From servo IDs to masking tape, these useful tips will have you wondering, “How come I didn’t think of that?” To share your own helpful tip with MAN readers, send it to us at MAN@airage.com.
GET A GRIP
Converting scale aircraft to electric is becoming commonplace. Here’s a neat trick that solves a simple but perplexing problem often encountered when using a “nitro” spinner on electric-powered models. Many times, there is a problem keeping the prop and spinner aligned on the brushless motor when tightening the prop nut. Glue a disc of sandpaper to the front and back of the spinner backplate and that problem is immediately solved. You can use a 1-inch hole saw to cut the sandpaper discs and CA them to both sides of the spinner backplate.
ID ZIP TAGGING
Here’s an easy way to ID servo extensions, especially for the larger aircraft that have two or more servos on the wing or other control surfaces. Find a packet of small zip ties or cable ties that come in an assortment of colors at almost any hardware store, then use matching-color ties on the servo extensions and plugs going into the receiver. To separate the wing extensions from the other wing extensions, use a different color combination for each. Now when installing the wings, you’ll never mix up the connectors!
Here is a trick for all builders who use epoxy (and that would be all builders!). One of the problems with epoxy is that it’s thick, and when there isn’t much left, it takes forever to get to the top when it’s turned over, especially when it’s cold. I take old 35mm film canisters (yes, you can still find them) and screw them to a 3 x 5-inch piece of wood. Put them far enough apart so that the epoxy bottles will fit in upside-down—with the caps on, of course. Now, when you want to mix a little epoxy, there’s no waiting for the glue to come to the top—it’s already there. Be careful on a hot day because sometimes there will be a little pressure and you might get more than you want.
HELPFUL WORKBENCH ORGANIZER
When you repair helicopters or airplanes, small screws, nuts, and bolts often have to be removed to reach broken parts. Those items can be easily lost or pushed over the edge of the workbench during a day of work before reassembly. To prevent this, place masking-tape rolls on a flat, unused surface of your workbench. They’ll serve as centralized locations for easy access during reassembly and will prevent these items from rolling off your workbench. No more losing stuff on the huge, open expanse of your workbench when searching for a small part!