Building the Estes (clone) Ranger (part 6)

I’ve been reading online about people going out and launching rockets. Some of them are people who live in warm climates. Some are crazy people who launch in the snow.

None of them live in upstate New York.

At the moment it’s –1°F out there, and the wind chill is –23°F. That’s down from today’s wind chill high of –19°F but above this morning’s –27°F. Tomorrow will be warmer, technically.

At least we’re not in New England. We only have a couple feet of snow on the ground.

Aside from the shoveling I don’t mind the snow much, and I probably would have happily gone snowshoeing today if it weren’t for the temperature. This bone chilling cold I can do without. Fortunately it’s pretty rare. Unfortunately, it’s happening at the moment.

So, it’s a good time to stay inside and build.

It’s fin time. I treated the tip and trailing and… OK, they’re pentagonal fins, I don’t know what to call the fifth edge. Anyway, the non leading, non root edges got treated with thin CA. (I’ve read about doing this before trimming the paper to the edges, and I’m thinking next time I might do that.) Once that dried I rounded those edges.

I marked the body tube, using a marking guide I made in OpenRocket, then roughed up the tube along those lines with 220 grit sandpaper and re-drew the lines. Because the fins’ long sweep back and the lack of a central motor tube preclude using the Estes fin positioning guide, and because I haven’t saved up yet to buy a Guillotine, I’m doing the fins mostly by eyeball, and to help with that I drew doubled lines, marking both sides rather than the centers of the root edges. Which I might do in the future whether I’m using positioning apparatus or not — I find they definitely make it easier to get the fins on right.

Just a single line for the launch lug though.IMG_3334 Then I started gluing, one fin at a time. After the first one I taped the marking guide back on to help make sure the front corners of the fins are all the same distance from the end of the tube. Here’s three fins glued on.IMG_3338The fourth will have to wait; I want to make sure the first three are firmly set in place, for reasons you’ll presumably see. In the picture you can see I also installed the screw eye, with a little glue in the hole first.

I did clean up the glue slop. Shock cord and launch lug are left to go. Also nose cone weight which escaped my mind in yesterday’s update.




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