Nosecone and fiberboard fins questions

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joan pepe

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IMG_4037.JPGI've been afraid to start building this without asking a couple more questions . These fins are fiberboard ,would they benefit from being covered in paper? That looked like it made a lot of sense with the balsa fins,not sure about these. The balsa nose cone is very soft ,I read how to harden it using C/A but I really don't want to use that ,is there another way to harden the nosecone ? Thanks in advance
 

kuririn

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No benefit from covering the fins with paper.
The nose cone will be harder if painted with thin CA then sanded smooth, but will not be bulletproof.
It can still be gouged or dented if hit hard enough.
Low power rockets are designed to be light, tradeoff is they will be more susceptible to flight damage compared to rockets that use heavier, sturdier materials. Most of us just repair the damage and fly again.
Don't be afraid, just build and have fun.:D
 

PatD

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This works well to harden everything from paper to wood. It's water thin and soaks in well. Just need to let it completely dry before you do anything with the part.
upload_2019-11-5_21-6-45.png
 

Mugs914

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Agree with everything Kuririn said above. No point in papering fiber fins, but if you seal the edges by soaking some thin CA into them you really toughen them up. You can also sand them, round or square, with very good results. My Semroc Excalibur was done this way and they have survived some less than elegant landings with no damage.

Personally, I like to do the CA soak trick on my balsa parts (in spite of the fumes), but like Kuririn said it definitely isn't bulletproof, or even BB proof really. Using model airplane dope and sanding sealer hardens up the wood a bit. I don't think it is much tougher than the CA method, but it is an alternative if you don't want to use CA.

Haven't tried the Minwax hardener yet. Gunna have to go get some!

Here's the Excaliber. Nose cone, transition and fiber fin edges all treated with thin CA, still going!

IMG_20161211_162539.jpg
 

jqavins

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I used to use dope and while it helped me sand to smooth faster I never noticed any difference to speak of in final surface hardness.

I've never tried painting with CA, and I've never understood why it doesn't kick on the brush or Q-Tip, or whatever you use. Lots of people do it, so obviously it works. One day I'll bite the bullet and give it a try.

Or I'll skip the CA and try the Minwax.

I hear thinned Titebond works, which makes sense, but I'm sure it carries warping risk when used for fins.
 
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