Ye Olde Rocket Forum

Ye Olde Rocket Forum (
-   Building Techniques (
-   -   Launch Rod Poll (

tbzep 04-07-2021 02:14 PM

At home, 36" two piece aluminum 1/8" and 3/16". I never take them apart, but I did sand them ever so slightly at the joining ends to prevent a lip that the lugs could hit.

For my rack launcher used at schools, it's 1/8" x 36" steel one piece rods. I just wipe them and coat them with grease so they won't rust for the next year's launches.

When I did HPR it was usually 1/4" x 4' and 1/2" x 5.5' or 6' stainless. I still have them, but haven't flown HPR in a long time. For my largest rockets, I used my buddy's big rail pad. It was probably 8 or 10 ft long. I don't remember now.

Just FYI, a lot of the 1/8" Estes rods in more recent times are only about 32" long.

samb 04-07-2021 02:21 PM


4 foot lengths of 1/8th and 3/16th steel rods are readily available at my favorite big box home improvement store. No joint to fail and a extra foot of guidance are my reasons. Get a small diameter pvc pipe with some end caps for storage, clean with a scotch brite pad after each use and you have a lifetime of launches.

Earl 04-07-2021 02:31 PM

For anyone who has never tried stainless for their launch rods, give it a try sometime. I think once you do, you'll never want to go back to steel. Of course, it is a little more expensive, but cleanup is well, basically a one-wipe deal. Actually, not even that if you don't want to. ;)


Joe Wooten 04-07-2021 02:45 PM

1/8" - ~24" brass welding rod
3/16 - 4' aluminum that came with Old Estes high power pad

Bluegrass Rocket 04-07-2021 03:53 PM

I only fly low power on my own and for several years I have used a 40” carbon fiber rod. Purchased at the local hobby store. Light weight and doesn’t bend.

SEL 04-07-2021 04:23 PM

I have a couple each of the 2-piece 1/8 & 3/16 Estes rods,
A few single length 3 foot 3/16”, a 4 foot 1/4”, a two piece 6 foot
1/4” rod that I bought from North Coast years ago, and 2 or 3 6 foot
1/4” “stainless” that aren’t.

Neal Miller 04-07-2021 04:44 PM

Granger, sells 72" X 1/8" Stainless Steel. A quick cut with the Dremel tool and you have 2
great 36" launch rods. I chuck the rod into a 1/4-20 collar that screws on to my Bi-pod , I keep all my rods in a PVC tube capped on the bottom and threaded end cap on the top.
I have 4 & 6 MM X 1 meter Stainless Steel Welding rods to use as 3/16"and 1/4" rods.

shockwaveriderz 04-07-2021 05:30 PM

I hope to be able to try out a 1/8" , one piece 4 ft pultruded carbon fiber tube that has a .072" carbon fiber rod epoxied internally. If it ever gets here from CA. Was ordered a month ago, and it's in USPS in Bakersfield CA

Gus 04-07-2021 06:27 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Most of the low power I fly comes out of towers.

Still my favorite is my old Medalist tower. Very flexible, but doesn't travel well. Hopefully someone will make them again some day.

For FAI flying I use one of several home made 40mm towers. The one in the photo uses single piece aluminum tubes but I've switched to aluminum tent poles. Shorter pieces so they travel more easily but two of them stacked are longer than the aluminum poles.

For my yearly flying out in Arizona I have an Apogee tower which I store at my Mom's. Very nice tower with carbon fiber rods. Really easy to change diameters, works great.

Finally, for low- or mid-power egglofters I've recently started flying off a rail using Apogee's fly-away rail guides. Egg lofters are kind of a pain to fly out of towers so this is a great improvement. Absolutely wonderful.

Blastfromthepast 04-07-2021 06:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I've always used a single piece rod for LPR.. 1/8 and 3/16. For boost gliders I use a 1 piece 48" rod. It's long enough to accommodate front engine gliders while still having at least 36" travel length. I've also got a launcher for my Carlisle Mark II Rock-A-Chute replica that uses a 5/16" wood dowel.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:32 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.