Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nike-Apache #4: Getting there

It's actually starting to resemble a rocket now. I did a bit of work on the Apache, wetting the upper wrap and setting it in place. I'll glue it in tomorrow.

Most of my work, though, was on the Nike fin can.

First, I drew on the line for the fins. On each line, I drilled about 10 7/16" holes with equal spacing, then sanded. Cut in between the holes to form the slots, then sanded. Used the drill to even the slots, then sanded, sanded, and sanded some more, and now I've got 4 perfect slots - much better, straighter, easier, and less tube-damaging than those I did entirely by hand.

Next I took the already-formed wrap, applied a thin layer of wood glue to the fin can section, and glued the wrap on. It's clamped on with rubber bands and scotch tape.

Finally, I inserted the motor mount into the tube. The epoxy clay over the fillets has dried hard and light - perfect. The motor mount fits nice and snug on its own, and I was sure it wouldn't fall, so I applied a layer of wood glue onto the aft CR.

Tomorrow comes wood glue on the forward ring and the inside edges of both, epoxy fillets, cutting slots in the wrap, and starting to glue the fins, which'll then take epoxy fillets of their own. Even so, I'll have used maybe a quarter of the tubs. I like that stuff, although it does smell scarily like Fritos when mixed.

Once the Apache wrap dries, I will glue it on, then drill 4 tiny holes and insert the antennae. After that, all I have to do is glue the weight, nose cone, and Nike transition in place (the latter after painting) and the forward section is done.

The Nike section will require, after the above actions, gluing on the launch lugs and aligning them, then attaching the following via shock cord: Nike body tube / fin can, quick-link, chute protector, chute, and Nike transition / Apache.

The comes primer and probably 3 days of painting involving coats of white, grey, silver, black, and red, then decals. Estimated date of completion: July 25th.

Actual date of completion: July 25th.

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