One of my (many) hobbies is model rocketry. Here in the UK, most kits are imported but fairly cheap. This however means that spare parts for the cheaper kits are just about impossible to get.
So on a bad landing, you might snap off a fin and the rocket is then unusable until you either source a new one, or more likely, buy a whole new kit to replace one part. Not a great state of affairs. And it’s always the flat parts that usually break, the tubes not so much so and they are easy to source anyway.
A bad landing, not my video:
Of course, if you build a whole kit from scratch, things get easier, but then you really do have to do rocket science to ensure it’ll be stable and safe, with lots of messing about ensuring your centre of gravity is in the right place with regards to centre of thrust etc. No one really wants that, they just want to go and do launches.
So, from now on, when I receive a new kit (I do three or four a year) I’ll “capture” the flat parts shapes and dimensions and add them to an Easel project. This way, if I do bust a fin or crack an engine mount, I can fire up the X-Carve, drop on a 1/8" or 1/4" sheet of ply, remove the parts I don’t need from the project and cut out the part I do need. Should keep me up and running and also mean I no longer need to carry spares if and when I can get them.
On that note, I received a new kit this morning, a North Coast Rocketry SA-14 Archer kit. Before getting carried away building it, I’ll measure up the parts and create the project.
Some of the parts have accurate 90 degree inside corners, so it’ll either require a detail pass with a fine bit (my preferred method) or just a tidy of rounded inside corners with a small razor saw and sanding (my usual method).
Here are the parts I need to make for “inventory”, just one of each, and make extras if and when I need them: