Cloth Covered Rolling Board
A handy utensil for forming rcandy

Trouble is, that when rcandy comes out of the oven, it is hot.  It quickly forms a skin which keeps it from adhering to the fingers, thank goodness!  But this skin also makes it slide around when you try to form it, particularly when attempting to roll "snakes."  Now snakes are very useful things.  They can be chopped into strands for burn-rate testing, or broken into segments to make bottle-rocket grains.  More importantly, they can be spiraled around a coring tool and dropped into a grain mold, to be pressed solid with another dowel.  The Snake technique is an excellent way to get propellant into the mold, so the ability to make them quickly and painlessly is a very good thing.

Coarse cloth is a very nice surface for rolling cooling rcandy.  It "grabs" the propellant, forcing it to roll rather than slide.  That is good.  But try it on a tablecloth, and the cloth itself slides.  What is needed is something like a mouse pad, where the cloth is firmly attached to something hard.  Hmmm.   Maybe I'll try a mouse pad....

My favorite solution to this dilemma is a cloth-covered board.  In the past I have made these by cutting off the leg of a pair of blue jeans, and stuffing a suitably-sized board in it.  The board is large enough to stretch the cloth out so it can't move.  These have worked very well for me in the past, and have the advantage that when the cloth gets too grungy, I can slip out the board and throw the cloth in the washing machine.  

But today I found myself wanting to make grains and couldn't find a clothboard.  A wild idea occurred to me - I could glue the cloth to a board!  I would be quick and easy - just my style.  Downside is that the cloth would be permanently attached to the board, and thus not easily cleaned.  Well I'll just have to live with that.

I found the leg from a pair of cut-off blue jeans, isolated a section with no holes or badly worn spots, and cut it open so it can be laid flat.

Found a strip of 3/4 inch hardwood plywood left over from another project.  It is 5 inches wide.  I woulda liked it to be a bit wider, but that's how wide it was.  I cut a piece about 8 inches long.
A minute on the belt sander got the splinters off and trued up the edges a bit, so now I can spray it with 3M Super 77 spray adhesive.  

I let the glue dry for about 30 seconds, and laid the cloth on a flat surface, nice and even.  
We don't want any lumps, do we?

The glued board is positioned over the cloth and pressed down firmly.  Held for a minute or so, to give the glue a chance to set a little.  Probably unnecessary, as the glue is really tacky after 30 seconds drying time.  It makes a pretty good contact cement.  

I have used this glue to make inhibitor tubes from posterboard, and so far it has worked very well.

Turned topside-up, I smooth the cloth down to make sure it is stuck everywhere.  
Seems pretty tight.

After a few minutes' drying time, I turn it back over and trim the cloth so there is about 1/2 inch around each side.  This will be folded down to cover the edges.

A notch is cut at each corner so that the flaps will fold evenly, with no overlap.

A little more glue is sprayed on the flaps.  I am trying hard to keep it off the upper surface of the board, and failing.  Guess I could have used masking tape....

After a half-minute or so, the flaps are pressed against the edges to make a very tidy-looking clothboard.

Isn't it pretty!  I am thinking there must be other uses for cloth boards like this.  
Any ideas?  Please share!

Jimmy Yawn
Recrystallized Rocketry