Saturn V: S-II Stage

I worked on my Saturn V replica some more.  Up next, moving down the rocket, is the S-II stage.  This stage was responsible for moving the rocket through the upper atmosphere.  At 1/112the scale this stage, from top to the bottom of the nozzles, is about 8.75″ long.  It is 3.5″ in diameter.

Here’s the NASA pic to show where this section is located on the rocket.


As before, this stage will be turned out of some laminated pieces of southern yellow pine.


I roughed it into shape with a gouge and then brought it close to the final size with a skew chisel. I put a tenon on the left (top) side of the stage to fit into the ring I made previously.


I took the stage on and off several times to make sure the fit was good with the ring.  Here’s a pic of a test fit.  Unfortunately, after additional sanding later the diameters no longer match as well.


Once I was happy with the size of the tenon and outside diameter, I started work on the nozzle end of the stage.  There’s no way I can turn the five nozzles in place.  The plan was to finish the stage off leaving an area to put the nozzles.  I used a cutoff tool to define the end of the stage and mark the depth of the bottom of the stage.


From the previous step I connected the two cuts with a flat surface and trimmed off the extra.  I really couldn’t run the stage in the lathe held like this.  Any pressure would cause the stage to start to wobble.  Holding it by hand at low speed, I was able to get the little nub trimmed off though.  Still, a steady rest would be a great aide here.


In order to give the J-2 nozzle on the end of the S-IVB stage a place to go I drilled a shallow hole into the top of the stage on the drill press.


Next, comes making the five J-2 engines.  I started with pieces of Poplar dowel I had laying around.


First, I turned the top end of the nozzle and left it a little long to fit inside the stage.


Again, I used the cutoff tool to mark the end of the nozzle and the correct diameter.  With these two locations defined, I started to create the bell shape of the nozzle.


I made a template to use on the nozzles to get them all close to the same shape.  To create the template, I printed a line drawing of the stage and then glued the nozzle drawing to a piece of hard board.  A little cutting and sanding left me with a good template.  I’d turn some and then check it against the template.  After a few iterations I had a well shaped nozzle.

After repeating the above four more times I finally had five little nozzles.  They’re close to being the same.


To give the nozzles a place to rest, I marked off points to drill using the line drawing referenced above.  Seen below, I used the drill press to drill the holes.


After some fitting, all of the nozzles were inserted to the correct height.  I need to get some thin super glue to hold them all in place.  The glue I had was too thick to wick into the joint.


Finally, here’s all the pieces together.  S2_15

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