Kraft tape missile scratch build

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Landshark

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After rekindling my interests in rocketry recently, I paid a visit to my parents' place for Mother's Day and found some of my old models in storage.

About 12 years ago, I had a BAR episode while I was in grad school and had a great time building some custom creations. Some buddies and I had a "guzzler cup" build off (I'll get pics of that up some time), customized Fat Boys with big engines and did some other strange things.

At the time, I had just started seeing the "High Impulse" rockets with 3 and 4 inch body tubes and huge engines. I was intrigued but didn't have the time, money or field to get into that type of thing. Nevertheless, I was inspired and decided I'd build my own "big tube" rocket.

I didn't have access to any big body tubes, so I did research and decided to try my hand at using Kraft tape and a mandrel (ok, it was a piece of exhaust tubing) to make my own. I used some spare supplies and fashioned up the motor mount (D-size) and used thick balsa for the fins.

The nose cone was special too... Since the tube was a custom size, then the nose cone had to match. I used a block of balsa chucked up in a drill press and carved / sanded one to fit.

Here are the results: (it's a little dinged up from storage and the parachute is missing...)



Nose cone:



Size comparison next to my Big Bertha:



I really like the design of the fins, however looking back on it, it might seem they're a bit too large for the rocket. This one was going to be a prototype for the next "really big" rocket, but I never got that far. I'd say if I was going to go this route again, I'd be looking at buying the tube / cone now that these kinds of parts are readily available on the net...

As I remember, it did pretty well on D's and was stable. I'm looking forward to launching it again after I do some shock cord repairs and making another parachute.

Anyone else ever try their hand at "rolling their own" body tube?
 

gpoehlein

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Sure do. I roll my own 6mm motor tubes for micromaxx motors, and I build a lot of rockets out of 110# cardstock so I have to roll the tubes for those as well (of course, they are only one layer of cardstock with a glue tab completing the tube). I picked up some 13mm, 18mm and 24mm coupler stock from BMS and I use that as mandrels for making the cardstock tubes. (Keeps 'em uniform and the right size.)

Nice looking build, by the way! Be sure to refurbish it, fly it and take lots of pics of the flight for us!
 

Micromeister

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Good looking models by the way!
Lots of us do for special projects and off size tubes. Many scale subjects almost require custom rolled tubes or just for fun to do something a little different.

I understand the folks that judge the International World Rocket Scale compeititons frown strongly on the use of pre-manufactured body tubes tho I don't really agree with that mindset.

Like Gpoehlein, I used to roll all my own Micro Model tubes as well and even things as small as .050" ID micro Launch lugs out of tracing vellium strips.

I have to say however; with the current availability of Cheap, easily accessable tubes I only do this now for very special Scale, competition or Odd-Sized projects. There are just so many other details to spend our time on making the tubes really doesn't hold a lot of interest;)
 
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Meatball 1

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That's a nice color scheme on the custom rocket. I assume by Kraft tape you mean the gummed stuff that you wet?

That's what I used to make the custom tank tubes on our team's 1:59 scale Saturn I: https://www.meatballrocketry.com/saturn1_59.htm. If you look in the details you'll also see stuff on custom thin plywood tube sections.

I got the paper tape idea from an Apogee Components tech report. Cheap, easy, and fairly sturdy. But yes, you can find lots of tube sizes nowadays. But I find making custom tubes can be part of the fun (especially for scale models), that is--unless you have to make 8 of the same kind.

Good luck on your future projects.
 

jorpet

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Has anyone ever tried cooking parchment to roll their own tubes? It is relatively thin, very heat resistant and should wrap very easily. Making my own tubes is so far beyond me at this point I wouldn't think of it yet, but just thinking ahead.
 

RangerStl

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Isn't cooking parchment treated with something to make it nonstick?
 

Landshark

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Meatball (Josh)... Yes, the kraft tape is the gummy tape (when moistened) that I believe is intended for packaging and such. I think the idea came from a book that I had but as others have pointed out, there are a lot more custom tubes available now than there were when I made the thing.

BTW, I checked out your Saturn build and the info on the spider ignition system. I'm very impressed... very thorough details and pics. That model is a nice piece of work! I'm not sure I could spend a whole 5 years working on developing and model like that although I have to respect the effort.

I think I've got somewhat a mild case of rocket ADD...build, launch...find more kits, build them...launch, repeat. I haven't done that many customs / scratchbuilds but yours is inspiring.

LAUNCH UPDATE: Flew this one two weeks ago under D power with an improved shock cord / parachute system and it was a great flight. Straight as an arrow, good altitude and came back in one piece (my son caught it).
 

jorpet

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Isn't cooking parchment treated with something to make it nonstick?
I don't know, it might be. I have a lot around the house, use it for cooking and for replaceable holes for mason bee blocks. I will try some tonight and see if I can get it to make a solid glue joint with yellow glue.
 

Meatball 1

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I'm not sure I could spend a whole 5 years working on developing and model like that although I have to respect the effort.
Well, 5 years is how long it took to get it done; it wasn't exactly getting worked on all the time. Patience during a project is something that I've only come by lately--patience in building (or anything) in my younger years was pretty well unheard of. Thanks for the kind words.
 

mjennings

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Isn't cooking parchment treated with something to make it nonstick?
Yes I believe it has a Silicone component to make it non-stick, if I'm remembering my Alton Brown correctly.
 
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