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Old 07-21-2010, 10:38 PM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Originally Posted by stefanj
I really doubt the process was "manual," in the sense of a guy with a Ryobi taking careful aim down the nozzle. I'm sure there was a hopper and a jig to hold the motor in place and an automated drill, as Blackshire suggested.
In those days, it was probably a Sears Craftsman or a Black & Decker drill... :-)
Originally Posted by stefanj
Some little clues:

There's a late-60ish Model Rocket News article giving a tour of the factory. There's an overhead shot of the plant.

The accompanying text says, paraphrasing: "Series II and III motors are brought to building X for further processing."
Interesting...was this building as far away from the main plant as the motor production buildings? (If it was closer, that suggests that the B14 drilling step and the Series III "case chopping" step weren't considered as hazardous as motor filling operations.)
Originally Posted by stefanj
Series II motors are B14s. Series III are shorties.

Chances are the shorties started out with normal sized casings and were cut short. Easier than making a new Mabel to accomodate the shorter casing.
I don't know one way or the other, but the statement in the article text certainly suggests that. If that was the case, what (if anything) might Estes have done with the cut-off excess lengths of motor casings? They weren't ones to waste materials. If nothing else, it would seem that 1/8" or 1/4" thick rings cut from the "waste" motor casing pieces could have been used as heavy-duty BT-20 thrust rings for high-thrust motors such as the B14.
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