With time, experience and lots of trial and error, we RC modelers all learn good way to do accomplish workshop tasks and/or flying field repairs. The simplest things can often make the biggest difference. Be sure to leave comments about your favorite field or bench trick or tip.
1 Charged Battery ID
If you have a bunch of battery packs you use over and over, knowing which ones are charged and which are not can get confusing. An easy way to identify packs is to place a small ID sticker on the packs after you charge them. Once you’ve used the pack for a flight, peel the sticker off so you’ll know it’s in need of a recharge.
2 Propeller Safety Tips
To prevent accidents, full-size aircraft are equipped with propellers that have brightly colored tips. Do the same with your model airplane propellers. Mask off the tips and spray on some bright yellow or white to make the prop tips more visible while it’s spinning. The finger you save might be your own!
3 Small Parts Sticker
When building (or repairing) a model, it is sometimes hard to place a wooden part properly inside a narrow fuselage. An easy way to do this is to use a sharp awl as a “part sticker.” Now, simply add glue to the part, stick it with the “part sticker” and guide it into position.
4 Emergency Screwdriver
It never fails that whenever you need a specific tool for the job, you’ll find that tool anywhere but where you need it. If you find yourself in need of a common, straight-blade screwdriver, you can always take a modeling blade and place it backwards in its handle. The exposed part of the blade can now be used to tighten that screw.
5 Throw-away Epoxy Mixing Pad
While mixing epoxy, use a pad of Post-It notes for the mixing surface. Then after applying the adhesive to the model, simply throw the used note away and you’re ready to mix some more adhesive. No clean up required.
6 Easy Control Surface Alignment
When you install and adjust your pushrods, it is better and easier to do if you lock your control surfaces in their neutral positions. Use a pair of coffee mixing sticks and a couple of clamping clothespins to keep the surfaces from moving.
7 Easy Clevis Keepers
If a clevis were to pop off one of your model’s control horns, you could lose control and crash. A simple and cheap way to prevent this from happening is to add a clevis keeper. Simply slice a thin section from some model fuel tubing and slip it over the clevis. It will act like an O-ring and keep the clevis securely in place without binding.
8 Handy Clamp
There are a hundred tasks in modeling during which you simply need a third hand. Soldering connectors to wire leads is a good example. In a pinch, you can use a pair of pliers with its handles wrapped with a rubber band. The pliers are heavy enough to act as a steady base and the rubber band provides enough clamping force to hold delicate items without damaging them.
9 Simple Building Board
You don’t need a complete building bench or table to build model airplanes; just use a straight piece of pine board. But to make it easier to insert pins to hold the wood parts in place while the glue dries, get some cheap Peel-n-Stick cork sheeting from a hardware store or a convenience shop and stick them to the building board. Place your plans on top and protect it with some clear kitchen wrap or wax paper. Should the cork get damaged or you get some glue on it, simply peel the cork away and replace it with a new piece.
10 Sheet Separator
If you build from plans or kits, you have to cover your model. Often, it is very difficult to separate the covering film from its backing sheet so you can iron it into place. The easiest way to do this is to apply strips of masking tape to each side and use them as pull tabs to separate the two thin layers of plastic.