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RocketFeller

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I'm looking at building a 12" Sonotube rocket and I have a few questions that I imagine TRF can help out with.

First of all, which Sonotube? Finish Free, Commercial, Round, or Builders Tube?

http://www.sonotube.com/sonotubeconcreteforms.aspx

Second, does anyone have a link to dimensions? Is there a difference in wall thickness between the different types?

Thanks for any help you can provide!
 

rharshberger

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I'm looking at building a 12" Sonotube rocket and I have a few questions that I imagine TRF can help out with.

First of all, which Sonotube? Finish Free, Commercial, Round, or Builders Tube?

http://www.sonotube.com/sonotubeconcreteforms.aspx

Second, does anyone have a link to dimensions? Is there a difference in wall thickness between the different types?

Thanks for any help you can provide!
Have you checked to see whats available in your local area? Some Sonotubes are coated with a release agent on the inside that would need to be removed. It available in lengths of 12' standard and longer with special order. IIRC at 12" diameter they are shipped as nested pairs (like a full length coupler) both being called 12". If there are any concrete contractor supply companies near by they would probably stock sizes from 6"-48". The Round or Builders tubes are what you are looking for, the other two are special applications, as one is plastic lined (or used to be) and both have exterior coatings that may have to be removed for epoxy/glue to adhere. The literature for the Commercial and Finish Free state the are both coated internally.

Edit: MASCO Masons Supply is located in Salem and carries "round concrete form" in 12' lengths. But they nor the manufacturer give anything other than approximate dimension.
 
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Nick@JET

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I'm following this too as I am thinking of a long term build 10 or 12" big upscale X 20' or so. Thanks for posting and hope you document the project. Probably not the lightest of options but likely a reasonable cost idea.
 

RocketFeller

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When I get a piece I will be sure to post the measurements. My plan is to build a heavy, draggy rocket for an L3 certification. I don't like to lose sight of my rockets...
 

mccordmw

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If you buy the tubes, do it from a local store instead of mail order. The allowed variance in diameter is huge. I've seen concrete tubes that say 8" that seem to be 7-9". Bonus if you pick yours from a store is that you can get one smaller that might fit really well as a coupler.
 

dixontj93060

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When I was picking the body tubes for my 10.25" Cherokee at my local builders supply (I think I went to Home Depot), all the tubes were the same thickness 1/4", but there were four dimensions in the 10" range from 9.75" through 10.5". I believe they do this so they can put all approximate 10" sizes on the same shelf. So I had to find a diameter that was consistent and had the best selection for the common size. Out of the 2 to 6 they had in each size, it was surprisingly hard to find three good tubes. Check closely for creases when picking them out as they don't need to be perfect to be concrete forms so they end up on the shelf with quite a bit of damage. Since the tubes are nicked up pretty badly, plan to cut off the last 0.5" to 1" on each end (after fiberglassing). My tubes had a waxy outside layer that I peeled off before fiberglassing.
 

Bat-mite

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Contact member TOM C as he builds almost exclusively form SonoTube and knows a ton about it.
 

fyrechaser

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Yazoo Mills is a good option. I built my L3 project with these tubes and they are good quality. Yes, they are heavy, but very strong. I used a single layer of 4oz glass on mine. I too like low and slow, so theses tubes fit the bill for me.

Jim B.
TRA 10883 L3
 

RocketFeller

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If you buy the tubes, do it from a local store instead of mail order. The allowed variance in diameter is huge. I've seen concrete tubes that say 8" that seem to be 7-9". Bonus if you pick yours from a store is that you can get one smaller that might fit really well as a coupler.
I talked to Masco Supply (thanks, Rich!) and they have eight sticks in stock. I imagine they will get a chuckle when they find out what I want them for...

When I was picking the body tubes for my 10.25" Cherokee at my local builders supply (I think I went to Home Depot), all the tubes were the same thickness 1/4", but there were four dimensions in the 10" range from 9.75" through 10.5". I believe they do this so they can put all approximate 10" sizes on the same shelf. So I had to find a diameter that was consistent and had the best selection for the common size. Out of the 2 to 6 they had in each size, it was surprisingly hard to find three good tubes. Check closely for creases when picking them out as they don't need to be perfect to be concrete forms so they end up on the shelf with quite a bit of damage. Since the tubes are nicked up pretty badly, plan to cut off the last 0.5" to 1" on each end (after fiberglassing). My tubes had a waxy outside layer that I peeled off before fiberglassing.
Thanks, I will be sure to check them over carefully. I will probably bring the nose/tail cones (conical caps for pilings) to test fit.

I was talking to a guy at my club who has built some big upscale rockets about sonotube he told me about this place

http://www.yazoomills.com/mailing-tubes/heavy-duty-kraft.aspx
The only problem is shipping. The Sonotube will only cost $36 for twelve feet locally - I imagine shipping alone would be considerably more than that.

Contact member TOM C as he builds almost exclusively form SonoTube and knows a ton about it.
Once I start building I will be sure to contact Tom. He gave me a lot of good advice when I was working on our upscale Dragonfly.

Yazoo Mills is a good option. I built my L3 project with these tubes and they are good quality. Yes, they are heavy, but very strong. I used a single layer of 4oz glass on mine. I too like low and slow, so theses tubes fit the bill for me.

Jim B.
TRA 10883 L3
That does look like nice stuff, but the length is a bit shorter than what I was thinking (85" versus the 96" I was aiming for) and the price is considerably more. I usually bite the bullet and shell out more than my wife thinks I can afford for rocket components. For this build, however, I am trying to stay on a tight budget, as much of the material is free/recycled.
 

grandcross

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One of the things to be aware of is that they're not always round. Many become flattened during shipping. For my project, I had success sanding the tube to the shape and diameter I wanted, but I was using it as a mandrel to make a fiberglass tube. If I were to use this as the main body tube I would do similar to ensure shape and size and glass the result.
 
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