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TOPIC: 1/64" G10 fin alignment on the cheap

1/64" G10 fin alignment on the cheap 3 months 2 weeks ago #2844

  • Robert Bantly
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I read the article in the last Sport Rocketry on building competition models and found myself not wanting to spend over a hundred bucks on precision spacing blocks for a G10 fin jig. Another option is a Rose Jig, 500.00 and NLA. If they were available still, would maybe think about a group buy. My guillotine jig is great for larger rockets but not so great for a BT-5 with 1/64" fins. Not much room and tough to get alignment perfect.

I received a 13mm / 1/16" tri-form alignment guide with my Apogee Midge Rocket. Hmmm....I bet lots of you have these lying around from other kits.

I added strips of blue tape to the slots of the Tri-form near the body cutout, and wrapped through to engage the top and bottom plates and be pulled tight. I did this and was able to get a pretty "perfect" fin alignment by making the slots thinner. Because it still isn't 'absolutely' perfect, eyeball it thoroughly before gluing. When you get one fin just right, the others will be easier. One caveat - be careful with the ultra-thin super glue. A big drip will glue your rocket in and require X-Acto surgery. I did it but was able to save both the jig and rocket. Getting used to super glue now.

Use the ultra-fine super glue tips - the fine ones aren't fine enough for thin glue. Use a very small amount to glue the fin on; then accelerator. Repeat. Take the rocket out of the jig and then fillet / make stronger glue joints. Set up to do all your super-gluing at once if possible - the ultra-fine tips reliably clog, even if you suction the glue out by squeezing the bottle vertically. Links to pictures and to the jigs at Apogee:
Cheers / Robert
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