Building the Estes Xarconian Cruiser (part 7)

I love the smell of expiring furnace blower motor in the morning. When it’s 19°F. Oh wait. No, I don’t.

For a glorious short time the furnace guy thought it was just a bad capacitor, not the motor. He was, alas, wrong.

We have a new motor, the heat’s back on, and it’s time for more XC. First of all, fillets. Bottom side only! Between the launch lug and fin was a tad tricky, but I was able to get something pretty good looking using a cotton swab as a smoothing tool.IMG_3288I sanded the ends of the intake tubes, then filled the primary spirals with CWF. I’d decided the main body tube’s spirals probably can be handled by the filler primer, and the intake tubes’ secondary spirals don’t worry me much either, but the primaries had to go.

Next I cut the scraps from the intake tube cuts to make the pods. I had a scary moment when I realized I’d misread the instructions and that I was supposed to cut pieces 4½″ long, not 4″. Turned out not to be an issue — 4″ is slightly more than long enough to accommodate the pod cutting pattern. I made the second pair of pieces 4½″ long, though; why not?

When cutting up the first tube scrap I paid attention to which end I was going to want for the leftover 2″ pieces from which the decorative plates are cut. I wanted to avoid having a spiral crossing the middle of that piece. On the second tube scrap I forgot to think about that… but I got lucky and chose the right end to cut anyway.

Here’s how I approached gluing the pods up: First, I sanded the long edges to make sure they were clean and to make better contact between the two pieces. Then I put the pieces together and ran a strip of blue tape along one of the edges.IMG_3289I opened the tube up on the tape “hinge”, applied wood glue on the long edges, and closed it up again.IMG_3290 I wiped off the excess glue with a moistened finger. Then I taped that side together, removed the tape from the other side, and cleaned up that joint. Finally I used cotton swabs to remove excess glue on the inside.

Stuff’s drying now. Busy day tomorrow, might not get anything done on this, and Monday’s the first rocket club meeting for 2015. I figure I’ll get this thing done by mid May anyway. If I don’t freeze.



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