Support rockets while spray painting

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Aug 9, 2009
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This is more of a question than me actually sharing my modeling technique. :eek:

I have 4 rockets ranging from 50cm to 2m in length that is at the stage of needing a paint job. Now in the past when spray painting, I would hang the models upside down from my old shed. Notice I say 'old', as I no longer have a shed. :rolleyes:

Can anyone suggest to me a sensible way of supporting the rockets ready for spray painting? Has anyone brought any special support bracket etc?
I have a couple of folding saw horses and PVC piping of various diameters for high power. I use dowels for low power. The pipes/dowels are laid across or clamped to the sawhorses or held by a helper.
Each year we disassemble our LIVE Christmas tree in the living room with hedgeclippers until all the branches are gone all that is left is the trunk on a stand. I've kept a couple of these in this state in my backyard just for rocket painting. The trunk is perfect for installing dowels into and when not being used, blends into the shrubbery in the yard.
I use modified lazysusans or turntables fitted with a spent 24mm motor casing that will accept an 18mm motor casing on the end of various length 1/2" or other dowels that support the models while I'm spraying.

Some are manuel rotating while others are Spring driven "Microwave" turntable. This allow complete coverage without ever have to stop the rotation. they work quite well.

Over time i've built up a selection of support dowels that allow me the spary any size model or models I'm working on from Micros to BT-101 large model rockets. My spary booth is 3'x 3'x 7' so anything within that range is no problem at all.

E_Small & Large Paint Booth 6 pic_12-20-03.jpg
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I devised a method over the weekend involving a rake, a ladder, and a garbage can.

Basically, I slid the rocket (4" tube) over the rake, suspending the "rake" end on a ladder rung, and the other end in the handle of the garbage can.

I leaned some flattened carboard boxes all around, and BAM... paint booth. :blush:

Crude, but it works well. For the nose cone, I hung it from the red "emergency release" handle on the garage door opener. Note that it's probably a good idea to disengage the opener during the painting, so it doesn't inadvertantly open/close.
This is really useful. Thank you everyone.

I am tempted by making a small wooden turntable and attaching a dowel, as space is limited for storage.

My only other problem, is that I have to spray paint outdoors in the garden. Otherthan a bit of flying dust or bird poo hopefully everything will be ok. Well I shall let you know how I get on. :bangpan:
I'm using and old curtain rod with a used motor casing glued to the end... one of those round brass-colored curtain rods will fit right inside an old motor casing. Having a nice long handle works well, as I can put it horizontal over the porch railing to paint 'barbeque roll style' or vertical and paint top to bottom. It comes in handy for moving the rocket inside and outside (I paint outside and move inside to dry).

Works well and cheap. OL JR :)
I typically use a dowel hammered into the back yard temporarily to hold the rockets upright and outside while I paint them. I'm only messing w/ 18mm and 24mm motors right now so keeping 2 dowels around isn't too hard on space requirements... besides the painting dowels in question were left over from making my rocket-display-thinger (two boards w/ dowels to hold all the rockets upright by the motor mounts)
All the suggestions are pretty good. I like to use square pieces of wood to suspend tubes on instead of round dowels because it keeps things from rocking and swaying while painting.

I build a spray booth so I haven't had to paint outside, but if you have two trees you can tie a piece of rope across that can work great for hanging parts on.
Pieces of coat hanger wire work great for different length hooks to hang things like nose cones from. Use pvc pipe, broom handles, or 1x1 wood through the rocket, just drill holes in the ends to hook the coat hangers into. Much more secure that way.

Sort of like hanging laundry on the clothes lines.

When your rockets get bigger, use stronger rope and 1/4 steel rod for hooks.
In the end, I have stuck a dowel to an upside down ceramic plant pot. Great for anything less than 1 metre in height. That will do for now.
Reading that, I thought it was going to be a lead-in to a joke: a rake, a ladder, and a garbage can walk into a bar . . . :D

So a rake, a garbage can, and a ladder walk into a bar... they each order a martini, but the bartender runs out of sweet vermouth as he forms the last drink, and uses dry instead. The rake and the garbage can receive their martinis and gladly pay. However, the last patron is completely unsatisfied.

Question: who is responsible for paying for the drink... the former, or the ladder?

I sincerely apologize for that. It's the best I could do.