Your general rocketry helpful tips?

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Onebadhawk

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Try not to build restrictions into a rocket, e.g.- motor mount size..
The coolest rocket you've ever conceived of that you're building right now will lose it's novelty after a dozen flights or so
and you're at a super specicial away launch you never thought you'd travel that far to go to..
You'll want to put a larger diameter motor in it then you ever thought you would..

Teddy
 

jqavins

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Which is to say, upsize the motor mount and use adapters. (Or use an exchangeable motor mount system.)
 

aviserated

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Personal hygiene is important. Once while building a rocket my wife told me that I stunk. I ask could she be more specific...what do I smell like...arm pits or booty? She said I smelled like booty. So I had to stop what I was doing and think about it.
 

Chad

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when working with epoxy wear two layers of gloves. When they start getting sticky/wet take off the first layer and then, bam, brand new gloves already on and ready to go!
 

BABAR

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When painting (spray painting): start at the launch lug / button holes side. Then rotate as you paint. The lug / button hole is a good start / stop point to ensure you've gone once, twice, three times around.. (or more..)

(Also ensures you've thought of the lug / buttons prior to painting! :D )


Take two spent motor casings to the hardware store. Find two wooden dowels that fit the insides of the casings. Buy them, then cut them to about 1.5ft when home. Jam or glue the casings onto the dowels.

Presto! Painting sticks! Sticks to hold the rockets while you paint!
Put some rolled up paper inside the lugs before you paint. Keeps the paint out of the inside of the lug.
 

jqavins

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Either that or he meant the aluminum angles, and it'd still be good advice. (But yeah, I'm sure it's the clamps.)
 

Rocketless

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Every rocket has an expiration date. No, it's not printed anywhere.

If blowing it up, burning it up, watching it drift way to parts unknown, or to the top of a tree right above an endangered species bird nest, auger in and bury itself or spread out over a 100' circle as it hits the pavement, or returns to kit form while under thrust bother you, don't let that idiot push the launch button. Put it on a shelf and go play with your trains.
Truth!
 

jrap330

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I like to
Put some rolled up paper inside the lugs before you paint. Keeps the paint out of the inside of the lug.
lickeik
Personal hygiene is important. Once while building a rocket my wife told me that I stunk. I ask could she be more specific...what do I smell like...arm pits or booty? She said I smelled like booty. So I had to stop what I was doing and think about it.
must have been very long, multiple day built session
 

K'Tesh

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For plastic nosecones that have either bulkheads glued to the back end, or entire shoulders that are glued into the exposed section, I scar up the mating areas to increase the surface area for the adhesives to make contact with. I also do this with body tubes and couplers when epoxying them in place.
 

Stewman

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1. Read the paint can instructions.
2. Tamiya masking tape is great, IMHO.
3. Use ziploc bags to surround a fin you want to leave a particular color. Mask off the root area and tape the bag to the mask.
4. Building more than one kit at a time in an assembly line fashion will allow you to accomplish more. Just remember to check off the assembly steps.
 

jqavins

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3. Use ziploc bags to surround a fin you want to leave a particular color. Mask off the root area and tape the bag to the mask.
Really? I use paper grocery bags. The tape adheres better than I suppose it would to the plastic (polyethylene) bag.
1623860194069.png

Not to Scale
 

Stewman

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@jqavins - Good point and I would agree with you, but paper bags are scarce in our area, and I've not had issues with the plastic bags if I am careful about the masking. On small thin fins, I have sometimes cut off the "zipper".
 

MidOH

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My olde school bits:
-tie your recovery gear to your shock cord, not your nose cone
-CA knots
-There's 87,087 crash stories here related to quick links. But none of a bowline knot.
-CA paper motor tube edges if using tape rings
-CA inside nose of paper tube to reduce wear and tear, maybe reduce zippering
-double connectors for batteries on non redundant Dual Deploy
-push the button on "4"
-Don't waste time finding a field. Club fields are more fun anyways.
-Bring a table.
-Don't use cut short launch lugs, even if the instructions call for split ones.
-Z fold kevlar cords.
-Hang your unbuilt kits on the wall like a hobby store. Tear only the back of the bag. If you're waiting for the motor mount to dry or whatever, return the rest of the parts to their bag on the wall, before starting another kit. This way you can have multiple rockets in various stages of build, and a clean empty work bench.
-Paper rockets should only be purchased in even quantities (per model, not per total). Bad luck any other way.
-Stopped using hooks and blocks, in most rockets, in 1995.
 
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dr wogz

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A visit to the local fast-food resto can result in a gold mine for:
  • epoxy mixing cups (the cups reserved for ketchup & other condiments)
  • epoxy mixing / stir sticks (coffee stir-ers) wood ones are best!
  • Napkins.. why buy paper towel?!
  • Plastic spoons & knives. The spoons for pulling fillets & disposable scoops.. and the knives can be shaped into spatulas / putty knives to apply 'gooey stuff'
  • 'an extra cup' to mix large amounts of 'stuff': expanding foam, lotsa epoxy (be be careful! exothermic reaction!) lead shot, etc..


And if you're a student: always ask for condiments. the packets of relish, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, salt, sugar, etc.. soon add up, and you no longer have to buy these for your dinners!
 

MidOH

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I love how thrifty ya'll are.

Over at the free samples counter kiosk, holding up a paper cup while eating a hot dog slice:
"I can make rockets out of these.''
 

prfesser

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When you hear "Heads Up!" at a launch, get your fat @$$ out of the chair, look up, and POINT AT THE ROCKET! Seriously. It may save someone else from injury.
 

prfesser

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On the subject of mixing sticks: A box of 500 second-quality tongue depressors is less than ten bucks; that's less than two cents each. They're large enough to mix several ounces of epoxy, and even my starting-to-be-arthritic hands can split them lengthwise for mixing very small amounts.
 

dr wogz

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truth be told: I do, now , actually wipe off my wooden free ex-coffee stir stick. Musta used the last one about a dozen times so far..
 

dr wogz

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In all of life, including at launches.

Rule one: always carry a knife.
Rule two: keep your knife sharp.
a sharp knife is a safe knife.

and always make a practice stroke / cut to see where the blade would end up if it slips or jumps.. (makes you think where you have your thumb / forefinger..)
 

jqavins

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truth be told: I do, now , actually wipe off my wooden free ex-coffee stir stick. Musta used the last one about a dozen times so far.
Of course you do, and that doesn't mean you're cheap. When ya finish a job, ya clean the tool and put it away. That's just what ya do. And ya don't fill up the trash unnecessarily. And besides, it might work better (next time) after it's got a light coating (or even penetration) of epoxy. Because they're free, ya don't mind when one breaks, but that doesn't mean ya throw away a perfectly good stick. Why, that one pack of 500 tongue depressors should last your whole lifetime, and that of your kids!

(No, I'm really not kidding.)
 
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