Of course you need a place to build your airplanes. My first airplane was built in 1988 while I was living in a two bedroom apartment with three other guys. This was shortly after finishing college. I hogged the dining room table for a few months using a 2x4' board. A couple of years later I was sharing a house and I had my own room - a big step up. I was able to setup a table in my room with a 2x6' board. More room but still tight.
Step forward to 2007 and I return to this old hobby. I'm now living in a big house with a finished basement. For my first kit I set up a quick workshop with two tables and a couple of 2x4 work boards that I can move around.
I used this initial setup to build the bulk of my Sig Kadet Senior. During this time I was exposed to the idea of a magnetic building system and decided to go that route. I went all out and setup a fairly nice workshop.
I bought this glass computer desk used from a guy off of
It's a Z-Line® Matrix Compact Glass Computer Desk. I paid less than half what it would cost
new. I'll use this to trace plans as needed by placing a light underneath. It will also be used
for covering as this will be my "clean" work table.
These two work tables are the basis of the magnetic building system. The bigger one is
2' x 6' and the smaller one is 2' x 3'. Generally the big one will be for wings and fuselages
while the smaller will be for tail feathers and other small parts. The intent it to only use
these tables for assembly. No cutting or sanding.
Each table is a basic torsion box design as outlined at diy network. I used 1/2" MDF for all pieces. The basic frame is 3" thick giving the tables a total thickness of 4". Each sits on a simple base made of three pieces of 3/4" particle board I had lying around. The base is 25" high giving a table height of 29".
The steel used on each top is 12 gauge steel. I cleaned it up a bit and added a coat of Rustoleum primer followed by a color coat. I used a blue similar to what I saw on another builder's posting at RC Universe.
More details about the magnetic building system can be found here.
This basic 30" x 60" folding table will be where most of the "real" work will be done. I have
a few cutting mats covering the work area. Along the back of the table are various desk organizers
to hold basic tools and glues. The left most tray contain loose parts for the current project.
Under the bottom shelf I have a number of parts containers hanging. These
contain various screws, servos screws and mounts, wheel collars, and other various R/C related
The bottom shelf has one of the most important items on it - my iPod. Can't build without music.
I don't like keeping my plans all rolled or folded up so I made this simple rack to keep
them hung up all nice and neat. I screwed two short shelf supports to the wall along with a
short length of peg board. At the top of the peg board I plugged in two straight 8" hooks.
I then cut some lengths of cardboard long enough to span the width of the plans. Now I simple
sandwhich a series of plans between two strips of cardboard and use basic binder clips to hold
it all together. I make sure two of the clips are in position to match the two hooks on the wall.
I then slip the clip handles over the two hooks. Simple.
In this photo there are two groups of plans. One set use cardboard, one set uses some aluminum angle I had. Major overkill. The cardboard is just as effective and much cheaper. With 5 clips I can keep plenty of plans hanging.
On the other side of the basement I filled in this alcove with two benches. Each is 30" x 48".
They are simple, made from a 2x4 frame with the top and shelf made from 1/2" particle board.
I attached a 5' power strip onto the back to make it easier to plug in all the tools. I had both
of these benches in the garage for a prior project but they are now living the comfortable life
in the basement.
From left to right is a 10" Ryobi drill press that I've had for years. The next three I bought just for this hobby. All are from Micro-Mark. They are the Microlux® tilt arbor table saw, Microlux® multi scroll saw, and the 10" model maker's disk sander.
One word of caution - the Micro-Mark website is dangerous. It may result in a time loss and, more importantly, a thinning of your wallet. You've been warned. ;)
Behind the table saw is a small shop vac. This will be used as a poor man's dust collection
system. I intend to rig a stand for the hose and crevis nozzle to suck up dust as I
drill/cust/sand. More later as this is completed.