Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kitting Up Sputniks - Part 5

The kit antenna legs were 1/8" X 12" dowels.
I've since changed to bamboo skewers.
This was for two reasons. Bulk dowels were inconsistant. Some broke on landing and many were warped.

The bamboo skewers are very strong! They are also sharpened on one end which makes it easier to insert into the pre-drilled holes in the styrofoam ball.
Bamboo also adheres well using white and yellow wood glues.

Those tapered ends are very sharp.

I sell a lot of Sputnik kits to school groups. I don't want a young builder to hurt himself with the sharpened bamboo.

The sharp tips are taken down by sanding four at a time on some 100 grit sandpaper.

Here's a hundred or so of the skewers with the tips sanded down to a blunt end.

I'll go through the bunch and throw away any rough and warped antenna.
Any discolored sticks are also thrown out.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kitting Up Sputniks - Part 4

Thirty BT-5 engine mount tubes were cut to size.

Sure, you could buy them pre-cut, but you'll save 10 cents per kit by buying longer tubes and cutting them to size.

A "Stop Disk" is glued in at the top of the engine mount tube to prevent the ejection charge from frying the inside of the ball.

These are actually a double layer plywood glued together with a "high tech" clamp.
Make 30 of these.

Here's the small parts bag for the Sputnik kit.
Thirty of these were made up.

Next up, 25 sets of four dowel legs will have to be prepared.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Kitting Up Sputniks - Part 3

After drilling the antenna holes, the tip of the Sharpie is rotated near the edge.
This outlines the holes so the builder can easily find them.

When building the Sputnik, the dowel legs must be gently rotated and wiggled into the drilled holes. By doing this slowly, the dowels will find their way into the holes at the correct pre-drilled angle.

Drilling for the 3" long launch lug is next.
This is the hardest part of the preparation and can ruin the work done up until now if the drilling isn't straight down the engine mount tube.

A BT-5 tube with a dowel glued in is used for support. The 3/16" dowel used for the lug hole drill must be guided down the length of this support tube. It had to be reinforced with the interior dowel.

TRIVIA: A 1/8" diameter launch lug actually has a 3/16" outside diameter.

The 1/2" support tube (with hardwood dowel interior) is slid into the 1/2" drilled hole.

The last Sharpie mark is the lug hole, running inside the ball along the side of the engine mount tube. It is 3" long and goes all the way through the ball.

As the sharpened 3/16" dowel is pressed through the ball, it is checked for straightness traveling along the inserted support tube in the ball.

Keep pressing and drilling until the sharpened end goes all the way through the top of the ball.
Keep your hand away from the top of the ball or your palm could be skewered!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kitting Up Sputniks - Part 2

Without the right tools, getting a consistent angle on all four of the antenna legs is difficult. If you've ever tried to drill the legs on a Sputnik you know what I mean.
The cut out center hole of a template is set directly over the drilled engine mount hole.
A Sharpie pen makes marks while the template is held in place.

(Looks like I'm due to make another card stock template for the antenna marking.)

This is a drilling tool I made and used since the first Sputnik kit was made five years ago.

A 1/2" hole was drilled into the wood block and a long 13mm engine casing glued into place. You can see the casing slid into the engine mount hole already drilled into the ball. The Leg Jig tool actually slides down flush with the surface of the ball.
The angled black line shows the travel of the leg drilling dowel. A 1/8" hole was drilled through the middle of the jig.

A 1/8" diameter dowel was sharpened and marked 1" from the point.
With the jig casing in the 1/2" hole the dowel is slid into the angled hole. The dowel tip is lined up with the Sharpie dot marks made in the last step.

The dowel is pressed into the ball up to the 1" deep mark on the dowel.

From the side view you can see the dowel mark almost at the surface of the ball.

This is repeated four times on each ball.
The jig is rotated to the next hole mark and the dowel pressed in up to the 1" mark.

Repeat on 29 more balls.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kitting Up Sputniks - Part 1

This is a re-post from my website - Before I had this site most all Odd'l Rockets news was on that first blog.

Sure, most modelers have an original design or a clone kit they'd like to bag up and sell.
Putting your first model on sale is exciting - bagging up the first dozen kits is fun. Then, reality sets in!
Bagging kits using custom parts can be a chore.

I wanted to show what goes into the preparation of a few parts in the Odd'l Rocket Sputnik kit.
Once, I overheard a customer say:: "How can you charge this much for a Styrofoam ball and four dowels?"
So, you think it's easy?

Many of the Odd'l Rockets kits parts are just that - odd. Some parts require hands on drilling cutting and fitting.

On the right is a well worn Sputnik, ready for flight with an A10-3t engine installed.
Take a good look at the engine mount tube, 3" long thru-the-body- launch lug and dowel legs. All the Styrofoam balls are pre-drilled so the engine mount tube, lug and dowels can be easily slid in place.

The Styrofoam ball must get a drilled hole, 1/2" diameter and 1 1/2" in for the BT-5 engine mount tube.

The end of a 1/2" diameter brass tube was sharpened.
Down the tube, a wrap of tape is set at 1 1/2" from the top. This is my simple depth gauge where I stop the "drill".

After looking over the Styrofoam balls, one out of five is thrown away. Many have dents and creases in them and can't be used.

The brass tube is pressed in about 1/4". It is spun like a ball on a stick to make sure it is visually centered in the ball.
If the tube is straight, the drill continues up to the masking tape wrap.
The the tube is sharply turned the opposite direction to break off the foam cored piece at the top of the tube.

The tube is slid out the back, hopefully with the drilled core inside of it. With a 3/8" dowel, the foam "worm" is pushed out of the brass tube so the next ball can be drilled.
If the drilling wasn't straight or clean, the ball is thrown away!

Repeat this process in 30 more balls to complete this part of the kit run.