The fin preparation and fin assembly are the hardest and most important steps of the rocket building process. The fins provide Stability for the rocket during flight.
First, using a fin guide to ensure proper spacing, mark the planned location of each fin.
It is important to extend the marks into vertical lines the length of the
Second, separate the fins from the scrap balsa wood or plastic material.
TIP: To decrease your rocket's drag, you should sand the leading edge of each fin.
Third, apply glue to the root edge of the fins.
TIP: The rocket's fins should be attached using dry mounting. After glue is applied to the fins, the fins are briefly placed on the body tube and removed. Then, more glue is applied on each fin, as well as where the fins left their mark on the body tube. Now, gently breathe on the glue for a few seconds until it becomes sticky and tacky. Now re-apply the fins to the body tube. The seal that is now made between the body tube and fins is much stronger and the fins will not slide out of place while drying.
Fourth, attach fins to corresponding pencil marks on the rocket's body tube.
The toughest part of the rocket building process has now been completed. It should be noted, however, that the rocket should be allowed to dry while the body tube is standing fin side up before proceeding. To learn how to design your own fins, go to Designing Your Own Rocket Fin Page.
This page, its contents, and the Hitchhikers Guide
logo are copyright 1997 by:
Nicholas Burlett, Nathaniel Grady and William