Our rocket workshops take many forms, subject to the needs of our work space, the type of projects we pursue, the time we have to work on our rockets, who shares our home, and all sorts of other factors--even what kind of pets we have! I think it would be helpful from time to time to post articles here in our How To section that give us a look at different club members' rocket workshops. Few of us have the space to dedicate to our hobby the way we would like to do. I always like to pick up ideas from other modelers, and often, the work space they have carved out gives us ideas for how we can organize our own space.
So I'll start out this mini-series in the How To section with a tour of my own work space, such as it is; it is shoehorned around kids' dress up and art supplies in the back of the TV room, but also hidden on shelves in the garage and in my closet. Like many Arizona homes, the lack of a basement puts a premium on storage space, and as you may have noticed, rockets can take up a lot of space! Yet I don't like to look at unfinished projects all the time, so I try to have a place set aside out of the way where I can leave projects to sit for a few days or weeks when I am busy on other things.
Primarily, I have a 6 foot by 2 foot folding table that I use for my low power projects--these days, mainly my competition models. Many of the boxes used in shipping rocketry supplies wind up being used as storage boxes for other supplies. dedicated to recovery supplies--parachutes, shock cords, streamers, etc. Another has nose cones and transitions. Another fin material of various sorts and sizes. Inside each bin, many items are stored in ziplock bags labeled clearly so I can grab just what I need easily. My kids are at an age where I like to be inside to keep an ear out during the time they may take to fall asleep, so I prefer to work inside. The clear plastic sides on the tubs mean I can walk out to the garage and pick the bin or two that I need, and bring them inside to work for the evening. And the bins stack nicely so the bins can stay out from under foot.
Cardboard body tubes and the ever growing collection of unbuilt models I picked up as a 'bargain' store nicely next to the table in an old shipping box with the top cut off. I tend to store tubes of the same size rubber banded together, although my coupler stock I use for making custom tubes I store nested inside themselves. A word of warning--floods can happen anywhere for the most ridiculous reasons, so always put cardboard boxes up on blocks off the floor; wood blocks or PVC pipe both work well. That laundry machine is half the house away, or that window never leaks, except when it does. You have been warned!
High power motors, however, I store in a lockable steel trunk lined with plywood. I sort them into reused boxes or ziplock bags by manufacturer and diameter. Before each launch, I transfer the motors I may need to ammo boxes for transport.
Then there is the question of where to paint. We are fortunate that we have largely undeveloped desert behind our house, with an easement between our house and the neighbors' yards. this lends itself well to paining, which we accomplish with the help of rebar pounded into the ground. Most rockets get painted vertically with the rebar through the motor mount, although overturned cat litter buckets serve well to hold models horizontally if needed. All this done well away from pavement and any foot traffic.