It’s been awhile since I gave a real update, so this will be a LONG post with lots of information, so stay with me and read it all!
The tile installation is DONE, although we still need to put all the furniture back and rearrange the rooms. Here is a picture of my little corner of this world; it’s about 1/3rd of the family room. The tall desk on the right is where all my computer work is done. I was permitted to add an additional desk for building in the evenings. This way I can watch tv with my family (my wife Patricia, since Jack and Tristan are pretty much on their own now) and still build if I want to. The desk was a great find at Salvation Army – the top surface is worn, but since I am using it to build, that’s ok with me – and the price was right: $15.81 out the door! I also bought a little folding stool to elevate my building board if I want to stand while building. I find standing is easier on my back and provides a better view of the building. The cabinets on the left contain books and paper and other items I use for my business work. NOTE: all of this work severely interfered with my order fulfillment and I apologize to all my customers. I should be caught up this week.
NEW ITEMS FOR SALE – well, one, right now. Many suppliers/wholesalers require minimum order quantity for their distributors. I buy my balsa (for the short kits) from SIG and they do have a minimum order quantity to qualify for free shipping. I am going to try something – I picked up the SIG Mr Mulligan kit to met this MOQ on my last order. As you might know, the Mr Mulligan is a dominant model in the FAC Thompson Race. Basically, it is one of the few qualifying high wing racers and currently the only one (high wing racer) kitted by anyone. SIG has offered this die cut 20″ full kit for years and many modelers do use it to compete (other versions are by Dumas – a kit, and the Dave Rees plan – not a kit). So, if you want to build a successful Thompson Racer, here you go. I am sure that I will be offering the lowest price you can find on the SIG kit because I want to pass my savings on to you.
BACK IN STOCK – thanks to an email exchange (Bill Schmidt to Don DeLoach, I believe), we are now back in production of the Superior Prop Freewheel clutches. As you might expect locating and drilling the tiny holes at the edge of the clutch was a stumper. At first, we thought we didn’t have the equipment, so my dad got a vertical mill. However that caused other problems and we couldn’t make them without breaking drill bits at a high rate. Mr Schmidt illustrated a drill jig to Don and Don passed that info to me. When I sent it to my dad (a retired toolmaker), a light bulb went off in his head and he is back in production. His last shipment to me contained MANY clutches, overflowing my storage and exhausting his supply of aluminum rod. So, I know many of you will be happy to hear these are again available.
PRODUCTS/PROJECTS IN WORK – Our VPS Torque meters are a success. We have sold several, probably a couple more than expected this soon, and we have had requests for custom installations. Right now we are working on modifying the Morrill meter for a large Wilder Winder. Also, we will look into adapting the same meter to the K&P 10:1/4:1 dual winder. that may be a little trickier… Also, we continue to do custom work on propellers, the latest request is for a 24″ folder of a custom design.
Short kits in the making: I continue to work on the drawing for Dave Smith’s Judy. Once complete, we can cut the parts and build a test bed prototype. Also, Harrison Knapp gave me permission to kit his F-4 Phantom II Jet Cat. I’ve built 3 and my son has built one as we refine the design. My latest effort lightened the end product from 32 grams to 25 grams. That is nearly a 25% reduction. 25 grams may still sound heavy, but the model has about 48 square inches of wing area, so the wing will carry the 25g well. I think I have the parts done and am cleaning up the drawing, adding notes, etc. This will be a full kit, like my other Jet Cats, complete with an FAC legal catapult. Here is a photo of Harrison and me at Muncie in September with our F-4s – my yellow one is the 32g version.
Other short kits in the works include a popular 2-Bit, an uncommon Thompson Racer (I am optimistically calling it a Mr Mulligan Killer!), a Goodyear racer, and a NoCal for my Indoor contests. These all are front-burner projects and should be finished and built over the winter. I have tons of back-burner projects!
Oh, a question – is there any interest in my Wanderer (OT Stick) as a short kit? How about an OT Fuselage, should I draw one up? I’m not sure of the interest and since they are much larger and complicated projects, I won’t go to the effort if there is no interest. LET ME KNOW.
SPEAKING OF INDOOR – I am an Outdoor modeler and flyer. I don’t do much indoor, because I never have the opportunity. That is likely to change. The Cloudbusters are changing their indoor contests. They used to be in a small, small gym far away on the east side of Michigan in the evening on a weekday. This year they are trying something new, as those were poorly attended (I went to one, it was a terrible site and I got back home about 1am – never again).
They have been having weekly indoor fun-flys on Thursdays during the day at the Ultimate Soccer facility in Pontiac, MI. Now they are converting one of those per month to a Contest. They will be flying several FAC events and some AMA events on the Second Thursday of the Month from 10am to 2pm. The site is a full size soccer field in an indoor facility – where the Indoor Fling is held ever Spring. This is a great site and I will be trekking over to Pontiac once a month, weather permitting, since I am now retired and available during the day. The facility only asks for a $10 fee from each flyer. So, if any of you are within a comfortable distance, you are welcome to stop in and fly! This is FREE FLIGHT ONLY – no r/c!
Lastly, I have some additional products to mention. As some of you might know, my wife of 32 years (this December) is from Costa Rica. Costa Rica has the BEST coffee I have ever tasted. After years of sampling their variety, I have settled on Cafe Naranjo as the best of the best. Our family decided to start a little venture and import this coffee and make it available here in the US. My sons, Jackson and Tristan, are operating the business, online only at this point. They opened the online shop at the beginning of the month. You can find their site at www.cafe-rica.com and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CafeRicaUSA/ I am going to help them out a bit, too. You can order from them – OR – if you are buying model products from me and want to buy your coffee in one stop (saving shipping charges!) you can now order on my site. Trust me, all of the money will go to them. This is the smoothest and richest coffee I have ever tasted!
OH! When we mentioned the coffee to Vance Gilbert, he graciously sent 5 AUTOGRAPHED “Nearness of You” CDs as promotional give-aways for the coffee buyers. So, if you want great coffee and great music, order coffee from me and mention (add a comment to your order) you want Vance’s CD – only four people get this opportunity!
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