Monday, September 17, 2012

I can't have it all...but I can have a Big Bertha

They say you can't have it all and they are right in my case. Family stuff cropped up this weekend and nixed the MDRA launch. This was my choice and, while I would have rather done what I did, I was sad about missing the launch. I even decided to quit rocketry. But then, gpoehlein's paper Big Bertha popped out of my printer (see posts 16, 17 and 27 in his paper modeling thread).

I did most of the work while watching TV last night. I have a plastic lap-top work bench from Michael's when they were on sale for a couple of bucks. It offers a small work surface that will keep the Exacto knife out of your legs and a couple of bins to hold your tools/supplies. I deviated from common paper modeling techniques. Here are some notes.

  1. I cut everything with scissors.
  2. Instead of glue, I used double sided tape on the glue tabs on the two body sections, the coupler, the four larger nose cone wraps. If you try this, use multiple small pieces of tape. A long piece will swing over and grab the printed tube and will remove said printing. (Black Sharpie to the rescue.)
  3. I also use tape to assemble the centering rings and nose cone bulkhead. Three sets of rings are provided in the plans (13, 18 and 24mm). I stacked these with tape and then cut the center 18mm hole.
  4. I cut and scored the fins and then assembled them with 2-sided tape (core and folded fin section).
  5. Alileen's Tacky Glue was used to connect the tube sections, build the motor mount, assemble the nose cone assembly and attach the fins to the body. The latter did not include tabs like those on Mike Bauer's stomp rockets. I don't think they are as sturdy as tabbed fins and I'll find out they are sturdy enough.
I haven't scrounged a shock cord but I did mount a short piece of nylon twine in the nose cone bulkhead. I haven't owned a Big Bertha in 40 years  The fleet is complete and I can reconsider quitting the hobby.