Building the Estes D-Region Tomahawk (part 2)

The next step is to glue the lower body tube to the fin can, and oddly enough the directions say to apply tube cement to the fin can coupler, not to the inside of the body tube. Of course that results in a mess, and Estes knows that — in fact the next instruction is to wipe up the excess, but however fast you do that, you nevertheless have plastic exposed to solvent which blemishes the surface at least slightly. I don’t know why they recommended doing it that way. Perhaps, I thought, it’s some property of tube cement that for whatever reason makes it work better that way? In any case I figured if Estes usually recommends glue on the inside of the tube, but this time recommends it on the coupler, they must have a reason and I did it their way. It made a mess, I wiped it off, it’s still slightly blemished.

I did want to depart from the instructions by replacing the rubber band shock cord with a Kevlar leader and braided elastic. So I drilled a 1/16″ hole in the stuffer bulkhead.IMG_3247Then I fed the Kevlar through the hole and tied it around the front of the stuffer tube, securing it with some wood glue. I won’t be able to feed the Kevlar back through the motor mount so this was the time to cut it to length — ending just before the front end of the forward body tube — and tie it to the elastic.IMG_3249Next the instructions say to glue the coupler tube into the lower body tube, using wood glue… and once again they say to apply the glue to the coupler. Well, so much for the theory that it has something to do with tube cement. Why would anyone do it that way? Someone must have had a reason, but I have no clue what it was. I disregarded the instructions, applied wood glue inside the body tube (and tube cement on the end of the stuffer tube), and pushed the coupler in. Earlier I’d checked that the coupler is not a very tight fit; if it had been tight, I’d’ve used epoxy. But I had no trouble with the wood glue seizing up.IMG_3250


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