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
This Sketchbook was scanned from the February 1962 American Modeler, page 40. Most building tips are timeless. Even
in this era of ready-to-fly (RTF), almost-ready-to-fly (ARF), bind-and-fly (BAF), etc., there are still many modelers
who build their own aircraft. Nearly all top tier competition fliers build their own models, as do aficionados of
vintage (aka old-timer) models. Some guys just would rather build than buy a pre-build airplane, whether from a kit
or from plans.
This page has links to every edition of Sketchbook that I have so far.
Got a new idea for construction, adjustment or operation of model planes, boats or R/C? "AM" pays $10 for each
"hint & kink" used. Send rough sketch and description to Sketchbook, c/o American Modeler, The Conde Nast
Publications Inc., 420 Lexington Ave., New York 17, N. Y.
Timer- or fuse-operated dethermalizer of Freeflight gas job can also release long, colorful silk ribbon from compartment.
Loydd Wornell, Fort Worth, Texas, locates downed model by ribbon.
Three years' service proves auto-rudder mechanism built by B. I. Gaston, Austin, Texas. Line from tow ring releases
rudder from straight tow setting to offset glide turn position.
Use of tapered abrasive tool in small power drill makes quick work of grinding cutting edges in tubing for hole-punching.
Idea comes from Mike Hoffelt, Woodland Hills, California.
Scraps of tubing, cable and wire can be fashioned into effective motor control gadget operated by third line.
Spring-loaded exhaust baffle was rigged by Leslie Hays, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Pushrod were splice used by David Blackburn, Springfield, Virginia., enables wire length to be adjusted by trial
before final soldering. Brass tube joiner quickly shaped with mill file.
Wheeled variation of "Snow Scooter" (Sketchbook, Feb., '61) is creation of Kermit Rohde, W. Burlington, Iowa.
Parts quickly assembled to ice cube tray body.
Here is the entire Sketchbook page in its original format.
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!