[Headline: JD Hobby Center, San Pedro, California]
Q595: I have heard that there is a very special hobby shop in San Pedro, California, that tends to favor the way our wonderful hobby used to be. I wonder if you could identify it and shed some thoughts on this modeling facility?
A595: I have wanted to run this FAQ for some time, but only recently got all the facts in order. The hobby shop you are referring to is known as JD Hobby Center. It is owned by a modeling enthusiast by the name of Louis Lee.
Louis has indicated that his shop has become known as the “last of the old school.” More than 500 airplanes (wood, plastic, and RC) hang throughout his shop. They are situated in a 10,000-square-foot facility with two lofts upstairs. One houses the shop’s history library with more than 5,000 titles both of current and out-of-print books. The other loft features more than 1,000 airplanes of all types. More than 2,000 production and vintage aircraft kits are stocked at any given time.
There are many other departments besides model aircraft. For example, he has Sci-Fi collectibles, a model train section, a music department, arts and crafts, and an RC repair department.
Louis has been in the process of developing a made-for-TV reality show to be titled “Last Shop Standing.” The purpose behind this is to bring us back to our roots in our hobby and to encourage building, as well as flying. Contact info for JD Hobby Center is listed in “Sources.” You may want to contact Louis and have him give you access to the trailer for his new TV series, which is nearing final production. I hope you take the time to look this over.
Louis, I wish you the very best of luck on your TV venture.
Cutting out Wing Ribs
Q596: I would love to scratch-build model aircraft, but I can’t see myself cutting out all of those wing ribs. Would you tell me again how hard or easy that job can be?
A596: I always start with a photocopy of the rib cross section as it appears on the plans. I rubber cement that copy to a piece of card stock or part of a manila folder. This becomes my template.
Using the template and a uni-ball fine-point black pen, I trace the outline to my balsa stock. That establishes the rib outline. The long cuts are made with an X-Acto knife and No. 11 blade. The spars and LE notches are made with a single-edge razor blade. Using two different cutting tools really makes the job easy. But all of this takes time.
The alternative is to send your rib plan to one of the hobby-oriented laser-cutting outfits. It will cost you more, but can save you a lot of work.
Harbor Freight: Modelers Suggestions
Q578: I get overwhelmed every time I visit a Harbor Freight store. Can you make any suggestions to help me take full advantage of the company’s stock?
A578: I have two excellent suggestions. My reader friend, Ralph Anderson, found an excellent and inexpensive Drill Master rotary tool kit. Identified as item No. 69451, it is AC powered and comes with a wide variety of accessories. The price is only $10.49.
The second item is a Gordon 13-piece precision knife set, item No. 32099. You get three handles and a variety of blades. Its price is a mere $3.99 if you can believe it! That’s not a typographical error.
Sources for Clock Gears
Follow-up to Q589: In my April 2014 column, I showed how to use old clock gears to make simulated rivets on foam-constructed models. The idea was to attach a handle and roll the gear along the model’s surfaces.
After reading this, a Wisconsin clock repairman by the name of Dave Ebner wrote saying he had tons of leftover gears and would be happy to give them away for the price of the postage. That was a most generous offer. With his permission, I’ve listed Dave’s email address in the “Sources” section.
Wing Support Bar for Autos
Q598: This is a suggestion from reader Ron Ogren, of Orchard Park, New York. The accompanying photo tells the whole story.
Ron uses a 3/4-inch diameter wood dowel that is covered with tubular foam pipe insulation. A piece of wire is then used to attach to the overhead hand grip on your auto. Simple and quick!
Red Scholefield described a similar, but more detailed, method of converting his van to a hangar in his August 2013 “The Battery Clinic” column.[dingbat]
JD Hobby Center