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kullas

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Well to get the MMX back on topic. Last night i was working on a cherokee MMX and started searching around to find something for a LL. I looked around the house and could not find anything that was small enough. I liiked in the trash and found a Bic pen that my wife had thrown away. i had seen some posts about turning a bick pen into a MMX. I took apart the pen and took a look at the tube that holds the ink it was empty so there was no problem with cutting it up. It is just about the perfect size for a launch lug


when i get home i will post some pics of my MMX i have built so far
 

blackjack2564

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Look in the bathroom medicine cabinet. No ink to mess with.

The plastic tube on Q-tips make perfect launch lugs. Presuming of course you have the plastic, not paper handle ones!
 

kullas

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Look in the bathroom medicine cabinet. No ink to mess with.

The plastic tube on Q-tips make perfect launch lugs. Presuming of course you have the plastic, not paper handle ones!
:( we got the paper ones :) thanks for the "Q" tip
 

MarkII

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To clean out the ink tube, get some citrus-based kitchen cleaner/degreaser, and pour 1/2" to 1" into an empty soup can or coffee can. Place the ink tube in it standing up and leaning against one side. Make sure that both ends of the tube are open (they should be). Just leave it in there for 24 hours or so. Capillary action will draw the cleaner up into the tube, where it will break down the ballpoint ink. The ink will then drain out of the lower end of the tube. The great thing is that you don't need to do anything - just wait for the tube to clean itself. Then all you need to do is rinse the tube out under the tap once it is cleared. You can make quite a few lugs out of a single Bic ink tube. Using the ink tube for launch lugs was part of Art Applewhite's 2004 design for the Bic Stic rocket.

MicroMaxx launch lugs can also be cut from hollow-style plastic coffee stirrers. FlisKits sells the absolutely coolest launch lugs for scratch-built Micromaxx rockets. They are the tiniest spiral-wound tubes that I have ever seen. :)

MarkII
 

Micromeister

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Yes the cheapy Q-tip stems make pretty good micro launch lugs, as well as most small stir sticks. I picked up a "party pack" of multi color stir sticks from the dollar store that must have about 500 in it.
Pen ink tube is OK but is rather thick for what we're doing. I use it on most bic Stic pen micros but it just looks so HUGE.

another very effective way to make your own micro lugs is to "roll your own" around a .050 or .063" music wire mandrel using a couple spiral wrapped pieces of computer paper. below is a little "how to" on the process it's amazingly easy and pretty quick. and since they are paper lugs they can be cut as small as you like without fear of them falling off as many of the plastic substitues do.
Hope it helps a bit.

Edit: thought I'd add another pic of some other alternative and stock material items ya might want to add to your scratch building materials pile.
 
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Queeg500

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I gave up on the q-tip lugs because any type of CA or even epoxy I used would not grab on to the plastic for a secure bond so from now on Plan A is to never run out of lugs from Fliskits. Plan B goes into effect when I am short on money then, like Micro says, I just roll my own out of printer paper - roll it around a 3/32" brass rod, slide it off and then soak it in thin CA. This is tricky and you need some reverse tweezers to keep the paper rolled tight so it is extra work but you get a secure bond.
 
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kullas

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i hav some coffee stirrers but they was kinda brittle you could smack them over the table and they would crack. im guessing they would be worse when they got cold so i didnt use them i will have to try rolling my own when i run out of Jims i ordered i think 8 but it want take to long to go through those
 

MarkII

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I have also made them out of a single wrap (a little bit tricky) or a double wrap (easier; I've done it both ways) of cardstock wrapped around a MMX launch rod or a drill bit convolute-style and glued with white glue. They worked fine. Once you get a feel for rolling bits of cardstock that small, they aren't at all hard to make. In some designs you can simply run the launch rod through two holes in the rocket; the rocket won't be on the launch rod long enough to sustain any wear from it.

MarkII
 

Micromeister

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I gave up on the q-tip lugs because any type of CA or even epoxy I used would not grab on to the plastic for a secure bond so from now on Plan A is to never run out of lugs from Fliskits. Plan B goes into effect when I am short on money then, like Micro says, I just roll my own out of printer paper - roll it around a 3/32" brass rod, slide it off and then soak it in thin CA. This is tricky and you need some reverse tweezers to keep the paper rolled tight so it is extra work but you get a secure bond.
The Trick with any of the Plastic Stems or stir sticks is to sand them all around with 80 or 120grit sandpaper before application. I generally us a couple drops of med. CA to stick them in place then fillet with 5 minute epoxy for a permanent mount. Cheapy dollar store Q-tips seem to stay put with this treatment.

Some Stir sticks are very brittle, look for some that are a bit softer. Again sand the heck out of the entire surface before cuttng to size seems to make all the difference:)

PS: I only use med. "ZAP" CA. it's proven over the years to be the best bang for the buck. There are better CA's but they are not worth the extra money for me.
 
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