Workshop gadgets - RC Groups
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Nov 22, 2004, 04:04 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar

Workshop gadgets

I thought it my be nice if people would post there workshop gadgets

They SHOULD be:

1. Homemade
2. Assist in building models
3. Preferably have specific appication to micro models

The should NOT be:

1. Machine tools.
2. other stuff wot you bought

Quite a few of these things have popped up, things like vac formers, foam cutters, prop making jigs, dihedral setup and sanding jigs. Gizmos and gadgets is the name of the game.

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Nov 22, 2004, 04:20 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
Here is a quick one. Something I made for sawing slots in bamboo hubs for homemade propellers.

The jig is simple to make, drill two holes in a block and add two pins, in my case it is a metal block and metal rolled pins but these were just to hand. Then mark a line between the edges of the two pins and on this line drill a hle the size of your bambo.

You start by cross-drilling a piece of bambo. This is then inserted into the hole and a needle or shaft used to set the angle of the hub. A protractor can be used or a scale can be printed, remember that differing rotations will need to have the opposite angles. Then use a rasor saw to make the cut, flip over and repeat.

Not the best jig in the world, really just half a mitre block but it does work pretty well.

Nov 22, 2004, 04:26 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar

Hotwire cutter by Dave Cholerton

This is the cutter made by Dave Cholerton that has inspired mine. Construction is MDF and the cutter is tensioned via a spring to a high tension. The wire passes over a pulley and over two screws that set the height. The foam is sat on a mdf plate and with a weight on top pushed through the wire. The ali section forms a basic guide.
Nov 22, 2004, 04:35 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar

My cutter

This is my version, thicker sled plate at Dave's suggestion. I use gravity for tensioning and as I didn't have a pulley or a bearing to make one I just used some tin plate to form a smooth edge. The only other difference is that my height adjustment is not infinite, by locking the nut against the guide I have stepped increments of 0.25mm. This is good and bad depending on how you look as it.

Next step is a pulley at the end for a gravity pull for smoother cutting.

Final picture shows how thin you can expect to cut some foams.

Nov 23, 2004, 02:24 PM
Sussex, UK
RobinBennett's Avatar
It's not in the same league, but I found that an old 3.5" floppy disk makes a good set-square ;-)
It's light and softish, so it won't damage wall foam and usually free!
Nov 23, 2004, 03:15 PM
Only nerd in the village
Lego is good for set-squares too.


(making a bit of advertising for my homeland )
Nov 24, 2004, 05:08 PM
RIP "Long Shadow Flyer"
crvogt's Avatar
Made a bending tool for forming landing gear and tail skeg from music wire.

Drilled holes then pounded in nails, cut off heads with Drummel tool....

Easily bends the wire, same shape each time...

Hope this helps
Nov 24, 2004, 06:01 PM
Flap chap
snakeX2's Avatar
This is quick and cheap one. I don't know if you can buy them as a product, but i basically made a scalpel compass. Just a split pencil with a new scalpel blade glued in between with some glue. Useful for cutting nice curves or cutting out cirles for stickers, or wallfoam, balsa, etc. It has had many uses so far. Thanks.
Nov 24, 2004, 10:23 PM
Registered User

Wing sanding jig

Here's a scrap piece of threshold with sandpaper glued to the slightly curved bottom, and the doorknob screwed to the top. With a piece of foamboard fastened against the base, I can sand against the rail and put a quick airfoil on a wing...
Nov 25, 2004, 02:25 AM
Registered User
del's Avatar

Tissue paper tubes

Here's a web page that I set up for Gordon a few months back.
I'm not sure if he used it. So I'll present it to all...

While it's not exactly about shop tooling, it is about parts
and how to make 'em...

Nov 25, 2004, 09:58 AM
Registered User
peter frostick's Avatar

Coil Forming with old rubber winder

I had pensioned off this sad old indoor rubber model winder years ago, but it was suddenly re-born when an actuator coil maker was needed! For those you who may not know of this classic Peanut Scale flyers mechanism, the small cheapo calculator is used as a turns counter by connecting the "=" contacts on the calc's PCB to a micro or reed swich triggered from the primary shaft --- The method of setting it is to enter the gear ratio (9:1 in my case). and press the plus key to set up an addition constant. Each turn of the handle then briefly closes the contacts and advances the display.

I tend to use 0.06mm Thermal bonding adhesive enamelled wire for my coils, so required a 160C heat proof former to cook in the oven. A very simple solution was to mount a pair of redundant grub screwed slot-car alloy hubs on a long 3/32" steel shaft with a small turned alloy button for the coil centre former -- this centre button needs couple of turns of pastrycooks grease proof paper around it, or it never releases!! After winding on the desired number of turns, I just loosen the final gear's grub screw and slide the assembly with shaft out of the winder for cooking in a domestic fan oven (15 mins at 160C). A nice way to hold the wires in place during cooking is to slip little rings of silicone fuel tube over the shaft to trap them.

The counter is dead easy to make, and it's so good to be able to replicate coils quickly and easily.

Have fun

Last edited by peter frostick; Nov 25, 2004 at 10:24 AM.
Nov 25, 2004, 04:17 PM
Sticky Shepherd
Graham Stabler's Avatar
cool, keep them comming folks!
Nov 26, 2004, 05:41 PM
RIP "Long Shadow Flyer"
crvogt's Avatar
Chipped prop recycler

When I have a chipped GWS 10.47 prop, I use the fixture on my bench top belt sander to cut off the chipped tip and save the prop for another flight. Made with a piece of plywood with a 4x40 machine screw and a C clamp.
I resharpen the lead and trailing edges with and emery board and they are as good as new.. only a 9.75x4.7 prop hehehehe!!

Last edited by crvogt; Nov 26, 2004 at 05:43 PM.
Nov 26, 2004, 05:47 PM
RIP "Long Shadow Flyer"
crvogt's Avatar
When working with Bluecor foam I use a lot of bits of clear tape... made some wall mounted tape despensers from tape guns I purchased at the Dollar Store. The handle is removed, they are mounted to plywood and I made some cutters out of scrap metal. Make sure the tape guns have the metal frame, they convert nicely to wall mount units...

Nov 26, 2004, 06:07 PM
RIP "Long Shadow Flyer"
crvogt's Avatar
When making my Bluecor FFF planes I roll the wings to get the airfoils. I have 2 fixtures for rolling the wings,
1. From 2" PVC pipe with aluminum siding trim material attached to do the first roll. 1/2 turn puts in the first roll
2. From 3/4" EMT electrical tube with aluminum siding trim material attached mounted in a frame with cranks. Turns a 1/4 turn to put the lead edge curve on the wing...

More info....
Lazy Blue Album

For smaller models will be making the same type of devices for split bluecor.
will be trying smaller diameter pipes, like 11/2" and 1/2".

Last edited by crvogt; Nov 26, 2004 at 06:18 PM.

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