Monday, June 25, 2012

Gettin back at it...

Sunday was the tour date for the NY56 Site so I made my way down to Sandy Hook. Since I have not made the time to work on my dead-lined vehicle, I drove down with Sandy and our 10 month old Golden Retriever, Quincey in Sandy's Durango. I dropped them off on the Bay side and went to work at the A&S Building. BJ and Paul were the only guides doing the IFC tours so it was quiet in the LA (Launch Area). A good day to make up for some lost time! I started with an etching primer on the nosecone I have to reproduce for the Parrish boys down in Texas. That will allow me to cast their copies in Fiberglass and resin. This was the nosecone from Pollux - I had yet to remove the end of Castor. Today, I rectified that issue. Here's the twins' nosecones:

And for anyone following this, the reason that Castor's is longer is that I did not drill out the rivets to separate the intermediary piece.

Prior to removing the nosecone I had to remove the 4 tunnels on the nose as well as one on the main body. The tunnels are just that, aluminum fairings that provide protected channels for the electrical, hydraulic and fueling systems. They were designed to protect these systems from the atmosphere but not from manhandling. Here is one that took some abuse and will need to be repaired:

These tunnels are screwed into machined stand-offs which in turn are screwed into the missile body. After working through several dozen using a variety of dis-assembly techniques, the  best means of removal turns out to be drilling the hardened screw head out

BTW, I would like to send out a sincere Thanks to Bob Price for a really great tip on how to do this economically:

While making a knife I found a way to drill really hard steel (R60) Tungsten Carbide bits are insanely expensive and the blade had burnt up even cobalt bits. What to do? I had a cheapie masonry bit, I dressed it on a diamond stone to lower the trailing edge of the carbide so it looked like a bit for steel. Damn if it didn't drill right through!

With the  screws out, the tunnel comes off and the stand-offs can be removed with a socket and an impact gun (of course I will need to create new ones for assembly).

So at the end of the day I am getting towards the end of dis-assembly. There are two more primary pieces on this missile to remove and then it will be grinding, sandblasting and structural reconstruction for the pair.

So, 'til next time.....

Blazing Skies

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