Building Test to Destruction (part 17)

Time for clear coating. I used Pledge Floor Care Finish (it no longer says anything about Future on the label, but this is the stuff) with window cleaner for cleanup.IMG_2095

I applied the Pledge with a brush, let the excess drip down, and cleaned the drips up with a cotton swab soaked in glass cleaner. Here’s the result. You can see the clear coat, right? No?IMG_2096Well, it’s there.

The way I set up the Kevlar cord made it difficult (practically impossible as far as I could see) to tie it to the elastic shock cord inside the body tube. (I could have done it before anchoring the Kevlar of course.) So instead I put some tape around the Kevlar at the end of the tube, and reinforced the tube with some CA. Then I tied on a good long piece of 1/4″ braided elastic.IMG_2098

I clipped on a 12″ chute, loaded up a B6-4 motor (I don’t have any C motors at the moment) and gave it a swing test, which it passed with flying, um, flying.

So it’s done! IMG_2099-001

I plan on launching it Saturday.

As for the name, “Test to Destruction”: What did I test? What firsts are there here?

  • Design: My first scratch design. (That is, the first scratch design to be designed. Not the first to be built.)
  • Adhesives: This was not the first rocket where I used epoxy for tight-fitting stuff (motor mount and coupler), it’s the second. So that’s fairly new. This is the first where I used Alleene’s Tacky Glue for the fillets. I liked the non runniness and the fillets came out okay, by my standards. But, having given up on finding Titebond No-Drip No-Run locally, I got a bottle from Amazon which I want to try for my next fillets and see which I prefer.
  • Baffle. We’ll see how well it works. I wanted to anchor the Kevlar in a way that didn’t involve adding a screw eye to the build, for some reason, and I messed that up somewhat, resulting in a bulge on the airframe. I’d certainly do it differently next time.
  • Hand cut fins: Aside from not keeping track of which way up they were supposed to go, no problems here.
  • Papered fins: Some of the techniques I used in papering might need rethinking, but they came out okay. I’m not convinced it’s any less effort than filling and sanding, but it does strengthen them.
  • Bondo: If I’d been more careful with the fins I wouldn’t have needed Bondo. But now it’s in my toolkit.
  • Paint techniques: My spray painting abilities have progressed from barely adequate to adequate. I’m getting smoother finishes now, though the yellow is still kind of rough. Maybe that’s the paint. I took some shortcuts with the painting since the last club launch of the season is coming soon and I wasn’t sure how much more painting weather I’d have. Had I built this starting in May I probably would have taken more time and done a little better. This was my first time masking individual fins, and my first time painting a plastic nose cone.
  • Striping: First time using trim tape. Came out well.
  • Decals: First time using homemade decals. Came out pretty good.
  • Clear coat: First time using Pledge. I like it.

On the whole nearly all these experiments turned out better than I expected. Most of them I’ve used again on Patrioony, again with good (arguably even better) results.

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