Nose weights

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Hospital_Rocket

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I'm not sure this belongs here and the moderators may move it without fear of hurting my feelings....

This is a question to all you guys who make the kits...

Why the clay noseweight? Have you ever considered just giving us some lead shot we can glue in place? Is the clay that much less expensive, or is there another reason? The lead is so much more compact and easy to work with...

Al
 
Originally posted by Mike_BAR
From what I understand, it is a safety issue, both from falling objects and from contamination.

As for a falling hazard;

well an ounce of lead, an ounce of clay and an ounce of feathers will all hit you with the same force ;-)

But, from a supplier standpoint, you don't want to be supplying lead as it's one of those band substances for just about everything but the firearms exemptions.

Not allowed in paint, gasoline, etc..

Cesaroni even makes lead free .223 ammo for the government, as lead worries at some ranges are getting out of hand.

I still put lead balls in my hand loaded six shooter.
 
I prefer to avoid handeling lead whenever possible.I've seen what lead poisoning can do to someone ( ex co-worker)
 
Originally posted by Art Upton
As for a falling hazard;
well an ounce of lead, an ounce of clay and an ounce of feathers will all hit you with the same force ;-) (snip)
Art,
Yes my physics is a bit rusty as I have spent too much time in finance geekdom.

Nevertheless, I believe I would rather be hit on the head by a paper rocket with a pliable clay weight, than a fiberglass nose cone filled with lead in the pointy end.

In the end, I will agree with you, since I prefer not to field test this assumption of mine.
 
First off, let me say that I have seen very few instances where using a high-density ballast material (such as lead) would really make a huge difference or where some other material (such as very tightly packed feathers?) could not be subsituted.
Clay is readily available and fairly cheap and even comes in cute colors (if you stock up at the back-to-school sales)

Now, as to you lead addicts:
Since the green commie pinko (?!?!) tree-hugging do-gooders have taken away our ready sources of lead (shotgun shell reloading supplies, fishing weights, etc) and substituted steel in many cases, it is getting more difficult to find real honest lead.

Some possible alternate sources: check at your local tire shop to see if they will give up any of their used wheel weights---you can use them intact or break them up or even melt them down and re-cast them into your own usable sizes. (If you smelt your own lead, PLEASE take all proper precautions.)

You can also use .177 air-gun pellets, which are still made of lead. I bought a gob of tins of cheaply-make Chinese pellets that do not work worth a crud in my rifles but they hammer down into nice little bits that pack densely.

Now I know all about the ounce-of-lead-vs-ounce-of-feathers thing, but I also know that the way our silly society is going, it causes an entirely different reaction out there among the sheeple when they hear that a model rocket impacted on something with a nose ballast made of clay, as opposed to a nose ballast made of lead. And like it or not, swarms of angry telephone calls can indeed cause our favorite parks and school-yards to be closed to model rocket launching. So think twice before you claim that you just have to have lead . . .
 
Just so everbody knows, my reason for asking was based on the fact that I have to glue the clay in anyway. I know some people say if you tamp it down enough it will stick where it should be. It just seems that its temperature coefficient and adhesive properties are not all that great in cold weather.

I had not considered the environmental or toxicity aspect and have been using fishing sinkers as weights. I'm nit really sure if they are lead, however they are, IMHO, somewhat more convenient to deal with.

I think I'm gonna shift to depleted uranium....:p
 
You are right, the clay comes loose in cold weather. And when it gets dry. And after the rocket gets bumped a few times. When it comes right down to it, clay (by itself) is not really an ideal material to use for this.

One good way to fix the clay (or any other ballast) in position for good is to follow it with a spot of foam. You can use gorilla glue, foam-in-a-can, or the fancy two-part foam. I use the canned stuff and I have never had ballast come loose.
 
I like epoxy and bb's or lead pellets for pellet guns.
I am not afraid of lead but I don't use it often,in some cases epoxy is enough itself.

the coworker that I mentioned that suffered lead poisining had previously worked in a factory that poured lead soldiers.. I'm sure it was not the safest place to work

a pellet probably won't hurt anyone(unless you like to chew on them)... but pouring lead should be done very carefully I'm sure.
 
Okay... I just gotta weigh in on this nonsense- Lead... concerns... GIVE ME A BREAK. This is rocketry- it's supposed to be based in science- not junk science. I love how folks go off on these larks of false concern. Let's take a hard look here at some of the commonly stated concerns. CONCERN: "Exposure" Folks, even if you take one of the half oz. lead weights that I use in my kits- and I DO use lead- and swallow it like a pill, your body will retain less than a trace of the lead before the whole thing comes out the other end within the following 24 hours. Lead is a hazard in cases of absorption, when made into fine form and mixed into a compound and then eaten- such as long term (yes, long term) eating of lead paint chips. I love the statement about the guy who had a coworker who suffered from "exposure." Of course that's the sound bite we got in the first message- as if handling sinkers did the damage... then later we hear that the guy worked in a factory where they made millions of lead toy figures- so his actual "exposure" was millions of times greater than any rocketeer handling nosecone weights. CONCERN: "I don't want the lead getting into the environment." Environment? Lead getting into the environment? Where the %$&# do you think it came from in the first place!? Lead is an ELEMENT! Lead- Pb, Atomic Number 82... It is more natural to the "Environment" than baby seals! CONCERN: That lead weighted nosecone may come down and hit someone, and they'd be hurt. What are the stats on people being hit by falling model rocket parts as opposed to say... falling parts of trees? Or perhaps lightning strikes. CONCERN: Lead is public health hazard. I'd like to ask- just how many folks out there who are all spooled up about lead are smokers? How many reading this are smokers? My point is- there are far greater health hazards that people ignore while shoving pop-culture junk science trash at all of us. If you want to use clay- fine with me. Heck it works. If you want to use lead- it works too. If you want to shuck up nonsense- it don't work. I'll state right here that EVERY DR. Zooch rocket kit will have a lead weight sealed into the nosecone. My only warning is, don't eat the nosecone- balsa wood has too much fiber in it and can give you the runs.

I guess I've turned off all of my PC buyers out there, but, in aviation we have a saying "Don't sweat the small $#!+"

(Caution: Standing directly under a plummeting Dr. Zooch rocket with your mouth wide open can be a hazard due to possible lead ingestion)
 
Originally posted by Dr.Zooch
Environment? Lead getting into the environment? Where the %$&# do you think it came from in the first place!? Lead is an ELEMENT! Lead- Pb, Atomic Number 82... It is more natural to the "Environment" than baby seals!

This one's a keeper Zooch, I've just got laughs all over the office!

thanks
 
We use clay because it is convenient (#1), low cost (#2) and it's what i've always used :) (#3)

Another consideration is that clay allows you to form the weight better. I have several small gliders that need nose weight but there isn't any room for the weight so I just spread a film of clay around the outside of the nose and coat it in glue. I can't do that with lead shot. Same is true when I need a very small *dot* of weight to trim the glider for flight
 
I typically use "rocket caviare" which is a mix of lead shot and epoxy.

If I don't have the shot to hand I use money. Coin of the realm - 2p pieces are the best, or If I'm just back from the US I'll use those really useless small things you get as change in the US - the 1c coin. I think you call them "pennies" but they're smaller than a penny and even more useless, given that you can't even feed them back into a vending machine!
 
Originally posted by Dr.Zooch
CONCERN: "I don't want the lead getting into the environment." Environment? Lead getting into the environment? Where the %$&# do you think it came from in the first place!? Lead is an ELEMENT! Lead- Pb, Atomic Number 82... It is more natural to the "Environment" than baby seals!

So's everything north of Neptunium on the periodic chart, and all the combinations thereof. I don't suppose you'd care for some yellow cake birthday cake?
 
I prefer to design rockets so they don't require nose weight. This means paying more attention to the aerodynamics. Of course I realize that for "scale", nose weight is sometimes needed, but then scale isn't my bag either unless you're talking about something like the PEPP aeroshell :)
 
When was the last time you saw a florescent light bulb break? They are full of mercury vapor and that is the worst exposure you can get! But you would not let someone use a mercury switch in their rocket. It is all relative to exposure time and dose. :rolleyes:
 
Some mercury, but the tube is mainly filled with an inert gas such as argon.
 
There is only some lead in my nosecones. There is more AP per volume than lead in our rockets that is why that ATF not the EPA is trying to regulate us. (Exposure time, dose) We have more to fight for other then fight amongst our selves. :D
 
I just throw the clay away and epoxy in some old lead fishing sinkers I have had for years.

Dr Zooch: I think most of my lead is contaminated with all of those Baby Seals and whale oil....

:cool:

Phred
 
Originally posted by Dr.Zooch
Okay... I just gotta weigh in on this nonsense- Lead... concerns... GIVE ME A BREAK.

Can I get an AMEN from the congregation??!!??!!

Well said, sir.
 

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