Falcon 9 Rockets on the Nomad 883

First and foremost, I freaking love my Nomad, this little machine is hilariously accurate and super capable. I thought it would be fun to make Falcon 9 rockets for Christmas presents and since anything worth doing it worth overdoing, obviously the major limiting production factor would lack of sweet fixtures so worked on designing those first.

There are two fixtures in one setup, the lower is two bars with v-blocks machined into them to trim the stock to length and add flats on three sides for clocking/part rotation. Above that are two fixtures overhanging either end of the table (thanks Carbide for giving me slightly more travel than 8" in y-axis!) Those fixtures control axial and transverse locations with shear features and mitee-bite clamps on the end. The end fixtures were roughed out with .02" stock remaining and then bolted down and finish machined in place to make them flat and square with the machine.

Parts move from lower fixture to the top, get the 4th and final flat added to the end and were in business. In aluminum, each setup of 8 rockets takes between 8-14 hours depending on level of hooliganism with cutting loads. In wood, it’s much faster as I am basically G00-ing the entire time.

If I were to design this fixture again, I would change from axial mitee-bite clamps to something vertical; axial clamping as the bar gets thinner tends to want to bow by .010-.020" at the center.

Hope you guys enjoy this project!



way, way cool. Thanks for sharing!

Could you bore out the center and make a few novelty writing pens?

I fail to see how you’re gonna fit people in there, is this some sort of joke?

Kidding aside, nice work and great write up!


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Wow that is pretty cool

Well done! really impressed with the grid fins, If I wasn’t working on a laundry list of projects and upgrades I’d take a stab at this myself. Great job with the fixtures too!

What is this? A rocket for ants?! It needs to be…at least 3 times bigger than this!

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He will need a Shapeoko for that! :wink:


“He’s absolutely right!”

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