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Magical Weight-Reducing Balsa Filler (???)

June 14, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

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…

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Sanding Block Pro Tip

June 1, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

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…

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Balsa Grain Fillers and Added Weight

May 29, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

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…

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Back On The Rocketry Show Podcast

May 13, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

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…

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May 10, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

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

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Glue and Water Weight

May 9, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

In some of my more recent posts, I’ve done a number of informal experiments testing out various materials. In thinking about what order to present them in, I’ve decided to start with this one, because it’s rather simple, and I may want to refer to it w…

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Rocket N00b Update

May 4, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

Little N00b was born on April 5, 2018. He and Mrs. N00b are doing great, happy and healthy.We’re home now, and I’ve managed to secure a little time off work. And though it may sound surprising, as we have a newborn, I am now in the mood to get back to …

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Fragile Payload

March 23, 2018 The Rocket N00b 0

This is one reason I haven’t posted lately. Little N00b arrives in two weeks.This is one of several 3D ultrasound images. Amazing. I was amazed to see recognizable features this early – this was nearly two months ago, and he already looks like one of t…