Author Archives: The Rocket N00b

Built from Scratch – A Tale of Two Berthas – Part 1

I recently finished building two Big Bertha rockets – from scratch, rather than from kits. As a guide, I used the original plans, published by Estes in Model Rocket News in 1963, when Bertha was a free plan, before it was sold as a kit (the Big Bertha … Continue reading

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Zero Ns in 2018

Hello, stranger. How’ve you been?For the past few year over on The Rocketry Forum, there has been a thread each year where people can log the Newton-seconds they’ve burned flying rockets that year, called the Newton Tally Thread (here’s this year’s). I… Continue reading

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Sheer Joy

Watch this:Joe Barnard is right to have such a reaction to such a successful flight. Amazing, incredible, awesome work.Follow me on Twitter.Like my Facebook page for blog updates and extra stuff.Have a question you’d like to see addressed on this blog?… Continue reading

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Applying Self-Adhesive Decals – or – Sticking Stickers Where You Want them Stuck

Many model rocket kits come with decals to add visual interest to a model – and if it’s a scale kit, to add some realism.Decals come in two varieties: waterslide and self-adhesive or self-stick.Many builders, myself included, prefer waterslide decals. … Continue reading

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Magical Weight-Reducing Balsa Filler (???)

I recently wrote about a test of various balsa grain fillers and sealers and the weight they add.The clear winner of that test was the Brodak butyrate dope sanding sealer, which added 0.3 grams of mass to a piece of 3 inch by 3 inch balsa, sealed on bo… Continue reading

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Sanding Block Pro Tip

A while back, I showed a way to remove self-adhesive sandpaper from an aluminum sanding block, like the Great Planes Easy-Touch Hand Sander*, seen above.Self-adhesive sandpaper, such as the stuff I buy from Klingspoor, has such a powerful adhesive on i… Continue reading

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Balsa Grain Fillers and Added Weight

Most model rockets you build will have fins made of balsa wood. Because balsa is so porous and has such a loose grain, you have to give the wood some kind of treatment if you want smooth fins. You have to fill or cover the wood grain with something.Any… Continue reading

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Messing Around with Glue – Strength, Flexibility, Et Cetera

After my little experiment to find out the water weight of white and yellow glue – weight which would be lost as the rocket dried – I got curious about some other properties of adhesives used in model rocketry, and wondered if I could test them out.I s… Continue reading

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Back On The Rocketry Show Podcast

Tonight, I recorded a nice, casual episode of The Rocketry Show podcast, and it’s nice to be back on. We were hoping to talk to someone about the TARC finals results (the top spot was taken by Creekview High School of Canton, GA), but they’ve been pret… Continue reading

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Accurate

I really need to stop buying kits and build something…Follow me on Twitter.Like my Facebook page for blog updates and extra stuff.Have a question you’d like to see addressed on this blog? Email me at iamtherocketn00b@gmail.com. Continue reading

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