Winding Stooge

(No, not Nate!)

Stretching a rubber motor while winding will greatly increase the number of turns it can safely accept. The trick is holding the model while winding. Either line up a friend to hold it for you, struggle with the solo technique shown, or build and use a stooge; a mechanical device that holds the model by the rear motor peg.

Shown below is a simple but very effective device that can be bolted to a flight box, clamped to a table, or mounted on a post for outdoor flying. In use, the music wire pin is slipped through a hollow rear motor peg, usually a piece of aluminium tube. The model is then maneuvered such that the wire is captured in the slotted sheet metal bracket and the fuselage is resting on the foam pad. Hook the winder to the motor, stretch the motor, and wind away. Most modelers will stretch a motor to 4 or so times its relaxed length while winding. After about half of the total turns are wound, the modeler slowly walks towards the model while finishing winding.

If you prefer, the bent sheet metal parts can be replaced with thin plywood glued to the sides of the wood base. You could use 1/16 for a smaller stooge, but I would suggest 3/32 or 1/8 ply for a bit more durability and rigidity.

To save a lot of frustration, attach the pin to the stooge with a colorful ribbon. It will vaporize once dropped.

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