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April 1960 American Modeler

April 1960 American Modeler

April 1960 American Modeler Cover - Airplanes and Rockets Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

The April 1960 issue of American Modeler magazine provided this octet of handy tricks and tips for model airplane building in its monthly Sketchbook feature. Readers write in with ideas they came up with to solve commonly encountered issues with hardware, framework construction and covering, painting, trimming out a model for good flight characteristics, engine operation, and others. Many might seem obvious, but such is often the case after you see a solution, kind of like in school when working a math or physics problem and looking at the answer in the back of the book. A couple of the suggestions here are things I have done, such as running a nut up on a bolt prior to cutting the bolt so that it can then clean up the threads as it is removed. I also used to put a piece of fuel tubing between the fuel/air nipples on the fuel tanks of Cox Babe Bees to facilitate flying inverted. The homemade long drill bit trick was made in order to make holes through lamps I turned on my lathe. They were made of relatively soft woof (pine) so the process was simple.


Bolts, Roger Rasor, Wadsworth, Ohio - Airplanes and RocketsWhen bolts are cut, threads are usually burred at edge. Roger Rasor, Wadsworth, Ohio, simply runs nut above point where cut is to be made, later unscrews it to remove burrs.

Ray Adkins, Sepulveda, California, Tapered tubes - Airplanes and RocketsHollow fiberglass fishing rod blanks (factory discards) are ideal fuselage booms, reports Ray Adkins, Sepulveda, Calif. Tapered tubes are notched to accept pylons, mounts, etc.

Roy Traylor, Austin, Texas, solders retaining washer - Airplanes and RocketsFlush hub disc enhances model appearance. Roy Traylor, Austin, Texas, solders retaining washer close to hub, cements rubber ring spacer to wheel hub, adds aluminum disc for neat installation.

Aaron Thornton, Waterloo, Iowa, Cox engine - Airplanes and RocketsAaron Thornton, Waterloo, Iowa, found simple addition of loop of neoprene made his Cox engine suitable for inverted running. Tubing has vent in bottom; engine runs upright or inverted without loss of fuel.

Gum arabic and water Charles Wolff, New Hyde Park, New York - Airplanes and RocketsUnusual liquid adhesive for covering purposes is gum arabic and water, reports Charles Wolff, New Hyde Park, N.Y. Inexpensive and non-flammable, available at most drug stores.

Mohd Farooque, E. Pakistan Nylon Props - Airplanes and RocketsNylon props slip on shafts in Pakistan just as they sometimes do in the U.S.A. Mohd Farooque, E. Pakistan, cuts washer of thin cork, places it between back washer and prop as cure.

Indoor covering patch Art Christensen, Elk Grove, Illinois - Airplanes and RocketsIndoor covering patch technique used with microfilm is adapted to silk by Art Christensen, Elk Grove, Ill. Layers of newspaper makes trimming, handling of wet silk easy.

Jim Cipolla, Long Hill, Conneticut long drill of steel wire - Airplanes and RocketsSpecial jobs require special tools. For drilling leadout wire holes in completed wing, Jim Cipolla, Long Hill, Conn., made long drill of steel wire for use in speed drill.

Got a new idea for construction, adjustment or operation of model planes, boats or R/C? "AM" pays $10 flor each "hint & kink" used. Send rough sketch and description to Sketchbook, c/o American Modeler, 575 Madison Ave., New York 22, N. Y. Please note that because of the very large number of submissions, none can be returned to the sender.

Sketchbook Editions

| Sep 49 | Jan 52 | Jul 54 | Aug 54 | Sep 54 | Dec 54 | Mar 55 | Jan 57 | Feb 57 | Mar 57 | Apr 57 | May 57 | Jun 57 | Jul 57 | Sep 57 | Oct 57 | Nov 57 | Dec 57 | Oct 58 | Mar 59 | Jul 59 | Aug 59 |Nov 59 | Dec 59 | Jan 61 | Feb 61 | Mar 61 | Apr 61 | Jun 61 | Jul 61 | Aug 61 | Dec 61 | Mar 62 | Jan 62 |Feb 62 | Jun 62 | Jul 62 | Oct 62 | Sep 62 | Dec 62 | Jan/Feb 63 | Mar/Apr 63 | May/Jun 63 |Jul/Aug 63 | Sep/Oct 63 | Nov/Dec 63 | Mar 67 | Oct 67 | Feb 68 | Apr 68 | May 68 | Jun 68 | Jul 68 | Sep 68 |

Back when the Sketchbook, Gadgetry, Powerless Pointers, and Engine Info columns were run, there were very few pre-built models, and there simply was not as much available in the way of hardware and specialized modeling tools. We were still a nation of designers and builders. The workforce was full of people who worked on production lines, built houses and buildings with hand tools, and did not have distractions like Nintendos and X-Boxes. Remember that plastics were not common material until the early 50s and the transistor wasn't invented until late 47. Enjoy the tips. Some of you will no doubt wax nostalgic over the methods, since you can remember the days when you did the exact same thing!



Posted May 8, 2022

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Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

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