Modifying Rocket Spindles for Easy Removal

(see end of page for making a removable spindle from scratch)


Ever had a hard time getting a motor off a spindle? Do this:

Drill two 1/4" holes opposite of each other on the
spindle base

Thread and add a steel fender washer on top of the spindle

Looks like this when done

Press your motor and put spindle in a vice

Turn 1/4" bolts an equal amount and in very
small increments. When about 1/8" gap appears
(as above), the motor is ready to come off

Gently pull motor off of spindle with your hands.
Too cool!

Creating a Removable Spindle from Scratch

If you start from scratch (make your own spindle), think about making it from a stainless bolt. You can get them from the hardware stores in the sizes needed to make 1 and 2 pound motors.


Get s stainless steel bolt from the hardware store. Cut off or taper the head and then taper the unthreaded part of the bolt using a lathe or chucking the bolt in a drill and running it against a sander. The above tapered piece is not polished - it will work the way it is but polishing makes it much easier to remove.

Make your spindle base by drilling and tapping an appropriately sized piece of aluminum.

If your spindle ever gets stuck (such as when pressing a high metal content fuel like red mag), unscrew the base and...

Put a washer and nut on the back. A few turns of the nut and the spindle comes right off. I always lubricate the nut and washer to minimize friction and the chance of sparks

Dan Thames recently posted another way to remove a threaded spindle.  Here are the steps for removing a smaller spindle:

First, remove the sleeve on the motor

Unscrew the motor about 5/16 inch

Using a 1/4 inch thick piece of PVC that is the same diameter
as the spindle base (your rocket I.D.) that has also been opened
on one end (see above)

Snap the PVC piece on the spindle base and then screw
it down

The spindle will release and you didn't have metal to
metal twisting to get it free. This works fine for relatively
short spindles and is much more convenient.