To go along with the Apollo module, I’ve decided to create a 1:112 scale Saturn V rocket. The scale is a bit arbitrary as it is based on the diameter of a dowel I could find in the store for the Command/Service Module (CSM). I figured I’d start working my way down from the CSM. On the rocket, below the CSM, is the volume where the Lunar Module (LM) was stored. The LM is surrounded by a conical section of the rocket that splits apart once in space. Below this, is a small ring known as the Instrument Unit (IU) that was responsible for guiding the rocket. I decided to make this all one piece.
Here’s a picture from NASA showing the Saturn V from Apollo 10. I’ve pointed out the small part of it where the LM &IM is located.
Running the math, shows that the diameter of the IU and S-IVB stage needs to be about 2.32″. I found a line drawing of these parts and printed it out to scale. I don’t have a piece of wood large enough to make the block I need. So, I decided to glue a couple pieces of Pine 2×4 together to make the block. The first thing I did was plane a face smooth on each block with a hand plane. This will help create an almost invisible seam where the pieces meet.
Next, the pieces were slathered in glue and clamped overnight.
This piece is large enough so that I can get the LM & IM section and the stage below the IM ring called the S-IVB.
I roughed it into a round cylinder and the did some cutting with a parting tool to create tenons for me to grab with the chuck.
The smaller section is going to be used for the LM & IM part and the larger one for the S-IVB stage. To allow the CSM to sit on top of the LM section I drilled a hole into the part before starting to turn it.
Unfortunately, I ran into a little problem. The piece of wood had a knot in it that I thought I could avoid when turning. I was wrong and decided to toss the partially completed piece in the burn box.
So, I decided to use the other part of my laminated block to make the LM & IM section again. As before, I started with drilling a hole.
Here’s a picture during the process of turning it. To keep the edge of the cone straight, I would hold a metal ruler close to the surface while turning.
I plunged the parting tool into the wood at the location where the IM stopped but didn’t go all the way through. I left a tenon on the end of the part to fit into the future S-IVB stage. Once the part was close to the shape I wanted, I switched over to sanding. I wrapped a piece of sand paper around a block of wood to keep from putting waves into the surface. Once I was happy with the surface, I parted the piece off.
Here’s the LM & IM section with the Apollo CSM I turned previously.
Next up, the S-IVB stage. I’ve glued some pieces together for it and they are currently drying. I’m not sure what I’ll use to make the other two stages as, at this scale, they’ll be ~3.53″ in diameter. This is slightly larger than a 2×4.