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kc4jta
08-24-2008, 11:25 PM
I know this might be a stupid question but does anybody know what kind of plastic Estes used for their clear plastic fin material and where can i find this stuff today. I have tried several kinds of other plastic like the plastic you get in a dc jewel box but nothing is like the stuff that Estes used back then. Help me if you can. Thanks.

Rob

Royatl
08-24-2008, 11:47 PM
I know this might be a stupid question but does anybody know what kind of plastic Estes used for their clear plastic fin material and where can i find this stuff today. I have tried several kinds of other plastic like the plastic you get in a dc jewel box but nothing is like the stuff that Estes used back then. Help me if you can. Thanks.

Rob


I wanted to say it was described in the catalog, but sure enough, it just says "clear plastic". It was sold up through 1971. I'm pretty sure it was acetate, as it was similar to what Sig had in their catalog.

kurtschachner
08-24-2008, 11:59 PM
Well, I don't know for sure either - but I always thought that I read somewhere it was cellulose acetate butyrate. This would make some sense because it's pretty easy to solvent bond CAB.

But then again I don't know where I read this, but it goes along with what Roy said.

Royatl
08-25-2008, 01:49 AM
Well, I don't know for sure either - but I always thought that I read somewhere it was cellulose acetate butyrate. This would make some sense because it's pretty easy to solvent bond CAB.

But then again I don't know where I read this, but it goes along with what Roy said.

That would make sense as the instructions for the Gemini Titan, the Thor Agena-B, and the Semi-scale Saturn V all call for using butyrate dope as the glue for the fins. However, in my experience, it wasn't a very good glue.

Rocket Doctor
08-26-2008, 10:38 AM
I will try to find out and post the answer here later.

dwmzmm
08-26-2008, 10:42 AM
I will try to find out and post the answer here later.

Please do, I've got several scale models that can use them right now.....

stefanj
08-26-2008, 05:31 PM
I bought butyrate sheets when it came time to build a fin unit for my Titan II.

The original used .04" sheets for the fins, and .02" for the wrap.

The hobby shop had .03" and .015" available. The stuff is used in R/C airplanes.

Or maybe it was the other way around?

The dope glue method worked, but the bond was really shabby. I ended up using epoxy to glue on the fins.

A combination of dope thinner and clear dope might work better.

Rocket Doctor
08-26-2008, 06:01 PM
Hoipefully, I will have an answer by the end of the week.

Intruder
08-26-2008, 08:31 PM
I am sure that clear polystyrene would be an OK replacement. For that I would give Evergreen (http://www.evergreenscalemodels.com/Sheets.htm#Clear%20Sheets) a try. They deal mainly with trains but they have a pretty decent selection of styrene sheets. I have only ordered from them once so I can't give anything on their shipping swiftness but the white sheets I got from them seemed to be pretty high quality.

Bob Kaplow
08-26-2008, 09:40 PM
Roy is correct, the SIG clear plastic sheets are the equivalent of the old Estes stuff.

kc4jta
08-27-2008, 01:13 AM
Thank you so much. Now, where can I get this stuff.

Bob Kaplow
08-27-2008, 09:02 AM
Just a hunch, but SIG plastic sheet probably comes from Sig...

Royatl
08-27-2008, 09:11 AM
Just a hunch, but SIG plastic sheet probably comes from Sig...

At least give him the URL!


http://www.sigmfg.com


Of course, there's no guarantee that the clear plastic of today is the same as the clear plastic of 1970, but you never know.

Also, any well stocked hobby store might have it, and a well stocked art supply store (Dick Blick's, Sam Flax, Binders) might have lots of alternatives and can probably tell you exactly what kind of plastic they're made of.

Rocket Doctor
08-27-2008, 12:43 PM
How about some Plexiglass, I haven't gotten an answer back about the Estes plastic yet.

Try the following

www.eplastics.com

rocketguy101
08-27-2008, 01:46 PM
How about some Plexiglass, I haven't gotten an answer back about the Estes plastic yet.

Try the following

www.eplastics.com
There was a thread on TRF about this (the forum is having problems, and I can't find it right now) -- but somebody (micromeister??) said lexan is better for fins, plexiglass is too brittle. There was some discussion over whether "lexan" you found at Home Depot, etc was really lexan. Pretty interesting. Of course there are the issues of how do you attach the stuff!

Here 'tis
TRF clear fin thread (http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?t=44588)

kurtschachner
08-27-2008, 07:47 PM
There was a thread on TRF about this (the forum is having problems, and I can't find it right now) -- but somebody (micromeister??) said lexan is better for fins, plexiglass is too brittle. There was some discussion over whether "lexan" you found at Home Depot, etc was really lexan. Pretty interesting. Of course there are the issues of how do you attach the stuff!

Here 'tis
TRF clear fin thread (http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?t=44588)

If the sheet says "Lexan" then it is polycarbonate. Lexan is a trade name, I guess if it truly was "lexan" then I might be suspect.

I have built quite a few fin units from polycarbonate. It is very tough and I've never had a fin break off. Here (from another thread) is a picture of a couple of the units - one for the G-T and one from the Thor-Agena:

http://forums.rocketshoppe.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9168

I would suggest this. Go to a plastics house and inquire about the material. The one near my house had scraps that they practically gave me. Those scraps though were about 2' x 3' in size. IIRC I even sold some to Bob Kaplow. The plastics house will also sell an appropriate bonding agent for polycarbonate. I made my own by dissolving 10% of the plastic in methylene chloride. But I would recommend a commercial agent.

Anyway, search this forum for "polycarbonate" and "fin can" and you will find my suggestions, if you are interested.

Rocket Doctor
08-27-2008, 08:15 PM
Since it has been 40 years now, the source of the plastic material from Estes is not known.

As I had suggested previously, contact the following, they seem to have the knowledge on plastics and adhesives, and from what I gather, can also cut to size and shape.

www.eplastics.com