It’s been a cold winter in Syracuse. How cold? In December, 1.5 Fahrenheit degrees below normal. In January, 3.7 degrees below. In February, 5 degrees; and in March, 9.1 degrees below normal. It was the coldest Saint Patrick’s Day on record. It was the 13th coldest winter since 1903.
Residents of, say, Bemidji, MN are entitled to scoff. In Minnesota it’s not really cold if the thermometer still works. It’s what you’re used to that matters, and I’m used to warmer than this.
In the basement is my computer and my winter work area — the workshop in the garage is pretty much hopeless after October — and I’ve spent a fair amount of this winter in the basement on the computer, but not so much working on rockets, at least since January. The furnace is in the basement and there’s a duct sending warm air into the room, but there also are four uninsulated walls with cold dirt on the other side, and a not particularly well insulated door to the stairs up to the unheated back room. I can sit and type and mouse, but just the prospect of trying to build something in the sub-60 degree environment makes my fingers go stiff.
The Semroc V-2 has been sitting there, waiting, for weeks. It was there when the groundhog saw his shadow. It was there when I left for Hawaii, and still there when I came back; so was the cold. This week I decided I’d had enough of waiting for warmth. It won’t come while I’m waiting for it. It did get up to 45°F yesterday, and tonight the forecast low temperature is, astonishingly enough, above 32°, but by Monday we’re back in the freezer again. I’m reading about other places where they’re launching rockets this month and it’s making me itch. The first Syracuse launch is in two months. I have stuff to do by then. Back to work.
You do remember the V-2, right? Last you saw it, I’d just glued on the fins. Since then, though I didn’t write here about it, I figured since I’d glued the scale fins on, I was probably going to use the scale fins. Which meant plenty of nose weight, the whole 3/4 ounce I’d already weighed out. I stood the cone upright in a pill bottle and added Gorilla glue and moistened BBs.
I started working on the built-up fillets. I wasn’t happy with how the Titebond No-Drip No-Run fillets looked, so I tried some Bondo over a couple of them. Seemed promising. All that was back in January. This week I did the same with the rest of the fillets.
I cut up the two extra launch lugs to make the pull-out plugs and the turbine exhausts. These absolutely will not withstand close scrutiny, but then as I’ve already mentioned, the fins are not as even as I thought they were going to be, either, so that ship has sailed. They’re going to be good enough.
I glued them on, and the actual launch lug too. Added fillets to those parts, and I guess that’s it until warmer weather arrives. I want to treat the nose cone with CA before sanding it down, then start priming. Outdoors. So, on to the next rocket.