Found this Estes in a bargin basket at my local hobby store. I thought it would keep me busy while I kept watch over the shenanagins associated with my son's 9th birthday. I have built a lot so the idea of my first new build document might seem sort of a lame, but it really was a fun hour.
This may seem sort of off color but bear with me. I took the twin pieces of balsa and ran each one through a knife sharpener just before the colored edge of the balsa was invisible. I then stacked the two together and put the fin template on top and cut the fins with a very sharp pair of heavy duty scissors. The beveled leading and trailling edge were not affected because the template fit to those edges. Just the root and tip edge were cut with the scissors. With four rough fins in hand I stacked those and sanded the root edge with 400 then 600. The tips were then sanded individually with 400.
When I looked at the tiny body tube and nosecone I realized Estes had created an A rocket motor with fins and a nosecone. OK Mr. Estes I get it. I paused at that point thinking I'm never going to find this once I launch it. Without any kind of motor retention it is obvious the ejection charge is going to spit the motor out. I spent a few moments thinking of a mod that would allow at least a tiny streamer to deploy. A tiny bulkhead would do the trick, but limited by space and time and the kids needing a little supervision, I went by the instructions and glued the nose cone to the body tube.
I marked out the lines for fin placement and set the fins in place without much hassle using CA. I then took a piece of 600 sandpaper and finished the leading, trailing and tips of the fins. I got them pretty thin like razor blades and took a paint brush dipped into CA and coated them till they were good and brittle.
So I'm an optimist. I painted a thin film on the fins with 5 min epoxy to give them a little strength.