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LPR Traveling Builders Kit?

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TangoJuliet

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I work a week on, week off schedule, and I'm fortunate enough to have quite a bit of idle time during my 12 hour shifts, especially the weekends that I work (every other), and have decided to put together a small 'Go Kit' of building supplies so that I might be able to 'while away' some of that idle time building small LPR rockets, at least up to the point of needing primer/paint and decals.In my hobby workshop at home I've got all sorts of building supplies and materials, but I keep feeling that I'm missing some basic things for this "Go Kit". So far, I have:12" x 18" cutting mat#11 Exacto knifesmall bottle of Titebond II12" metal straight edgeand some 220 and 400 grit sand paperHelp me think about what else I might want to have available. Remember though, this is just for smaller LPR rockets up to the point of needing final paint. I'm keeping it all in a 15.75" x 19.5" x 7" storage container in my office.
 

Gary Byrum

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Hmmmm......I'd prolly consider what I might take on a launch as your basic repair kit. And depending on the complexities of the builds, I carry stuff I may or may not need. In addition to your list, I carry;
small dual tube epoxy
some 3x3"sq cardboard squares for mixing said epoxy,
Popsicle sticks (stir sticks)
sanding rods/dowels (I make those)
CA glue,
Masking & clear Scotch tape,
wax paper
extra lugs.
This may be good for kit projects.

Additionally, and or scratch builds;

pen and or pencil
filler putty for filling balsa dings (sm container)
shock cords,
screw eyes,
chutes,

Just food for thought.
 

TangoJuliet

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Ah, yes, some CA and Epoxy may very well be needed beyond the wood glue. I use CA rather sparingly these days though. Not due to any allergic reaction to it, but because I find I make fewer mistakes if I slow down my builds (especially on R/C aircraft). I had even bought a tub of Carpenters Wood Filler at home the other day, but left it in the shop after applying some to my Mega Der Red Max fins :wink:.

The rest of your suggestions are still easily acquired here at work, with the exception of wax paper.

Thank you for the additional brain-storming.
 

Gary Byrum

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I hardly use CA at all. Prolly for that fast fix on the field or some intermediate holding factor or tube repair (edges and such). The wax paper often gets used so I don't drip glues on hotel tables and the like.

Are you kit building or scratching it at work?
 

neil_w

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I would want some filleting glue (Titebond NRND or equivalent), some label paper (cuz I paper everything with it these days), and one or two short pieces of aluminum angle, which I can hardly even go to the bathroom without anymore.
 

TangoJuliet

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The wax paper often gets used so I don't drip glues on hotel tables and the like.

Are you kit building or scratching it at work?
I use wax paper in the home shop, but mostly when I need to butt glue balsa sheets for skins, otherwise, the cutting mat does the job of protecting the build surface. At the moment I'm just building a bunch of small'ish kits, but I may do some scratch building also. I had a few competition rockets I liked flying - a helicopter model in particular that I would like to build again.
 

TangoJuliet

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I would want some filleting glue (Titebond NRND or equivalent), some label paper (cuz I paper everything with it these days), and one or two short pieces of aluminum angle, which I can hardly even go to the bathroom without anymore.
I've already got the Titebond for filleting. I've never papered anything before. I've seen a few videos and read several posts, but honestly, on small rockets I just don't see the point. I can do just fine with some CWF and sandpaper, or by using plastic for fin material. The aluminum angle is a good idea though. I have some at home.
 

neil_w

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Titebond II is lousy for fillets for several reasons. Recommend giving the No Run No Drip variety a try (or the almost identical Quick and Thick, which might be easier to find). It doesnt drip or run (hence the name :)) which means you can do all your fillets at once and they'll stay put. It also doesn't bubble or shrink nearly as much as Titebond II does.
 

neil_w

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Oh also: papering (particularly with label paper) is IMHO way quicker and easier and gives better results than CWF, which I don't use too much anymore. And you get added strength as a bonus.

Just MHO of course.
 

TangoJuliet

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neil_w - Your points are noted, but if I may... On the small 1/2A - C models that I'm talking about, the Titebond II works just fine using the double-glue method, and the fillets aren't large enough for runs/drips to be a problem either. If you're getting runs/drips, you're using way too much.

And on the point of papering fins, again, at this small size, I don't see it as being particularly necessary for strength. Maybe it makes the finish better (i.e. smoother), but filler can get the same results. I think if I were going with some bigger models (D - G) I would lean toward fiberglass and Peel-ply to add strength and finish to the balsa fins.

Opinions are great. We all have them. Please don't think I'm not appreciative of your input. :cool:
 

Gary Byrum

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neil_w - Your points are noted, but if I may... On the small 1/2A - C models that I'm talking about, the Titebond II works just fine using the double-glue method, and the fillets aren't large enough for runs/drips to be a problem either. If you're getting runs/drips, you're using way too much.

And on the point of papering fins, again, at this small size, I don't see it as being particularly necessary for strength. Maybe it makes the finish better (i.e. smoother), but filler can get the same results. I think if I were going with some bigger models (D - G) I would lean toward fiberglass and Peel-ply to add strength and finish to the balsa fins.

Opinions are great. We all have them. Please don't think I'm not appreciative of your input. :cool:
Gotta watch Neil Tango. He has a leetle bit-o overkill going on with his projects. I for one don't trust adhesive paper on fins as the adhesive ages fairly quick (by my standards). And as for the fillets, I too just use TB 2 because I'll do 2-3 applications instead of one fat one. TB 2 is plenty sturdy enough. And Neil....What the hell is going on with that plastic rig you installed on your Bio-bird nose cone? You too good for a good fluted dowel and a standard screw eye or what.....:rofl:
 

neil_w

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Gotta watch Neil Tango. He has a leetle bit-o overkill going on with his projects. I for one don't trust adhesive paper on fins as the adhesive ages fairly quick (by my standards). And as for the fillets, I too just use TB 2 because I'll do 2-3 applications instead of one fat one. TB 2 is plenty sturdy enough. And Neil....What the hell is going on with that plastic rig you installed on your Bio-bird nose cone? You too good for a good fluted dowel and a standard screw eye or what.....:rofl:
Hey I resemble that remark.

However, my preference for papering is because I find it to be way easier and quicker than anything else I've tried. Longevity is a legitimate question that will be answered... eventually. But to each his own.

My plastic nose retainer is (a) not a replacement for a dowel and screw eye (got one of them in my transition) and (b) an excuse to muck around with 3D printing. It's neat and serves it's intended purpose well so far.
 

TangoJuliet

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I saw that 3D nose retainer, that was slick. I liked it a lot.
 

TangoJuliet

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No, probably not. But it did get the gears turning for other scratch build possibilities. One year for Christmas, when I was a pre-teen, I got the Estes Designer's Special box and built all sorts of self-designed rockets... Way before simulators. Heck, most of the time we didn't even do a string test. We just shoved an engine in it, put it on the launch pad, and fired away!
 

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I bring projects to work from time to time so that I can work on them during lunch. My staple building supplies are 120-320 sandpaper, TBII, CA, epoxy, bamboo skewers, small mixing cups, hobby knife w/blades, 12" aluminum angle, 12" ruler, digital calipers, and an appropriate motor case for the project that I am working on. Anything else in the bag is specific to the project that I am working on.
 

TangoJuliet

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I think I've pretty well got it covered now. I'll grab a coffee cup as a stir cup when needed, and stir stix too. The one thing I've found I could use is a long nose clothes pin or clamp, just for holding the Estes shock cord mount to the inside of the BT's as needed. I've got a nice one at home. Last night I stopped by the local Big Box store to get some wood filler. They didn't have the Carpenters Wood Filler, but had a DAP brand facsimile. For all intents and purposes it appears to be the same thing (water based)... I hope so anyway. I should have looked for Epoxy Brushes also. Maybe a trip to Hobby Lobby will pay off.
 

caveduck

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I think you are pretty well set for one method of building. Here's a whole different approach for fast building, evolved over many years of night-before building for NARAMs and the like. You could work into some of this over time as you go.

Forget wood glue of any kind - too slow. Primary glues are fast CA, medium CA, CA accelerator, and a *good* 5-min epoxy - either Z-Poxy or the new West System G5. No CWF etc. for balsa filling - too slow, soft and not waterproof; it doesn't prevent fins from warping. Use thin CA for wood finishing; it cures instantly, sands well and is waterproof, makes the wood quite a bit stiffer and will let you put a really sharp edge on the piece if you need that. Mirror finish in 5 minutes. Papering with CA and regular printer paper (that soaks up the CA) for a little more strength.

Medium CA makes perfectly good fillets for LPR. You can use the 5 min epoxy for a more sculpted look. Be sure to put a zip-lock bag of nitrile gloves in your kit too. A small (4 oz.) plastic bottle of denatured alcohol and some q-tips and paper towels help for smoothing and cleanup of epoxy. For epoxy cups go to a grocery store that has the little Solo or Dixie salsa cups. They work perfectly and are drastically cheaper than anything labeled as an epoxy mixing cup. Also grab the bigger polyethylene cups from laundry detergent jugs.

If you build anything with plastic parts to be glued you want a small bottle of Plasti-Zap. it's a hybrid CA + plastic cement. It is fantastic - strong, fast and much easier to use than pure solvent plastic cements.

A small batch of slide-lock plastic bags is great for storing subassemblies and parts. If you leave some air in them it provides a bit of protection. Make sure to get the slide lock kind, the regular ones that make you press the seal together with your fingers are terrible and don't hold up to repeated use.

For spot filler get a tube of 3M Acryl-red putty (automotive) and some cheap lacquer thinner to dilute it, and a couple of small (1-2oz) bottles to mix it. Diluted stuff will fill residual wood grain in a jiffy. Squadron green putty can be had in smaller tubes, basically the same stuff. Thin layers dry fast, thick ones don't...you have been warned :)

Dremel tool - never go anywhere without a Dremel tool. Don't get a Chinese imitation, and do get a chuck, not just the collets. Most-used things are the sanding drum, a tile cutter bit, EZ-lok cutoff wheels. Mine always goes into my field build kit when I travel. A zillion uses from small LPR through Level 3 work.

+1 on a couple of 12"+ aluminum angle stock in different sizes. The Estes tube marking gadget is also fairly useful. Get or make a fin alignment jig too...the Estes one or build one of the many recipes here on TRF. Also get a couple of 12"+ pieces of dowel in 3/8 thru 1" sizes. They have many uses including holding shock cord mounts in place like you mentioned.

Also make a couple of modular rocket stands from some 3/8" ply squares (~3" square), some 1/2" dowel, and a few spent 18 and 24mm motor casings. The casings will all nest so by drilling 1/2" holes in the ply base you can quickly put together stands for 13, 18 and 24mm motor mount rockets that collapse to almost nothing.

This all sounds like a lot but my LPR go box is a single Sterlite 27qt flat bin.

Have fun and hope you may find some of this useful!
 

TangoJuliet

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Dave I really appreciate your input. However, it's a little over the top for what I'm doing. I work in an office and can't be running a Dremel or doing elaborate epoxy layups. I don't need the speed of CA either (though I do have a bottle when it's necessary). The CWF worked just fine for my needs.

I built a Mini Fat Boy and a Goblin over the weekend. They're both done up to the point of primer/paint. I rode my motorcycle to work this week, but the next time I bring the van, any built rockets will return home with me for final finishing. I'd post photos, but I don't have any way of uploading them on the company computer. It'll have to wait until I get home on Thursday to download them from my phone to the iCloud.
 

neil_w

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If you have pics on your phone then the easiest way to post them is with the Rocketry Forum app.
 
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