Roger Smith's Page

AKA: jadebox

Location: Oviedo, FL

Certification Level: L2 NAR/Tripoli


Favorite Rockets: Estes Omega


Roger maintains

Roger, and his wife, Bracha, have built and flown some of the furriest rockets of all-time. Their "Big Daddy Akavish" is a spider-themed high-power rocket standing about four-foot tall on its eight legs.


Favorite Quote:

Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

Personal Home Page:

Club Home Page:

Facebook Page:!/jadeboxroger

Google+ Page: Pages:


National Events / NSL 2022


Cropped aerial photo taken on Saturday


Garage Organizer Shelf Unit



My garage workshop has served more as a storage place for the past year than as a workshop.  So, a few weekends ago I started trying to organize it better so that I can get back to building rockets. One of the things I did was to build a set of shelves designed primarily to organize storage ... [More]

Garage Organizer Shelf Unit - The Result

Build Entry

I am really pleased with the result. Having my collection of screws and other small parts organized where I can quickly find them is going to make life easier. And having a place to charge the batteries for my tools frees up a lot of space on my workbench. Now ... back to building rockets! ... [More]

Garage Organizer Shelf Unit - Photos Phinally

Build Entry

And now ... because I forgot to take more photos ... here is the completed cabinet. What you missed: You didn't get to see me mess up.  I had intended to work from the bottom up, but I had attached the rails to the inside vertical pieces before I got to that point and the measurement ... [More]

Garage Organizer Shelf Unit - Power Supply

Build Entry

I attached a power strip to the back wall behind the charging shelf.  On one end of the panel, I used a plastic grommet to cover the hole for the power cord. At the other end, I added USB charging plugs (because it looks cool and because I forgot that the power strip has two USB outlets). ... [More]

Garage Organizer Shelf Unit - From the Bottom Up

Build Entry

Bracha painted the wooden parts and I started assembling the shelves and dividers starting from the bottom. I assembled the parts close to where the unit would stand in the garage because it was going to be very heavy.  Rather than carefully following the measurements in my rough sketch or ... [More]

Garage Organizer Shelf Unit - Starting the Assembly

Build Entry

I cut several 1x2" boards into rails to hold the storage boxes and used glue and an nail gun to attach them to the side panels. [More]


Big Daddy Akavish


NEFAR - Clegg Sod Farm [More]


ROCK Launches / March 2020 Launch






L1115 - NEFAR - Clegg Sod Farm [More]


Geminee Thunder


Nice, almost straight-up, boost.  The front section wasn't trimmed quite right and came in nose-down.  It broke the strut, but it's nothing that a little wood glue won't fix.   - D12-3 - NEFAR - Clegg Sod Farm [More]


Mark II


Rocket went unstable off the launch rod.  It looks like it needed some nose weight. - A8-5 - ROCK [More]


Big Daddy Akavish (2)


L1395 - GRITS Winternationals [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Video of the Bigger Big Daddy Launch

Build Entry



Upscale Omega


I180-5 - NEFAR - Clegg Sod Farm [More]


Big Daddy Akavish (2)


A beautiful flight! The rocket soared from the pad with a huge flame under it. At apogee, the parachute deployed and it landed successfully in the field. - NEFAR - Clegg Sod Farm [More]

Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Success!

Build Entry



Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Ground Tests

Build Entry

Bracha crafted a beautiful parachute deployment bag out of a Top Flight Parachute protector and some tubular nylon.   The bag is tubular in shape because it wraps around the motor tube inside the body tube.  We tested it by stuffing the parachute in carefully. Then Bracha held ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Counting Down ....

Build Entry

We're getting close to the first launch.  Bunnell Blast 2013 is less than two weeks away.  We're finishing up just a few things. I realized that the square dowel that holds the rail buttons is closer to the nozzle of the motor than I had thought it would be.  So, I cut a peice of ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - He's Got Legs ... (8)

Build Entry

Bracha finished covering the legs with fur. Bracha sewed the fur into tubes - inside-out to hide the seam.  We turned the tubes right-side out then slid them onto the legs. We used multiple tubes per leg because it's almost impossible to turn one right-side out if it's length is longer ... [More]

Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Rail Buttons II

Build Entry

The top rail button screws in after the square dowel "rail button holder" is inserted into the rocket.  It needs a stand-off to line up with the other rail buttons.  I created the stand-off using a nut and a few washers.   With the top rail button in place, I tested the ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Fur and Away

Build Entry

or ... A Bridge Too Fur ... no? ... The Hunger Games: Catching Fur?   Anyway ... here's an update on our progress building the Big Daddy Akavish Mark II.   Bracha and I spent some time in fabric stores and looking online to find the perfect faux fur to cover the new Big Daddy ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Holey Akavish, Batman!

Build Entry

Although Bracha keeps reminding me that real spiders don't have big Muppet eyes, all of our Akavishes have.  And, this one is no different. Then we glued two half foam balls into the newly formed eye sockets. Finally, we covered most of the rocket with black paint. And ... ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Feet

Build Entry

We bought 10 "uncoated foam balls" to use as feet.  These are similar to the balls we used as feet on the previous Big Daddy Akavish.  But, at 8" in diameter, they are bigger and they are made of a different kind of foam. I used the drill press to carefully cut a hole in each ball. ... [More]

Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Fiberglass

Build Entry

We covered the foam parts with a couple layers of fiberglass.  We used light fiberglass cloth cut into small strips and applied it like paper mache.  I didn't take any photos because it was rather messy. Since everything will be covered with paint and fur, we didn't go overboard trying ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Maybe Not So Big?

Build Entry

Looking at the size of the new Akavish's head, I think the rocket won't look right if it's 6 1/2 feet tall.  Our previous Big Daddy was a little less than 4' tall with a 12" diameter head.  This one has a 16" diameter head, so it probably should be about 5 to 6' tall.  ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Making Room for the Launch Rail

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Next, we had to make room for the launch rail. Bracha cut a slot in the side of the foam. I'll clean up the edges a little before we cover the foam with fiberglass. [More]

Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - Nose Cone

Build Entry

For the nose cone, we used one of the pieces cut out of the foam ball.  I started with a couple of center rings that I had in my big box o' rings.  I added a lip around the larger ring by cutting a thin piece of the body tube and gluing it in place.  I added a screw eye (actually an ... [More]


Bigger Big Daddy Akavish - The Head

Build Entry

The head of the Akavish is a large foam ball.  It comes in two hollow halves.  To fit over the body, we had to cut a 12" hole through the ball. A sat each half ball on the floor then placed a section of the 12" tubing on the top of the half ball. I used a level to make sure the ... [More]

Roger Smith


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