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Thread: W.A.S.P Machine

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    Member Array davie100's Avatar
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    Default W.A.S.P Machine

    Anyone use these machines yet? and formed an opinion?
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    A few MPAG members use the WASP and think highly of it

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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    We have an RMPG member who bought one and seems to like it.

    I had some time to talk to Jim Widmann a bit at PGI at the All Star's assembly area. Also had the opportunity to listen in on Jim going over the machines' function to a new customer while I was doing some tedious shell work. It's quite a piece of work. There is a little bit of a learning curve (vis-a-vis the software interface) and it may need tweaking (again, the software controls) depending on the specific hemi's you use, but it's an amazing tool. Once it's dialed-in it's extremely automated. It really makes mass production of shells feasible for small-scale operations (and of course large scale with more machines).

    The ONLY thing to be aware of is that you need to be careful in ensuring the opening for the time fuse is properly sealed to prevent blow-by. This isn't an issue with traditional techniques.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in CO View Post
    The ONLY thing to be aware of is that you need to be careful in ensuring the opening for the time fuse is properly sealed to prevent blow-by. This isn't an issue with traditional techniques.
    not sure if you happened to see anyone using the technique yet...but they are calling it the "moat" method.

    it involves a short paper ring, and smome hot glue.

    you basically just insert the fuse/plug, set the ring in place around the time fuse (to act as a mold/form for the hot melt), and fill the ring with hotmelt glue. once it's full you kinda lift it and set it back down real fast to allow a bit of glue to get under the ring. the end result is a wide thin hot glue plug with a papre ring around it that not only covers the fuse, but conforms to the underside of the shell providing a nice flat "platform" to mount your lift bag.

    looks real strong and i can't imagine blowby being an issue seeing as how the glue plug is a good 1 1/2 inches diameter and about 1/8-/14 inch thick.

    i think i saw the video on the WASP site showing this, as well as on youtube.

    looks promising.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Actually, I was helping build shells with the all stars and using that method. We went through a LOT of hot glue sticks. Hadn't heard the "moat" term used.

    Anyway, even with the moats when Devon did some test firing he found some shells flower-potted. We had to go back and check and re-glue almost every shell. I think the *critical* aspect is ensuring a very good seal around the time fuse when initially set and glued. There was some sloppy technique where just enough glue to hold it was used, and then when the "moat" was filled there was occasionally enough of a path to get through. Use a heavy bead around the fuse for a good initial seal, and then be sure to use plenty of hot glue to fill the inside of the ring about 2/3 full. That seems to work well.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any picks showing this portion of the process. Hadn't thought about it at the time. For most people this discussion isn't very pertinent anyway. Jim would explain the process to anyone interested in a W.A.S.P.

    From my standpoint, the hardest decision about a W.A.S.P. would be "which version". They are have a specific range of sizes they are limited to...
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in CO View Post
    Actually, I was helping build shells with the all stars and using that method. We went through a LOT of hot glue sticks. Hadn't heard the "moat" term used.

    Anyway, even with the moats when Devon did some test firing he found some shells flower-potted. We had to go back and check and re-glue almost every shell. I think the *critical* aspect is ensuring a very good seal around the time fuse when initially set and glued. There was some sloppy technique where just enough glue to hold it was used, and then when the "moat" was filled there was occasionally enough of a path to get through. Use a heavy bead around the fuse for a good initial seal, and then be sure to use plenty of hot glue to fill the inside of the ring about 2/3 full. That seems to work well.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any picks showing this portion of the process. Hadn't thought about it at the time. For most people this discussion isn't very pertinent anyway. Jim would explain the process to anyone interested in a W.A.S.P.

    From my standpoint, the hardest decision about a W.A.S.P. would be "which version". They are have a specific range of sizes they are limited to...
    from Connecticut pyro MFG site: http://www.ctpyro.com/index.html



    and here's the vid: http://s137177785.onlinehome.us/wsb3...mote(comp).mov

    as per the different models...

    i could have sworn that last week there was a machine that would finish shells up to 16 inch, now there is only two versions and the best one will only produce 12's...

    anyone else know what the deal is here?

    also, anyone know of a bulk price on these things? is there a discount for buying so many if someone was going to set up a production facility?

    would have to get a quote from a certain someone who sells gummed craft too (isn't capitalism great)
    Last edited by St1dinoh; November 17th, 2008 at 07:35 AM.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Thanks for the pic.

    As a heads-up to those paying attention, it's best to punch the time fuse for cross-matching before setting it in the shell. Just a lot easier to work with the fuse, and get accurate timing.

    For those who may not know, you should always crossmatch time delay fuse as it does not take fire easily at all.

    Jim had a WASP that could do at least a 24" shell. He demo'd how to create a large casing using it and a beach ball he inflated to the correct size. So I *know* their is a larger model. He may have removed it from sales pending a redesign or upgrade...

    I'm sure Jim could also point anyone in the direction of several suppliers of gummed craft paper. God knows they went through a TON of it at PGI.

    Keep in mind that the WASP does not include a feeder for the craft paper. Jim had a really nice rig at PGI that was setup to moisten the paper and had a long enough paper path to allow the gum to setup before getting rolled onto the shell.

    The only real thing to watch out for when running the WASP is watching out for running out of paper. If you don't notice it, it can be a bit of a pain to figure out where in the layering program it ran out and ensuring the shells is properly covered. Generally not a problem unless doing very large shells or cranking out in an assembly line.

    Oh, one other thing. Be sure to setup a method of tracking the style of shell being pasted if doing mixed batches. Anything you write on the shells quickly becomes useless. Not that we lost track at PGI...
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    The WASP 4 is $2095.00 (going to $2395.00 in 2009) the WASP 5 is $3095.00 and is not going up in price. The Accessories are included in with the unit, and includes the tape dispenser, tape return wheel, and the wetting station.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    My pyro buddies bought one and love it; they make shells pretty steadily with it. I've used it a couple of times and it certainly makes the process of building ball shells fast and painless.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in CO View Post
    Jim had a WASP that could do at least a 24" shell. He demo'd how to create a large casing using it and a beach ball he inflated to the correct size. So I *know* their is a larger model. He may have removed it from sales pending a redesign or upgrade...
    now thats cool. if it can crank out hemi's i'm in love with this thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in CO View Post
    Oh, one other thing. Be sure to setup a method of tracking the style of shell being pasted if doing mixed batches. Anything you write on the shells quickly becomes useless. Not that we lost track at PGI...
    i heard of a nifty little way using tape and a pencil.

    the magnet that gets placed over the fuse hole, cover one side with a piece of tape and write the shell's number on it.

    when you core out the magnet, you copy the number back onto the outside of the shell.

    that number corresponds to the pattern inside.

    erase the number off the insert and use the magnet again for the next shell to be wrapped.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Amidst all this chatter about the WASP, i thought i would give you guys a preview of the FUTURE of the WASP!

    THE W.A.S.P. 8800 GT!

    Just follow this link to the video ... http://exposureroom.com/members/Tasi...07c1eb1877650/
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolthouse View Post
    Amidst all this chatter about the WASP, i thought i would give you guys a preview of the FUTURE of the WASP!

    THE W.A.S.P. 8800 GT!

    Just follow this link to the video ... http://exposureroom.com/members/Tasi...07c1eb1877650/
    Looking sweet.

    Anyone here recall the old cigarette rolling machines? You could put tobacco in a bay, some papers on a feeder, press a button and it would pop-out a cigarette? This goes back a number of years. Last saw one when I was very young...

    Anyway, it would be really cool to get to that point with shells! Stars in one bin, break charge in another...press a button and VIOLA!
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in CO View Post
    Anyway, it would be really cool to get to that point with shells! Stars in one bin, break charge in another...press a button and VIOLA!
    Actually the guy in the video that modified the WASP also has 2 robotic arms from an automotive factory ... he was going to program them to pull shell components out of bins and actually assemble the entire shell from start to finish.

    The robotic arms are sitting in the corner of the workshop collecting dust at this point but it was a cool idea while it lasted.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolthouse View Post
    Actually the guy in the video that modified the WASP also has 2 robotic arms from an automotive factory ... he was going to program them to pull shell components out of bins and actually assemble the entire shell from start to finish.

    The robotic arms are sitting in the corner of the workshop collecting dust at this point but it was a cool idea while it lasted.
    hmmm...

    it'd be real hard to get those arms to stack the stars along the inside of the hemi without the stars falling down in.

    i guess you could coat the inside of the hemi's with a photo-mount type spray adhesive but i don't know how safe that would be in case of chemical reactions between the spray and the chems in the stars...
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  15. #15

    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by St1dinoh View Post
    hmmm...

    it'd be real hard to get those arms to stack the stars along the inside of the hemi without the stars falling down in.

    i guess you could coat the inside of the hemi's with a photo-mount type spray adhesive but i don't know how safe that would be in case of chemical reactions between the spray and the chems in the stars...
    Hot glue seems to be the adhesive of choice. I'm sure a pan/try of hot glue could be setup so the robot did a small dip of glue on a side of a star/insert and then placed it on the shell.

    The tricky part would be modeling the inside dimensions of the hemis for all the sizes, especially since tolerances for them are so poor (they distort out of round in shipping pretty badly)...
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in CO View Post
    Hot glue seems to be the adhesive of choice. I'm sure a pan/try of hot glue could be setup so the robot did a small dip of glue on a side of a star/insert and then placed it on the shell.

    The tricky part would be modeling the inside dimensions of the hemis for all the sizes, especially since tolerances for them are so poor (they distort out of round in shipping pretty badly)...
    ah...didn't think about hot glue...nice.

    but thats gonna up the shell weight quite a bit, thats lots of hot glue in a 12.

    what if the burst was already pressed and formed into a dome shape then lowered into place. once it's there you can load the stars between the burst bag and the shell hemi and it wouldn't allow the stars to pile up thicker than one layer.

    i didn't know the paper hemi's get warped like that, but hell if you are building shells with robots you might as well build the hemi's too right?
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    For everyone to know who use hot glue!

    I have encountered some fuse that will not pass fire when you hot glue around it. Anybody who took the Ladies shell building at PGI can also attest to this. More then 40% of the shells failed and had round trips. This could also happen to anything else you hot glue. It can also slow the burn time of some fuse. If you must use hot glue, make sure to look for low temp glue.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat1mn View Post
    For everyone to know who use hot glue!

    I have encountered some fuse that will not pass fire when you hot glue around it. Anybody who took the Ladies shell building at PGI can also attest to this. More then 40% of the shells failed and had round trips. This could also happen to anything else you hot glue. It can also slow the burn time of some fuse. If you must use hot glue, make sure to look for low temp glue.
    good point, it can screw up visco.

    but...

    i don't think hot glue would effect time fuse because of the outer coating. nor do i think it would prevent passfire to primed stars inside shells if one was only using a small dot on the hemi side of the star (last point on the star exposed to fire).

    i've built plenty of shells using 1/4 inch time fuse and there's no way the hot glue could screw with the core of the thick Japanese fuse. this is how i built all mine so far (hot glue both sides of the time fuse intersection with the hemi) and not one blow by or failed time fuse because of it.

    in both cases mentioned earlier in this thread, i'd imagine it's not only safe but probably the best method. but if you are building shells with the 1/8 inch fuse hole and using visco it could certainly prevent the visco time fuse from doing it's job.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat1mn View Post
    For everyone to know who use hot glue!

    I have encountered some fuse that will not pass fire when you hot glue around it. Anybody who took the Ladies shell building at PGI can also attest to this. More then 40% of the shells failed and had round trips. This could also happen to anything else you hot glue. It can also slow the burn time of some fuse. If you must use hot glue, make sure to look for low temp glue.
    I think the ladies failures more had to do with somebody forgetting to tell them to make sure that the crossmatch was inserted fully into the lift charge on one side and into the break on the other. There were reports that if you were very careful and gentle with the shell it worked better. I bounced mine around a little bit but in building I made sure that the time fuse would catch.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Marlyn that taught the course is in the NLP and recovered the shells at PGI, and personally saw the 1/4 time fuse burned right down to the hot glue. The inside of the shells were all crossmatched properly and no fire made it past the hot glue. cutting open the match the Hot glue penetrated the fuse.

    So you can think it will not, but I have seen it personally happen. They did a second class with low temp glue and all the shells went off and were built by the same people. Since the failure at PGI with the high temp glue visually leeching into the 1/4 time fuse she has been using low temp glue.

    I am simply saying stay away from the high temp glue and use the low temp glue because I have seen it fail.
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat1mn View Post
    Marlyn that taught the course is in the NLP and recovered the shells at PGI, and personally saw the 1/4 time fuse burned right down to the hot glue. The inside of the shells were all crossmatched properly and no fire made it past the hot glue. cutting open the match the Hot glue penetrated the fuse.

    So you can think it will not, but I have seen it personally happen. They did a second class with low temp glue and all the shells went off and were built by the same people. Since the failure at PGI with the high temp glue visually leeching into the 1/4 time fuse she has been using low temp glue.

    I am simply saying stay away from the high temp glue and use the low temp glue because I have seen it fail.
    wow, thats crazy. i'm not calling you a liar bro i just can't for the life of me figure out how in the hell hot glue can penetrate through that thick outer coating on the fuse. it just boggles the mind.

    i've always used low temp stuff i guess?
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    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    I have seen St1dinoh do his work.. he would this machine to shame

  23. #23

    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat1mn View Post
    Marlyn that taught the course is in the NLP and recovered the shells at PGI, and personally saw the 1/4 time fuse burned right down to the hot glue. The inside of the shells were all crossmatched properly and no fire made it past the hot glue. cutting open the match the Hot glue penetrated the fuse.

    So you can think it will not, but I have seen it personally happen. They did a second class with low temp glue and all the shells went off and were built by the same people. Since the failure at PGI with the high temp glue visually leeching into the 1/4 time fuse she has been using low temp glue.

    I am simply saying stay away from the high temp glue and use the low temp glue because I have seen it fail.
    I won't argue with evidence. I'll accept being wrong in this case. Only thing I'm sure of is mine went up and went boom. Wife's went up and came back down.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: W.A.S.P Machine

    A couple points:

    I don't think it was Japanese time fuse used at PGI in the class. I really didn't pay a lot of attention, but assumed it was the cheaper Chinese stuff.

    With newbies building a first shell, you can bet many used a lot more glue than necessary. Enough build up would have enough heat and low enough viscosity it could compromise the fuse. That said, I would still have seriously doubted even high-temp hot glue would cause issues with *any* time fuse had Stuntborg not relayed the experience of the ladies class. I'm going to have to ask my shell building guru what his experience has been...

    That said, I am also pretty sure we used the low-temp stuff on the All-Star shells, and we used a TON of it around the time fuse - no issues.
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