Quickest way to attach a fin or kill a boy scout

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by Major Tom, Nov 19, 2019.

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  1. Nov 23, 2019 #31

    dhbarr

    dhbarr

    dhbarr

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    Both, ideally. I've re-ordered the Alpha a bit myself in order to present it more readily to older scouts over a few sessions, but my approach could always stand a tune-up.
     
  2. Nov 24, 2019 #32

    Alan15578

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    the quickest would be CA, but don't recommend that.
     
  3. Nov 24, 2019 #33

    ed-n-eddy

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    What you want, is to control the action (keep everyone on the same page). Part of that is in your controlling the instructions and flow of the build. Secondly, hand out the parts as needed--empty the kits into component parts bags and then hand the parts out only when needed.
    I've guided entire classrooms of kids (as a guest) through AMA Cub builds in kindergarten and second grade. So, it can be done.
    CA glue is nice, but not required. Titebond wood glue tacks up nicely and is easier to control (meter the glue by pouring it in small, disposable, cups--like the self-serve catsup cups at various fast-food restaurants).
    Have markers ready, so they can decorate their rockets.
     
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  4. Nov 24, 2019 #34

    BEC

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    OK - here are the steps pulled from the Make-it Take-it build. Pre work includes marking and pre-punching the motor tube, cutting out shock cord mounts, gluing the nose cone base to the cone. Only adhesive used during the actual build is Alleene's original Tacky Glue. Build is done in three groups of steps after a brief "this is what the parts are called" presentation:

    First section:
    • Make sure you have all the parts
    • Install shock cord/mount. Starbucks stir sticks marked with minimum depth for mount provided to spread glue in the tube.
    • Install motor hook (into pre-cut slot), lower centering ring and mylar hook retention ring. Put assembly into fin unit backwards to hold the split centering ring on the tube as the glue sets.
    • Set both of these assemblies aside to dry
    • Discuss a brief history of model rocketry
    Second section:
    • Install launch lug
    • Do engine mount installation in fin can, focusing on getting the upper centering ring tight against the top of the fin unit with the lower ring pressed into place. Use "stretch ring on nose cone" trick to make upper centering ring go on easily if needed.
    • Set both assemblies aside to dry
    • Discuss flight phases, how motors work (with animation), what numbers on motors mean
    Third section:
    • Personalize white tubes (colored markers) if desired, write name on chutes with a Sharpie
    • Glue body tube onto upper centering ring, being sure enough glue is used and that launch lug is between fins.
    • Tie shock cord to nose cone (if doing Alpha IIIs add screwing in the little screw eye here if you don't do it in advance).
    • Attach parachute to nose cone
    • Briefly discuss flight prep (will need to go over that again at the field later).

    The Alphas are done in a fairly similar way, again only with Alleene's Tacky Glue. Pre-work here includes marking the body tube for fins and launch lug, pre-punching the motor tube for the upper hook end and marking it, and pre-separating the fins from the scrap and making a quick swipe across the root with a sanding block to remove the retention gap bump there. Note that we also used the Qualman Rocketry classroom fin guides (http://qualmanrocketry.com/Class_Packs.html) and had one in each kit.

    First section:
    • Make sure you have all the parts
    • Assemble the motor mount
    • Make shock cord/mount assembly (but don't install it)
    • Set these aside to dry
    • Discuss a brief history of model rocketry
    Second section:
    • Prepare fins (square up TE, round leading edge and tip). We put a number of those big black and white foam emery boards out to use as sanding tools. They have a fine grit on the white side and a coarse grit on the black side and are easy to handle.
    • Install fins with the Qualman fin guides to both hold them perpendicular to the tube and to help hold them on as the glue grabs
    • Set this aside to dry
    • Discuss flight phases, how motors work (with animation), what numbers on motors mean
    Third section:
    • Install launch lug. (This can be done with the Qualman fin guide still on the model if one puts the lug in the right spot, as there is a cutout for the lug)
    • Install shock cord mount. Starbucks stir sticks marked with minimum depth for mount provided to spread glue in the tube.
    • Install engine mount
    • Set aside to dry
    • Discussion of other facets of model rocketry
    Fourth section:
    • Glue fillets on fins
    • Tie shock cord to nose cone
    • Install parachute
    • Discussion of pre-flight prep steps
    OK - there you have it. Doing it this way gets a MiTi (or Generic or Alpha III) that's safely flyable in about an hour of flow time. I prefer to have an hour and a half for Alphas done as described. We've never gone out and tried to fly the Alphas the same day and I'd rather not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  5. Nov 25, 2019 #35

    astronwolf

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    A Boy Scout meeting is a terrrible place to build a model rocket. There's not enough time. I know that you love rocketry and you want to teach the boys something cool, but the meeting is not a good venue. Stick to Alpha IIIs, or resign yourself to gluing on 11 sets of fins while all the younger scouts run around all over the place. Nothing better than watching the scout master glue fins...
     
  6. Nov 25, 2019 #36

    Woody's Workshop

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    This is when having a dozen Estes Fin Jigs comes in handy. Build and install the motor mount, put it in the jig, glue on one fin...JAM PILE.
    Glue 2nd fin on...JAM PILE, etc.
    Next time, Alpha III's for sure.
    If your intent on gluing on fins, the Viking is nice too. Everyone can choose their own fin layout and TiteBond really grabs fast from cardstock to paper tubes.
     
  7. Nov 25, 2019 #37

    dhbarr

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    No idea how I came across crazy enough to try it in one go -- shoeboxes over a couple of weeks in the summer :)
     
  8. Nov 26, 2019 #38

    ed-n-eddy

    ed-n-eddy

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    When it was done with my kid, in Webelos, it was a take and build. These were of the Bandito, Firehawk and Firestreak rockets--plastic fin assemblies. If the kids had other rockets, they could bring them to the launch. They had a good time and everyone got to fly. Some didn't have good ejection results but all survived to fly again. The kids had a blast (punny, ik). But most of their fun seemed to be as recovery runners.
    I'd recommend keeping it easy and really simple. If it sparks their interest, they will continue in the hobby...
    Remember, getting burned out on a thoughtful, complex, project is still burned out. They'll lose more than a rocket project if they lose you to burnout.
    ed
     
  9. Nov 26, 2019 #39

    RFMan

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    When I was in 4-H in SC in the late 70s to early 80s, we did model rockets at camp a few of those years. One year, sometime around 1983 (I was 18) we had an outstanding success with a "mass-produced" model rocket activity. I had made a 12-pad launch pad out of two-by-fours, and an accompanying electronic controller. We used Centuri Vikings with friction-fit engine retention, and A8-3 engines. I might be able to dig up a few pictures (which would have been taken on 110 film!).

    Our process was this: Camp ran from Monday (mid-to-late morning) until Friday (mid-morning). A friend and I trained about ten volunteers on Monday; each built and flew a Viking. We used Elmer's white glue exclusively, with double-glue joints. These were the "old" kits with up to five white fiberboard fins, red plastic nose cone, and orange-ish streamer, bought as bulk packs. We let builders choose their number of fins (3 to 5) and orientation (which edge attached to the body tube). All they really had to glue were engine block, fins, shock cord mount, launch lug. Streamer recovery kept the walking distance down. Since the tubes and fins were white, no painting was required (or done). Builders could use markers or pens to decorate; at a minimum, we had them write their names on. Some went all-out, even if only with an ink pen, after getting the construction done.

    Camp counselors each had a bevy (about 8-12, I can't remember how many) campers to look after. We built and flew for each of the three "main" camp days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Each day we had enough counselors bring their kids (ages 9-15 or so; none younger than 9) to the building area, which was a grouping of outdoor picnic tables, to total around 100. Each counselor was matched with a volunteer and a table, and guided the rocket building. My friend and I circulated around and helped where needed to keep things moving. Kids built these simple rockets in the morning, taking about a couple of hours. We gave them a little talk about how rockets work, their parts, safety, etc. We would leave them drying and have an assembly, lunch, break.

    In the afternoon we reconvened. Everyone got their rocket and made sure it was sound. We distributed engines, and everyone installed them, then wadding and streamer were packed. I THINK we also installed igniters, secured with masking tape, at that time. Then we trouped over to the launch area. We had all the kids line up. We would march 12 out to the pad, help them load their rockets on (some could not reach the top, of course), and connect micro-clips to the igniters. Everyone would retreat, and I would check continuity. Then it was assembly-line launching: I'd select the pad, let the kid push the button, and when it was about down, they would run off after it. We would click right along. After we got through all hundred, we would launch a couple of our more complex (well, for the time, anyway) models.

    At the end of that week, we had build and launched 300 models in 3 days, with only a couple of misfires, and recovered all but one (tree got it). A great time was had by all :) It was one of the most satisfying and fun things I ever participated in.

    Key observations:
    • Good and sufficient volunteers are an absolute necessity
    • Selection of an easy-to-construct model with minimal parts, steps, and adhesive drying time are also a must
    • Very helpful to have a break between construction and flying - lets the glue dry and the kid rest
    • Just like a club launch, fly some other models also - keeps the interest level high, and may spur some to continue on
    • Have some spare kits (for parts, if nothing else); I also had a roll of crepe paper for spare streamers
    • Absolutely, the child needs to do the work/assembly; I was blessed that most of these kids wanted to
     
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  10. Nov 29, 2019 #40

    Tyler P

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    This is one of the funniest things I have read on here in a long time! Don't know why it struck me so funny, but it did!

    Probably because it is A: totally relatable, and 2: so true!
     
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  11. Dec 4, 2019 #41

    RFMan

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    Following up post #39; I found the pictures. These were at Camp Long 4-H camp in Aiken, SC. I apologize in advance for their quality - they were taken in 1987 with a 110 instamatic camera...

    First photo is a portion of 100 4-H campers assembling Vikings in the morning.
    Second photo is a rack of 12 Vikings during sequential launch.
    Third photo shows (poorly) the launch controller. Each pad had individual arm switches and continuity LEDs).
    Fourth photo shows a close-up of one end of the pad.
    Fifth photo is the pad loaded with rockets belonging to me and my buddy Alvin. From left to right: Gyroc, Klingon Battle Cruiser, Alpha, Viking, Photon Disruptor, Interceptor, Farside (all three stages!!!), Jayhawk, Bomarc, Teros, X-wing Fighter, and Orbital Transport.

    4H_building.JPG
    4H_Vikings_launch.JPG
    4H_launch_controller.JPG
    4h_bearing.JPG
    4H_loaded.JPG
     
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  12. Dec 4, 2019 #42

    Major Tom

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    Wow, many thanks for all of the feedback. The builds went great. My final approach was a tacky gel on Estes fin jigs to tack the fins on, and tite bond II for the fillets. We built them over a couple weeks and will launch them soon. The boys built ASP Theta kits which ended up being a good choice due to the simple layout and a streamer. My garage looked like a frat house after poker night when we were done but it was fun for them. I resisted the urge to fix every slight mistake as I really wanted them to feel like the end product was all them. I did do a few things prior to the build such as marking tubes and gluing centering rings on the motor mount to save time but the rest was up to them. Again, thanks to all who responded!
     
  13. Dec 4, 2019 #43

    Major Tom

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