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6.2 Rocketry: Body Tubes (Cutting, Joining, Filling)




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This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.

6.2 Rocketry: Body Tubes (Cutting, Joining, Filling)

From: cdt@pdp.sw.stratus.com (C. D. Tavares)
[On cutting Estes-style body tubes]
The simplest and best I ever used was Howard Kuhn's jig from the old CMR.
It's a simple piece of wood L-angle molding, with a notch for a razor
blade cut into one side (from the wing toward the elbow) at one end.
The only other parts are a wood block and a large black spring clip (the
kind you hold really thick reports together with). If you want, say, a
6" piece of tubing, you set the block 6" away from the razor notch and
clamp it there with the spring clip. Now lay the tube down the L-angle,
butting it up against the wood block. Insert the razor blade, press
lightly, and turn the tube. (Put a dead engine into it if the tube is
the right size to fit one.) Three to six turns, and you have an edge
that looks factory-cut.

                       ----
                      (    )  <- spring clip            | <- razor (edge on,
                       /  \                             |    sharp edge down)
        ____________---------___________________________|_______
       |          /_|       |__/|                       |       |
       |          | |_______|  ||  angle molding        |       |
       |          | wood block ||                               |
       |----------|____________|/-------------------------------j
      /                           lay tube here and spin it    /
     /________________________________________________________/

From: soc1070@vx.acs.umn.edu (Tim Harincar)
[On cutting Estes-style body tubes]
When I cut tubes, I always wrap the tube with about two
layers of drafting tape with the edge of the tape along
the cut line. This accomplishes two things: First the
thick tape edge providing a excellent knife guide. Second,
you can assure a straight cut. If the tape wrinkles when
you wrap the tube, you know it is not on straight; simply
remove the tape and try again until you know its down flat.

Drafting tape is better than regular masking tape because it
has almost the same thickness but is made to be removed.

This method is in addition to reinforcing the inside with
a stage coupler or spent motor. Also, always use a new
x-acto blade for the best cut.

From: Jim Bandy (NAR member not on net)
Use a piece of aluminum 'angle iron' for joining body tubes. Place one
tube in the angle, insert and glue the joiner, then insert and glue the
other tube. It gives very straight joins. The angle can also be used
for marking fin lines on body tubes, etc.

 

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