Rockerty Works is Going out of Business 30% off Sale

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bchaltraw

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Found out yesterday Rocketry Works in Tucson, AZ is closing its doors. There are a bunch of Estes motors, a few Aero motor cases, and lots of parts and kits. https://www.rocketryworks.com/ If you are looking for something, try there. I got a 98MM-75MM spacer for $50 and a whole spool of Kevlar shock cord. Shipped was only $10 too!
 
Somehow I have to think that the Canadian, Finns, Swedes, or somebody ought to step in to the entreprenurial gap. Surely there's another country with birch trees and a lumber industry.
There are other manufactures of the baltic birch. I just got 50 sheets in this morning. Price has increased but so has everything else. Quality is challenging but can be found. To me it sounds like they were just looking for a reason to close up shop.
 
Price has increased but so has everything else. Quality is challenging but can be found. To me it sounds like they were just looking for a reason to close up shop.
I agree with the first two lines, but the third is a reach.... My "real job" is a project manager for a company thats sole product is contract manufacturing for other companies. For almost 3 years I have had to chase parts, every day. From the simple off the shelf available by the thousands pre-pandemic "widget", that suddenly has 102 week lead time. To the "custom made" and "qualified" items that were 26 weeks, that are now "send us your NC/NR (Non-Cancelerable / Non-Returnable) order with a blank delivery date and blank price ... and we'll make them when we can, and we'll tell you the price at time of shipment"....

"Burnout" for doing this is REAL, so while it can be done, it can take an enjoyable job, and just run you into the ground.

I am glad you have a supply of material, and are able to keep the designs, and products flowing. Please take it easy, on the ones who throw in the towel. If they are burnt-out and rundown, it may be best for their mental and physical health, plus family relationships.

Mike
 
Burnout is a real thing, especially if you're still below retirement age and it's not "what you do". Just because you like baking cookies doesn't mean that you can run a bakery... there's a lot of things that can get tedious and boring after awhile. In my case, I'm not a kid anymore, and I actually like playing with the reflow oven and the pick and place machine, so the production side of things still holds my interest. I think if it was like "Damn, I got to burn 100 boards today... I'd rather be watching The Price is Right" then it would be time to hang it up. Maybe they got to that point... they didn't view the search for alternate material sources as a "quest" anymore, plus they had other things to do.
 
Officially closed. Will miss this vendor. Had great hardwood fin upgrades and centering rings. Couldn't beat the 50% off motors towards the end. James always included a handwritten thank you note on the invoice and a RW keychain.
 
Indeed.. received my kit yesterday, and I'm very happy with it.. too bad it was the last one.
 
Since this thread came up again, I read all the messages. Anyone who would prefer watching The Price is Right to what they are doing is in desperate straits. Family members would be well advised to bar high windows, remove firearms, etc.

If the birch plywood was the primary problem, there are a bunch of materials that could be substituted. Maybe the new owners will switch to some that are more available.
 
If the birch plywood was the primary problem, there are a bunch of materials that could be substituted. Maybe the new owners will switch to some that are more available.
What do you see as a Baltic Birch ply substitute?
 
Well, it depends. It's pretty clear that adamantium is total overkill. ;-) Are we making fins or are we making faux birch ply. The former is easier than the latter, especially with slight redesign. Other kinds of plywood of appropriate thickness is one possibility. For instance, I note that Aircraft Spruce has mahogany, basswood, and domestic birch plywood with 5 plies in a size around 1/4 inch. They have lots of other choices, too. A place called Boulter Plywood has okoume, sapele, and meranti with 5 plies around a quarter inch. And many other thickness choices.

With a bit of redesign, I imagine paper covered spruce, hemlock or fir fins would be fine. And maybe bulkheads, too. For subsonic rockets, a light wood in an airfoil shape might be lower drag, thicker, stronger, and stiffer, and possibly lighter. I have seen cambered wood airfoil shaped wood. I'm sure symmetrical would also be practical.

I'd be kind of surprised if there weren't lots of foam, cork, or honeycomb panels out there with wood, fiberglass, carbon or metal facings. One could get some really thin, if curvy birch ply and glue it on a core to get something thicker, light, and nice and flat.

I've seen cardboard honeycomb panels they use for packaging and when loading pallets. Thinner, with faces that have been epoxied or made thicker, they'd probably make fine fins.

The world is FULL of structural materials.
 
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I have seen cambered wood airfoil shaped wood. I'm sure symmetrical would also be practical.

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To clarify, Sig and another vendor or two whose names I don't remember have sold cambered airfoil shaped balsa.
https://www.hobbycity.nz/products/sig-balsa-3-16-x-3-x-36-af-sheets
Some of the Sig stuff was only 6 percent thick*, with flat bottoms, so one could glue them together to get a symmetrical shape. Not an ideal shape but probably lower subsonic drag than the usual squared off fins, and much stiffer and stronger. I've seen more unfortunate shapes from other vendors. Possibly lower drag than beveled, thin fins.

*3/16" thick by 3" and 1/4" thick by 4"
 
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