Sunday, October 2, 2016

Photos for Rocketober 2

Click here for an explanation of this Rocketober stuff.

Sunset Launch
Day 2's official theme for the Apogee Components #Rocketober photo blitz is "The earliest photo you can find of yourself doing rocketry."

The earliest photos of me in rocketry aren't that old. I just started this a couple of summers ago. This isn't the very first one taken of me, but it's close, and it's my favorite.

Once that was up, I posted more build photos of the Sky Wolf.

The SkyPyrates Sky Wolf is about BT-60 sized in diameter. The tube is actually a heavy-walled 38mm tube used here as an airframe, but also used in HPR rockets as a motor tube, so BT-60 nose cones wouldn't fit on it. The walls are thicker, so the inside diameter is much smaller than a BT-60 model rocket tube.

But the Estes Tube Cutting Guide will fit around the outside, and it's good not only for cutting, but for drawing circumferential lines around a tube. Here I'm using it to mark lines around the airframe, which will mark the forward and aft ends of the slots I'll need to cut for the fins, which are of through-the-wall (TTW) construction.

Note the circumferential lines around the tube. Also note that instead of a single fin line, there
are two, 1/8 inch apart. That is how wide I needed to cut the slots to accommodate the fins.

The first set of slots are cut. They may not look perfectly neat, but I can widen or clean them up if need be. Most likely, though, they'll be just fine. I used a piece of aluminum angle on the body tube as a straightedge and cutting guide when I got the slots started, so I know they're straight.

I used a hobby knife. It took a little time. This tube is pretty thick. If you have a Dremel tool, this would go much more quickly. But don't feel like you need one to cut your own fin slots, even in thicker tubes.

The motor mount laid next to the body tube. The aft centering ring (right) is glued on, and will end up flush with the aft end of the airframe. The forward centering ring is where I think it needs to be, and I've marked that spot with a pencil line right up against the ring. Next, I'll dry fit the motor mount and fins, to see if everything fits just right.

Looks about perfect. The aft centering ring butts right up against the aft fin, and the forward centering ring is tight against the forward fin. Next is to cut all the other fin slots and re-check the dry fit on each side. Then I can attach the Kevlar shock chord to the motor mount, glue the forward centering ring on, glue the whole motor mount into the rocket, and glue in the fins.

Follow me on Twitter.

Like my Facebook page for blog updates and extra stuff.

Have a question you'd like to see addressed on this blog? Email me at


  1. Hi Daniel,
    I think Apogee should have offered prizes for the Rocketober thing! They would have a LOT more participation. keep it up tho -

    1. That would have been fun. Who knows - maybe they'll send me a t-shirt or something.

  2. Daniel - you're an inspiration! I need to get building so I have stuff to take pictures of!

  3. Daniel - you're an inspiration! I need to get building so I have stuff to take pictures of!