I'm looking for people's experiences and opinions using composite honeycomb material for fins, such as those offered by Giant Leap. What methods are employed to cut this stuff? Bandsaw, Tablesaw, cut-off wheels? I also want to hear about the edging process, using wood dowels, G-10 round or flat stock. Is this fin material worth the trouble and expense compared to more traditional wood or G-10?
I just recently built a rocket using some of the 1/8" stuff from Giant Leap. I cut it with a sabre saw, which worked just fine but of course a bandsaw or tablesaw would be easier and produce a straighter edge.
I used round dowels, but next time I plan to use square stripwood and just sand the leading and trailing edges to shape. The dowels required too much filling between the dowel and the fin surface.
Depends on your needs.
I like this material for a couple of reasons... First off, it's far easier to cut than G10. That's a big factor for me since I don't have a table saw or bandsaw.
Secondly, the completed fin is lighter than 1/16" G10 yet appears to be just as stiff -- maybe even stiffer. I haven't had a chance to fly it yet so I don't know how well it will hold up to rough use.
On larger, thicker fins, the weight savings will be even more pronounced. If you need to keep the weight to a minimum, especially in the tail, this is definitely the way to go.