This morning I whipped together a “precision aircraft balancer” (like the Great Planes “C.G. Machine”.)  I built it out of $5.57 worth of PVC pipe and connectors from Fleet Farm and it probably took me an hour at the most.

The Plan

Here is my concept drawing:

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Shopping List

Here you are looking at $5.57 worth of PVC parts purchased locally.  The one flaw in the original design is that no one locally sold those 3-way corner connectors.  Maybe they don’t even exist?  So I made an on the fly design change while I was shopping.  The new design uses a “T” connector and a 90 degree elbow with 1.5″ long pieces of pipe connecting them.  The parts list is: 8 x 90-degree elbows, 4 x “T” connectors, 14′ of 1/2″ PVC pipe (in 2 10′ sections.)  I went with 1/2″ PVC and that is plenty strong for my needs, but 3/4″ PVC would work just as well and make the stand a bit beefier.

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Construction

Cut the straight sections and fit it together.  There is no rocket science, but do remember “measure twice, cut once”.  Here you can see the parts starting to come together.  How exciting! 🙂

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Finally here it is all put together:

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You might imagine that if the parts are only friction fit together, the two rails could flop over if you placed a heavy model on top.  So what I did was use PVC cement to glue the joints between the “T” connector and the 90 degree elbow connectors at the base.  I left everything else just friction fit so I could potentially take it apart for transport/storage.

Finished Stand

Finally, here is the payoff picture of the stand in action!!!  Yes, those are Christmas decorations that have not found an off season storage location.

IMG_20130625_101909Modifications

There are a variety of modifications that could be made to the design

2013-06-25 12:44:25 -0500 - Written by curt