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-   -   Estes Wadding in its native state (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=16771)

Gus 08-10-2017 01:43 PM

Estes Wadding in its native state
 
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I thought you guys might enjoy this. At the NARAM auction there were several bulk rolls of Estes wadding available. I had never actually seen one of these. I had heard that many years ago Vern had built an incredible contraption that would take a regular roll of toilet paper and, as it unrolled, run it through a chemical bath to flameproof it, and then roll it back up again.

The idea that you could do such a thing just amazes me, that you can treat wet toilet paper gently enough as it went through the process that it wouldn't tear.

Vern was at the auction and confirmed that that's how they used to do it, but that they don't do it that way any more. Now they dunk the entire rolls into a bath and then dry them out (bake them, let them dry naturally?).

These rolls are then unrolled to make the individual wadding packages that come with engine packs, or the bulkier packages sold seperately. I would love to know if that process is automated and if so, how the machine works.

And if anyone has photos of the old machine (did it have a name?) I would love to see it.

Steve

Rob Campbell 08-10-2017 03:03 PM

I switched to flame retardant cellulose insulation from Lowes/Home Depot 20 years ago. It's cheap, environmentally friendly, and one block of that stuff lasts a long time.

tbzep 08-10-2017 04:55 PM

I used cellulose insulation exclusively for high power, but I don't really like it in model rocketry. The stuff is messy and I had one occasion where the small volume of material allowed gases to get by and melt the chute. I don't skimp on wadding so I know it was more a matter of density than depth. I've occasionally done a layer of paper under cellulose for BT-70 and up rockets that has worked well just to conserve the paper wadding, but it's still messy. The paper is clean, also biodegrades, and is part of the history of Estes. I'll stick with it for the small stuff. It's also reusable. After school launches I have the kids police the playground and save all the used wadding. You can't do that with cellulose. :cool:

Steve, I've made some wadding by soaking rolls. It didn't work well because I haven't found a brand locally that is as strong as the Estes stuff, vintage or new, and had trouble unrolling it. It took forever to dry so I'm guessing they had a drying process or just sat it outside in the low humidity and heat of Penrose. I had better luck with paper towels, but it just doesn't have the vintage vibe, much less the pliability. Yes, I can afford wadding, I just wanted to do it myself. :)

Since we are talking wadding, I've never cared for the Quest sheet style. The Estes TP is more pliable and seals much better for me.

stefanj 08-10-2017 05:32 PM

Quote:
Yes, I can afford wadding, I just wanted to do it myself.


Same here.

I treated a whole roll of paper towels with 7:3 boric acid / borax solution. I soaked the whole roll and then unrolled it over laundry drying racks.

I just ran out, and may do another roll. This time I'll boil the solution first, so it combines better.

I like using a sheet or two of Estes paper wadding (or, for big body tubes, my paper towels, cut in half or quarters) followed by some "dog barf" (cellulose insulation).

jeffyjeep 08-10-2017 06:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus
And if anyone has photos of the old machine (did it have a name?) I would love to see it.

Steve


I think the machine was called "Mr. Whipple". :D

hcmbanjo 08-10-2017 07:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffyjeep
I think the machine was called "Mr. Whipple". :D


Now that's funny!

Newbomb Turk 08-10-2017 08:11 PM

It is funny, and everyone here will get the reference.

Eighty percent of my office would need to have it explained.

tbzep 08-10-2017 08:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbomb Turk
It is funny, and everyone here will get the reference.

Eighty percent of my office would need to have it explained.

You could "squeeze" in another reference or two and the young folk still won't get it. ;)

neil_w 08-10-2017 08:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
You could "squeeze" in another reference or two and the young folk still won't get it. ;)


Please don't...

tbzep 08-10-2017 09:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil_w
Please don't...

But I have two ply my skills...


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