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  #1  
Old 08-17-2022, 06:48 AM
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GuyNoir GuyNoir is offline
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Default Brief Review of the Harrison Competition Fin Jig

Iíd owned an Art Rose fin jig for 16 years, and it is a fine machine. It will get your fins on dead straight every time. But I saw the Steve Kristal (Gus) post for the new run of Harrison Competition Fin Jigs, I took the plunge. I sold my Rose jig locally right away, put in my order and got the new jig in 4 days (Disclaimer: I donít live that far from Steve).

The first thing I noticed is that this unit is more substantial than the Rose; thatís not to say the Rose is flimsy or in any way inadequate. But this is one solid jig. Itís got the same basic features as the Rose, i.e., mandrels with a set screw to secure them to the spindle, a marked guide showing the relative angle around the tube, holes for 3 and 4 fins (the Rose jig only did 3), a very nice knob to rotate the spindle as you position the fins, and an adjustable platen to account for fin thickness. The platen adjustment knob feels more positive, and given that one rotation moves the platen 1/32Ē, youíd have to be asleep to mis-position a fin. Finally, the included mandrels have a bevel on the end, making getting a body tube on them a bit easier.

To my fellow obsessive competitors, let me suggest that if you have a Rose jig, contact Steve to confirm he still has units available for sale, buy one, and then sell your Rose jig to some up and coming competitor. Someone new will become a better competitor, and youíll have a shiny new jig that is a great one. I donít think youíll regret it.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2022, 11:22 AM
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Steve (Gus) posted not too long ago (February) saying that Dan had no plans for making more of these.

Unless... you are implying that these jigs are again available?
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2022, 12:00 PM
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Wolf,

Yes, a limited number are again available.
13 and 18 mm mandrels included.
$500 plus $20 shipping.
I expect a limited number of 24 mm mandrels should be available shortly for an additional $45.
If you are interested PM me through here.


From the Facebook post:
A limited number of Harrison Competition Fin Jigs are again available and Dan has added even more improvements to this version. Because of the expense and difficulty making these it is unlikely that more will be made after this batch.

Simply put, the Harrison Fin Jig is the very best model rocketry fin jig you can buy. Nothing else on the market even comes close. Although you can put fins on an Estes Alpha with it, that is not what it was designed for. This fin jig is a piece of ultra-high-precision equipment for completely controlling all degrees of fin placement. It allows for very simple, precise, absolutely repeatable fin placement capable of allowing world class competition modelers to compete with the best in the world.

This jig is expensive, and most of you do not need it. But for those who do it is worth every penny. It is simply not possible to achieve this degree of completely repeatable precision fin placement with anything else.

For many years world class competition fliers used a fin jig designed and built by Art Rose :
http://www.hightechrocketry.com/FinJig.html
Art was a U.S. and International medal winning competitor who also happened to be a really talented machinist. For years Art made his fin jigs available and they were highly prized by U.S. and International competitors. In fact, they are so highly prized that you never see one offered for sale on eBay or anywhere else.

But when Art passed away years ago his fin jigs became completely unavailable.
Then Dan Harrison's son started competing and Dan is a machinist. So Dan borrowed one of Artís fin jigs and created his own version.

These competition level fin jigs are very similar to the original with some new features added. Artís original jigs had preset hole locations for 3-finned rockets. Dan added additional holes to allow absolutely precise fin placement for 4-finned rockets as well. There is also a dial on the end of the rotation wheel to allow precise fin placement for any number of fins to within 1 degree of whatever you desire. In addition, Dan had all the aluminum hardware anodized blue (both for part protection and because it just really looks cool, LOL).

Dan's latest version includes even more precise platen placement for different fin thicknesses. A single revolution of the platen adjustment knob, now with a rotation marker, results in exactly 1/32" movement of the platen.

As I said at the outset, this is simply the highest precision model rocketry fin placement jig that you can buy. Nothing else on the market even comes close.
The current version of the Harrison Fin Jig comes with mandrels for 13mm and 18mm tube sizes (BT-5, BT-20). If you would like, for an extra fee, Dan may also be able to make other sized mandrels for you.

It also comes with Allen keys for the mandrels and platen lock adjustment.

A great rocketeer once said ďstraight fins are good. Straighter fins are better. Straightest fins are best. For sport rockets fin placement is important. For competition rockets, fin placement is crucial.Ē

Even if you are not a competition flier, if you want the very best fin placement possible, this is the tool you need to own.

The price for the current version is $500 plus $20 shipping. If you are interested, or have questions, please PM here.
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Last edited by Gus : 08-17-2022 at 12:33 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2022, 12:03 PM
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more pics
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2022, 12:07 PM
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The shaft is 10.5 mm size, correct? If so, then do Rose fin jig mandrels fit on Harrison's?
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2022, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astronwolf
The shaft is 10.5 mm size, correct? If so, then do Rose fin jig mandrels fit on Harrison's?


Wolf,

No, the spindle shaft is smaller than 10.5. Dan also made/makes a 10.5 mm mandrel but it is not included at this time.

I just checked and the Art Rose mandrels use a ever so slightly smaller spindle size so they will not slide on to the Harrison spindle. I suppose you could have them drilled out but to ensure alignment accuracy I'd probably just get new ones from Dan.
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Old 08-17-2022, 12:17 PM
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Wolf ó the mandrels from my Rose jig (from Geoffrey Kerbal's estate) fit my first-generation Harrison jig. I hope he's continued that to this new version.

Steve ó my goodness, that's significantly revised, especially in the area that I have been most frustrated with on both the well used (and worn) Rose jig and the Harrison version: the platen adjustment. I asked (through my wife's Facebook account) if the new adjustment could be retrofit on the prior Harrison/Rose jig but looking at those pictures now, it looks like the answer is probably no.
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Old 08-17-2022, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus
Wolf,

No, the spindle shaft is smaller than 10.5. Dan also made/makes a 10.5 mm mandrel but it is not included at this time.

I just checked and the Art Rose mandrels use a ever so slightly smaller spindle size so they will not slide on to the Harrison spindle. I suppose you could have them drilled out but to ensure alignment accuracy I'd probably just get new ones from Dan.


That latter is a disappointment. I've been able to use Rose mandrels on the Harrison jig I got from Dan at NARAM-61.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2022, 12:27 PM
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Bernard,

I just went and checked and the Rose mandrels are just an encredibly small amount smaller hole sized. Maybe I could have forced it on the spindle but I didn't want to try.
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  #10  
Old 08-17-2022, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus
Bernard,

I just went and checked and the Rose mandrels are just an encredibly small amount smaller hole sized. Maybe I could have forced it on the spindle but I didn't want to try.


I gotta half-pound ball peen hammer that ought to be about right for whanging the bigger mandrels on and off the jig.
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