# This didn't turn out right!

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##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I've ordered parts for a rocket that I intended to look like a large Honest John. Always liked the look of that missile.
But the transition is conical and with the shoulders for the nosecone and transition, I needed a length of tube in there.
To get the stability where I want it, the reduced body tube needed to be pretty short, which not only threw off the looks, but now the only way I'll have room for the recovery system is if I drill out the transition.
I might buy a drill press today, so construction will be possible, but it doesn't look much like an Honest John. I should have designed it in Open Rocket before ordering parts.

#### AfterBurners

##### Well-Known Member
still looks cool! If it flies even better!

#### prfesser

A suggestion: try drilling a small (say 1/4") hole thru the transition, with a variable-speed drill at very low speed. Then enlarge to 3/8, then to 1/2, and so on, holding the drill bit in the hand. The bit will tend to follow the previous hole. Drilling by hand may keep you from applying too much force.

If you're planning to buy the drill press anyway...never mind...

##### Lonewolf.... No Club
As to the appearance, once you have all the parts of the rocket modeled and you like the way the rocket looks... then you can add weight to the nose if need be to get the stability you want.

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##### Lonewolf.... No Club
• Cut the shoulder off on the nose cone.
• Do the same on the large end of the transition.
• Use wood glue to glue the nose cone and transition together.
• Then increase the body tube length. Chute goes in the body tube.

I've attached a couple Honest John .ork files below if you want to pull that up in Open Rocket.... (Tip of the hat to @K'Tesh)

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##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
• Cut the shoulder off on the nose cone.
• Do the same on the large end of the transition.
• Use wood glue to glue the nose cone and transition together.
• Then increase the body tube length. Chute goes in the body tube.

I've attached a couple Honest John .ork files below if you want to pull that up in Open Rocket.... (Tip of the hat to @K'Tesh)

View attachment 439221
I got the nosecone yesterday and noticed there is a line for cutting off some of the shoulder, but I'd still need to drill a hole through the transition and find a way of attaching a parachute. But I'm going to play around with possibilities.

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I started a thread about buying a drill press. Now I'm looking at lathes too. Not as expensive as I thought.
The laser cutters for cutting out fins are still more expensive than I'd like, but I'd be able to make some really nice fins that way.
WEN 12 in. Variable Speed Drill Press-4214 - The Home Depot
I'm probably going to pick up a Dremel type tool too.
If I can learn to make the things I have in my head, it could get scary.
Now, if only I was allowed to actually launch rockets.

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##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
• Cut the shoulder off on the nose cone.
• Do the same on the large end of the transition.
• Use wood glue to glue the nose cone and transition together.
• Then increase the body tube length. Chute goes in the body tube.

I've attached a couple Honest John .ork files below if you want to pull that up in Open Rocket.... (Tip of the hat to @K'Tesh)

View attachment 439221
OK, I've got it figured out. The nose cone is polystyrene, the transition is balsa. Cut the shoulder completely off the nosecone, leave the shoulder on the transition. Insert transition shoulder into nosecone and glue together. I might need to taper the transition shoulder slightly, or just forcing it in might compress the wood enough. Attach a screw eye to the back of the transition. Nosecone and transition will eject as a single unit.

##### Lonewolf.... No Club
I started a thread about buying a drill press. Now I'm looking at lathes too. Not as expensive as I thought.
The laser cutters for cutting out fins are still more expensive than I'd like, but I'd be able to make some really nice fins that way.
WEN 12 in. Variable Speed Drill Press-4214 - The Home Depot
I'm probably going to pick up a Dremel type tool too.
If I can learn to make the things I have in my head, it could get scary.
Now, if only I was allowed to actually launch rockets.
Keep in mind you'll also need to buy a chuck for your lathe... this is the one I have. Check to ensure that the spindle thread on whatever lathe you buy is compatible with the chuck.:

https://www.amazon.com/Teknatool-An...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07CT8N58V

#### Greg Furtman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Keep in mind you'll also need to buy a chuck for your lathe... this is the one I have. Check to ensure that the spindle thread on whatever lathe you buy is compatible with the chuck.:

https://www.amazon.com/Teknatool-An...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07CT8N58V

View attachment 439299
lakeroadster was a positive influence on me when he posted this on one of his threads a while back. I bought one and it makes using my wood lathe so much easier and safer. I highly recommend anyone with a wood lathe get one of these.

#### Greg Furtman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I started a thread about buying a drill press. Now I'm looking at lathes too. Not as expensive as I thought.
The laser cutters for cutting out fins are still more expensive than I'd like, but I'd be able to make some really nice fins that way.
WEN 12 in. Variable Speed Drill Press-4214 - The Home Depot
I'm probably going to pick up a Dremel type tool too.
If I can learn to make the things I have in my head, it could get scary.
Now, if only I was allowed to actually launch rockets.
@Senior Space Cadet Look around for a used lathe and a used scroll saw. I've seen tons of them lately on my local Buy & Sell Facebook page. Really decent prices. One guy in Eau Claire WI was giving away a nice Delta scroll saw as he wanted it out of the way. I use my Ryobi scroll saw for cutting out fins, centering rings, etc.

I also bought a mini Japanese Dozuki saw which works great for cutting thin plywood, basswood, balsa.

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##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I've got all the parts now, and I know how I'm going to put it together. Looks cool, but not a lot like an Honest John. Maybe and Honest Space Cadet.

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
• Cut the shoulder off on the nose cone.
• Do the same on the large end of the transition.
• Use wood glue to glue the nose cone and transition together.
• Then increase the body tube length. Chute goes in the body tube.

I've attached a couple Honest John .ork files below if you want to pull that up in Open Rocket.... (Tip of the hat to @K'Tesh)

View attachment 439221
Oh, yeah, forgot about the four fins. I'll have to make some changes. Making it longer risks weather cocking. I have the stability about where I want it.
I'm getting a pretty respectable altitude with just a Super C.

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Here's what it would look like with a Big Bertha nose cone.

#### jqavins

##### Joseph Avins
TRF Supporter
I should have designed it in Open Rocket before ordering parts.
Lesson learned. We've all done it.

• Cut the shoulder off on the nose cone.
• Do the same on the large end of the transition.
• Use wood glue to glue the nose cone and transition together.
If you're a klutz like me, use a center finder and put small holes in the nose cone and transition cut off faces, and insert a dowel to keep the pieces aligned.

I might need to taper the transition shoulder slightly, or just forcing it in might compress the wood enough.
I'd be concerned that even though the balsa will compress, it won't compress uniformly. I'd test fit, sand a little, repeat.

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##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
It just occurred to me that there is a problem with this design. What makes it more embarrassing is that I've designed similar rockets and already came to that conclusion. The problem being, where do I put a launch lug?
The easiest solution would be to add back three inches of BT-80 body tube, but this kind of spoils the looks.
This might be an opportunity to take advantage of my new drill press and why I bought it in the first place. I can, probably, drill a hole, off to one side, through the nose cone and out the transition.
I'll have to take a look and see what Estes's solution was.

#### Greg Furtman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
It just occurred to me that there is a problem with this design. What makes it more embarrassing is that I've designed similar rockets and already came to that conclusion. The problem being, where do I put a launch lug?
The easiest solution would be to add back three inches of BT-80 body tube, but this kind of spoils the looks.
This might be an opportunity to take advantage of my new drill press and why I bought it in the first place. I can, probably, drill a hole, off to one side, through the nose cone and out the transition.
I'll have to take a look and see what Estes's solution was.
@Senior Space Cadet I built a Quest Courier which has a egg lofting type nosecone that is bigger in diameter than the body tube. There is a balsa pylon that is glued to the body tube and the launch lug is glued to the top of that. It's hard to see in this photo but it's right under the Courier decal.

##### Lonewolf.... No Club
Thanks, because I had no idea which one to buy. One of the problems I see with the lathe, is the total cost. This chuck set nearly doubles the price.
I used my lathe to make nose cones and transitions (see below) without the chuck via using the faceplate that comes with the lathe.

The chuck simply makes the lathe much more versatile. Much easier to hold smaller parts, and you end up with less material to remove.

You also need to buy a set of chisels.... 6 Piece Lathe Turning Set

But if you buy a used lathe you can likely get the lathe, the chuck and the chisels, all in one package deal.

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#### jqavins

##### Joseph Avins
TRF Supporter
First, I don't think there's anyone who does his/her own designs who hasn't done that at least once.

Pylons, often called standoffs, are probably the most common solution.

A hole as you propose would be (imo) the sweetest solution, but I think it would be quite hard to do without the bit wandering, even with a drill press. The bit would have to extend down from the chuck far enough that it could flex and wander. Of course, maybe this is less of an issue with balsa than with most material; I'd still be concerned. Maybe try it on a test piece before doing it with flight parts.

If you do manage to drill it (and I may be Chicken Littling that) then I'd suggest sizing the hole to allow for inserting a regular launch lug like a bushing to keep the rod from bearing directly on the balsa.

Another option for the design as shown in post #1 would be fly away rail guides, but that requires a rail to launch from (duh). As shown in posts 14 and 16 (I like 16 better, by the way) you could design and build or print a custom fly away guide that either grabs the nose cone and transition together or grabs the tube below them and has its own standoff designed in.

#### Greg Furtman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
After seeing @lakeroadster post awhile ago about his lathe chuck I ended up buying one and I'm glad I did. It makes my Rockwell lathe much more usable. And safer.

Below are some of the nosecones I have made on my lathe for various rockets I've built. I've used balsa, Sitka spruce, cedar, redwood, and walnut. I've got some butternut boards I need to glue up to make some nosecone blanks. (Butternut looks like walnut but is much lighter.) The most difficult nosecone I've made is the balsa one, believe it or not. The wood is so soft that it takes more finesse to work with.

The last picture is of a lathe like the one I own. I've seen these selling online for $125-$150. An older used lathe will be built more sturdy than the less expensive lathes available today.

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#### jqavins

##### Joseph Avins
TRF Supporter
I want the formal version. A lathe Charles.

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
A few things going on.
One, I finally got around to ordering a couple Honest John nose cones from Balsa Machining. I'd never ordered them before because his rudimentary drawings made them look like they were shaped like two conical cones stuck together and not a smooth curve. But the drawings are wrong. They are really nice. I got one that fits a BT-50 tube and one that fits a BT-55 tube.
So there isn't much point in making this design, even though it would be much bigger.
What I think I will do instead is pretty much the same design, but switch to a Big Bertha nose cone, instead of ogive.
Probably a stand-off lug is the way to go, but a BT-80 nose cone on a BT-60 body is going to mean a pretty high stand-off.
The other thing going on is I tried to drill a centered, straight hole in the balsa transition, so I could insert a dowel for insertion in the chuck, so I could sand the shoulder into the shape of the inside of the nosecone.
That was a total failure. Getting a straight hole seems to be beyond my skill level. I'll have to work on that.
I see two possible solutions. One, is to just cut off most of the shoulders on the nosecone and transition, so that I only need a very short section of body tube to join them.
the other solution is a Shop Fox lathe attachment for a drill press.
https://www.amazon.com/D4088-Lathe-...drill+press&qid=1607422393&sr=8-9&tag=mh0b-20
My bench sander is coming tomorrow.

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##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
By the way, all the photos, of stuff you've made on lathes, look pretty fantastic.
I'm still not ready to buy a lathe. Balsa Machining is doing most of that for me, for now, and I have the gadget, for doing some lathe work on a drill press, on order.
If I did get a lathe, what I'd really like to try is making a rocket with a one piece balsawood body (separate balsa nosecone).
But, after turning it on a lathe, I'd need to drill a large hole through the middle, and I don't seem to be capable of doing that.
I need to watch more videos on drilling holes, in line, in cylindrical objects.

#### Funkworks

##### Well-Known Member
But, after turning it on a lathe, I'd need to drill a large hole through the middle, and I don't seem to be capable of doing that.
One way do this is to stack disks with pre-made holes.

#### Greg Furtman

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I'm wondering if one could glue a launch lug out on a fin far enough away from the body tube so that the launch rod would clear the nosecone. Has anyone tried this?

#### jqavins

##### Joseph Avins
TRF Supporter
The way I've successfully drilled holes on axis in Shaker pegs, and it should work well for nose cones (and transitions with a small variation) is this:
• Clamp a piece of scrap to the drill press's table. Keep it firmly clamped and don't let it move!
• Make a small hole in the scrap that the forward end of the work piece will go part way in, but can still rock. This needn't be the same diameter as the hole in the work piece.
• Mark the center of the aft end using your center finder.
• Place the work piece forward end against the hole in the scrap, then rock it to where the center is directly under the drill for the end hole.
• Drill the hole. With the forward end centered by being in the hole in the scrap, and the aft end centered by the mark and drill bit point, there's nowhere for the hole to go except along the axis.

For a transition, size the hole in the scrap to accept one shoulder snugly; it doesn't matter which. Then you don't even need to do the center finding on the other end; the one shoulder placed in the hole will hold the transition centered and vertical.

Many things are done as multi-step processes, in effect making a temporary jig then using it (then discarding it). Some of my scrap pieces have numerous holes from operations long forgotten.