Where can I find: Number of turns rubber can handle and a rubber stripper? - RC Groups
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Dec 13, 2012, 08:52 AM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar

Where can I find: Number of turns rubber can handle and a rubber stripper?

First get your mind out of the gutter!

By rubber stripper I mean a cutter that will thin the standard availble 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 inch wide rubber into smaller widths?

And is there any data out there on how many turns can be put in a given size rubber band before it breaks?

For instance if I've go a 10 inch loop of 1/16 in my peanut model what is the maximum safe number of winds I can put in it everytime and not fear it breaking?


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Dec 13, 2012, 12:23 PM
Registered User
Norm Furutani's Avatar
I use a Ray Harlan stripper. Works great, and may be the only commercial unit available.

The Hippocket forum is a great place for FF info. Here's a link to a homemade stripper.

Can't help with the rubber winding, except to wind a sample outside of the plane. When winding in the plane, use a winding tube to protect it.

- Norm
Dec 13, 2012, 02:12 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
There used to be charts for the turns per inch for a few different cross sections. But so much depends on the qualities of each batch of rubber that these days those charts mean little. Also to some extent the number of turns you can get into a motor depends on how slack it is between the hooks.

So there's really nothing more to do than to make up a sacrificial test motor and wind it correctly and go until you feel it tighten up with the strong rise it creates just before it snaps or to wind through that point until it breaks and then figure out your own 80% max turns for a safe winding for the models.

At 80% of max you can wind and fly all day long with very little risk. But you do want to inspect for edge tears every couple of flights and especially at the end of the day. Small nicks and "hairs" of rubber at not a big deal unless they extend across the entire edge surface to connect the two faces. When you see that sort of nick in the edge then toss the motor.

As for stripping the rubber down you can try the pull through a single blade styles. But in the end you'll likely find, like I did, that the Harlan style strip cutter is the way to go. I always got variable results with the fixed blade pull through styles to where I had only questionable control over the final width. 5 to 10 thou of variation over a few inches was not at all uncommon with the pull through styles I tried to make. And that simply wasn't good enough for the EZB's and microfilm models I was flying back then. For penny planes and indoor scale it's likely fine but I soon gave up trying to strip my own and simply used to buy the envelopes of pre-stripped rubber from the indoor specialty places back then.
Dec 14, 2012, 07:27 AM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
Thanks guys. I guess that $5.50 per projected remaining year of my life isn't too much to pay for a stripper.

B Matthews I happended to inherit some of those pre thinned strip packages and I was amazed how well it improved how my planes flew.
Dec 14, 2012, 01:42 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
What colour is the rubber in the packs? If it's the old darker brown honest to gosh Pirelli then you might just have something rather special. The old Pirelli, as I recall, did not like to take as many turns per inch as the better batches of tan rubber we have now. It also built up more torque for a given number of turns. So in general it might make the models SEEM to fly better. But that's only because they are climbing more strongly due to the added torque. But the motor run will be shorter as a result unless you make the motor longer by a little than the tan motors. Or go for a slightly smaller width.

Then again we've all seen how variable the tan rubber can be from maker to maker and batch to batch. So even if it's tan rubber it might just be an especially good batch from some time back.
Dec 14, 2012, 02:20 PM
Pan Pan Pan
Harri3's Avatar
A torque meter is probably more useful than counting turns. I've never owned one but toyed with getting or making one. Haven't done either yet.

There was an article on rubber thickness and torque in the latest Flying Aces newsletter that you might find useful. I don't have it handy now though. If you're interested I will try to locate it.
Dec 14, 2012, 05:45 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
I guess I should join Flying Aces too.

Harri3 what is that plane in your avatar?
Dec 14, 2012, 06:06 PM
Pan Pan Pan
Harri3's Avatar
Flying Aces has several plans (for rubber powered free flight) in each issue and some tips usually. The planes pictured are amazing in detail, plus they fly good. My planes don't look a quarter as good and don't usually fly so good. It come s out 6 times a year.

I'll try to locate the issue with rubber motor thickness and torque and scan it for you. It will give you an idea of what's in an issue.

The plane in my avatar is a friend's 1949 Piper Clipper.
Dec 16, 2012, 04:16 AM
Registered User
Gluehand's Avatar
This table was published in Flying Models Magazine, as well as in the well known book by Don Ross.
Of course rubber quality varies, but as a rough guide it is very useful.

Dec 16, 2012, 03:45 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
Cool! thank you! that table saves a lot of sacraficial windings!
Dec 16, 2012, 08:32 PM
Registered User

Winding rubber motors

Noticed this thread taking place on winding rubber motors, torque and safe turns so have scanned some information from three of the many books in my collection.


Now long out of print but if you ever get the opportunity to acquire a copy grab it. It’s loaded from cover to cover with incredibly detailed information and advice.

The next article comes from “THE MODEL AIRCRAFT HANDBOOK” by HOWARD G. McENTEE 1960.

The final chapter is taken from the “MODEL AEROPLANE MANUAL" by LAWRENCE H. SPARY and CHARLES A. RIPPON third edition. Not sure when this book was first published but possibly in the 1930s.

Hope it is of help.


Last edited by algy2; Dec 16, 2012 at 08:49 PM.
Dec 17, 2012, 07:49 AM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
Thanks Algy! Ironic the cover of the first article has a Fairchild 24 on the cover. I grew up with a F-24 in our garage. Dad's "someday" going to get restored project.
Dec 28, 2012, 09:54 AM
Pan Pan Pan
Harri3's Avatar

Attached is the Flying Aces article on using torque to determine max winds. Sorry it took so long.

Here's a link to tips from the Pensacola Free Flight Team, You can spend a lot of time here. http://www.pensacolafreeflight.org/page5/page5.html

There's an article for building a torque meter there, in case you might want to give it a go. I've never built one.

Good luck!

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