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Old 04-18-2005, 08:17 AM
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ShieldWolf ShieldWolf is offline
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Location: Bryan/College Station, TX
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Default Home made tools?

What home made tools do you use?

I don't have anything very fancy, but I do have a couple of things that I find useful. The first is a sheet of plain old typing paper rolled up to fit in the end of the body tube and used as a handle while spray painting. I use a variation on this for nose cones by rolling the paper around the shoulder of the nose cone and using a bit of tape to hold it in place. Card stock, or multiple sheets of paper may be needed for heavier parts.

The next one is to use a glue stick to affix strips of sandpaper to popsicle sticks, stir sticks, tongue depressors, etc, to use for detail sanding in tight spots. Cheaper than the detail sanding sticks sold in the hobby shops, and keeps me out of the dog house for using the wife's emory boards.

The next item isn't home made, but is very useful. Wooden clothes pins. They are great for holding parts together while waiting for glue to dry. You can find them at the "Dollar" stores, so they don't cost much . You can cut and sand them to allow them to fit in tight spaces.

Hopefully this will lead to exchanging some good ideas.

Randal
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:48 PM
tilbarr tilbarr is offline
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Default MY Home Made Tools

Ok, to hold my rockets for painting I use old expelled rocket engines glued to dowel sticks they wont bend like rolled paper for those larger rockets.
3M makes a spray glue (Sold in craft stores, called photo tack I think) that you can spray on parts that gives it a tackiness but not enough to glue the part permanently so you can remove it to reset it (If you mess up) before gluing it permanently.
I also use sewing pins or stick pins to hold some pieces that I can hold down to body of rocket with clothespins. Hobby shops sell a “T” type that is great for this easier to push in.
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Old 04-18-2005, 05:14 PM
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Bob H Bob H is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilbarr
Ok, to hold my rockets for painting I use old expelled rocket engines glued to dowel sticks they wont bend like rolled paper for those larger rockets.


I have a used 13mm motor glued to a dowel. It's sanded down slightly to slide easily into the body tube. A used 18mm motor will slide over it after a little sanding of the inside and a 24mm motor will fit over the 18mm motor. Each of my painting dowels can be used for whichever size model I need.

A package of 10 emery boards is $1.00 over at the dollar store.
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Old 04-18-2005, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob H
A package of 10 emery boards is $1.00 over at the dollar store.


Yeah, but it's 45 miles each way to the dollar store. Even if I buy several packages, my wife and teen daughter lay claim to them. Nobody wants the popsicle stick with sandpaper stuck to it.

I'll have to make up a couple of the engines on a stick.

Thanks,
Randal
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Old 04-18-2005, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShieldWolf
What home made tools do you use? Randal


Here is something I started doing with my recent series of designs. I created a fin-alignment pattern that I print out on cardstock, then cut out the pattern with an X-Acto knife. I print up a couple of these for each model, and these slip over the body tube and hold the fins in their correct alignment until the glue dries. Until I started using this technique, I had a lot of trouble just positioning the fins. Now, the fins wind up where they're supposed to, at the angle they're supposed to be at.

Another tool I've found useful isn't home made, but still gets a lot of use. They're called "sanding twigs", and they come in 1/16", 1/8", and 3/16" wide strips. Sandpaper is glued to both sides of a sheet of thin sponge rubber, then cut into the strips. You can get a package of maybe 20 for a dollar or two at craft stores. Hobby shops are selling them individually for about $0.20 each. Great for tight places where a big piece of sandpaper might do more damage than good.


Craig
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:16 PM
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mojack82 mojack82 is offline
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Here's some I've gathered here & there:

I like to use my wife’s old fingernail emory boards as well as new boards to sand with. I especially like those big thick ones (7”x3/4”x1/4”) with different grits on each side. You can find them at any Wally World.

I like using old toothbrushes (with all the rows of bristles removed except for the ¼” nearest the tip) to spread glue at the proper distance for the deepest (front) motor mount centering ring. I measure the distance from where I want the glue, mark the toothbrush the same distance from its tip, apply glue to the bristles, insert the toothbrush carefully to the mark, and start twirling. Usually it takes multiple passes for a uniform layer of glue. The toothbrush lasts a long time regardless of the glue used (except CA - which I don't use for motor mounts anyway) as long as you clean it immediately.

I also use old toothbrushes in the field to remove motor residue (and myriad other uses EXCEPT for brushing my teeth - I hear BP residue tastes nasty…)

For really short motor mounts in small tubes (bt-5, 20, etc), I use a Q-Tip in the same way & just toss it when I'm done.

I "borrowed" this idea from a fellow (Randy Boadway) in our club. I use those Sterlite plastic storage boxes (again obtained at any Walmart) as a single “project box”. When I’m building, I generally work on more than one rocket during multiple sessions. I put all my parts, instructions, decals, etc in this box, put on a label, and stack it when I’m taking a break. Makes for a bit more order on my workbench chaos. I use three basic sizes tailored to the size of the largest built-up piece - small (1”x6”x3”), medium, and large. These boxes are cheap, stackable, and transparent. Also great for club build sessions and transportation.

I saw this a while back on EMRR – works like an absolute champ! To hold your body tubes when putting on fins, use Legos! Use the gray, wide base - doesn't need to cover whole rocket, just a few inches past the fin area. Build up the sides as close (you’ll generally be within 3/16”) to the sides. Build one side up & over the BT, a little longer than your fin. Legos are cheap, square, straight, easily reconfigured, will keep your fin at an absolute right angle (or not, if needed), and can be tailored to your rocket’s dimensions. It’s hard to explain, but try it – it’s very intuitive & flexible.

Jack
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