Quantcast

Need advice

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

jared185

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Hi all,
I am new to the site bit have been building and flying estes rockets for quite a while. From low to mid power builds. But I am wanting to get my lvl1 certification and want to build my own kit from supplies available at lowes home depot etc. I thought about pvc as an airframe but it's heavy and I can't find a piece that's perfectly straight. My question is does anyone know where I can find plans to build a homemade rocket. I'd like one of the 4" rockets. I'm fairly new to designing my own kit instead of buying one prepackaged just reading instructions. I definitely know I don't want to buy from a dealer this one I want to be special. I've Google plans for rockets but only come up with kits available. Anyway thanks for any replies
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,695
Reaction score
1,208
PVC is not recommended. If you're dead set on not ordering parts from rocketry vendors, I've had good luck w/ shipping/ mailing tubes.

Open Rocket is a free software package that can help you play around w/ designs from scratch. Good luck!
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,703
Reaction score
1,682
Location
Pasco, WA
I will recommend buying your parts from a dealer like Madcow Rocketry, or Loc Precision. Dealers can sell you all the parts to build your own design, and it will be parts that an RSO won't balk at. Another advantage of regular rocket materials is that the rocket can be built out of lightweight and strong materials since Madcow and Loc sell high power versions of parts similar to what you used to build your Estes rockets.
 

jeff_j_black

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
235
Reaction score
0
+1 on no PVC. Too dangerous, too heavy. Nobody will let you fly it at a club launch. You need the club to get your cert.

It is hard to beat the paper tubes that are specific to model rocketry for strength to weight ratio. There are many vendors that sell components that can be assembled according to your design. Mailing tubes can work but they tend to be heavier.

Kit manufacturers have access to good materials that can successfully be built by skilled modelers to perform reliably. That is why they make and sell the kits. that is why people buy them.

My successful level one attempt was with a DIY clone of the Madcow Super DX three. I can tell you I did learn a lot building it myself. But that said, I didn't save any money on parting it out. I also wound up with a rocket that I had to extend by 14 inches, the night before the launch to balance CG against CP. Because of that I had to borrow a friends I motor instead of the H motor I purchased. Even with careful calculation in Rocksim during construction, once I finished everything and weighed it out, the numbers didn't work out good. The plywood I used for the fins was way heavier than what you would get with the kit and I over built the fin can. That rocket did its job of securing my level one cert and I never flew it again.

I bought the super DX3 from Madcow for my successful level two dual deploy attempt on a J350 motor and have flow this one several times.

I would not say that I recommend a kit necessarily. Heck I roll cardboard from 30 packs of beer into tubes for many successful DIY mid powered rockets. Some of these beer rockets could hack high power as well. So I'm not just trying to steer you into buying a kit. But with the money, time and effort that go into a successful level one flight, maybe sticking with reliable materials that have a proven track record and a simple, solid, stable design will contribute to your success.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,695
Reaction score
1,208
Another idea which I don't often see recommended to people in your situation is to buy a couple of kits on sale and 'bash 'em together.

Just dump the parts out and start dry fitting, seeing what feels right. Then maybe you buy one or two more bits and fab. a few to realize your idea.

Now you have extra gravy, better order more biscuits.... in any case: be safe & have fun, in that order :)
 

KenRico

'Just the Tip'
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
2,720
Reaction score
35
If you use a generic heavy wall mailing tube (like 3 inch) or a 6 inch sono tube from the orange store... you may have to fashion a coupler sized tube and scratch nosecone.

My suggestion would be to grab some LOC tube , coupler, mmt , matching nose cone and make your own CRs, bulk heads & fins - do a hpr style .kevlar bridle too . . You could even do an av bay.

If you are trying to do something different try a inexpensive fiberglass rocket..

If you are doing some thing cheap , grab a estes ps ii on sale and maybe do a fg wrap and g10 fin upgrade .. i enjoyed doing my daughter's hpr Mega Der Red Max more than my gForce dual deploy project..

Kenny
 
Last edited:

Handeman

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,734
Reaction score
334
Location
Stafford, VA
I understand exactly where you are coming from. I had two kits I could have done my L1 with, but opted to scratch build my L1 rocket because I wanted to learn the HPR building techniques, learn dual deploy and learn how to make my own nose cones. I used thick wall shipping tubes for mine, 2" ID and 2.25 OD. It worked great on an I100 Loki Moonburner for my cert flight to 4,200 ft and handled a couple I1299N Warp 9 flights later and made one J350W flight at LDRS28.

With that said, I would never build another rocket the way I built that one. Like I said, I wanted to learn and learn I did.

If you are going to use mailing tubes, my advice is to use the thick wall tubes, 1/8" thick or so and not over about 2-3" OD. If you use the thin wall tubes like posters are shipped in, you will probably need to fiberglass the tube if you want it to last more then 2 or 3 flights. I learned that from a couple of rockets I built after my cert rocket.

+1 on the suggestion on buying the body tubes from vendors like LOC. The cardboard body tubes they sell are much denser and stronger than a mailing tube of the same size. The extra durability that density gives you is well worth the cost. Another benefit is that you can buy a nose cone that will fit the BT correctly. You can make your own, but unless you really enjoy using a lathe, it will be much easier to just buy the nose cone. There are a lot of different types available so you should be able to find one that will fit the scratch build you want to do.

Just build the rocket your way. You can take our advice or completely ignore it. It's your choice. Either way, you will learn a lot about HPR rockets going through the process you have set out for yourself. Enjoy and and have a lot of fun, it's what this hobby is all about.
 

Titan II

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
911
Reaction score
116

CzTeacherMan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
2,980
Reaction score
168
PVC has been used and has also been used for L3 certs.

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?57317-Is-pvc-good-to-use

http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?58482-Ari-s-6-quot-PVC-sewer-pipe-tube-fin-L3-rocket

[video=youtube;U6JBVRkGq-s]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6JBVRkGq-s[/video]
PVC also splinters into very super sharp shards when a less-than-desirable CATO occurs. Definitely not recommended, certainly not when paper tubes and FWFG tubes are so readily available.
 

KilroySmith

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2015
Messages
140
Reaction score
61
My suggestion would be to grab some LOC tube , coupler, mmt , matching nose cone and make your own CRs, bulk heads & fins - do a hpr style .kevlar bridle too . . You could even do an av bay.
Exactly what I came in here to say. Tubes and couplers are difficult; centering rings, bulkheads and fins aren't, especially when Open Rocket will print out the precise template you need (glue-stick it onto a piece of 1/8" plywood, cut it out and you're ready to go). If you have the right equipment, Balsa nose cones aren't too hard; If you don't, they are. That's not to say that you can't use a random tube - I keep eyeing the tubes Aerotech puts their DMS motors into; Slap some fins and a nosecone on it, and you're pretty close to a rocket. /frank
 

Bat-mite

Rocketeer in MD
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
10,881
Reaction score
1,623
Location
Maryland
What about the PVC kits that Eric of Badazz used to sell. Was there something specific about his that minimized the risk?
 

thomas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
288
Reaction score
5
PML quantum tube is PVC.
Keep in mind we are talking about a commercial H class motor, do you really think any PVC shrapnel can pass the safety distance?
 

jared185

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
First want to say thanks for all the great replies. I appreciate the advice. Now as to my delimma about ordering online, my identity was stolen via online site that I trusted and had ordered a ton of stuff from previously. Due to that I do absolutely no shopping online anymore as to not let that happen again. That's one reason I haven't done lvl 1 certification yet and why I have stuck to hobby lobby estes rockets and why I was trying to find decent alternatives to an airframe as I can make other parts I need from scratch in my workshop. I've seen a ton of scratch built rockets but was stuck on the airframe itself as I want a durable lightweight and ultimately safe airframe. My local hobby shop can get h and I size motors for me but for some reason says he can't get individual rocket parts only a pretty assembled kit. And me being the creative person I am want to design my own rocket so I don't want to pay 100 dollars for a kit just for a tube lol
 

Rex R

LV2
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
6,101
Reaction score
142
well since you're pretty much going to have to find a local club in order to get your cert...ask them if they have an onsite vendor and does said vendor carry supplies in addition to motors. that way you wouldn't have to go online to shop.
Rex
 

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,477
Reaction score
676
Welcome jared185. Add me to the list of people who says no to PVC. If you brought a PVC rocket to one of our launches I seriously doubt we would let you fly it. Where are you at? You may have a vendor or a club close to you. As Rex R has said, a local club may have a vendor. Or, if they don't, someone could order parts for you and you could pay that person in cash.
 

Nick@JET

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
1,692
Reaction score
16
Welcome Jared,
I too would suggest against PVC as it is flexible and wobble during boost. Making a NC for it would be a PIA.

As a guy the used to have a retail business, I took $ orders then would ship. If you call many of these places I bet they would do the same, they can get any kit you want, mail them a $ order once they give you a total , once they receive and take to the bank they'll ship it out. I don't want speak for all, but many are small business that understand that. Try calling Bob @ Countyline or Mike @ Mac Performance or Tim @ Wildman just to name a few. Those are all guys that answer the phone or will call you back in sure many others would do the same.

I have many shipping tubes that I am saving - but making NC and couplers are frankly not what I have tooling or time for, but they have good stiffness and will make a better rocket than PVC. Not saying you shouldn't do it, just that there are other options that will make better rockets or kits that are easy and relatively cheap to get, just my 2 cents.
 

Bat-mite

Rocketeer in MD
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
10,881
Reaction score
1,623
Location
Maryland
Others have mentioned mailing tubes. Thicken them up with wood hardener. Or fiberglass wrap them. Not sure where you could buy fiberglass that's a walk-in, but maybe the yellow pages might help there.
 

NateLowrie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
667
Reaction score
4
I would also say no to PVC Airframes. If you really have that much aversion to online shopping, I would suggest one of the following:
  1. Call up one of the rocket vendors and place your order on the phone. Most will take the card there and your info never appears on line.
  2. If you absolutely do not want to give your card info out even over the phone, most vendors would take a mailed check. Place the order over the phone and mail them a check for the amount.
  3. See if a friend/someone in the local club will order it for you.
  4. Get a reloadable VISA gift card for the amount required and use the gift card on the purchase.

Best of luck.
 

Bat-mite

Rocketeer in MD
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
10,881
Reaction score
1,623
Location
Maryland
Dang, Nate, you're too smart for me. Why didn't I think of a gift card? Vendors will take money orders, too.

To the OP, I have no idea where you are, but Animal Motorworks attends every MDRA launch and sells many different rocket airframes and MMTs. We're in the MD/DE area.
 

jared185

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Well guys have a question my wife knowing I love rockets went out and bought the estes ascender pro series 2 rocket now I've seen others certify on the ventris and other pro series rockets. But suggested motors on box go up to F size motors could the kit be modified safely to accept h size motors I also plan to ditch the plastic fins in favor of wood and plan to glass the tube.
 

Bat-mite

Rocketeer in MD
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
10,881
Reaction score
1,623
Location
Maryland
I cooked my Ascender years ago, so I can't remember. Only difference between an F and an H (in 29mm) is the length of the casing. If you leave out the forward motor block and shove a longer motor up in there, is there enough room?

On APCP motors, the aft closure acts as both forward and aft retention. I believe the Ascender comes with the Estes screw on retainer, right? That's all you need.

Sounds like a plan.
 

NateLowrie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
667
Reaction score
4
Well guys have a question my wife knowing I love rockets went out and bought the estes ascender pro series 2 rocket now I've seen others certify on the ventris and other pro series rockets. But suggested motors on box go up to F size motors could the kit be modified safely to accept h size motors I also plan to ditch the plastic fins in favor of wood and plan to glass the tube.
I don't see why it wouldn't work. I suggest keeping the plastic fins and doing tip to tip glass on them. Shouldn't be a big deal if your already glassing the tube.
 

Nick@JET

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Messages
1,692
Reaction score
16
That is going to Scream On an H! I'd consider a baby H and have a tracker. Personally I've never flown my sons bigger than a small G and it survived but I concur with Tip To tip glass the fin can and check CG with an H to see if you can add some weight.

The ascender is a great rocket, not sure if it's L1 material though. Hopefully someone else will chime in with Ascender with an H experience. Might have to offer my son the opportunity to use his as a test bed!
 

K'Tesh

OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2013
Messages
14,406
Reaction score
1,009
I would also say no to PVC Airframes. If you really have that much aversion to online shopping, I would suggest one of the following:
  1. Call up one of the rocket vendors and place your order on the phone. Most will take the card there and your info never appears on line.
  2. If you absolutely do not want to give your card info out even over the phone, most vendors would take a mailed check. Place the order over the phone and mail them a check for the amount.
  3. See if a friend/someone in the local club will order it for you.
  4. Get a reloadable VISA gift card for the amount required and use the gift card on the purchase.

Best of luck.
Not all vendors take phone calls. For example: Binder Design (under the current owner) doesn't take phone calls due to hearing damage. However, he is very responsive here in the forum, facebook, and via email. I seem to remember that there's another vendor with the same problem, but I can't remember who it is right now.

FWIW, I too have designs that call for PVC that I'm dreaming of building (here in the People's Republic of China). I need something that can survive China Post.
 
Last edited:

jared185

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thanks for input guys I just finished the ascender it's nice and all but I decided it won't be my lvl 1 rocket. I'll use it for what it's designed to be a mid power rocket and I'll be buying the mad cow Lil rascal fiberglass for my level 1 certification and will use a gift card to buy it. I wanted to build my own rocket really badly but talked with a guy I met locally that done hpr and he recommended that kit or a super dx3 I love the way the Lil rascal looks better than the dx3 and think it will be a fine rocket. My next question is about the ascender I love the way the rocket looks but hate the spirals I've filled in the spirals before with wood filler and sanded them but got Lil fuzz spots on the tube so he recommended bondo spot putty and glaze and I bought a tube from autozone my question is how do I apply the spot putty and sand without the fuzz spots for a nice clean paint job as I want the rocket to look nice. And again thanks for all the input and advice
 

Rex R

LV2
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
6,101
Reaction score
142
use the spot putty the way it was designed, apply primer 1st then the spot putty. the putty is designed to adhere to the primer. when sanding stop when you start to see through the primer to the underlying material (in this case paper tube). note, at 30' it doesn't really matter, you won't be able to see the spirals when you launch the rocket :).
Rex
 

mccordmw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
47
Location
St. Louis, MO
Estes Ascender on an H-195. 3-2-1-...GONE. :p

Not my video.

[video=youtube;WumVVwj88eA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WumVVwj88eA[/video]
 

NateLowrie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
667
Reaction score
4
Thanks for input guys I just finished the ascender it's nice and all but I decided it won't be my lvl 1 rocket. I'll use it for what it's designed to be a mid power rocket and I'll be buying the mad cow Lil rascal fiberglass for my level 1 certification and will use a gift card to buy it. I wanted to build my own rocket really badly but talked with a guy I met locally that done hpr and he recommended that kit or a super dx3 I love the way the Lil rascal looks better than the dx3 and think it will be a fine rocket. My next question is about the ascender I love the way the rocket looks but hate the spirals I've filled in the spirals before with wood filler and sanded them but got Lil fuzz spots on the tube so he recommended bondo spot putty and glaze and I bought a tube from autozone my question is how do I apply the spot putty and sand without the fuzz spots for a nice clean paint job as I want the rocket to look nice. And again thanks for all the input and advice
Your going to love the lil rascal. I think you made a great choice in the end and will like the build process a lot more.
 
Top