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Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Grocket, Nov 17, 2019.
Do you ever feel like your real hobby is sanding?
Yes...yes I do.
Once had a 54MD that I put ~$100 and 40 hours into the paint job. Plenty of high-build primer, hours and hours of sanding down to 1600 grit, then some of that color-changing paint. Man, that thing was pretty.
It got half thrashed in the back of the van on the way to Black Rock, then got a really nasty case of playa rash after its first flight. Dragged 100 yards across the playa.
After that... The hell with the finish. It's 96 cents-a-can of Wally World Color Place paint, or fly naked.
I'm loving that idea! Just go fly the darn thing!
i'll just leave this here..
(in case you don't know The Beach boys..)
I feel more like a paint and body man. I hate paint and bodywork. If it looks good from 2-5', I'm done.
I enjoy putting everything together and drag ass at the end, just because I hate painting and finish work. Decals are a little scary, but the results of a good decal job can really make a rocket look good.
Apparently, I don't like sewing, much either, as it seems to get put off as well.
2 coats of thinned CWF on fins and nose cones. Sanding 400 then 600 between coats. Should pass the 2 foot test and not too time consuming.
A huge part of the hobby is sanding!
And I like it that way; it's therapeutic. I spend enough time in meetings and typing emails during the day. I want to work with my hands when I get home in the evening. Getting covered in dust while making something sleek and cool is one of the best parts of rocketry.
Handheld slack belt sander, orbital sander, belt sander.
Where there's a Watt, there's a way
Yup, I avoid the sanding. I've found the air powered orbital sanders to be much more time effective then the electric ones for some reason. Fortunately my tiny air compressor recently broke, so I could buy one big enough to handle a sander
What type of sander do you use? I kinda figured anything powered would be to harsh for rockets.
Mabey I'm a fool but I give each build all I can. With my limited skills and knowledge I try hard to get the best build and finish I can. If it gets trashed at least I did the best job I could. Just the way I believe. I have rebuilt many a rocket after an incident with zero fear that it might crash next flight.
I have gone with papering whenever possible
I have to say I don't mind sanding *wood*. That feels like model-building. Rather, I hate sanding *paint*. That feels like punishment.
Belt sander from lowes or homedepot clamped to worksurface. 60 grit belt for shaping fins, centering rings, and other things that need material GONE
Generic orbital sander with the disks of various grits for larger rockets. 120 for cleaning up fins on the rocket, 220 for removing bulk of spot putty and filler primer. 320 or higher to smooth things out.
I always take the same grit and do a once over by hand to catch bits that are missed, but powered tools can save a chunk of time.
The handheld slack-belt sander's application is just a theory at this time. May help contour to smaller tubes better.
And it's not just for the painting! Fill/seal and sand the fin faces before separating them from the sheet, 'cause it's easier than doing it later. Sand the fin's edges for roundover, airfoil, or whatever shape you've chosen. Dry fit all the parts and sand where something is too tight. Glue up and sand off any glue goofs. And only then do the prime-sand-prime-sand-paint-sand-paint loops begin.
Sanding is a wonderfully cathartic part of the hobby. It's also very rewarding.
Another great thing about rocketry – it offers different things for different people. You can finesse a duration contest, nail every detail on a scale rocket, go high altitude/mach, geek out on electronics….
I’m not into sanding. I’ll sand fiberglass to prep for epoxy joints or if I get a run in the paint, but that’s about it. I’ll do a lot of work to avoid sanding. I’ll wrap my rockets and fins in Monokote trim or buy colored fiberglass that doesn’t need paint. I’ll spend time and material prepping for epoxy filets and apply them in a way they won’t need sanding. I just need the rocket to look decent. The thrill and catharsis for me is in the flight itself.
I have one rocket I spent a bunch of time on the finish. It’s the best looking rocket in my fleet and I’m nervous to launch it because it’ll get scratched.
Having said all that, I worked on a group build with a guy who was perfectly happy to sand. It was actually fun to watch him because he was so good at it. He has a level of skill, patience and care that I don’t possess.
In summary, I dislike sanding, see it as a means to an end, and question the sanity of those that do like it. For those of you that say you like it, I make this face at you.
I like sanding.
I like the sound of small sharp granular rocks screeching against fiberglass, plastic and wood grains.
I like how balsa can disappear under 2 strokes.
I like making surfaces rougher or smoother.
I like how raw it is, and how the art is as old as humankind.
I like how it exercises the finger muscles.
First, you sand.
Second, you hunt.
Third, you haul.
Fourth, you cook.
Sanding precedes tools, the wheel and fire.
It's the dirty infrastructure no one sees but everyone relies on.
Sanding is all about having the right amount of grit.
And, if it feels like you’ve been sanding forever, use coarser grit or different tool.
A lot of times a file, rasp, scraper, or chisel is more appropriate than sanding. I have a friend who was sanding a long time trying to get a nosecone to fit. The seam between the mold halves was standing out. A few seconds with a scraper took care of the seam and only where necessary.
I've discovered that the burgundy colored 3M ScotchBrite pads work great for sanding sealer/primer coats. Since it is a 3D matrix it doesn't clog up like sandpaper.
Used heavily in the Automotive Body Repair Industry, the 3M number is 7447. Be aware that other manufacturers sell a similar product that looks nearly identical for slightly less. You've all heard this before...You get what you pay for. 3M products have a strict consistency, where as other's do not.
If I had a $1 for every 3M 7447 pad I used during my 20+ years as an Auto Body Tech and Custom Painter, "I" would have bought Estes.
My real hobby is building rockets. Sanding is just one of the tedious ways I get there.
For that, a knife is the ideal tool, in my opinion. And for plenty of other things, like removing non-epoxy fillets from a body tube after a fin has broken off; start with a knife and only finish with sand paper. (Probably, for epoxy fillets in the same situation, start with a file.)
I think I'm gonna try some of that stuff for sanding filler/primer. Would be great to avoid clogging. Seems like the dark grey stuff (7448) could be useful too for finer tasks.
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