Thursday, August 17, 2017
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Build A Custom PVC Stand To Protect Your Model

Once I finish building an airplane, I immediately build a stand for it. Why? Because such a stand stabilizes the fuselage and makes it easy to attach the wing, or connect the servo wires, etc., and it also protects the plane from your workbench. Whenever you set a fuselage down anywhere, you invite problems. When the fuselage lies inverted, the fin and rudder, the canopy and cowl and the glow plug are stressed as you jiggle the plane around while you prepare it for flight. An inexpensive, easy-to-make PVC pipe stand eliminates the chance of your having these problems.

Heres how to make a custom stand:

1– Make a rough sketch of your proposed stand. If you cant draw, do the best you can, or follow photo 3 as a guide.

2– Determine the correct length of your stand by deciding where you want the fuselage to rest on it and then measuring that distance. I like my stands to fit the fuselage 6 inches in front of the horizontal stabilizer and just in front of the landing gear. In the case of the Banchee, that distance was 26 inches, and that will be the overall length of the Banchees stand. Make a line sketch to show this.

3– Measure the width of the fuselage where it will rest on the stand. Mark those measurements on your sketch.

4– Use your sketch to determine how many 90-degree elbows, caps and T-pipes youll need. The Banshee frame required 6 caps, 10 Ts and 4 elbows. Youll also need some 1/2-inch-diameter PVC pipe (it comes in 10-foot lengths, so youll have some left over for your next stand), a can of cement and 6 feet of 1/2-inch-inside-diameter foam pipe insulation. Now head off to a hardware store and buy all these.

5– Make the stands base. A PVC pipe cutter, will make the job easier, but I cut the pipe with a hacksaw. The cuts do not have to be perfect because theyll be hidden in the various Ts and elbow pieces. Do not glue anything yet.

6– Continue to join the pipes until you have what looks like a stand.

7– Set the stand on your bench, and adjust it until it sits flat and is stable. Mark the joints with a pencil so that youll be able to match them exactly.

8– Now is the time to glue the joints. The glue sets immediately, so be sure that your pencil marks are aligned when you put the parts together. If the structure is sturdy enough, you may not need to glue it.

9– Add the foam pipe insulation, and youve finished. You could use other materials to make a stand, but PVC pipe is preferred. Check the photographs of the alternatives. But no matter which material you choose, make a stand and protect your plane from assembly rash.

You could use other materials to make a stand, but PVC pipe is preferred. Check the photographs of the alternatives. But no matter which material you choose, make a stand and protect your plane from assembly rash.

1   When you put your airplane down like this, you can expect to damage to the fin and rudder, the canopy and cowl and the glow plug.
2   Placed in a stand, the airplane is secure and protected from being damaged.
3   Dimensions for the Banshee stand: A-B7.5 in.; B-C26 in.; C-D7 in., D-E3 in.; A-F4 in.; G-H6 in. (two pieces added to the stand to increase its lateral stability).
4   Your stand should be high enough to keep the propeller and fin/rudder off the surface when the fuselage is inverted, and the wheels shouldnt touch the surface when the plane is upright.
5   When the completed frame is adjusted and sits flat, mark every joint like this.
6   Ollie Edwards added outriggers to his stand to hold the wing for transportation. Note the pipes added to the bottom of the frame to add lateral stability.
7   A unique plane holder made using an adjustable bench thats available from the tool section of most chainstores and department stores. The PVC frame fits into holes drilled in the benchs wooden platform.
8   Quarter-inch plywood, cushioned with rubber pipe insulation was used to make this quick stand. The cutouts for the fuselage can be made to fit any model exactly.
9   Aftermarket stands are available, but I find that they dont match most fuselages and are a bit rickety.
10   A great stand for modelers with aching backs. Pipe holders were attached to the ends of the flight box. PVC pipes, with cushioned fuselage holders, were cut to the modelers height and inserted into the pipe holders. They can be removed for transportation.
11   An inexpensive Styrofoam cooler with its ends carved out makes a fine but somewhat fragile stand. Theres room in the bottom for a few tools.
12   A nice construction but its unstable. The bottoms of the curved fuselage holders do not match the fuselages flat bottom.