loading

Step 6: Sand the Rocket Body Down Smooth.

Once you get the shape very close to what you want, you'll want to sand down the rocket body. This will remove material, and you can count on coarse sandpaper to help you refine the shape of the rocket. During this process, make sure that you don't press down too hard while sanding, or else the rocket will break off of the lathe.

Take an assortment of sandpaper, ranging from coarse grit to fine grit. I used 60, 120, 220, 320, and finally 400.

Turn your lathe up to a higher speed. Starting with a strip of the coarsest grit sandpaper you have, you'll want to hold either side of the strip under the rocket as you sand the full length, smoothing away any of the lines or marks left by your lathe tools. You may have to stop your lathe and check the rocket for a consistent finish.

Once you've got a consistent coarse grit finish, you'll switch to the next finest strip of sandpaper. Use this sandpaper to smooth out any marks left by the coarser sandpaper until you achieve a consistent finish.

Repeat until you get down to the finest grit of sandpaper. It is incredibly important that you get down to a super fine, consistent finish, or else the acrylic won't clear up in the next step.

<p>Nice build! According to my experience, you may get a clear aspect to the acrylic without using super glue, just by sanding to a higher grit.</p><p>I do this for acrylic pen blanks. I use micromesh sanding pads, going up to 12.000 (slightly wet the pads to avoid super fine dust).</p><p>I guarantee your acrylic window would look clear again with grits above 1.000 :)</p>
<p>That's a great tip! Our shop very rarely has sandpaper over 400 grit since we're an academic makerspace and students rarely have the patience for that much sanding, so I don't have a lot of experience with crazy fine grits. Maybe we should invest in some. Thanks!</p>
<p>now give it a flip top &amp; put a shot glass inside; you're welcome. &quot;Rocket shot&quot;<br><br>ADD or give it a flip top &amp; put a 50ml bottle inside</p>
<p>Cool!</p>
<p>Very Cool, Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>As the recipient of the original, I can confirm that it's a pretty awesome gift! At some point I think I'll make a little light-up stand for it or something.</p>
<p>How about an LED that shines up through the bottom of the acrylic rod and illumiates the windows?</p>
The acrylic is inserted from the side so I'd need to drill up through the bottom in order to do that. Although I'm sure I could make it work I'd rather not modify the rocket itself.
<p>This turned out really well! It's adorable :)</p>
<p>I love lathe puns!</p>
Really nice! Voted
<p>Thank you so much!</p>
<p>That is wonderful, definitely going to have to try this project out. Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>Thanks! It was a pretty quick project - like 2 days of work - especially if you do the fins more efficiently than I did, haha.</p>
<p>Absolutely beautiful!</p>

About This Instructable

15,784views

238favorites

License:

Bio: I'm an engineer, designer, and maker studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
More by vspencer:Make MDF Look Like Ceramic Wooden Rocket with a See-Through Window Paper Circuit Simon Says 
Add instructable to: