your workshop would make Sanford and Son proud, then a
little bit of organization could go a long way for you.
As many times as I have been digging through bins of nuts
and bolts looking for the proper size, thread, and length
for the project at hand, you would think I would have
learned a long time ago. Granted, I have made use of
the neat little plastic square containers that Hitec and
Savox servos come in to help out but it turned out that just
meant I had a dozen clear servo containers with a hodge
podge mix of modeling hardware to dig through. It was time to get
serious and a few months ago RTL Fasteners came to the
had the chance to review their
Master Builders Assortment and I realized what I had
been missing. Organized containers that had most
everything I needed, sorted by size, and accompanied by the
proper washers, nuts, and lock nuts. They even
included a telescoping magnet for when things snuck off to
hide in unexplored recesses of airframes. I keep these
kits in my shop but they transport so easily that I toss
them in my truck for big days at the local field and any
time that I travel to events. They have saved many a
good flying day that otherwise might have been abandoned due
to lost nuts or stripped or missing bolts.
I had another problem on my hands though; I was spoiled!
The Master Builders Assortment only solved half my problem.
Helicopters and many ARF airplanes that are made overseas
contain metric hardware. Rich and the gang at RTL
Fasteners have the answer though. A full assortment of
metric hardware that is organized in their logically
arranged Metric Assortments. You can purchase the full
metric assortment or a smaller assortment that is
appropriate for helicopter pilots.
of the RTL hardware is of high quality, comes reasonably
priced, and is packaged in useable quantities. The
storage containers they sell, and that come packaged with the
assortments, are clear and come with removable dividers so
they can be configured however you see fit though they
provide maps that show optimal storage configurations.
In addition, you can shake the containers when they are
properly latched and none of the small washers or nuts will
migrate to other cells.
stated earlier the metric assortment contains 3 clear
plastic organizers. The organizers come with the
plastic dividers and you're free to set them up however you
please but for convenience sake RTL provides a "map" of an
optimal layout. When you're done assembling the
dividers per the diagram you simply empty the bags into the
There is a correct and wrong way to install the dividers so
if you feel like you're forcing it, try the other way.
The divider is thicker on one end than the other, the thick
side goes towards the top of the container. I used a
hobby knife to trim the molding flash from each divider that
I used to ensure a proper fit in the organizer. Unlike
some of the plastic organizers I have seen, the dividers fit
very well and stay put and the lid stays snapped. I
have no problem throwing these in the back of the truck when
I hit the road with the confidence of knowing when I need an
M2 flat washer, that is what will be in that compartment.
Even the smallest hardware stays put.
someone with one of these assortments at our flying field and had
one of those "ah ha!" moments. He had cut the hardware maps
out of the instruction sheet and taped them inside the lid of the
organizer. What a great idea, too bad I didn't think of it
myself! I had a pretty good idea of what was what by looking
at it in the standard assortment but now that I'm stocking both
metric and standard I will probably go ahead and implement this so I
can easily tell them apart. After all I'd hate to be back to
the digging and fitting of my old system to find the correct bolts
complete inventory is listed on the link above but in short the
metric assortment contains 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 millimeter hardware.
Each size includes an assortment of bolt lengths, hex nuts, nyloc
nuts, flat and split (lock) washers. I have found their split
washers highly effective in preventing meandering bolts even in high
vibration environments such as nitro helicopters and gas airplanes.
RTL has also added metric blind nuts to the assortment to make it
even more versatile. The M2 and M2.5 hardware is in one
organizer and the M3 and M4 sizes each get their own container.
If you want helicopter specific metric hardware you can purchase the
more modestly priced
Helicopter Assortment that contains 502 pieces of metric
Installing the dividers
in all three of the organizers, sorting the bags of parts, and
filling all the compartments took me approximately 20 minutes.
Part Number: BW4, BW6, BW8, BW14 (#4, #6, #8, and 1/4"
Price: $2.95 to $4.35 for 24ct depending on size (at
time of writing)
RTL also sent me some of their bonded or sealing washers.
Bonded washers are curved steel washers with neoprene rubber
bonded to one side. They are mainly used by plumbers
but somewhere there is a plumber that flies R/C and realized
that these have several uses in our models. RTL
carries the bonded washers in sizes ranging from #4 (for
4-40 screws) up to 1/4" for 1/4-20 bolts. The #4
bonded washers can be used with a #2 bolt by using a flat
washed (pictured) or in combination with one of their servo
screws which has the washer built into the head.
Someone showed me these a few years ago when I got into
gassers but I keep finding new uses for them in all my
models. They excel in mounting fiberglass cowls or
plastic canopies. Over the years I have had tried a
number of mounting methods to keep fiberglass cowls affixed
to the nose of aircraft without the holes elongating or the
fiberglass cracking. More often than not I ended up
with a nasty looking, cracked, or poorly fitting cowl.
The rubber on the bonded washers distributes the load evenly
and prevents plastic or fiberglass from cracking better than
any mounting method I have ever tried.
addition they seem impervious to loosening from vibration.
On all of my gas planes I use them on the cowl mounting
bolts, on the canopy bolts, and on the horizontal stabilizer
mounting bolts. The rubber allows you to get them
tight enough to stay put without cracking the wood like
smaller flat washers can do. Vibration damping for
engine mounts? These bonded washers would do it!
you keep a good supply of these on hand while building
models I'm sure you will find even more uses for them.
Part #:582 and
583 (7/16 length, 9/16 length respectively)
Price: $2.65 /
$2.70 24 ct, $5.35 / $5.40 100 ct (price current
at time of writing)
RTL has included
48 (24 of each size) of these little gems in their Metric
Assortment and Master Builder assortments but they are so
handy they deserve separate mention.
The servo mounting
screws are zinc coated, self tapping wood style screws with
a hex head and built in washer. The deep socket head
uses a 5/64" allen wrench or ball driver for positive
control. Unlike phillips head screws, these heads
won't strip out and with a ball driver you can get them
properly tightened despite the stringer or bulkhead that the
airplane designer seemed to put in your way on purpose.
The built in washer will completely cover servo grommets.
attaching servos the 7/16" length screws work great for
applications such as cowl or windshield mounting and can be
used in conjunction with a #4 bonded washer for smaller
cowls and windows.
Once you start
using these you will find nearly as many uses for them as
RTL Fasteners sells
high quality hardware in usable quantities for the R/C
hobbyist. I've mentioned airplanes and helicopters
mainly because those are the areas I participate in but the
RTL assortments are valuable no matter whether you're into
planes, boats, or cars. Simply find the assortment
that works best for you or give them a call and they are
more than willing to discuss your needs with you.
Aside from saving
money by not buying hobby store bags of screws that are 4
for a dollar, the RTL assortments have saved me time
countless time and aggravation. When I'm busy with
several projects I simply don't have the time to waste
digging through endless boxes and the bottom of drawers to
find to screws that match. Perhaps the best use of
these assortments though is when I don't have to give up on
a day of flying and go back to the shop because I lost,
stripped, or broke a piece of hardware.
assortments are time and money well spent.
RTL Fasteners, Inc.
708 Battlefield Blvd South, Suite 107
Chesapeake, VA 23322
The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.