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  1. #1

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    Field bench tail chock maintenance

    Our field has mostly flat benches with well made tail chocks that can be positioned in various holes in the table tops to suit an aircraft. The chocks are well made and get covered with pipe foam insulation but UV takes its toll. Does your club do anything special to prevent the UV damage? Ours are currently needing maintenance and I thought I'd throw the question out there.

    So far, I've thought of foam safe paint, applying UV protection lotion, covering with plastic bags.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Moderator da Rock's Avatar
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    I take care of the benches at one of my club fields. I've tried a couple of different insulation types. I've also used some automotive protectant. Never thought to use paint or such.

    The reason I haven't gone farther is the cost. Replacing all the insulation on all the benches costs less than the price of a rattle can of paint nowadays.

    Every spring I pick up 3-4 lengths of insulation. It's usually on sale. I throw a bundle of zip-ties, drill w/ dry wall bit, an assortment of dry wall screws and the long extension cord in the trunk when loading the model. Three or four of the guys will chuckle about "a sure sign of spring" and we work like a well oiled crew. Working down the line takes very little time. We always have a discussion about how quickly the insulation breaks down and what to do about it etc.....

    When a couple of us built the benches we didn't think to make the restraint poles a uniform height. Our benches restrain the wings. We probably use more insulation than you.

    Oh yeah......
    The "premium" stuff doesn't stand up any better.
    The protectant didn't seem to protect much if at all.
    The zip ties die in the sun in about a year too.
    If they ever make white insulation, I'm going to jump right on it. (or any color)


    The stuff in the 1st picture is the expensive stuff. No additional value.
    The stuff in the 2nd picture is the cheap stuff. No less durable.
    The guys in the 3rd picture... Any resemblance to anyone of any importance OR to my avitar is purely coincidental.





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    Good flying wit ya today

  3. #3

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    I had to make padding to protect my hang gliders from the roof racks on my car. I used a 2 part poly foam (expanding foam). I made a simple wood mold out of stuff I had laying around. Bought a couple yards of "on sale" marine grade vinyl. Sewed up a simple cover. Placed the cover in the mold, mixed and poured the foam. Closed and clamped the mold then waited an hour or so.

    Result is a firmer pad. Not to hard not to soft, molded directly to the vinyl. Granted these are not constantly out in the weather, but after a couple years they show no signs of wear at all. They were also more time consuming and expensive than a set of pipe insulation foam pads, but they are so much nicer.

    Sorry this is the only picture I have currently.



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    The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
    --Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy--

  4. #4

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    Like the field committee.
    Da Rock hit the nail on the head. Thats what we TRY to do as a club, but sometimes everybody forgets or just doesnt get around to it. I try to bring extra faom tube out from time to time and replace it as needed. But even my memory aint that great.
    Edwin

  5. #5

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    I'd think a layer of duct tape on the padding would give you at least a few more months of use out of them, maybe an extra year. The tape will break down too out in the weather but it will protect the foam until it does.

    FWIW, the starting benches at my field have carpet covering the verticals instead of foam. It works just as well to prevent damage and lasts a long time. How long I couldn't tell you, but I've been a member for 7 years and it was replaced for the first time to my knowledge last year when we built some new benches. The verticals are 2x4's and they staple the carpet to them.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  6. #6
    Moderator da Rock's Avatar
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    Holding the bumper to the 2x4s offers the option to wrap the padding. I've considered using something like canvas or the like, and have even done some experimenting.

    The last time I bought a length of insulation it was on sale for under a dollar. It's usually just over a dollar for a six foot length. I usually get 3 out of 6' so the cost is about 35 cents each bumper.

    Simply wrapping the bumper before pushing it into place would trap the wrapping and tend to tighten it to the foam. The ties would complete the installation.

    Finding a suitable wrap is the only outstanding challenge. Finding something waterproof seems sensible as layers of material would stay soggy for awhile after rains. Thick stuff with only one side that'll dry easily would also probably reduce the cushioning.

    I haven't stumbled on anything yet.
    Good flying wit ya today

  7. #7
    Villa's Avatar
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    Hi da Rock
    At our field we have 5 similar Engine Starting Safety Stands to what you show in your photo that includes three men. We use the same type of foam tube insulation purchased from Lowes. Instead of nylon tie wraps we use some light steel strapping material, and run it vertical on both sides of the vertical posts, and attachd with screws, just on the ends of the insulation. It has been in place about 3-4 years and still looks good. One of our benches uses Indoor/Outdoor carpeting on the vertical posts, but it needs replacing about every 3 years. I redesigned the Safety stand shown in your photo and have the free design posted at http://www.wilsonrc.org/news.php . Click on the DOWLOAD shown on the left side of the page. My first bench to the new design is about 5-6 yuears old and has never required added work. The older benches we made to the older design required some rework about every 2-3 years because we had to roll them over to move them. Now we add old lawnmower wheels to the bottom of the vertical posts.

  8. #8

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    Anyone ever try carpet? It works for us, but ours don't stay in the rain (not so much of that lately!).

  9. #9

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance


    ORIGINAL: cjet

    Anyone ever try carpet? It works for us, but ours don't stay in the rain (not so much of that lately!).
    Ours has carpet and it has been on them for many years now. Not sure where they got it from but it sure has lasted.

  10. #10

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    My club in Calif. used carpet.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
    Daisy Air Guns, keeping kids off your lawn for 100 years

  11. #11
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    Use the swimming noddles they sell for a buck or two at the toy stores or drug stores. It last much better than the pipe insul.

  12. #12
    Moderator da Rock's Avatar
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    High Villa,
    Thanks for the extra info on the benches. Hopefully your plans offering will help clubs etc.

    I also "redesigned" the benches we made. I've noticed that almost every bench I'd used over the years was top heavy. Widening helps, but still winds up with a heavy top, and thus is top heavy. So instead of 2" thick wood, I used 1" for the wood going into the top. Ours are pretty easy to move but would benefit from having wheels. Never got around to adding them.
    Good flying wit ya today

  13. #13
    Villa's Avatar
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    Hi da Rock
    Thanks for the nice comments. I forgot to mention that we only use treated lumber, and only srews for treated lumber. We hope to get 20 years out of them. I call them Engine Starting Safety Stands because of the safety feature of the stands. I have seen others comment that they do not need those stands. Have you ever started a 60 size engine, or larger, with the throttle wide open? Stupid isn't it. Well I have been in RC for 40 years and have done that at least twice. That prop can chew you up. On the Engine Starting Safety Stand nothing will happen. At our club the money for the stands has always been donated by appreciative/concerned members.

  14. #14

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    We have several of those at our field. I like it because I can stand up.
    Edwin

  15. #15

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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    On a slower job site day when some scrap materials existed, I've built a couple of similar stands for our field but it mostly has flat tables with stirrups to chock horizontal stabs. They were welded from 3/8 round stock and previous recovering has evidently been done using armor flex obtained at home centers, which generically is larger than 3/8 ID and typically has a split or partial split as the products were designed to recover existing piping. Such needed wrapped with electrical tape to stay on the stirrups.

    Today I went to the heating A/C supply and obtained armor flex with 3/8 ID to fit our chocks. It is of course designed to end feed on new pipe installations and without the split seems a little more suitable for our needs. It is also denser and a more rubbery foam product than that previously used. Six 6' lengths did the job. Price was $4 per.

  16. #16
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance


    ORIGINAL: tacx

    Use the swimming noddles they sell for a buck or two at the toy stores or drug stores. It last much better than the pipe insul.

    +1
    Sent from my Dry-Erase-Board

  17. #17
    Moderator daveopam's Avatar
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    RE: Field bench tail chock maintenance

    We use carpet. The UV eats up the zip ties about once a year but the carptet was free.

    david
    I never want to see a crash. But I don't want to miss one either.


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