INCIDENCE METER For Model Airplanes

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The below incidence meter was designed by Bill Schmidt for use on peanut and other small rubber type of models. The below schematic can be printed or saved to your hard drive for use.

Through years of building radio control models, I came to rely on my trusty Robart incidence meter to get the correct decalage on my airplanes. When I began building small rubber scale and endurance models two years ago, I really missed not having a small, lightweight incidence meter with which I could check my more delicate rubber models. After a couple of big mistakes, one of which was a model built by my wife, Marilyn, under my direction, I decided we couldn't afford to do without this important tool any longer. Here is how you build one.


Choose the hardest material you can find for the basic 1/16" x 3/16' sticks. The main horizontal 10" stick has to be straight. Cut out the vertical legs (do not notch them yet) and gussets and first CA glue the top full gusset to the vertical sticks using a drafting triangle or some means to guarantee a perfect 90 degree angle.

Lay the assembly under the main stick and lightly CA glue the lower half gusset in place and hold tightly together while the glue sets. This gives the slight friction fit of the verticals to slide on the 10" main stick. Carefully glue the front caps on and then re-glue the assemblies with them removed from the main stick or they may stick themselves to it.

Guarantee a perfect 90 degree and glue the vertical pointer stem in place on the main 10" stick. Install the pointer bearing true 90 degrees both ways top and side view and slip a length of 1/32" wire through it to hold alignment while you CA it in place.

Cut, bend, and grind to point and paint and install the pointer in it's place. A small paper cardstock washer cut with a 1/8" paper punch is holed with a pin and glued to the back to retain the pointer in place. Glue the scale to the face plate with a glue stick as other glues will seep through and stain the bond paper ruining the appearance of this important item. Cover the scale with a wide piece of clear label tape and trim to size.

Cut the notch as shown on one vertical leg only. Set up the horizontal bubble on a quality carpenter's spirit level and index this notch with the top surface of the level. Then, with the pointer aligned at "0" on the scale, mark the location of the second notch carefully and cut it out. Harden the two notched areas with thin CA to prevent breakage with the wood grain. Set the meter up on your model and prepare to be surprised!

Very Best
Bill Schmidt

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