Monday, September 09, 2013

The Estes Majestic build post

Estes Majestic Build 002The build starts with the centering rings being Epoxied to the motor tube (after the required marking and measuring). The trick here is to get all of epoxy out of the fin tab slots. I used my typical technique of schmeering Epoxy on and twisting the rings around to spread the glue evenly underneath. This ensured that Epoxy got into the upper slots. The problem could be avoided by pushing both rings into place in the direction of the unslotted side, thereby pushing the glue away from the slots. That's what I did on the lower ring and there was no build up. I realized the glue would be a problem so I tried to clean them out. As I would find out later, even a little glue build up will keep the fins from fitting perfectly. In the attached photo, you see I also added a Kevlar leader. I decided that I will try the stock Estes shock cord mount and have this as a backup in case the elastic cord gets damaged.

Estes Majestic Build 003
As I mentioned, I wanted both rail buttons and the stock lugs. So, that's what it did. I drilled the holes for the buttons so they passed through the plastic centering rings. To make sure the holes were perpendicular to the tube, I used my handy-dandy drill guide from Doghouse Rocketry.

Don't those purple buttons look cute on there?!? (These were installed before the fins; the photo was taken after.)

I did mess up a little. I put a piece of Frog Tape on the tube to mark the rail button location. I drilled through the tape and, when the tape was removed, a small sliver of the purple film came with it. D'OH! Be careful if you decide to disturb the body tube!.

The fin fit is very snug - any tighter would be too tight. I quickly found that I had done a poor job cleaning out the Epoxy from the slots in the upper centering ring. When the fins were installed, there was a noticeable gap between the upper part of the fin root and the body tube. I started clearing the slots with a Dremel grinder but decided that it would be easier to grind the leading corner of the plastic fin tabs. This worked well and the fins are A-OK. And the mirror finish sure is pretty!

Estes Majestic Build 008
I had been thinking about removing squares of the purple coating when installing the plastic lugs. I don't know how well Epoxy will hold plastic on to the tube's surface but, after my faux pas with the rail button hole, I didn't want to disturb the tube's coating.

The shock cord mount is really well thought out. You fold the cord over the inner insert and slide it into the outer piece until it snaps. The mount matches the radius of the tube and is Epoxied 3" down into the tube. (The nose cone's shoulder is 2" long.)

That's about all there is to it! I took a couple of photos of the assembled rocket. I still have to slap on the self-adhesive decals. I'll take shots of the finished product in the light of day.

Estes Majestic Build 010

Estes Majestic Build 011

Estes Majestic Build 012