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Homemade Wood Gerb Tooling

homemade tooling wood tooling gerb tool

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#1 untitled

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 08:25 AM

Hi everyone!  I would like to share with you all my new homemade gerb tools.

 

The tools took around 7 hours to make. (with breaks to eat)  I do not currently have access to fancy machining equipment like a lathe or drill press and can't scrounge up the money to buy tools so I figured I could make my own.  The tools are built for 3/4" ID tubes.  I know that the nozzle is rather large, (it's 3/8"!) but I made it that way intentionally because I have been having many centering issues with smaller nozzle sizes using my hand drill.

 

The Rammers

I started by sawing off a 7" long piece of a 3/4" dowel I got from Home Depot.  Next, I sanded down the rough edges.  After the initial sanding, I began sanding one side of the dowel, creating beveled edges.  This piece would be my long rammer.  After beveling it, I carefully and slowly drilled into the center of the dowel using my hand drill and a 3/8" bit. 

8d8b71cc8a8b7a76f00094916e64bdd5.jpg

Starting to drill the hole

58e518c6d8eae26f3c407573bccd6e9f.png

Getting deeper into the hole. It was becoming harder and harder to keep the drill straight.

1c2c4994c5fd1f48321381807b3ac8ef.png

About 1/4 of the way done

ec6867dfcae578bdb768e463620c75d7.png

The finished rammer

 

This took me a long time because I had to make sure the hole was straight and centered at all times.  Once my rammer was finished being drilled, it was complete.  For my solid rammers, (which I did not take photos of) I just sawed off lengths of my 3/4" dowel.  At this point, I just had to make a spindle.  I had many different ideas for the spindle involving holding bolts into a 2x4 with nuts, finding something at Home Depot which resembled a spindle and was 3/4" in diameter, and many other ideas.  I wanted to conserve as much money as possible so I tried an idea which I would not recommend at all.

 

The Spindle

My idea was to just sand down part of my dowel until it was 3/8" in diameter.  I knew this near impossible to do by hand so I used a sandpaper attachment for my dremel and started sanding.  I placed a piece of electrical tape where I wanted my thin spindle area to end.

6aaf9428a9d1bf93060b660284ce81b1.png

A few minutes into the sanding process

 

As I continued to sand down the dowel, my hands were getting very tired and the sandpaper attachment was getting destroyed.

8a2d66edac7979f6c59973ee5509c19a.png

An overhead look at the dowel.  About 1/4 of the way done

 

It was around this time that I almost gave up on sanding the dowel.  I had been doing it for over an hour and it seemed like I had made very little progress.  I took a break and continued on.

 

After about another hour and a half, I was getting very close to finishing the spindle.

2aed8d34724bdd85015c777755017a12.jpg

The rammer nearly fit around the spindle at this point

 

I continued sanding the spindle until the rammer fit nicely on it.

 

Here are some photos of the complete spindle and rammer setup:

f0c9008248a9958abae9c1d166cfcc13.png73cfe9559b28068b462bff155412af74.png

8fd180a4385ae4af21f5e71167bcea28.png

 

 

Finishing the Tools

I still have to cut off the spindle from the rest of the dowel and attach it to a base, but other then that, the tools are completed.

 

Final Notes

I know that these tools aren't going to last nearly as long as metal tooling, but I still wanted to challenge myself with this project and I think they turned out looking pretty nice.  I will post pictures here once I completely finish the tools (attach the spindle to its base) and will show some pictures of the tools in use.  In the end, these tools cost me a total of $3.05.  Hopefully this will encourage anyone who wants to get into this hobby but is intimidated by the high prices of metal tools.  It did take a lot of work, but in my opinion, it was worth it.

 

(also I'm probably never touching a piece of sandpaper again in my life)

 

Thanks for reading.


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#2 Maserface

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:04 AM

Looks good!  I would suggest soaking the tools in wood hardener to extend their durability. You should be able to find wood hardener at home depot/lowes.

 

Good job! :)



#3 untitled

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:09 AM

Thanks!  I will look into getting some wood hardener.



#4 OldMarine

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 04:57 PM

Mason, would his tooling work for a tied nozzle rocket or gerb? Looks like the tooling from westech.
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#5 Mumbles

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:46 PM

I'd also suggest wrapping the top of the rammer with filament tape. It'll help to slow the mushrooming and eventual cracking.  I'm assuming since you're making hand made tooling out of wood, you don't plan to use a press.  


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#6 Baldor

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 03:24 AM

Wood tools work fairly well for small rockets. It's what I used last year, and rammed a handful successful rockets.

 

What will help you a lot is this: https://www.ebay.com...&LH_TitleDesc=0

 

Even a cheap one like this. Find an equally cheap vise for the press and you are done. With some ingenuity, you can even turn small wood dowels.



#7 untitled

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 07:15 AM

Cool.  Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.



#8 Maserface

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 10:52 AM

Mason, would his tooling work for a tied nozzle rocket or gerb? Looks like the tooling from westech.

 

Yea I think it would, rolling tubes that way does take a bit of a knack, but wooden tools shouldn't make it any harder.  Choked nozzles might be beneficial if using wooden drifts, because it eliminates the need for clay nozzles, which I suspect are pretty hard on wooden tools.



#9 dagabu

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 04:40 PM

untitled,

 

Good job on the tooling, just about every young person looking to make rockets starts about the same way.

 

I have a long history of sending tooling to beginners, free of charge. You can feel free to say no, that's OK, not everyone is comfortable with getting something for nothing but that really isn't the case.

 

You see, we all start somewhere, we learn and master a certain aspect of a hobby and start to tweak the results. With wooden tooling, you will not be able to copy your results as the wood mushrooms and deforms. One good rocket followed by frustration. I would rather keep as many rocketeers around as I am able, we need more to join "the dark side", we have cookies! 

 

It's an all aluminum set, spindle attached to a base, a long rammer and a flat rammer. PM me if interested, again at no cost to you, just happy to help out.

 

Hi everyone!  I would like to share with you all my new homemade gerb tools.

 

The tools took around 7 hours to make. (with breaks to eat)  I do not currently have access to fancy machining equipment like a lathe or drill press and can't scrounge up the money to buy tools so I figured I could make my own.  The tools are built for 3/4" ID tubes.  I know that the nozzle is rather large, (it's 3/8"!) but I made it that way intentionally because I have been having many centering issues with smaller nozzle sizes using my hand drill.

 

The Rammers

I started by sawing off a 7" long piece of a 3/4" dowel I got from Home Depot.  Next, I sanded down the rough edges.  After the initial sanding, I began sanding one side of the dowel, creating beveled edges.  This piece would be my long rammer.  After beveling it, I carefully and slowly drilled into the center of the dowel using my hand drill and a 3/8" bit. 

 

Starting to drill the hole

 

Getting deeper into the hole. It was becoming harder and harder to keep the drill straight.

 

About 1/4 of the way done

 

The finished rammer

 

This took me a long time because I had to make sure the hole was straight and centered at all times.  Once my rammer was finished being drilled, it was complete.  For my solid rammers, (which I did not take photos of) I just sawed off lengths of my 3/4" dowel.  At this point, I just had to make a spindle.  I had many different ideas for the spindle involving holding bolts into a 2x4 with nuts, finding something at Home Depot which resembled a spindle and was 3/4" in diameter, and many other ideas.  I wanted to conserve as much money as possible so I tried an idea which I would not recommend at all.

 

The Spindle

My idea was to just sand down part of my dowel until it was 3/8" in diameter.  I knew this near impossible to do by hand so I used a sandpaper attachment for my dremel and started sanding.  I placed a piece of electrical tape where I wanted my thin spindle area to end.

 

A few minutes into the sanding process

 

As I continued to sand down the dowel, my hands were getting very tired and the sandpaper attachment was getting destroyed.

 

An overhead look at the dowel.  About 1/4 of the way done

 

It was around this time that I almost gave up on sanding the dowel.  I had been doing it for over an hour and it seemed like I had made very little progress.  I took a break and continued on.

 

After about another hour and a half, I was getting very close to finishing the spindle.

 

The rammer nearly fit around the spindle at this point

 

I continued sanding the spindle until the rammer fit nicely on it.

 

Here are some photos of the complete spindle and rammer setup:

 

 

 

 

Finishing the Tools

I still have to cut off the spindle from the rest of the dowel and attach it to a base, but other then that, the tools are completed.

 

Final Notes

I know that these tools aren't going to last nearly as long as metal tooling, but I still wanted to challenge myself with this project and I think they turned out looking pretty nice.  I will post pictures here once I completely finish the tools (attach the spindle to its base) and will show some pictures of the tools in use.  In the end, these tools cost me a total of $3.05.  Hopefully this will encourage anyone who wants to get into this hobby but is intimidated by the high prices of metal tools.  It did take a lot of work, but in my opinion, it was worth it.

 

(also I'm probably never touching a piece of sandpaper again in my life)

 

Thanks for reading.


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#10 Maserface

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 03:15 PM

dadagbua,

 

What size are you (probably) going to send?  I would like to follow your example and get untitled on the right track :)


Edited by Maserface, 29 August 2018 - 03:15 PM.


#11 dagabu

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 06:29 PM

It's pretty much the cohete set, 2-1/2" spindle, can ram a nozzle or nozzleless. Works well with shredded r-candy fuel.
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#12 Maserface

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 09:04 AM

Got it!  Thanks for the inspiration :)

 

To be clear, 3/4" ID?


Edited by Maserface, 30 August 2018 - 09:06 AM.


#13 dagabu

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 06:06 PM

Yes, 3/4"


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Dave
 
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#14 untitled

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 11:47 AM

Thanks so much guys! I currently can't shoot rockets in my area because I am in the suburbs, but I may be moving soon so I will definitely consider it. Thanks again. I will get back to you.

#15 BetICouldMake1

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 05:48 PM

This might be out of line, I don't mean to swoop in looking for a handout, but as a "starving" college student working with a nail through a board with a lump of epoxy spindle and a dowel rammer I would be happy to give a loving home to some unused or unwanted tooling. 





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