Here is another of American Modeler's Sketchbook series of helpful hints and tricks for making your model building efforts a bit easier. An example is showing how to attach an X-acto blade to a soldering gun to make a hot knife. It uses a #11 blade, but you could attached any type blade, depending on your need. A hot knife is good for shaping Styrofoam, but I have found one of the best uses for a hot knife is to cut through hardened epoxy. If you need to remove a firewall or landing gear mounting block, this is the way to go. It will slice through that gob of epoxy like... well... a hot knife through butter.
This page has links to every edition of Sketchbook that I have so far.
By 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 Publications, Inc., 1012 14th St., Washington, D.C. 20005.
Workman-like repairs to dented foam wings are made using piece of mylar plastic sheet having 3/16 in. dia. hole punched in its center. Fill cavity through hole with glass resin, later remove mylar, smooth area. Idea of Alonzo Richardson, Burlingame, California.
Tucson, Arizona modeler R. Claude builds simple, removable shock-absorbing gear for RC jobs. Wire parts silver soldered together for strength. Location of dowel determines angle of gear to fuselage.
Coffee filter papers, circular silkspan-like tissue, are ready-made patches for on-the-field repairs to covering. Apply with clear dope and brush; use series of overlapping pieces if tear is long, says Alfred Quimuyog, Oakley, California. [why wouldn't you just take along round pieces of Silkspan? - Kirt]
"Hot knife" is made from soldering gun to which worn X-acto blade has been bolted. Gun should be 150 W. or heavier for best results in carving foam materials. Submitted by Richard Park, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Posted May 1, 2013