Airplanes and Rockets' history & copyright Google search American Modeler Air Trails American Aircraft Modeler Young Men Hobbies Aviation Flying Aces Saturday Evening Post Boys' Life Hobby Distributors Amateur Astronomy Engines & Motors Balsa Densities Silkspan Covering Comics Electronics My Models Model Aircraft Articles Plans Model Boat Articles Plans Model Car Articles Plans Model Train Articles Plans 1941 Crosley 03CB Radio Model helicopter articles & plans Crosswords Model Rocket Articles Plans Restoration Projects Photos Peanuts Collection Model Aircraft Articles Plans Sitemap Homepage Hints and Kinks Amateur Radio Archives of the homepage R/C Modeler Electronics About Airpleans and Rockest, Disclaimer, Terms of Use Model Topics Please Donate to Airplanes and Rockets Parole Plaza, Annapolis, Maryland Hobby Items for Sale Airplanes and Rockets Hero Graphic

Drones - Airplanes and Rockets

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets
Model Aviation Magazine, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Sketchbook - Construction, Adjustment, Workshop Ideas
November/December 1963 American Modeler

Nov/Dec 1963 American Modeler
November/December 1963 American Modeler Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable 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.

One of the best ideas in this installment of Sketchbook, IMHO, is a method to quickly select balsa sheets of approximate equal density. It involves a flashlight and a light intensity meters (a phone app for the meter can be downloaded for that these days). Another neat suggestion is a way to make simulated rivets in thin aluminum foil. There is a list at the bottom of every Sketchbook page that has hyperlinks to all other Sketchbook editions published thus far.

This page has links to every edition of Sketchbook that I have so far.

Sketchbook - Construction, Adjustment, Workshop Ideas

Sketchbook - Construction, Adjustment, Workshop Ideas, November/December 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsBy H. A. Thomas


Got a new idea for construction, adjustment, or operation of model planes or R/C? "AM" pays $10 for each "hint & kink" used. Send rough sketch and description to Sketchbook, c/o American Modeler, Potomac Aviation Pub-lications, Inc., 1012 14th St., Washington, D.C. 20005.



Control line model adjustable wing guide - Airplanes and Rockets

Beginner's control line model can be fitted with adjustable wing guide to increase or decrease "pull." Kenneth Ries, Baltimore, Maryland, screws metal guide into hardwood inserts.



Quick supply of balsa dowels - Airplanes and Rockets

Quick supply of balsa dowels can be made from square section balsa strips tapped through nut held in vise. Light sanding finishes dowel says H. Muller, Danboro, Pennsylvania.



Simulating rivets in aluminum foil covering - Airplanes and Rockets

Utmost realism in simulating rivets in aluminum foil covering is knack of Michael J. Kiley, San Diego, California. Rivet bulges are flattened with eraser tip for authentic appearance.



Quick booster starts - Airplanes and Rockets

Quick booster starts can be made by rigging contacts in finger and thumb of glove. Grasp glow plug and engine during cranking for contact. Idea from William Franco, Waynoka, Oklahoma.

Uniformly sand thin sheet balsa parts - Airplanes and Rockets

To uniformly sand thin sheet balsa parts, Jerry Wagner, Tallahassee, Florida., uses two blocks, one with fine sandpaper, one with medium grade. Latter holds part in position.



Handy buffing wheel for polishing model parts - Airplanes and Rockets

Handy buffing wheel for polishing model parts is made of felt discs cut from old hat. Arrange on bolt, use in hand drill says H. Josephs, Gardenville, Pennsylvania.



Selecting balsa sheets of equal lightness - Airplanes and Rockets

Dependable, easy method of selecting balsa sheets of equal lightness is suggestion of Mike Dudeck, Harvey, Illinois. Meter readings indicate weight; uniform readings mean uniform weight.

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  October 14, 2014

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

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 ...

Copyright  1996 - 2026
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Homepage Archives  |  Modeling News Archives


Kirt Blattenberger


Family Websites:

RF Cafe

Equine Kingdom

Model Aircraft Museum, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Rocket Kits + Accessories - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Horizon Hobby

Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Sig Mfg

Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak Mfg