Launch Pads

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Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2010
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I've used my new Tripod Launch Pad , but now Im gonna buy a rail insted of using my home made verison . But where I held my home-brew rail , it sat inside a small slot and had a key shape thing that holds anything in that hole in place. Pictures will do more justice so here they are.

So what Im after is pictures of your launch pads where the rail / rods get kept in place. Like the part off the Estes Porta Pads , where you screw to keep the rods in tight. But Im looking for something that will keep Rails & Rods in place. Any help would be greatley appreciated

Im sure I can do away with the little 'screw' thing that holds what evers in there in place. Because I dont want to crush or bend my new rail . And get something welded in there insted?

Im also getting a new blast deflector made tomorow from Alu' , so whats the best design out there?
One of the most elegant and flexible launch rod holders is an idea I found here.

A drill chuck

I use a 3/8" keyless chuck and I can mount any rod I am likely to use. For a rail i have a 1" length of 1/4" rod mounted to the bottom.


I have been searching past threads and can't find what I'm looking for. If you are going to use a 3/8ths chuck... How is it mounted? What's the best way? Does it have to be a flat surface, or can it be mounted like on a stud?

I guess I just need some ideas...!!!

Maybe it can be welded to the surface that it's going to be on or glued?
Originally posted by Karl
Maybe it can be welded to the surface that it's going to be on or glued?

If it's a chuck like what I've got for my drill press, then it is a smooth cylindrical steel shaft that sinks up into the drill head. It's fairly deep, certainly deep enough to provide adequate stability and support for your purposes (after all, it's designed for a high-speed, high-torque drill press).

So why not just attach a socket that exactly matches the size of the drill chuck base shaft? You can detach it and clean it and store it separately in a baggie (to keep the dust/dirt out) and just remount it at the launch site...

Many keyless chucks simply screw on. I've unscrewed a few by accident, and once you do it they seem to love to unscrew themselves again at the wrong time.
Mine is a black and decker replacement chuck. Cost around $20 at Home Despot...

I use it on a PVC pad where I drilled a hole thru the crosspiece. The mounting is a 5/16" NF (you need a fine thread for the chuck I used) bolt I got at a hardware store. I added a few drops of soft set threadlock to make sure the thing stayed put and presto, instant launch rod holder.

Even a keyless is not needed. Mine needs a key if it were mounted to a drill, but mounted to my PVC pad, I merely hand tighten it. Here I mounted it to a 1" PVC cap with a bolt thru the back, and glued it in place with PVC glue. This 3/8 inch chuck was $10.99 at Rocket (Home) Depot.

After keeping up with this thread...I've finally gotten around to mounting a drill chuck on my low-mid power pad. It seems that at the last several launches someone was always looking for a bigger or larger rod size than the ones they brought.

I ended up tapping the base and threaded it for a 3/8ths threaded stud... works good...!!! The chuck just screws on like normal.

The truth is that my next two projects are large enough to warrant at least a quarter inch rod... although I'll probably hold out for a new rail job anyway...!!!

You know me... just not the fastest bullet in the clip...LOL

Actually... now that I think about it... anyone know where I might find a 12 or so inch round deflection plate...(cheap)...???