/21240://www.walmart.com/ip/Estes-Recovery-Wadding/25393469?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=15627&adid=22222222227018191702&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=t&wl3=40944948392&wl4=pla-78886129832&wl5=1026027&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=125946646&wl11=online&wl12=25393469&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAjwuqfoBRAEEiwAZErCsnJNnNY0xLqtPszzZKZfZxTKOWm6jFyp5jBWoMipJwMXbVRKPDs4NBoCRuQQAvD_BwE

    $5.99 at Hobby Lobby
    https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Hobbies-Collecting/Rockets/Recovery-Wadding/p/21240

    Interestingly you can also get motors delivered to your local Walmart. C6-5 three pack $11.49 plus tax.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Estes-Mo...hguid=c536d929-d27-16b7258314f065&athena=true

    I buy the Estes motor bulk 24 packs, which come with wadding. Also gives you an extra 6 starters. The wadding is biodegradable. Good deal at Hobby Lobby with the 40% coupon, although usually they only have A8-3s, in my experience.

    I read in this forum about a guy that checked asked at his local hardware store about ripped bags of cellulose insulation. Apparently common to get rips in transport and moving in and around the store. IIRC he got it either free or deeply discounted. A bale will probably last you two or three lifetimes. Suspect if you have a club nearby somebody will have plenty to share. It is also biodegradable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  10. Jun 20, 2019 #10

    Tom

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    It's not really all that time intensive! I put the water and baking soda in a mixer and ran it for a few minutes. Put the TP roll in a bowl and poured the mixture over it and let that soak for a while. Maybe 10 minutes total.

    Though it does take like a month to dry but that requires no effort on my part other than patience
     
  11. Jun 20, 2019 #11

    heada

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    About 10 years ago I purchased a bale of cellulose insulation (aka Dog Barf) for about $10. It's treated with a borax/boric acid process by the manufacturer to make it flame resistant. In 10 years, I've used maybe 10% of the bale and so I bet that bale will outlive me.

    Spend $10 and get a lifetime supply of wadding, no processing or waiting required.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/GreenFiber...lown-in-Insulation-with-Sound-Barrier/3567344
     
  12. Jun 20, 2019 #12

    Tom

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    Yea I actually used to have some of that stuff that I used for rockets, but tossed it in a spring cleaning binge.

    Also one would think that the paper wadding might be lighter?
     
  13. Jun 20, 2019 #13

    Ez2cDave

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    I was surprised to see the Estes wadding catch fire and keep burning.

    The DIY using either paper towels or cheap toilet paper looks like the way to go !

    Dave F.
     
  14. Jun 21, 2019 #14

    lakeroadster

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    Thanks for posting this Tom. I'd much rather use this method instead of using insulation material... simply due to how biodegradable toilet paper is.
     
  15. Jun 21, 2019 #15

    rharshberger

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    Dog barf (cellulose insulation aka Bio Green brand among others) is nothing more than newspaper thats been shredded and treated with a borax and boric acid solution (or some other flame retardant) its every bit as biodegradeable as treated tissue paper like Estes/Quest wadding.
     
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  16. Jun 21, 2019 #16

    hcmbanjo

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  17. Jun 21, 2019 #17

    caveduck

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    The cellulose insulation is great and super cheap. It does seem more flame resistant than the commercial TP wadding, and is inexpensive enough that DART provides it free at our launches. We probably consume one bale every 2-3 years or so; as a club we are spending maybe $5 per year on wadding for a few thousand flights. We actually prefer it as the very small tufts of insulation are pretty much invisible on the sand, unlike the squares of paper. The stuff is chopped up very finely so it does not leave any large visible pieces.

    Vern Estes was always credited as having pulled off the feat of being the first person to make a machine that could unspool a roll of Charmin, get it soaking wet, and spool it back up again without tearing it to shreds.

    I don't know exactly what the Quest material is, but it is (was?) not like the others.
     
  18. Jun 21, 2019 #18

    lakeroadster

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    You may be right but I'd like to see some facts to back that up. Toilet paper is specifically formulated to break down in water. Newspaper isn't.
     
  19. Jun 21, 2019 #19

    swatkat

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    A MUCH better and more entertaining video by my co-worker. :) As much as I love the king of Random...
     
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  20. Jun 21, 2019 #20

    lakeroadster

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    Cool.. thanks for the link swatkat.

    Back in the 70's we used to take crepe paper streamer material, tape a penny to the end, then wrap the crepe paper around the penny until it fit loosely into the body tube. Push some wadding into the body tube, then the crepe paper, then the chute.

    The neat thing is the streamer would fall to earth and at ejection was a visual aid as to where the rocket was.

    I guess we didn't need the wadding at all?
     
  21. Jun 21, 2019 #21

    BABAR

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  22. Jun 21, 2019 #22

    rharshberger

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  23. Jun 21, 2019 #23

    OverTheTop

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    I would not fly it if it keeps burning.
     
  24. Jun 21, 2019 #24

    BABAR

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    Pennies from Heaven!
     
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  25. Jun 21, 2019 #25

    Ez2cDave

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    Watch the video. It doesn't keep burning ( the treated toilet paper and paper towels ). Also, it appears that Borax may work even better than baking soda.

     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  26. Jun 21, 2019 #26

    neil_w

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    Some clubs *require* dog barf and do not allow paper wadding, due to the more rapid dispersal and biodegrading of the dog barf.

    Biodegradability is not a reason to use wadding, as far as I can make out. For me the main reason is that it's easier to get into the tube without making a mess. I use wadding generally for BT50 and below. BT55 and above gets dog barf.
     
  27. Jun 21, 2019 #27

    rharshberger

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    I typically use one sheet of Estes/Quest wadding and use it to make a "cup" for the dog barf, very little mess, and on many LPR rockets I am able to collect the sheet of wadding and reuse it, (reused 2 sheets twice in 6 launches of my kids 3 Estes Crayons, lost one sheet on the first flight).
     
  28. Jun 21, 2019 #28

    OverTheTop

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    If it doesn't keep burning then I would fly it.
     

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