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5 Budget RC Airplane Tips & Tricks

5 Budget RC Airplane Tips & Tricks

These five easy tips are sure to make your modeling life easier, and they don’t cost a dime!

TIE UP THOSE LOOSE ENDS

If one of your model’s control servo connectors become unplugged during flight, at best, you’re going to have a really tough time getting it back on the ground in one piece. At worst, you could lose the model completely due to a serious crash. By simply crossing your servo lead end like this and forming a half-knot at the connection, you can be sure the connectors won’t come undone even while under extreme forces during aerobatic flight.

 

TIC TAC TOOL BINS

Small and very important parts and fasteners will be much easier to find and store if you organize your field box and/or workshop drawers. A very inexpensive alternative to those ready-made parts bins and compartmental storage boxes are leftover plastic Tic Tac containers. Tape several together as shown and add those little screws, nuts, grommets, etc. An added benefit is that your breath will always be minty fresh!

HANDY MODEL STAND

Using an old milk crate (readily available everywhere!) and some water pipe insulation foam, makes an inexpensive, yet very sturdy model airplane maintenance and support stand. It’s also big enough to use as an equipment caddy to transport your battery charger and field equipment.

HEX-DRIVE HANDLE

We all know that L-shaped hex head Allen wrenches are handy. You can easily turn an Allen wrench into a long-reach hex driver with a little shop work and a length of 4-inch wood dowel. Drill a hole in the end and a second larger hole to intersect the first (as shown) through the side of the dowel. Split the dowel lengthwise and remove excess side material with a band saw. Next, add a threaded cinch bolt to clamp the Allen wrench securely in place. This design also allows you to change sizes of the Allen wrenches.

STICKY SITUATION

If you’re having trouble getting your tape hinges to stick to your foam airplane, use a Q-tip to apply a thin coating of medium or thick foam-safe CA to the area where the tape will be applied. Let the adhesive air dry (don’t use kicker!) and then apply the tape. The hinge material will stick more securely and will last much longer than if it were applied to the untreated foam surface.

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12 Comments

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  1. To keep all my parts in a handy dandy spice rack that has 12 small glass with caps containers. The unit sits on my work bench and also rotates for easy access and to see which container to choose from. You can find these at goodwill or even wallmart and very inexpensive.

  2. “Old milk crates” are used and re-used by dairy companies for the delivery of a variety of products. They constitute a considerable expense for those companies, especially when they have to be replaced more frequently. Retail merchants who receive dairy products are asked to keep their empty crates from being stolen or ‘borrowed’. But, because of their size and shape, it’s often difficult for them to store the crates securely. The cost of replacing stolen crates is usually passed along from the dairy to the merchant. Please consider this when looking for a crate.

    1. You can buy the crates at any department store such as Wal Mart or Target.

    2. You can buy cheaper, flimsier “milk crates” from Target or Walmart for less than $4 each. Not as sturdy as the original injected nylon milk crates that are valued by grocery stores, but better than having to explain to the police why you stole one…

    3. Milk crates are easily obtained at many retail outlets. Menards and Walmart to name a couple.

  3. I like your new budget ideas area…. Thank you.

  4. Brilliant Ideas

  5. Storage “milk” crates are available at office supply stores like Office Max, so you don’t have to steal one from a grocer.
    Never miss looking at the tips area, always good ideas. Thanks!

  6. In place of “milk” crates plain old storage tubs come in more sizes, lighter, stackable, and nothing falls out of all the holes. I use mine with the wings across the long side leaving the handles and giving four point support. The lids are great for painting, mixing epoxy, Etc. the lip helps to keep spills from going all over.

  7. Another way of extending hex wrenches is to cut the “L” into 2 straight pieces (use a dremel cutoff wheel), then simply electrical tape the newly created bit into an appropriate sized 1/4″ drive socket.

    If you cut up a cheap or worn (only the ends wear out) hex key set in advance and put the bits with your small sockets, you’re ready to go.

  8. If you own cats, you will appreciate the plastic containers that the litter comes in from the store. You will have plenty of containers to use as storage bins . The handle makes short work when using the containers to carry your stuff to the flying field.

  9. Clever ideas! Thanks for putting this up.

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