Recycle That Old “Bag Chair
There comes a time in all creatures’ lives when, if they’re fortunate enough to have lived a long life, joint pain and flexibility can become a problem. It was that pain that I experienced every time I got down on the ground to start my model that made me begin to look for a lightweight, portable starting stand. Due to the size, no one would consider taking one of the robust, 2×4 starting stands seen at many club fields to an event, contest or fly-in where none were known to exist. My epiphany came when I noticed some relatively new camping chairs, (sometimes referred to as ‘Bag Chairs’ because they’re sold with a cloth carrying bag) that had been damaged by mice in my storage shed. The inability to locate new seats, backs and arms and the discovery of the splendidly thought out collapsing mechanisms were exactly what my ‘project’ needed.
Whether the chairs were up to the rigors of larger-sized models with .91 and larger engines was a concern. But I figured that if these chairs could accommodate a 225 pound guy they could probably handle a 12 to 15 pound model reasonably well. I have been using my stand for over four years and I have not had any difficulty with it, even with my larger models. The number of inquiries at the recent Hoosier Dawn Patrol at the AMA grounds in Muncie, Indiana has motivated me to share my ‘discovery’. Because of the varied sizes of chairs available on the market, the dimensions will have to be made from the chairs that you choose to use. This article will cover the highlights and concept of making a stand as there are too many variations of these chairs to provide specific dimensions.
Obviously, the first step is to remove the fabric from your chair. Once complete, ensure that you completely check over the frame and make certain that it is sound and has no damage.
Words by Fred Jungclaus