Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by The Silent Observe » Fri, 28 Mar 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

> OK , I've done about 20 ESTES kists and about 5 scratch, but never sanded
> and filled the tubes. How do you do it so that it looks best of/and
> smoothest?

> Jake

On my last two models (a Big Bertha with 24mm mount, and a reconstruction
of a Cherokee-D) I found two methods that worked pretty well for
eliminating the (relatively minor) spirals on the Estes tubing.

On the Cherokee, I just used lots of coats of primer.  Like about 8, in
the end, but with most of that primer sanded off (I actually sanded
through at one point, but that's another story).  The primer in the
grooves, of course, didn't get sanded, with the result that it pretty
much filled in the grooves.  On the bright white body, you can see the
grooves if the light angle is just right, but it's certainly not
obtrusive.

Taking a lesson from the Cherokee, I filled the grooves on the Bertha
with thinned Fill n' Finish, applied with a finger after the fins were
glued on.  I combined this operation with the application of cosmetic
fillets over the structural white glue fillets on the fins, and then
sanded the whole blooming rocket for about an hour and a half.  When I
primed and painted, the grooves were entirely gone, though did find I
should have spend another half hour with the sandpaper on the fillets in
a couple spots, or gone back with glazing putty or similar between primer
coats.

I've since been told by some that I should have filled the grooves before
attaching the fins, but I'm leery of having the fins bond to the filler
instead of the tube, which would make them pop off too easily on hard
landings.  I remember my original Big Bertha, in 1973, which was built
with Testor's Extra Strong Cement for Wood Models (a celluloid glue
similar to Ambroid and SIG-ment); I didn't know then about sanding off
the glassine layer, and those fins popped off almost every time I flew
the rocket -- taking all the glue with 'em, including the fillets.  Not a
desired outcome, IMO.  I'll probably continue to fill the groove after
attaching the fins; it's likely to be easier on rockets with less extra
fins than the ones I put on my Bertha...  B)

--
A confidence man knows he's lying; that limits his scope.  But a
successful shaman believes what he says -- and belief is contagious;
there is no limit to >his< scope.  -- Jubal Harshaw, M.D, J.D.

Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer           NAR # 70141-SR Insured

Rocket Pages              http://members.aol.com/silntobsvr/modrocs.htm

Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
and don't expect them to be perfect.

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Jerry Irvi » Fri, 28 Mar 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

> OK , I've done about 20 ESTES kists and about 5 scratch, but never sanded
> and filled the tubes. How do you do it so that it looks best of/and
> smoothest?

> Jake

Some people are just obsessive about having a glass smooth finish so when
it hits the ground the damage is far more severe and labor intensive.

I have always found a coat of gloss white and a light coat of fluorescent
paint sufficient for sport models.  If course I was severely finishing
impaired/ embarrassed when I went to Ohio for the first time and I was the
only one there with "paint for flight" instead of "paint for show"
finishes.

I cannot tell you how often I have been impressed when I visited a launch
east of the rockies and when a rain storm hits everyone stands there while
their rockets get rained on.  It's inspiring.  But then, the LINEUP of
rockets rarely sees more than 2-3 in flight action during the day.

At Lucerne by contrast, EVERY rocket brought is flown repeatedly till it
dies and if any rocket has not flown by the end of the day, it is
volunteered for somebody's agressive test motor!

Truly culture shock.

Jerry

Viva la difference!

--

Box 1242, Claremont, CA 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing.

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Jake Grube » Fri, 28 Mar 1997 04:00:00


OK , I've done about 20 ESTES kists and about 5 scratch, but never sanded
and filled the tubes. How do you do it so that it looks best of/and
smoothest?

Jake

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Steve Burnet » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Quote:



>> OK , I've done about 20 ESTES kists and about 5 scratch, but never sanded
>> and filled the tubes. How do you do it so that it looks best of/and
>> smoothest?

>> Jake

Jake,
The easiest method I've found is to fill the grooves w/
Elmers wood putty. Smooth it w/ a knife edge and after
a minute or so, rub it w/ your finger a little smoother.
Then sand, sand , paint, sand, paint. Works for me!
See ya,
Steve
 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Jason Thomas Hitesm » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00



Quote:



>> OK , I've done about 20 ESTES kists and about 5 scratch, but never sanded
>> and filled the tubes. How do you do it so that it looks best of/and
>> smoothest?

With Estes tubes I've never seen a need for filling.  All the estes stuff
I've flown had very smooth tubes which one or two cotes of primer smoohted
out very nicely.

But with the bigger tubes such as Jerry's 3" and to a smaller extent the
MSH 3" tubes the seam is much more substantial.  And From what I hear
other manufacturers have tubes with some major seams as well.

Quote:
>Some people are just obsessive about having a glass smooth finish so when
>it hits the ground the damage is far more severe and labor intensive.

For a scale model paint can make all the difference IMHO.  For that reason
alone I'm waiting untill I have full mobility back before starting to
paint my Sidewinder.  After all I didnt' build that one for performance.

Quote:
>I have always found a coat of gloss white and a light coat of fluorescent
>paint sufficient for sport models.  If course I was severely finishing
>impaired/ embarrassed when I went to Ohio for the first time and I was the
>only one there with "paint for flight" instead of "paint for show"
>finishes.

For performance or sport models I like a good durable coat of paint but it
dosent' have to be perfect.  But after putting one coat of paint on the
lower section of my Sonic 3100 and seeing those seams glaring out at me I
knew I had to take a bit more time with it :)  While I've yet to make it
to a large well organized launch here in Ohio or anywhere else it sounds
like my painting methods will fit right in :)  

I like a nice well done paint job mainly for the added protection it
provides.  My Initiator spent almost 2 months in a field durring which it
rained at least once a week!  When I got it back I cut off the top damaged
2" replaced the NC and it's flown again since!  My MSH V2 on the other
hand which was eaten by a tree before I could paint it didn't even last
one rain storm before falling to pieces :(

Quote:
>At Lucerne by contrast, EVERY rocket brought is flown repeatedly till it
>dies and if any rocket has not flown by the end of the day, it is
>volunteered for somebody's agressive test motor!

I'll gladly fly even my nicest looking rocket till it falls to pieces.
Unless I decide it's had too much abuse and is no longer safe to fly!
Scratches and mars to the finish are battle scars that have to be earned.
The more the merrier!  But a nice looking finish to start with looks
better even if half of it's been flaked off from rough landings :)

As far as paint schemes go I tend to prefer two tone high contrast paints.
 For example my Sonic has a black lower section and is in teh process of
getting a flourscent orange upper body.  That way no matter what the sky
and ground are like one half will be easy to spot.  And since I plan on
keeping both sections attached (If all goes as planned) that means
(hopefully) my chances of recovery even in less than acceptable conditions
are much greater.  (I hope)

I lost far too many silver and white models in my early years :)

Quote:
>Truly culture shock.

Sounds like I may have to start shocking the others here in Ohio then :)
I build them to fly not sit on the pad and look pretty.  I'll keep
plugging motors into my kits untill I'm out of $$$ or daylight (And even
that daylight dosen't stop me all the time)  After a talk with the owner
of my local hobby store it sounds like I may be getting a NAR section
going in southern Ohio.  He only carries Estes and a small selection of
Aerotech mid-power stuff but that's not because of lack of demand.  He's
had plenty of people interested in teh bigger stuff.  We even have one
local who supposedly stuck 6 D12's in a 4" mailing tube with a homemade
NC.  All because he didn't know about composite motors.  I like that kind
of spirit!

(I wonder if I can scam some frequent flyer miles off my folks so I can
make it out to Calif this summer and see if Jerry's claims are ture :)

----
Jason Hitesman
http://frognet.net/~jhitesma

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Wolfram v.Kipars » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

> OK , I've done about 20 ESTES kists and about 5 scratch, but never sanded
> and filled the tubes. How do you do it so that it looks best of/and
> smoothest?

Like Don and Steve said, use the Elmer's stuff to fill in the grooves.  I
prefer the
"Fill 'N Finish" thinned with water so I can glob it on.  It sands much easier
than the Elemer's Wood Filler, and does a great job.  As for spiral-filling
primer, "Kilz," or any "stain blocking" paint works very well.  They sand easy
and give you a very smooth finish.

That's for models that look nice.  Jerry's practical approach has a lot
going for
it.  If you're flying on the edge, might loose your model, or plan on
flying the
hell out of it, why put a lot of work in getting a "show room" finish on it?

Wolf

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Cochran_te » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00



Quote:



> > OK , I've done about 20 ESTES kists and about 5 scratch, but never sanded
> > and filled the tubes. How do you do it so that it looks best of/and
> > smoothest?

> Like Don and Steve said, use the Elmer's stuff to fill in the grooves.  I
> prefer the
> "Fill 'N Finish" thinned with water so I can glob it on.  It sands much
easier
> than the Elemer's Wood Filler, and does a great job.  As for spiral-filling
> primer, "Kilz," or any "stain blocking" paint works very well.  They
sand easy
> and give you a very smooth finish.

> That's for models that look nice.  Jerry's practical approach has a lot
> going for
> it.  If you're flying on the edge, might loose your model, or plan on
> flying the
> hell out of it, why put a lot of work in getting a "show room" finish on it?

Heh. Some of the original parts of my Comanche 3 have flown over twenty
flights, most of them to over 2000'.  The  first Booster stage is finished
in a combination of charcoal (real charcoal, as in burnt by the second
stage booster), green (from grass stains), and 3 shades of fluorescent and
white paint (whatever I had around at the time I was repairing the most
recent damage).  Two of the fins have been zig-zag spliced across the
grain (new roots to replace burnt ones).  Water spots from melting snow
are evident.

The other two stages look like hell, too.

I love that rocket :-)

--tc

When I finally break down and build a replacement, I'm _still_ going to
use one of those old fins....

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by William Docte » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

> Taking a lesson from the Cherokee, I filled the grooves on the Bertha
> with thinned Fill n' Finish, applied with a finger after the fins were
> glued on.  I combined this operation with the application of cosmetic
> fillets over the structural white glue fillets on the fins, and then
> sanded the whole blooming rocket for about an hour and a half.  When I
> primed and painted, the grooves were entirely gone, though did find I
> should have spend another half hour with the sandpaper on the fillets in
> a couple spots, or gone back with glazing putty or similar between primer
> coats.

> I've since been told by some that I should have filled the grooves before
> attaching the fins, but I'm leery of having the fins bond to the filler
> instead of the tube, which would make them pop off too easily on hard
> landings.  

I use thinned Elmer's Carpenter's Wood in the same manner as you
describe.  Since you sand it down afterwords, there is very little of it
outside of the spiral groove. When fins are glued on later, nearly all
of the glue interface is with the body tube itself and not with the
Carpenter's wood.

Quote:
> I remember my original Big Bertha, in 1973, which was built
> with Testor's Extra Strong Cement for Wood Models (a celluloid glue
> similar to Ambroid and SIG-ment); I didn't know then about sanding off
> the glassine layer, and those fins popped off almost every time I flew
> the rocket -- taking all the glue with 'em, including the fillets.

I had same experience before being told I needed to sand the tubes.
I've not had the problem with fins I've attached (with Elmer's
Carpenter's Glue) after filling the spiral and then sanding.  A new
problem I'm getting is that fins are chipping rather than coming off on
hard landings.

6 of one, half a dozen of another...
--
William Docter
Chemical Process Modeling and Control Research Center
Lehigh University Department of Chemical Engineering
http://www.lehigh.edu/wad2/public/www-data/wad2.html

To avoid unsolicited mail, my email address at the top is INCORRECT.
Please be sure

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by balthe.. » Sat, 29 Mar 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

>That's for models that look nice.  Jerry's practical approach has a lot
>going for
>it.  If you're flying on the edge, might loose your model, or plan on
>flying the
>hell out of it, why put a lot of work in getting a "show room" finish on it?

My brother in law laughs like hell when he sees me laboriously sanding spiral filler. He says "why bother, it's just going to get dinged up or worse on the first flight". He's right you know, but it
is nice to do a glass like finish once in a while, however, the last couple of kits I didn't bother to fill the spirals and they look pretty good too!

Bruce Kirchner

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by FJR2 » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00


kudo's Steve. Elmers!!!

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Paul Lawrence Hamilt » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00


I use balsa dust mixed with clear dope as a filler.  Lighter than
those carpentry fillers, easier to sand , and cheaper (balsa dust is a
natural byproduct of model rocket building).  

Paul Hamilton, NAR 928
Paul Lawrence Hamilton, WWW.METROFLIGHT.W1.COM
Samis & Hamilton
Airport and Aviation Consultants
(301) 299-3573

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by Jerry Irvi » Mon, 31 Mar 1997 04:00:00



Quote:

> My brother in law laughs like hell when he sees me laboriously sanding

spiral filler. He says "why bother, it's just going to get dinged up or
worse on the first flight". He's right you know, but it
Quote:
> is nice to do a glass like finish once in a while, however, the last

couple of kits I didn't bother to fill the spirals and they look pretty
good too!

Quote:

> Bruce Kirchner

Would everyone internalize this data please.  Thanks Bruce.

Jerry

--

Box 1242, Claremont, CA 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing.

 
 
 

Spiral Tube Filling!?!?

Post by David Roa » Fri, 04 Apr 1997 04:00:00


: I have always found a coat of gloss white and a light coat of fluorescent
: paint sufficient for sport models.  If course I was severely finishing
: impaired/ embarrassed when I went to Ohio for the first time and I was the
: only one there with "paint for flight" instead of "paint for show"
: finishes.

: I cannot tell you how often I have been impressed when I visited a launch
: east of the rockies and when a rain storm hits everyone stands there while
: their rockets get rained on.  It's inspiring.  But then, the LINEUP of
: rockets rarely sees more than 2-3 in flight action during the day.

: At Lucerne by contrast, EVERY rocket brought is flown repeatedly till it
: dies and if any rocket has not flown by the end of the day, it is
: volunteered for somebody's agressive test motor!

: Truly culture shock.

: Jerry

         The Lucerne gig sounds like a fun day of rocketry.  Is there a
         schedule of when these events occur?  I think I could fly down
         there for about the cost of a "J" motor.  Well worth it, by the
         sound of it.  Any info appreciated, including directions to the
         site itself.  

         Dave R.

         You know you're in trouble when you start defining your expenses
         in terms of rocket motor equivalents.