Thursday, October 23, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 2, Tube Prep and Gluing

A dry fit of the white tubes showed the tubes weren't cut clean.
There were enough gaps for some edge truing and sanding.

The inset picture shows the same tubes after sanding square.

This is something you should check on any opened kit. It's easier to see bad edges on larger tubes.

On my block is 220 grit sandpaper. It only takes a few passes to knock down the high spots.

I've read posts about the newer red couplers locking up when using the new formula Elmer's white glue. I'm out of the old formula Elmer's!
Before using any glue I got rid of the burrs on the coupler edge.
The top and bottom of the coupler were rounded off.
The inside of the body tube edge was rolled over with a smooth dowel.

This was the first time I have used the new formula Elmer's glue. It helps to know beforehand there have been problems with this glue and rocket construction, the coupler could lock up.
I was prepared to used enough glue and slide the coupler in quickly and smoothly.

I put a fairly good sized bead of the new Elmer's about 3/8" inside the tube. The bead wasn't smoothed out, the excess was not picked up with a fingertip.
With the glue away from the edge, it allowed me to set the edge of the coupler into the tube without contacting the glue.
I smoothly slid the coupler in while turning it up to the pencil line in the center.

I was able to get the coupler in without any problem. But, you could feel how this new glue formula could grab before the coupler was halfway in.

Build time:
Sand tube ends and CA ends= 10 minutes
Total build time so far = 20 minutes


  1. My Cosmic Explorer had the coupler problem with Elmer's Wood Glue. I crimped the tube a little trying to get the parts together. I tried filling in the gap with CWF.

    Now I make sure to use plenty of glue, and I've also switched to Titebond. Don't know why, but I like it better than the Elmer's. Partly because you can see it coming out of the bottle through the clear cap, so you know how much you're getting, but also I think it's a consistency thing.

  2. Hi Rocket Noob,
    I'm staying with the white glue for now. It's always held up pretty well for LPR flying. It's all personal preference.
    A lot of people switch out the wide Titebond nozzle for the smaller Elmer's nozzles. I've done that with the Titebond M&TG.

  3. I switch out the whole bottle with 1 oz laboratory bottles.

    Specifically: Vestil BTL-RC-1 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Round Squeeze Dispensing Bottle with Removable Red Cap, 1 oz Capacity, Clear

    $2.80 on Amazon Prime. I actually have a few sizes but the 1 oz works great.