Often used by scale modelers to detail their models
with things like pitot tubes, machine guns and cannons and antennas. Some
fuel tank manufacturers include aluminum tubing instead of brass tubing.
I have used both with no problems.
Tubing of various types also makes good bushings for things like axles that
are not the proper size for the wheels you intend to use. Plastic tubing
is preferred if you can find the right size because metal tubing creates oily,
black gunk that is hard to clean from the model.
Braided fishing leader
pull-pull control systems and
rigging on biplanes and older monoplanes.
While not a metal, Kevlar line can also be used for these same
Brass or copper wire
Used to bind music wire together before
soldering items such as landing gear and cabane struts on biplanes and parasol
Can be used for many of the things aluminum plate is used
for with the exception of landing gear. Aluminum should generally be used
because it is lighter, but if you need to solder something to a plate, then
brass can be used.
Most commonly used in 1/8" diameter as fuel feed
from the tank.
Various sizes of brass tube can be used for bushings in wheels when the hole in
the wheel is too large for the axle. I generally buy brass tube as needed.
Dural aluminum plate
Used for making landing gear. Soft
aluminum plate is used to make various items such as home-made control
horns and internal mounts for miscellaneous items. I also
use 1/16" aluminum when I want a long-lasting rib template.
if I am using the "sandwich" method to make a set of ribs from two templates,
then I will usually make the templates from aluminum. If I am cutting around
a template to make a lot of the same size rib, then I will usually use plywood.
Used to make custom servo extensions, battery
charger cords, etc.
You will use various sizes of music wire (case-hardened steel rod).
In fact, I buy around 25 pieces of 1/16" music wire at a time — I use a lot
of the stuff. 3/32" to 3/16" are mostly used for landing gear.
I use 1/32" music wire for
throttle pushrods with a
Z-bend on each end or, in
some cases, a solder coupling and a
ball-link on one end and a
on the other. I have found the 1/32" wire to be stiffer than the traditional
cable used for throttles while being lighter and easier to work with.
Another essential type of
hardware you will use in almost every R/C airplane model that you build. Most companies sell it in 12" lengths threaded on one
end. Usually only a few inches of the rod is used and the rest is
Micro-Fasteners sells threaded rod that is threaded at both
ends at a lower price than the type sold through the hobby industry.
Essentially you get twice as many pieces for a lower price.
Some of the above items you should always keep on hand because you will use
it and not having it during an all-nighter can be distressing. Other
items you can get by with purchasing as needed. After you have a few
years of building experience you will know what items you should keep stocked.