Sunday was one of those days. I got up and drove down to Sandy Hook on autopilot. I would have enjoyed sleeping in, but there are just too many loose ends on the project. One of those loose ends is the preparation of the missile nosecone for fiberglass casting. If you've been following this story, there are two fella's in Texas who are also fixing a pair of Ajax missiles - except theirs came without the nosecones. I offered to mold them a pair based on one of mine. So in preparation of that process, the part has to be stripped and cleaned and primed to be able to apply the coatings that will prevent the fiberglass from bonding to the original part. They had sent me the collar from their missile and I had a similar one on mine, but I could not separate it from the nose for love nor money.
Even the conversations with Richard in Texas had reinforced the belief that the unit was held together by the three setscrews. Well, long story short, a couple of hours of banging and prying and cussing had yielded absolutely nothing. So like any project, sometimes you just have to move it along with what you've got. I knew I could cast the entire structure and trim it to the correct size but first I had to strip it down. That's when I had my Aha! moment:
Damned if this wasn't also held together with rivets!!! (and a lot of paint). So I cleaned the rest of the unit, drilled out the rivets and behold, now I could beat the thing apart (no, it still didn't just pull apart but required some judicious pounding.
The day itself was good on many levels. Of course it's always helpful to make a breakthrough on a problem, but Sunday was a tour day in the Launch Area as well. Bill and Tony brought several groups by to see the restoration project as well as two of the National Park Service Rangers. It is always a pleasure to show the progress made and to describe the plans for the finishing of these missiles. Slowly but surely our NY56 Nike Volunteer group is moving forward. We're doing more and have more to show. It's great to be a part of it.
'til next time.... Blazing Skies!!!!