On Saturday the weather was perfect, and we decided that it would be a great time to run some tests to collect some data for our secret "Project: 3000" Water Rocket. We wheeled out the launcher and the compressor and got everything set up by mid afternoon, and we were able to get out on the lake for the first time this year.
We had time to fly a total of three test flights using the new electronics and payload module we have been working on for Project: 3000. By the time we were set up the wind had picked up a bit, so we replaced our parachute with a small chute designed to get the rocket down faster before it has a chance to drift. This particular parachute has such a fast descent rate that it is not legal in the WRA2 Class A Rules, but since these were to be only test flights meant to test some new software we used low pressures and didn't bother to try to set any records.
Pictured below is a frame capture from the rocket take just before it reached an apogee of 1,000 feet (yes, the altimeter read 1,000 exactly!)
But enough talking about our test launches. We know the real reason you visit week after week, and it's not to read a bunch of boasting about some water rocket flights... we know you're really here to read the latest steps in our cable tie launcher construction tutorial! We shall not disappoint! Without further delay we will pick up where we left off last week and continue the build!
Our first task this week will be to mark the center line of the main base board along the end of the board so that we can properly center our legs. At this point we should still have the center line marking on the bottom of the board where we were measuring to locate the U-bolts. The easiest way to get the center onto the edges is to just continue that line with a ruler until we wrap around the edge of the board onto the ends. Mark both ends of the board now, using this technique. If you got anxious and started sanding your boards or erased the lines already because you were bored waiting for this installment then you will have to resort to measuring the halfway point along each end and marking it.
You can set the boards up with the center lines aligned and do a quick inspection to verify that everything lines up properly and there legs are evenly aligned. When you have verified your marks are in the correct place you can sand off the pencil lines on the flat faces of the boards and clean up the drilled areas with some sandpaper.
Our preferred method of connecting the legs to the main base board is to use glue. Of course the best glue for all things water-rocket happens to be PL Premium Polyurethane! We put a small amount on each leg where it attaches, and put the main base board on top.
We assemble each of the legs onto the base the same way, using a clamp to hold the boards firmly together until the glue has cured. If you have clamps like ours with rubber pads to protect your work, you don't really need to take any special precautions. if, however, you have metal faced clamps then you will want to put some scraps of wood under each contact point to protect your wood from getting marred or dented by the clamps.
See you next week!