Saturn V: S-IVB

I made some more progress on my wooden Saturn V rocket.  I worked on making the third stage known as the S-IVB ( pronounced S4B).

Here’s the picture from NASA showing the section this post is about.  This stage of the Saturn V was responsible for putting the CSM and LM in earth orbit and, later on, pushing them towards the moon.


As before, I glued up a couple blocks of Pine 2×4.


The block was roughed out into a cylinder and important locations marked out with pencil.  To allow the tenon on the bottom of the LM & IM section, I spoke about in the previous post, to fit in this stage, I turned a pocket in the end of the piece.  Once happy with the fit, the tail stock was moved back in to support the piece while turning.


To get the diameter of the stage to fit my previous piece I turned the speed up and took fine passes with a skew chisel.  I’d then check the size and take another pass or two if needed.  After a bit, the correct diameter was reached.  The technique using the skew left a better surface than could be obtained with a scraper or gouge.


I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make the rocket nozzle a separate piece or not.  I feared it might be too small and cause the rest of the piece to fly off.  In the end, I decided to try turning it as one piece.  In the picture below I’ve started removing material where the nozzle is.


I continued to take the diameter down around the nozzle and then worked on the angled transition from the nozzle to the rest of the stage.


Once the transition was finished I started working the nozzle.  I left the structure between the nozzle and the sloped section thicker than in the drawing so the nozzle wouldn’t break off.S4B_7

Next up was some light sanding to 220 grit and then I carefully parted the stage off.   Here’s the finished piece sitting on top of the drawing I used for it and a ruler.S4B_8

Here’s all the stages together.S4B_9

To give a sense of size, here’s the completed parts of the Saturn V next to the Titan II and Gemini capsule I previously turned.  They’re all the same scale.


Next up, the bigger stages.

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