My first skill level five rocket

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#11 My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sun, 03 Apr 16, 00:17 am

Here's the parts check on my latest project. This one is kinda special to me since I have never built an Estes skill level five kit. There weren't very many and usually were expensive (by the standards of the day). So finally I began the final skill level assault.
Parts check.jpg
Parts check.jpg (1.26 MiB) Viewed 5276 times
Any guesses what it is?
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#12 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sat, 15 Oct 16, 04:53 am

Grampie was an old world immigrant carpenter, Pappie and Uncle Joe took up the tradeand after the war (WW2) came back to the states, Pappie from flying a SB2C for the Marines (never saw action) in the Pacific and in China after the war, Uncle Joe from the 82nd Airborne (saw action at the bulge). When they came home, they built houses, lots of them. and not with all the mehanized tools of today. Their biggest assist was the venerable circular saw. Hammers powered by air or .22 caliper shots, You drove nails by muscle, all day long. Many years later, in the early 90's, after my father became an Air Traffic Controller in the early 60's, my boss at the time wanted to build a new garage, a suburban monstrosity three and a half car, one and a half story thing. He knew my father was a carpenter and wanted to talk to him about some concerns he had with the design. Long story short, he ended up having my father and uncle build the garage for him and even though as land surveyors we had seen a lot of construction, my old boss was amazed at the way my father and his brother built that garage and the time it took them to do it. These two old men, in their sixties, were tossing hammers back and forth to each other, carrying stacks of lumber around, and seemed to be having the time of their life doing it, I was told. What a testimonial to that generation.

Sorry for waxing nostalgic there, but there is a tie here. See, I didn't really get to learn the family trade that much. I helped build the family home in the late 70's and early 80's, but that was a long drawn out affair. Yes there was the occasional project around the house, but the most oft repeated phrase I heard was, "get out of my light!" Most of the stuff was done with hand tools, although after my mother's death in 1980, he started getting powered stuff. It is the hand tools however that I regret not learning about though. Especially the bench plane.
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#13 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sat, 15 Oct 16, 05:20 am

Because of another project not rocketry related, I have been watching youtube videos on woodworking. I of course started watching videos about using a tablesaw and building the best table saw sled, blah, blah, blah.. I don't remember exactly when, I guess about two months ago, I came across some videos by Paul Sellers on woodworking. He is an old school carpenter, meaning he mostly uses hand tools (and also has some videos on "poor man's tools", tools created from scraps of lumber and other inexpensive items, to be used till you can afford to get better tools or in a pinch when you don't have them at hand). Paul is enamored by the no. 4 Stanley smoothing plane (he says it can do all the jobs of other planes). Of course when I could set the money aside, I went out to Lowes and bought a bench plane. I am now wishing I had my father around to teach me the touch skills this tool requires, but I am now slowly learning how to use it, picking it up and shaving something at least once a day. The main thing is to get the plane into shape, and even though it is brand new out of the box, don't trust it to be in great condition. After having the plane for a couple of weeks, I was rewatching video on sharpening the plane and checked my new one to find out the sole was anything but flat. All Sunday afternoon I spent flattening that plane's sole.

Back to building.
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#14 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sat, 15 Oct 16, 06:22 am

A while back, maybe about about five years ago, I bought two of these
PA150012.JPG
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PA150007.JPG
PA150007.JPG (163.23 KiB) Viewed 2210 times
Inside, besides a spokeshave (what?) and a balsa stripper (no, not the pole dancing variety), was a block plain. A miniature block plane. Well, I've been practing my technique with it's big brothers, so time to ignore post #6's advice again and let's see if I can even out the wing root edges without hacking the balsa all to bits. I clamped the wings together between two angle irons in my Workmate and get to it.
PA140003.JPG
PA140003.JPG (102.34 KiB) Viewed 2210 times
Success :D A bare minimum touch up with some 320 grit sandpaper and the root edge is straight and true. I now take some masking tape and without releasing the vice, tape the pieces together.
PA140006.JPG
PA140006.JPG (84.4 KiB) Viewed 2210 times
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#15 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sat, 15 Oct 16, 06:35 am

Back to story time.

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to order some parts from the company I bought the set from. The total was about $15 plus shipping. The items were small and shipping was set unless I ordered a ton more, so I looked to see what else I could get with a small budget. In one of videos, Paul Sellers talked about using a scraper to touch up some work. I wondered how much some scrapers were. Good, not too much, they would fit the bill. Yes, a set of mini scrapers.
PA150009.JPG
PA150009.JPG (123.59 KiB) Viewed 2210 times
These are about a third of a mm thick, and with a light, but firm touch, they made quick work of those little notches left over from laser burning/ die cutting.
PA150008.JPG
PA150008.JPG (83.72 KiB) Viewed 2210 times
I think that's enough for one night. Let's hope it's not another four months before I post again.
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#16 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sat, 15 Oct 16, 18:42 pm

By the way, those scrapers also work on plastic. Exceptionally well. I am using them now to scrape the seam lines on the plastic nose cone.
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#17 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Mon, 17 Oct 16, 00:20 am

So the more I get into this build, the more convinced I become that the reason this is a level five build is due to the instructions being so bad.
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It is my opinion that a reason there are not as many youth interested in Model Rocketry, is that the instructions are so poor that a youth would give up in frustration trying to decipher the hieroglyphics that Estes rocket instructions have become. I understand that the wordless instructions make it easier to become multinational, but frustrating youth and their parents worldwide is not really a good thing in the long run.
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#18 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Wed, 19 Oct 16, 02:50 am

Take a look at post No. 15. Third scraper from the left, the rectangular one. See the notches on the top? Guess what those can be used for?

Yeppers, One is about 2.4mm across and the other is about 3.2mm across. You can scrape rounded edges on 3/32" and 1/8" thick balsa!
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#19 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sat, 22 Oct 16, 00:31 am

After scraping the nose cone seams, I give the nose cone a quick coat of silver aerosol can paint to really bring out the blemishes.
Xarconian nose cone above.JPG
Xarconian nose cone above.JPG (75.69 KiB) Viewed 2193 times
Xarconian nose cone underneath.JPG
Xarconian nose cone underneath.JPG (59.9 KiB) Viewed 2193 times
One can readily see some scratches needing repair on the above shot, but the underneath had a couple of small depressions that I filled with the Bondo Spot Glazing Putty. I use the Bondo for the scratches also by diluting it with Acetone and applying to the area with a inexpensive brush.
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