Wax on, Wax off.

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Senior Space Cadet

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Who waxes their rockets?
Was wondering if people, going for altitude or speed, wax their rockets?
Favorite wax?
I rubbed my whole rocket with super fine steel wool. The surface is really smooth now, but it isn't shiny anymore. I was thinking about a wax, but it seems like it would be easy to damage the rocket.
 

rklapp

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I like clear lacquer after using the steel wool and applying the decals. Have to wait several days before applying to ensure everything is completely dry.
 

kuririn

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I don't wax my rockets now, but I did do a couple back in my childhood in the late 60's.
Estes sold a paste wax for rockets back then:
Probably the same as a carnauba based automotive wax.

I think serious altitude competition flyers don't put any paint on their models at all, much less wax.
I think the weight penalty far exceeds the aerodynamic benefit. I may be wrong though.

Steel wool is an abrasive, that's why your rocket isn't shiny anymore. It has micro scratches on it.
Try an automotive compound with a fine abrasive, like a white polishing compound. Then follow with an automotive wax. It might bring back the shine. No promises though.
Good luck.
 

AfterBurners

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If I feel motivated which I haven't lately I'll spray my rockets with a clear coat and allow it to dry. Then I'll come back and wet sand with fine grit sand paper starting with 1000 and working my way to 2000. After the rocket is completely dull I'll polish out the finish and then apply a coat of wax.
 

timbucktoo

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@Nathan polishes many of his rockets.
 

rklapp

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I think the steel wool is supposed to be used as a lite brushing of the paint to remove micro peaks, theoretically.
 

Nathan

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@Nathan polishes many of his rockets.

Yeah I've waxed a few rockets. But if you used steel wool on your rocket then wax alone isn't going make it shiny. You will need to polish it first with car polish. I polish first with rubbing compound and then switch to finishing polish. After that you should have a mirror finish and are ready for wax.
 
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