March 19, 2002
Launch lugs and internal fillets
Applied the ACME
conformal launch lugs using the enclosed adhesive. Working around
the launch lugs, I applied four of the eight internal fillets for
the main fins using West System epoxy and their 403 microfiber filler.
The internal fillets were more challenging than a typical project.
With a work space about a half inch wide and a depth of around eighteen
inches, getting enough epoxy dispersed evenly, quickly and where
it needed to be was going to be a challenge. My initial effort was
to tape a plastic spoon to the end of a dowel with electrical tape.
I would mask off the back end of the rocket with paper. Then I would
mix up a batch of epoxy and pour it into the spoon. With the rocket
roughly upside-down from where I needed to apply the fillet, I would
slide the plastic spoon, face up, well inside the rocket. Then I
would turn the whole rocket and spoon right side up and let the
epoxy pour into place. This worked, but was fairly tedious and very
Eventually, I went back to the technique used on the PML Quasar.
With this method, I drilled holes through the body tube and injected
the epoxy into place. This was a lot easier, faster and cleaner.
I also tested my concept for aligning
the strakes to the main fins. Looks like it's going to work
well. Kind of looked like a rocket in traction.