Well, I've just finished the construction phase for my level 1 rocket(s). I still have to do the final sanding/painting, but the 'construction' part is done. And I've learned a few valuable lessons that I thought I'd share. BTW, I'm planning on using my PML 1/4 Scale Patriot for my L1, and maybe even eventually for a L2. I built it a bit stronger in order to (hopefully) assure it will survive an L2 attempt. I've got a Black Brant Vb as my 'backup', in case preliminary flights (G-level) with the Patriot don't work out, or something similar. Here are the things I've learned:
- The 50-pack of epoxy mixing cups is not enough. Get two.
- When using a clothespin to hold a shock cord in place while drying with epoxy, you will either remove it too early and the shock cord will come loose, or you will wait to long and the clothes will be glued as well. There is no middle ground.
- When using JB Weld to glue an engine retainer to the back of the motor tube, you should smear the JB Weld around the outside of the tube, using very little on the inside of the retainer. Otherwise, you will get little drops of JB Weld on the inside of the motor mount tube, and you will not discover them until after the JB Weld has fully cured.
- It's very difficult to file JB Weld from the inside of a motor mount tube.
- Not removing all the JB Weld from the inside of a motor mount tube can score your brand new Dr. Rocket casing.
- When trying to get that last little bit of epoxy out of the container, bear in mind that the first part that you poured in has been 'mixing' for a while with the first part that was already in the measuring cup.
- Trying to find out where you put the mixing stick after you've already added the two parts of epoxy together is not the best way of doing things.
- Expanding foam REALLY DOES expand about 25 times. Really.
- Placing the rocket being worked on on top of two expensive oak CD cases is a sure fire invitation to spilling epoxy on them.
- Placing a rocket out of the way to dry in an area where nobody usually goes is a sure fire way of making sure that someone will suddenly need to go there.
- Epoxy actually CAN be cleaned off the front of your laptop, if you do it quickly enough, and nobody is there to look and laugh at you. Of course, it will leave a new 'sheen' on it...
- Leaning a long dowel on an itty-bitty plastic mixing cup will knock over the mixing cup. Even if it's full of epoxy. Especially if it's full of epoxy. Really.
If I think of anything else, I'll add it later, and feel free to add your own 'hints'.