- Jan 22, 2009
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Another thread got me motivated to dig out some supplies and start another rocket. I have used fiberglass sleeves on the last few high power rockets and thought I would show one of the many ways to glass a body tube. I ordered the fiberglass sleeves online from Soller Composites www.sollercomposites.com. This rocket uses the Carbon Fiber/Fiberglass Hybrid sleeve. There shipping is unbelievably fast and the sleeves usually arrive within a couple of days even shipping from the East coast to the West coast. Before I start I peel the glassine layer of the LOC body tube. Then I use a nosecone to help feed the sleeve onto the tube. Leave a extra couple of inches on each end and cut of the extra. Next find a way to support the tube in a horizontal position I used a piece of 1.5" PVC resting across some stuff in the garage. Now the fun part, get suited up and get the resin out and mix it up. It was kind of cold so I used West System with fast hardener on this one. Apply some resin at the center of the tube lightly squeezing it into the weave and working away from center towards the ends adding more resin as needed. Working from the center out keeps the sleeve pulled tight against the tube. Don't work from the ends towards the center or it will bunch up. After the sleeve is thoroughly wetted out wipe off the excess resin leaving a smooth surface. It's amazing how well the gloves slide around and leave a very nice smooth finish. Now just let the tube sit and every few minuets rotate it to help keep it from sagging or running. After it's dry give it a light sanding then massage a very light coat of resin all over the tube and let it sit to cure. Usually this will leave a very smooth shiny surface with little filling reqired. Thats it time for a cold one and dream about launch day.