Quantcast

Question?Glueing Large Dia. Body Tubes

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

hankthecrank

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
My son and I built an Estes Intimidator last year and are going for something bigger this year. My question is what type of glue does everybody use to glue their body tubes together? We used Elmer's craft glue and this glue started to set before we could get the tubes to socket depth. Any answers greatly appreciated.

P.S. By the way we are not beginners we have just not worked with any body tubes of this diameter before and I didn't know where else to put this thread.
 
Last edited:

roadkill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2009
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
0
I prefer Titebond II yellow
wood glue for anything from
low power to 29mm G-H power.

Anything beyond that gets epoxy...

Sometimes its easier to use 5min epoxy
on couplers, it'll give you a bit more time
to work with...
 

Indiana

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
0
I use epoxy for tube-couplers, just so I have plenty of time. It won't "lock up" on you like wood glues will.
 

MarkM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
1
I use epoxy for tube-couplers, just so I have plenty of time. It won't "lock up" on you like wood glues will.
Agreed. 5 minute epoxy works great for low - mid power couplers. Other glues tend to "sieze" before the entire coupler is inserted in my experience. A little light coating of epoxy won't give any significant weight difference if you had used white or yellow glue and give you plenty of time to get the coupler in completely.
 

mach7

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,023
Reaction score
52
Put me down as a Titebond/epoxy guy.
 

Pem Tech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,394
Reaction score
14
Agreed. 5 minute epoxy works great for low - mid power couplers. Other glues tend to "sieze" before the entire coupler is inserted in my experience. A little light coating of epoxy won't give any significant weight difference if you had used white or yellow glue and give you plenty of time to get the coupler in completely.
I second that emotion.....
Wood glues may "grab" before your coupler is fully seated.
Very embarrassing indeed...
:eek:

Epoxy gives you the longer working time needed to properly seat and align the tubes.
 

powderburner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,356
Reaction score
4
Yes, white glues (and thickened yellow glues) can grab and lock up before you get an assembly all the way into final position. When working with these glues you need to keep the parts moving until they are all the way 'home'.....when assembling body tubes sometimes it helps to work on a flat tabletop (over newspaper, to keep glue off the table and to keep Momma happy) to help with alignment and push the tubes smoothly and steadily together. Roll them a bit as you go to keep the tubes aligned. Sometimes it helps to thin the glue with a few drops of water to extend the working time.

Yes, epoxy can work. Might not need it for strength, or for other reasons, but having enough working time to properly assemble parts is a perfectly legit reason to use epoxy. Just remember to use fresh, and thin (if you have it), because old epoxy (or cheap stuff from the dollar store) can sometimes set up quickly on you, and you would be right back at the original problem.

Here's one more idea for using white or yellow glue: Coat the joining surfaces with a thin coat of glue. If the coupler is sticking one inch out of one tube then coat the matching end of the next tube one inch (or slightly more) into the inside surface, all the way around. Coat the outside of the coupler. Let this glue dry for an hour or two, until it dries clear, and dry to the touch. (Keep it clean) Assemble your parts with the dried glue until all parts are in proper position. Then use some thinned glue (one part glue to one or two parts water) to brush onto/into the body tube joint so it wicks into the coupler joint and re-activates the dried glue layers. You can do the same thing with a long applicator tube/straw/brush on the inside edges of the coupler joint, working through the open end of the body tube.

But don't give up completely on plain white or yellow glue, it really does work quite well.
 

DAllen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,774
Reaction score
718
Put me down as someone who had the embarrassing experience of having a centering ring on a motor mount - not unlike the coupler situation - lock-up before getting it all the way in place while using Titebond II. :rolleyes: I managed to make it work because the aft centering ring was just barely touching the body tube and that rocket has made many successful flights.

Like others already stated, I use epoxy for couplers and things just because it gives me time to seat it properly. For small projects I use wood glue as much as possible but I am a lot more careful. :p

-DAllen
 

FROB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
389
Reaction score
0
I basically use epoxy 95% of the time and CA 4% of the time, with a little 1% "other" for plastics and weird materials.
 

hankthecrank

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Thanks for all the advice, you are a great bunch of guys/gals. Thanks again, Hank and Johnathan.
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington DC
Ditto Everything Powderburner said:
For LPR models white or yellow glues are more then sufficent for all paper/paper and paper/wood joints. They'll actually give you a longer lasting bond the anything else.
I have 35 year old models built entirely with white or yellow carpenters "Elmer's" glues that are still flying with no problems but models half that old with epoxy applied motor mounts and coupling that have to be replaced or repaired. wood glues truely create bonds that are stronger then the materials thay are joining.
 

Pippen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,969
Reaction score
3
Ditto Everything Powderburner said:
For LPR models white or yellow glues are more then sufficent for all paper/paper and paper/wood joints. They'll actually give you a longer lasting bond the anything else. .
One of the kids that builds with us had a centering ring stuck only a little way into a motor tube so quickly that I couldn't get it out. When I posted a "What to do next time?" question I was told that the yellow wood glues seize up faster and to:
1) do a dry fit (without glue) first
2) use a really thick bead of white Elmer's instead
3) to have them move fast!

We haven't had a problem since.
 

madsen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
258
Reaction score
0
Elmers white glue works fine on any size tube. If you don't believe me--try to separate any size tubes a few minutes after you finish. Most people assume you need epoxy on large tubes on high power rockets--not true. I had a 3" rocket crash and had to take apart the tubes. I steamed them in the shower for hours, soaked them in water, and tried heat. I finally used a saw to separate the tubes. Elmers is a lot stronger than we think.
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington DC
One of the kids that builds with us had a centering ring stuck only a little way into a motor tube so quickly that I couldn't get it out. When I posted a "What to do next time?" question I was told that the yellow wood glues seize up faster and to:
1) do a dry fit (without glue) first
2) use a really thick bead of white Elmer's instead
3) to have them move fast!

We haven't had a problem since.
Pippen:
Personally I use Elmer's Carpenters Yellow glue almost exclusively, but that's because I USE Elemer's Carpenters yellow glue all the time;). I've learned it's feel, it's little strange quirks. White glue is fine for building Models because of it's formlua it doesn't tac up as quickly and therefore doesn't seeze up as quickly during installation of motor mounts or couplings.
It's an experience thing. Once your youth have put a model or two together they can start experimenting with other glues and adhesives that make the builds both easier and quicker.
Not everyone understands at first about double glue jointing or how to prevent parts seezing, it's all about learning your materials.
One little trick I can pass along concerning Elemer's Yellow carpenters glue is after applying that first glue application and letting it dry completely. It's very important to have a Decent but not excessive amount of yellow glue for the second application applied before inserting your motor mount or coupling. You MUST immediately start and keep the part moving forward and twisting a bit side to side as you Quickly go to depth in one fluid motion. When the part stops that is where it is going to stay.
Don't let the kids be afraid to experiment with scrap tubes, rings, couplings and glues. It's the only way to get to know all the different materials.
Hope this helps a little.
 
Last edited:

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
I use Aleen's Quick-Dry Tacky Glue (a type of white glue) for most body tube assembly tasks, including coupler and centering ring installation. You would think, given the "Quick-Dry" part of the product's name, that I would would have plenty of "glue lock" horror stories, but I have never experienced any problems with it. That's because I use the same three techniques that Pippen described: test-fit the parts first, to see how well they fit together (is the fit tight? loose?), use a healthy bead of glue (don't slather it in there, but don't go too thin, either, or else the glue will start to dry before you get the part inserted), and insert the part in one smooth motion, without pausing.

Since you are an experienced builder, none of this will be any news to you. The main thing is to spread the glue in right where the part is going to be, or just before it, and to put in enough of a bead that it won't begin to dry in the time it takes you to put down the applicator and then pick up and insert the component.

I don't use yellow carpenter's wood glue for attaching anything inside the body tube. The glue shrinks as it dries, and when you use it inside the tube, it pulls on the inside wall, causing shallow dents to appear on the outside of the tube. At least, that I what has happened to me. It is most apparent with thin-wall LPR tubing, even up to BT-80 size. The phenomenon may not be as apparent, or might not occur at all with thick-wall tubing (such as Semroc's LT-series), but for that type, I use epoxy.

When I am getting ready to glue components into a tube, it helps to do a little planning first. For instance, when I get ready to glue in a tube coupler, I measure and put a series of marks halfway along the length of the coupler, then dry insert it into one of the tubes up to the marks, and use the end of the tube as a guide to draw a circle all the way around the coupler, connecting the marks. I also frequently use dowels as pushers to push motor blocks or baffles to the right depth inside the tube. I mark the desired depth on the dowel, and sometimes use some tape and scrap material to temporarily attach a "stopper" onto the dowel just above the depth mark. I don't have to carefully watch the mark on the dowel then as I am pushing the part into the tube; the stopper will stop the dowel when it reaches the correct depth. All of this is done just to insure that I can quickly get the part into the tube and in the right place without having it make any unscheduled stops along the way.

Mark \\.
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington DC
I don't use yellow carpenter's wood glue for attaching anything inside the body tube. The glue shrinks as it dries, and when you use it inside the tube, it pulls on the inside wall, causing shallow dents to appear on the outside of the tube. At least, that I what has happened to me. It is most apparent with thin-wall LPR tubing, even up to BT-80 size. The phenomenon may not be as apparent, or might not occur at all with thick-wall tubing (such as Semroc's LT-series), but for that type, I use epoxy.


Mark \\.[/QUOTE]


Glad you reminded me Mark:
What your seeing isn't shrinkage, yellow, brown and white glues by the way all do this to a some degree. These glues are pulling a slight vacuum between the centering rings as they dry, without a way to equalize the pressure the tube slightly implodes at the moisture site.
It's very easy to eliminate by simply pocking or drilling a couple small holes in the rear centering ring allowing the area to outgas. Actually Yellow carpenters glue "shrinks" less than white glues in open air. This is why it makes better, smoother one application fillets on fins then white glue.
 

Pippen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,969
Reaction score
3
Since this is the beginner's forum I should ask about white school glue. Homes with kids usually have Elmer's or Roseart school glue around but not always the all-purpose white glue. Will that do the job for the typical first rocket? School glue is washable but after it dries does it make a difference?
 

shreadvector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
9,008
Reaction score
194
Since this is the beginner's forum I should ask about white school glue. Homes with kids usually have Elmer's or Roseart school glue around but not always the all-purpose white glue. Will that do the job for the typical first rocket? School glue is washable but after it dries does it make a difference?

Since this is the beginner's forum, I will say what I always say: Use exactly what the kit instructions tell you to use!!!!

The biggest safety nightmares are the beginnners who show up at our launches with rockets built using a) whatever glue or cement was laying around at home (Duco cement, shoo goo, rubber cement - all highly flammable), b) "it's what the guy at the store told me I needed" (overpriced and incorrect glues), c) "Non-Toxic plastic cement" (does not work for model rockets as the plastic is not adequately melted and so a structurally unsound rocket is the result), d) Hot Melt Glue (great for styrofoam snowmen, not so good for most Model Rockets).

More details in our Safety Advisory:
http://home.earthlink.net/~mebowitz/safety.pdf
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington DC
Since this is the beginner's forum I should ask about white school glue. Homes with kids usually have Elmer's or Roseart school glue around but not always the all-purpose white glue. Will that do the job for the typical first rocket? School glue is washable but after it dries does it make a difference?

Pippen:
Chemically White glue is white glue;) Some are a little more watered down ( School glues) or condensed (Aleens), but they are all an organic white glue, the only difference will be the setup time.
That said, I agree with Freds statement concerning beginners Sticking with (pun intended) the glue suggested in the kit instructions.
 

Pippen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,969
Reaction score
3
The first time I took my kids out to launch they had built 4 of the little plastic Estes Super Shots. They all launched fine but 3 fell apart in flight or when they hit the ground and the only survivor fell apart when the kid carrying it fell down. :rolleyes:

Turns out I'd purchased the non-toxic plastic cement and it doesn't fuse. The instructions say "plastic cement" and being the cautious parent that I am I of course went with the non-toxic stuff.

Needless to say, it wasn't the funnest launch.
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington DC
Plastic cements are Really FUNNY things.
I'm not sure it's really necessary to go into all the detail in a beginners forum. but to say If the instructions say "tube type Plastic cement". they are usually talking about Styrene plastic model cement. it's NOT the best stuff in the world for "Solvent Welding" even styrene plastics but for the very new beginner, I'd suggest sticking with that for a model or two.
Testors Liquid plastic cement is a better chioce, but still not the best stuff for Styrene to styrene joining but it beats the tube stuff hands down.

There are much more agressive and better Solvent welding materials to be had but they aren't really needed for things like super shots.
Both Evergreen and Plastistruct have solvents that are the next step up.
Hope this gets them started with plastic cements.
 

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,105
Reaction score
2
I don't use yellow carpenter's wood glue for attaching anything inside the body tube. The glue shrinks as it dries, and when you use it inside the tube, it pulls on the inside wall, causing shallow dents to appear on the outside of the tube. At least, that I what has happened to me. It is most apparent with thin-wall LPR tubing, even up to BT-80 size. The phenomenon may not be as apparent, or might not occur at all with thick-wall tubing (such as Semroc's LT-series), but for that type, I use epoxy.
Mark \\.
I agree with you 100% here Mark... Titebond is my glue of choice on almost everything EXCEPT the engine mount into the body and tube couplers. I have plenty of models that have that shrinkage mark at the tube coupler joints and where the rings are in contact with the tube. I guess its no surprise since in my college woodworking classes Titebond was the glue of choice because it actually draws the parts together as it dries. I am reminded of this every so often when I am too lazy to mix epoxy and pay for it with a "ring around the rocket":rolleyes:.
 

powderburner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,356
Reaction score
4
Use exactly what the kit instructions tell you to use!!!!
While I agree with this comment, I also would like to point out one experience that I had.

A few years back I was helping with a rocketry class for a small scout unit. The leader had already purchased a bulk pack (or two?) of Estes Alpha IIIs. He even opened one, read the instructions, and bought the plastic cement that the kit called for.

Now don't get me wrong, I like Estes and I like the Alpha (any version), it's a GREAT rocket. But in this case, the manufacturer goofed a bit when specifying plastic cement for the assembly of the plastic fin can (and MMT) to the cardboard BT.

On launch day, I think we had about four out of five launches result in mid-body separations (and ballistic descent of the forward body) before we shut down the whole launch. Those kids were pumped for launching rockets and I did NOT enjoy explaining that there would be a delay.

I had to take home all the "assembled" Alpha IIIs, break them open, rough up the plastic, and use epoxy to re-assemble. Definitely not in the kit instructions but absolutely necessary nonetheless.
 

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,105
Reaction score
2
While I agree with this comment, I also would like to point out one experience that I had.

A few years back I was helping with a rocketry class for a small scout unit. The leader had already purchased a bulk pack (or two?) of Estes Alpha IIIs. He even opened one, read the instructions, and bought the plastic cement that the kit called for.

Now don't get me wrong, I like Estes and I like the Alpha (any version), it's a GREAT rocket. But in this case, the manufacturer goofed a bit when specifying plastic cement for the assembly of the plastic fin can (and MMT) to the cardboard BT.

On launch day, I think we had about four out of five launches result in mid-body separations (and ballistic descent of the forward body) before we shut down the whole launch. Those kids were pumped for launching rockets and I did NOT enjoy explaining that there would be a delay.

I had to take home all the "assembled" Alpha IIIs, break them open, rough up the plastic, and use epoxy to re-assemble. Definitely not in the kit instructions but absolutely necessary nonetheless.
I don't ever remember Alpha III instructions calling for plastic cement:confused:
 

shreadvector

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
9,008
Reaction score
194
I've never seen the instructions call for plastic cement.

I have (as noted in my "that's what the guy who sold me the kits told me I needed to buy" comment) seen online vendors who have Pseudo-handy "other items you will need to go with this item" links, which recommend all sorts of horrible products to go along with the itme you are looking at.

While I agree with this comment, I also would like to point out one experience that I had.

A few years back I was helping with a rocketry class for a small scout unit. The leader had already purchased a bulk pack (or two?) of Estes Alpha IIIs. He even opened one, read the instructions, and bought the plastic cement that the kit called for.

Now don't get me wrong, I like Estes and I like the Alpha (any version), it's a GREAT rocket. But in this case, the manufacturer goofed a bit when specifying plastic cement for the assembly of the plastic fin can (and MMT) to the cardboard BT.

On launch day, I think we had about four out of five launches result in mid-body separations (and ballistic descent of the forward body) before we shut down the whole launch. Those kids were pumped for launching rockets and I did NOT enjoy explaining that there would be a delay.

I had to take home all the "assembled" Alpha IIIs, break them open, rough up the plastic, and use epoxy to re-assemble. Definitely not in the kit instructions but absolutely necessary nonetheless.
 

jj94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
3,980
Reaction score
0
I use Titebond III for nearly anything in rocketry that requires structural strength. Works great for me.
 

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
...
Glad you reminded me Mark:
What your seeing isn't shrinkage, yellow, brown and white glues by the way all do this to a some degree. These glues are pulling a slight vacuum between the centering rings as they dry, without a way to equalize the pressure the tube slightly implodes at the moisture site.
It's very easy to eliminate by simply pocking or drilling a couple small holes in the rear centering ring allowing the area to outgas. Actually Yellow carpenters glue "shrinks" less than white glues in open air. This is why it makes better, smoother one application fillets on fins then white glue.
I'm not so sure that's it, but I'll give your idea a try next time in places where it could possibly be a factor. But I'm not so sure that the typical thin-wall spiral wound paper tubing used in model rocketry is really all that airtight. Also, I have seen this most often in the areas just above and below where tubes are joined by glued-in couplers and where balsa transitions are glued in. No air pockets are created in either case, so the indentations could not be caused by the creation of a vacuum. I often install a hook in my LPR motor mounts, and I cut a slot where it passes through the rear centering ring to give the hook room to flex; thus, no sealed air chamber and no possibility of a vacuum there, either. I have only seen this phenomenon when I have used wood glue. The brand of wood glue that I have used most often is Titebond III, so that might have had something to do with it. I've used that bottle up now, and I'll be switching to either Gorilla Wood Glue or Titebond II on the occasions when I actually use that type of glue. I have never noticed the depressions when I have used either Aleen's Tacky Glue or epoxy.

Mark \\.
 
Top