Rocketry Works Toobish XL Build Thread

sl98

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I was in Tucson recently and had some spare time so I ventured out to Rocketry Works. The door was locked and the sign said open by appointment. I saw movement inside and knocked on the door. Ken greeted me and let me in. Ken gave me the grand tour of Rocketry Works. A very impressive operation.

I couldn’t leave without a kit or two and I wanted to add a Rocketry Works kit to my fleet. The Toobish XL immediately drew my attention. I enjoy tube fin rockets and have them in every size from 13mm to a 3” LOC Cyclotron. Except I didn’t have a tube fin in BT-70.

The Toobish XL fills the void in my tube fin fleet. There is a lot of value in this $15.99 kit. The motor mount uses plywood centering rings. You get over 8 feet of Kevlar shock cord and a nylon parachute. The kit includes 3D printed motor retainer, motor adapter, conformal launch lugs, and nose cone. The tube fins are laser cut.

A tube fin rocket does not make for the most exciting build thread so I won’t include a step by step build in this tread. I will add some comments regarding the kit along the way.
 
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sl98

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The kit includes the following 3D printed parts:
  • nose cone,
  • motor retainer (11.4g / .40 oz),
  • conformal launch lug, and
  • 24mm to 29mm motor adapter.

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sl98

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The motor retainer is a clone of the Estes retainer. The Rocketry works retainer weighs less than the Estes retainer but does not twist near as smooth as the Estes retainer. The Estes retainer weighs in at 13.5g / .48oz vs. 11.4g / .40 oz for the Rocketry Works retainer.

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The included 24mm to 29 mm motor adapter also includes a spacer so you can use Estes C11 and D12 motors in addition to E motors. The adapter is 15.58g / .56oz and spacer is 3.7g / .14oz.

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The one part of this kit that I think needs improvement are the tube fins. The fins are nicely laser cut. However, they are made from coupler stock instead of body tube stock. If the tube fins were made from body tube they would fit perfectly without any gaps due to the "kissing number." More on the gaps later with the build pictures. I suspect coupler stock was selected because it is sturdier. I'm not sure the sturdier stock is necessary and it defeats the purpose of super simple assembly. The extra weight of the coupler stock also adds additional weight at the back end.

This is the fit if the tubes were the same diameter:

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Close up of the cut tube fins:

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The centering rings include a number of cutouts that are not used and filled with wood glue. The instructions contain a handy tip regarding inserting the motor mount tube into the centering rings. According to the instructions, the laser cutter leaves a slight bevel on the cut edge that helps the centering ring slide onto the tube.

The instructions also indicated that wood glue could be used to glue the motor retainer onto the MMT. I have not used 3D printed parts before and I wasn't certain how well wood glue would adhere to the retainer. The retainer also has a very loose fit on the motor tube. I opted for JB weld.

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I did a dry fit of the tube fins. If you put all the tubes side by side you end up with about a 3/16" gap between fin the last fin and first fin. This is because the tube fins are a smaller diameter than the body tube. The instructions tell you to glue on the fins and wrap a rubber band or masking tape around the tubes to squeeze them together.

I went a different route. I printed out a fin wrap and marked reference lines on the body tube. By using the reference lines I would have the same amount of gap in between each tube fin.

Here is a pic of the marking guide and fins dry fit in place. I also opted to mount the fins 1/4" from the bottom of the body tube.

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Small spring clams and a couple of cinch straps made from braided elastic are your friends for mounting the tube fins. I also used Titebond Quick & Thick to eliminate glue dripping. I was originally going to line up all the fins on the bottom reference line but the tops of the fins didn't quite match up and it was noticeable. I ended up lining up all my fins at the top and use the first fin as my reference.

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I also used the Quick & Thick for the fillets. I simply slide the cinch strap out of the way while applying the glue and then back in place.

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I forgot to mention the other 3D printed parts. Conformal launch lugs. I will edit this post soon with pics.
 

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As mentioned above, the kit comes with 3D printed conformal launch lugs. The lugs are well designed with small holes to form glue rivets. The instructions call for using wood glue.

I rarely use launch lugs anymore and use standard and mini rail buttons on the majority of my builds. I opted for standard rail buttons.

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I was able to get the first primer coat on in between rail storms. It will probably be a while before I can finish painting due to the change in the weather. I will update the thread once painted. It will likely end of with University of Arizona colors.

For the price, you can't go wrong with this kit. I was fortunate to walk out of the store with this one after my visit. According to the Rocketry Works website the kit is available at the end of the month. I'm looking forward to getting it airborne. It should be a great small field flyer.



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The Toobish XL has a 10 foot paint job. I used University of Arizona colors. Looks ok from a distance. Hopefully the weather will cooperate in the weekends ahead so I can get it airborne.

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