Workshop gadgets - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Dec 01, 2004, 07:32 PM
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billystiltner's Avatar
Is there a prize for messiest workshop photos?

Here's my first gadget a balance.
Plans are on Carlo Godel's website.
I think there's a thread somewhere here about this.

Next is my Balsa Stiffness guage thing.
Plans are in Hobby Shopper EZB article on Tim Goldsteins Indoor Duration site.

2 nifty gadgets for working with balsa and light models.

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 02, 2004 at 11:23 AM.
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Dec 01, 2004, 07:36 PM
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Hotwire cutter with guitar tuner for adjusting tension.
I need to move the wire toward the center of the board instead of on the end.
I have not yet had a problem with foam cutting uneven after it goes over the edge though. The board is oak with some legs. The board was originally a wrestling ring for one of my little brothers school projects or something.
Height of wire is adjusted with music wire or whatevers handy. The heat is controlled with an Aeronutz adjustable voltage source. Powered by computer power supply. Underneath is a peice of sheet metal which makes a handy makeshift magnetic building board. Have not built odels that large yet but used lids of metal tins as magnetic building board for smaler 3" span models.
Also below the table you can see part of my hot wire bow.
Plans for the bow are on Jean-Michels site.
Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 02, 2004 at 11:25 AM.
Dec 01, 2004, 07:46 PM
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Here is a conglomerate of homemade gadgets etc..

A rubber / Litz winder for making litz wire or winding up rubber powered models. Built from old wind up clock.

A coil winder.

A Brazillian Cherry micro work bench(not really a gadget but assists in building micro models) It's the most dense wood I have seen so makes a nice hard work surface.

Homemade non magnetic tweezers from Inside Story article.

Balsa Strippers - details are on Thayer Syme's Free Flight Fantasies website.

Behind the wood you can see some drill bits. They are sticking in the cooling fins of an aluminum heatsink which makes an even smaller work surface. Good to hold drill bits and tweezers as well as has straight 90 degree edges plus some holes for hammering/drilling small parts.

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 02, 2004 at 11:32 AM.
Dec 01, 2004, 07:58 PM
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Another conglomerate.
Foam makes a good wire and bit holder.
For really small(.010" and less) homemade bits as outlined in Collin Bernie's (search) paper, draw a circle on the foam along with the size of the bit and always replace in the appropriate place to keep up with your bit sizes.

Bob Bailey TSSOP PIC adapter. Bob Bailey has been at it again. He made a fine TSSOP adapter. The main thing is a brass rod turned into a spring which is soldered to the clamp. The clamp appears to be a sandwich of PCB glued/soldered(?) together. Where the PCBs meet and where the legs go in the copper has been ground away so there is a nice slot for the legs to fit in.
Pretty neat. Once I can figure out how to get closeups with this camera I'll try to get some better photos.

Next is a glue thing. It's a big lid like on gatorade filled with clay(non hardening). depress a bowl shape in the clay. Cut out some wax paper circles and put on top of the clay. Mix your glue or squirt glue on there then apply to parts. Hardened glue wax paper blob is disposeable. The bowl surface remains, replace wax paper for new area to squirt glue.

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 02, 2004 at 12:16 PM.
Dec 01, 2004, 08:06 PM
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One more.

Flux / sponge tin from old candy tin.

Micro drop glue gun made from food coloring bottle , aluminum tube, teflon tube and music wire. This glue bottle is really neat, makes you feel like you are a micro modeler when you use it to apply glue. Plans on Tim Goldstein's site.

One more of the winder.

I kept taking photos of one homemade thing and kept seeing other homemade things in the photos. Flash light is not homemade but assists in finding dropped small parts under table. Another thing you may have noticed is lots of containers like potato chip containers, vitamin bottles etc.. they make good little tool/ part holders etc...

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 02, 2004 at 11:28 AM.
Dec 01, 2004, 09:55 PM
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California Condor's Avatar

My stripper

About the most useful tool I have. It was not difficult to make.
Dec 02, 2004, 02:51 AM
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Hey, those are my favorite kind of peanuts!
Dec 02, 2004, 04:58 PM
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You have the best collection of gadgets cluttered on the champion "most untidy bench". How do you actually get space to build anything.
My bench looks like that at the end of a project but I have to clean up before starting a new one.
Phil S
Dec 02, 2004, 05:27 PM
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Whenever I get ready to build a plane or new receiver etc.. I usually clean up an area on the table or at least partially clean up an area. To the right there's a cd shelf with cd cases used as shelves which makes a nice micro shelf which the little plastic boxes and stuff go in. There's also a big shelf that has wood, electronics parts, the balance, soldering iron, dremel, etc.. To the right of the immediate work area on the table there are pliars, wire stripper, caliper, scissors, files, tools man. To the left of the work area is a tin full of sand paper and balsa strippers. That is where my winder stays as I am constantly making Litz wire lately. To the left still yet in an unused chair are boxes of parts for gearboxes, picture frame glass for sanding and building straight wings. Under the table is a pancake compressor. The airbrush and moisture trap / regulator hose is taped to my chair arm. Have not painted in a while but it's there handy for when I do paint. Where you see the micro work bench is usually where I solder rxs and make gearboxes and props. All underneath that gets cleaned up for planes. It was actually all cleaned up a week or so ago to complete a volksplane fuselage. The wood scraps are leftover from that and the watch gear gearbox mess has not quite been cleaned up lately. You do not need much room really to build small parts but seems like there are constant micro messes gathering all over the place. My work area is actually 10 times messier than the photos reveal.

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 02, 2004 at 05:31 PM.
Dec 02, 2004, 07:45 PM
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Oh Billy, you havn't been leaving micro messes everywhere again have you?

The smaller my models get the more I seem to take flying with me and as for my workshop (attic) it is just rammed full of **** (self sensored), it is amazing how it all collects when you start trying to do things like we do.

I find small fiddly jobs are often the messiest, you can go into a world of your own, especially if you don't have much time. You look up at the end and you are surrounded on all four sides by almost every tool you own and every box of bits.

Furthermore as modellers we have a huge range of stuff, from glues to tools so special materials, painting stuff, cutting stuff, it just goes on, nothing seems to fit together, it is a real pig to organize.

Dec 02, 2004, 11:06 PM
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For the small bits and pieces I use Centrifuge Micro tubes for storage. I use 1.5 milli liter non-sterile one as they are cheap and easily available. They have a frosted area on the side and top for marking and seal tight enough to store liquids as well as small parts. Great for surface mount devices. Clear enough to see whats in them even without marking. The 1.5mL size fit nicely into a 7/16 inch holes in simple blue core foam sheet holders. Small holder for the parts in active use on the bench and larger holders for mass storage.

They are almost always available on E-Bay for about $20 per 1000, or can be obtained from many scientific distributors.

Photo shows a 1.5 mL one with 1 x 1.5 x 5 magnets in front of it.
Dec 02, 2004, 11:13 PM
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very nice thread !

I would like to see some gadget to use with CF...
Dec 03, 2004, 12:21 AM
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Here's my thrust test stand and dremel bit holder. Both homemade. The bit holder is just 2 peices of flat wood joined by dowels and the top peice has several holes drilled through. The Thrust test stand was originally a 2 peice deal that pulled a string but have since converted to the typ that Gordon uses. Mine has tissue hinges.

Also in the background is my homemade rubber stripper. Something that I have not had much success with yet. I reckon it would work ok for larger strip but for smaller strip the fancy expensive rubber strippers that you can buy will probably work much better.

Lots of micro messes makes one big mess. Seems like the smaller the job the bigger the mess.

The other photo shows more mess and the cd case shelf. Who knows the name of the Aphex Twin CD? You can also almost see my soldering Iron tip which was discussed in the DIYIR thread recently. The gadget in that area is the clamp and airbrush holder which doubles as a soldering Iron holder.

Graham(can't quit making micro meses) might recognize the Alfa Aesar catalog that serves as a base for my lamp. The top book is "Music of the Spheres".

I thought of another gadget on the way home this evening. A box with 2 holes for your hands and the top is covered with saran wrap or plexiglass. Instead of 2 holes maybe one big square hole with an apron hanging from the top edge. You could put your foam parts in there and sand them without getting foam dust in the air. Also would make a good place to dremel IR sensors, CF, PCB, etc...

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 03, 2004 at 12:48 AM.
Dec 03, 2004, 12:38 AM
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Hopefully my messy photos will inspire someone to build some nifty gadgets.
All the other gadgets so far are really neat. Next on my list is a vac former and a vise. So I have been inspired by the thread.

Last edited by billystiltner; Dec 03, 2004 at 12:40 AM.
Dec 03, 2004, 10:03 AM
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Could you please click a separate picture of your thrust test stand.
Is it meant to be used with your 'balance beam' ? I want to build one.

Inspired, I'm already on to making a balance beam 'cause I don't want to spend on an electronic scale at least for now.


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