Welding Rods as Launch Rods

Worsaer

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Been using them for yrs. My 1st homemade "pad" was a 6" piece of 2x6 with a welding rod stuck in it. Used the lid from a 3# coffee can for a blast plate. 1968. Damn........ I'm OLD........
Hmmm. Sounds really familiar. Only in my case 1972 instead of 1968.

We’re not old, the word is ‘vintage’.
 

augendoc

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Another good source of stainless steel rod, cold rolled steel rod and 80/20 rail and fittings is Zoro (zoro.com). Prices have definitely gone up in the recent past, and are now about the same as McMaster or a little higher.

Zoro’s biggest advantage over McMaster is they have ubiquitous 20%-off coupons, free shipping over $50.00 and $5.00 shipping on anything under that. Their website is not nearly as organized as McMaster’s though.

Shipping can be kinda weird. I placed an order of mixed steel, machinable steel, and stainless steel rods in different sizes and three days later UPS showed up with maybe six different cardboard tubes of materials. I presume they all originated in different warehouses. No way would $5.00 have covered that shipping.

My 8 foot piece of 1” clear anodized 80/20 rail cost me about $10.00 ten or twelve years ago. Alas, no more.
 

rocket_troy

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My preference for launch rod material would be:

1. Grade 5 Titanium – stiff & corrosion resistant
2. 2205 Duplex SS – stiff & corrosion resistant
3. Spring or Piano Wire – Stiff
4. 316 or 304 SS - corrosion resistant

edit: probably should've included stainless steel 304 spring wire towards to top of that list.

TP
 
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DirkTheDaring

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My preference for launch rod material would be:

1. Grade 5 Titanium – stiff & corrosion resistant
2. 2205 Duplex SS – stiff & corrosion resistant
3. Spring or Piano Wire – Stiff
4. 316 or 304 SS - corrosion resistant

edit: probably should've included stainless steel 304 spring wire towards to top of that list.

TP
I've ordered some 304, is it possible to buy Grade 5 Titanium without being an arms supplier or at least filthy rich? :)
 

waltr

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I've ordered some 304, is it possible to buy Grade 5 Titanium without being an arms supplier or at least filthy rich? :)

These look pricey but affordable.
 

rocket_troy

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I've ordered some 304, is it possible to buy Grade 5 Titanium without being an arms supplier or at least filthy rich? :)
$51 for x10 pieces @36" long 1/8" diam.

Might be tricky finding single piece lengths longer than 500mm, but maybe check your local Titanium supplier or a local fabricator who does Ti work.

TP
 

augendoc

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McMaster-Carr has 1/8" x 6 ft grade 5 titanium rods for $49.32, 3/16" for $74.90, and 1/4" for $116 .32.

The problem with a 1/8" x 6ft rod is its tendency to whip, so the stiffer your rod in those smaller diameters the better, But 6 ft for a 1/8" rod is in most cases overkill. You could cut the length to 4 ft and it should still work well for most small rockets. Save the 6 ft for 3/16" material. Anything longer than that and you should probably using a rail, anyway.
 

DirkTheDaring

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These look pricey but affordable.
Pricey yes, affordable, um, debatable. Thank you, I'll see how my 304 stainless steel works out before I spring for titanium.
 

waltr

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McMaster-Carr has 1/8" x 6 ft grade 5 titanium rods for $49.32, 3/16" for $74.90, and 1/4" for $116 .32.

The problem with a 1/8" x 6ft rod is its tendency to whip, so the stiffer your rod in those smaller diameters the better, But 6 ft for a 1/8" rod is in most cases overkill. You could cut the length to 4 ft and it should still work well for most small rockets. Save the 6 ft for 3/16" material. Anything longer than that and you should probably using a rail, anyway.
Our club just went to 2 foot long 1/8" SS rods for smaller LPR. These have been working fine with plenty of stability off the rod. We also have 3ft 1/8" and then 3ft and 4ft 3/16 for bigger LPRs. Then pads with 1010 rails with optional 5ft 1/4" rod a flier can switch to.
 
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