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Neat engine box...

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luke strawwalker

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I went shopping at Walmart for a new engine box and found a pretty neat one. Best thing, only $10. It's in the hardware section down with the fastener assortments and such. It's made by Bulldog Hardware, Item #127158 Hardware Organizer with adjustable compartments. What's nice about it is that regular engines fit just perfectly in between the removable dividers without a lot of slop or wasted space, and it also has two 'larger' compartments capable of holding Estes "E" size motors, a little looser but still without TOO much wasted space. I currently have a small 'jewelry' box (the kind that comes with jewelry when you buy it) with my ignitors stored in it, inside a ziplock style bag to keep them airtight.

Here are a few pics. I got this one specifically for my Quest motors I just ordered, but there are enough slots to store all your motors in just about every delay from -0, 3, 5, 7 or the corresponding delays in seperate rows for A, B, and C impulse, and still have room for D's or E's and ignitors or whatever, especially in the two 'triangular' compartments adjacent to the handle. ABC motors WILL fit in those compartments too.

I currently store my Estes motors in the top of a toolbox with dividers I bought last year.

Just thought I'd pass this on, FWIW...

Yall take it easy! OL JR :)

The first two pics show the label, the second two show how efficient this thing is on space...

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MarkII

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Wow, that's pretty slick. Thanks for the tip!

Right now I store the bulk of my BP motors in a couple of large Rubbermaid crates with tight-fitting lids, and my reloads (sealed in their original bags) in a cardboard box. I use a couple of Plano fishing tackle boxes (the traditional style) to carry a selection of motors that I will take to a launch - a small one for my 13mm motors, and a medium-sized one for my 18mm and 24mm motors. Each box has a stack of two trays that fold out when the lid is raised; these are divided and could hold individual motors, but I don't keep any in the trays, because I don't like to have loose motors rattling around in the boxes. Instead, I keep the motors in their 3- or 4-packs, unopened or partially used, in the bottom of each box. This is less than ideal, because they aren't a good fit in there, and I have to pull everything out in order to find anything. I do keep igniters and plugs in the trays, which is handy. But it is a pain to have to take two boxes with me to launches, and to never know exactly what I have in each box. I keep my Micromaxx motors in a medium-sized flip lid box and carry a selection of them, along with igniters, toothpicks and tape in a small lures box. I bought the tackle boxes in an effort to be more organized when I go to launches. They are an improvement over my old method (carrying my motors in a large zip-lock bag), but my current system has room for improvement.

I'll go looking for that box you showed the next time I have any money - maybe when I get my stimulus check. ;)

MarkII
 

luke strawwalker

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Wow, that's pretty slick. Thanks for the tip!

Right now I store the bulk of my BP motors in a couple of large Rubbermaid crates with tight-fitting lids, and my reloads (sealed in their original bags) in a cardboard box. I use a couple of Plano fishing tackle boxes (the traditional style) to carry a selection of motors that I will take to a launch - a small one for my 13mm motors, and a medium-sized one for my 18mm and 24mm motors. Each box has a stack of two trays that fold out when the lid is raised; these are divided and could hold individual motors, but I don't keep any in the trays, because I don't like to have loose motors rattling around in the boxes. Instead, I keep the motors in their 3- or 4-packs, unopened or partially used, in the bottom of each box. This is less than ideal, because they aren't a good fit in there, and I have to pull everything out in order to find anything. I do keep igniters and plugs in the trays, which is handy. But it is a pain to have to take two boxes with me to launches, and to never know exactly what I have in each box. I keep my Micromaxx motors in a medium-sized flip lid box and carry a selection of them, along with igniters, toothpicks and tape in a small lures box. I bought the tackle boxes in an effort to be more organized when I go to launches. They are an improvement over my old method (carrying my motors in a large zip-lock bag), but my current system has room for improvement.

I'll go looking for that box you showed the next time I have any money - maybe when I get my stimulus check. ;)

MarkII

Yeah, I'm with you Mark... I used to use a cheapy orange tacklebox that I bought way back in like 85 during my high school days... It had ONE hinged 'drawer' that folded out with the lid when it was opened. It had some crappy little 'pop in' (and they popped out even easier) dividers and I used to store my engines (for the most part) in the top and everything else in the bottom. Finally after getting a blast off flight pack or two and buying some motors at the electrical supply/hobby shop two towns over every time I had money in my pocket, I had too many motors for anything else to fit in there. When I quit flying after high school, it went into the junk I had under the stairs and sat for the better part of 20 years.

What I like about this thing is the motors fit pretty darn snugly in there... not a lot of wasted space and not motors clunking around in there helter-skelter. I bought a toolbox last summer that I've been storing all my motors in, but since I just bought a big mess of Quest motors for the first time during the President's Day sale, and wanted to keep them seperate anyway, and was out of room in the new toolbox anyway, I figured I'd get something. These look really nice because the motors fit SO nice, they're stackable, and have a built in handle and snap-shut lid with substantial double-clip latches on either side of the handle. I like that the E's will fit in the larger compartments with little slop, and the smaller compartments can be reconfigured for E's without too much trouble. If I get back into mini-motor birds (all I have is 18mm and 24mm rockets at the moment) I'll probably buy another box and configure it for Estes mini and 18 mm regular motors.

This box will also get you organized, because I put the A's in the back row, B's in the second row, and C's in the third row, starting with -0's on the left and working up in each progressive delay length moving right. Very logical and easy to find stuff. There's enough room I could probably integrate the Estes 18mm motors into here and keep the toolbox strictly for 24mm motors, which I may end up doing, just use adjacent slots for the Estes motors and the Quest motors of the same designation to keep them seperate.

After going through the 'bird's nest' of ignitors I had in the old box, I threw out all the old ones with no pyrogen or broken bridge wires or too badly rusted, including several still sealed but unopened bags of ignitors... when I opened them to put them in a small jewelry box (my wife finally cleaned out the desk drawers she has her 'real' jewelry box on top of, and I inherited a mess of dinky 4x4x1-ish fancy foil covered cardboard boxes) I found the ingitors inside BADLY corroded and the red pyrogen virtually turning to dust. I don't remember Estes having RED pyrogen but I suppose they did somewhere along the way, and it rusted the ignitors out STILL SEALED IN THE BAGS! Had to toss em, but I kept one sealed bag for a momento...

Putting the ignitors in the jewelry boxes seems to keep them a LOT more organized and protected, and putting the box in a ziplock should help prevent humidity from making a mess of things... I hope :)

Later! OL JR :)
 

MarkII

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I like the fact that your new box has a see-through lid, so that you can see exactly what you have in it without having to dig everything out. Also nice is that the box is shallow, so that you won't have some stuff getting buried underneath other stuff. And you can't beat that price, either. The first two things are issues with the boxes that I have now.

The two boxes that I have are actually rather nice, and are quite sturdy. They would be fine for carrying tools and supplies to the field, but they aren't as convenient for carrying motors as I thought they would be when I bought them. One thing I can say about them is that they are, if not water-tight, at least rain-proof and dust-proof (not that I've given them a real test, though.) (Oh, and they appear to be UV-proof, too.) How good is the lid on your new box?

MarkII
 

falingtrea

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FYI firecat. You might want to put the reloads in sealable plastic bags. Or make sure you don't let the reloads sit for a couple of years. I have quite a few reloads that I took out of the package and now the c slot is swollen shut. Ot the reloads are so swollen the won't fit in the liner. All I can do now is toss em in the fire. Other reloads that I left in the factory sealed package are still good, even after sitting around for a few years.
 

jj94

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FYI firecat. You might want to put the reloads in sealable plastic bags. Or make sure you don't let the reloads sit for a couple of years. I have quite a few reloads that I took out of the package and now the c slot is swollen shut. Ot the reloads are so swollen the won't fit in the liner. All I can do now is toss em in the fire. Other reloads that I left in the factory sealed package are still good, even after sitting around for a few years.
Why not use a knife and carefully slice out a C slot? I've done that with a pack of D9's and it worked fine.
 

luke strawwalker

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I like the fact that your new box has a see-through lid, so that you can see exactly what you have in it without having to dig everything out. Also nice is that the box is shallow, so that you won't have some stuff getting buried underneath other stuff. And you can't beat that price, either. The first two things are issues with the boxes that I have now.

The two boxes that I have are actually rather nice, and are quite sturdy. They would be fine for carrying tools and supplies to the field, but they aren't as convenient for carrying motors as I thought they would be when I bought them. One thing I can say about them is that they are, if not water-tight, at least rain-proof and dust-proof (not that I've given them a real test, though.) (Oh, and they appear to be UV-proof, too.) How good is the lid on your new box?

MarkII
I think the lid is pretty good... It wraps over the edge, seems to be pretty thick and sturdy plastic, and has 'ears' on it with two rectangular holes for the latches. The latches are cast into the bottom half as little 'wedges' sticking out of the side of the box... when you push the lid down it 'snaps' over the latch wedges... no "flippers" or stuff like that to break-- so long as the ears hold up it's good. I like that there are two wedges and matching holes on each side to-- redundancy is a good thing:)

The toolbox I bought last summer has sort of a similar arrangement inside, but the compartments are fixed. Also it has a large 'tool slot' in the front that I divided up into motor compartments with cardboard I cut and glued in. Needless to say I like this new box a lot better for motors. The nice thing about the other box is, though, that the top half seperates from the lower half with a pop-over type latch on either end, allowing the top half (motor box) to come off the large 'toolbox' style bottom half in which I store a bunch of baby powder for my chutes, a bag of dogbarf, my parachutes all neatly stored in ziplock bags with index cards inside with the description and rocket listed, and sizes, and a big mess of leftover sheet wadding I use for ignitor plugs when I don't have the right size, or parachute protectors on some models, or on small models where barf is too much trouble to install...

Works pretty well... :) OL JR :)
 

luke strawwalker

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When I first got back into rocketry (late 90's), I met up with Rick Dickinson who used to launch with SCRA at Mile Square Park in Souther Cal.
He turned me onto a case (see BP case photo below) that fit all of the Estes engines while standing on end (not the E's of course which weren't yet available anyway).
If I remember correctly, it was available at Home Depot.
Unfortunately, after I bought the initial one, they changed the dimensions; they no longer accommodate the motors standing on end.
I found other cases to fit my other motor needs:

This case is almost identical to your 24mm case... same latches, removable dividers, etc. Only difference is the chamfered front corners on mine versus them being more square/rectangular on yours...

Nice setup! How do you like storing BP motors?? On end or lying down?? (I've always stored lying down... :))

Later! OL JR :)
 
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