Some Tips on Motor Mounting

Something that can sometimes present problems, especially to beginners, is mounting electric motors in a hull. Almost all motors, certainly every one of the 380 and 540 variants, have ready tapped holes in the output end of the casing, nearly always to a standard spacing. You can buy ready-made mountings to fit these tapped holes at model shops, and it’s not a particularly difficult item to make yourself. Ready made mounts are usually just a simple right angle aluminium bracket, and in addition to the motor fixing holes, there are usually holes drilled in the bottom to fix the mount onto a suitably shaped wood block, which should be glued securely into the bottom of the fibreglass hull.

Bonding things like strips or blocks of wood really securely to the inside of a GRP hull isn’t difficult, but like anything else there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about this. The main pitfall when gluing anything to fibreglass is inadequate preparation of mating surfaces before applying the sticky stuff.

You should abrade or roughen all surfaces here, the wood as well as the GRP. The best way to do this is with a small piece of fairly coarse abrasive paper, not on a block in this case, but just held in the fingers. Done this way, it’s easier to get right into undulations, and any nooks and crannies. Afterwards brush and blow away any dust, then wipe the abraded area with a solvent moistened rag to make doubly sure before applying any adhesive.

The simplest way to line everything up properly is to screw the shaped wood block onto the underside of the motor mount and offer this to the hull, so that final trimming can be carried out to make sure that the motor and prop shaft line up exactly, and everything fits together nice and snugly. Then bed the whole assembly onto either epoxy glue or my own preference for this particular job, a polyester filler paste such as P-38, applied fairly generously to both hull and the wood block under the motor mount. Press down hard enough to squeeze adhesive out at the sides. You can use a slightly moistened finger to smooth out stray blobs around the edges before the stuff hardens.

After allowing everything to set really firmly, then you can unscrew the mount. Fill any gaps around it, and generally tidy things up with neat fillets of P-38 or epoxy glue around all the joint between the wood block and the hull. If you are using a mount that incorporates some form of reduction gearing, like the Olympus drives mentioned earlier, more or less the same advice applies, the only difference being that these mounts are moulded plastic rather than metal. If you decide to use anything other than the popular 380 & 540 types, one of the electric motors sold by Marx for example, you’ll probably have to use a motor mount made by that manufacturer. In many cases though, these motors come with mounts already fitted, so all you need to do is to make the usual wood mounting block bonded into the GRP hull.

And finally, one more very important tip. When you install motors, batteries, speed controllers and the like, never forget that you’ll probably want to take them out of the hull again some day, so remember to provide adequate access at the building stage, to any items that may require maintenance at some time in the future.

Try not to use too small a motor for your model, it’s always better to have too much power rather than not enough. You don’t have to run at full power all the time, and speed controllers are so good these days that it’s a simple matter to throttle back.…

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The ACS Aluminium Capping Press

The ACS Aluminium Capping Press

ACS Ltd. manufacture the world’s most advanced Capping Presses, producing aluminium caps directly from the reel.

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The ACS Linear Belt Sealer

This unique sealing solution has the ability to seal by induction and variable pressure, on foil caps alone, or on foil through plastic over-caps. It is unmatched in performance.



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ACS Quality Control Equipment

Guarantee quality to your customers and protect your downstream equipment. Our production line quality control equipment provides from single function to complex
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Foil Cap/Diaphragm In Place
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Label IdentificationMetal DetectionClick for more details: ‘Cap-Sure’ QC Inspection / ‘Ferro-Sure’ Metal Detection

bar code verificationACS Quality controlCap checking…

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Why Use Aluminium Foil Caps ?

Aluminium foil caps, when compared to many expensive closure systems,

provide tremendous benefits to many industries, and for many product types:

Please Contact ACS Ltd. for recommended capping foil specifications.

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For decades, Aluminium Foil Caps were the choice of the Dairy Industry as closures for glass milk bottles. Caps were formed and applied by a Capping Press and then crimped to the bottle top. Over the years, the demand for extended product shelf-life encouraged the development of more advanced foil types with special coatings, such as lacquers and laminates. Modern foils can provide a hermetic seal to plastic and glass containers, through induction or conduction sealing methods, offering increased product life, tamper evidence and cost savings, amongst many other benefits.

Cost-effective: Foil Caps are a high-quality, low-cost closure solution. They can be used on their own for single portion containers, or where re-sealing is required, with snap-on or screw-on plastic over-caps.
Foil Caps can be fitted over plain or threaded container necks. Highly efficient, clean, and cost-effective hermetic sealing can be provided with or without a plastic over-cap, using the unique ACS Linear Belt Sealer.

Product Image: Foil Caps (not to be confused with basic flat diaphragms) are a perfectly formed closure solution produced directly from foil reels. They can be coloured, have patterns, embossing, company or brand logos etc., and can also provide the perfect basis for carrying your promotional activities. Foil Caps contribute to the quality image required to sell single units, whether for new packaging designs, or to replace existing low-image closures that are traditionally concealed within multi-pack outer sleeves. Foil Caps will help to define the marque of your product.

Product Integrity: Foil Caps, subject to specification, can provide a hermetic seal, helping to ensure that your product reaches your customers in the best possible condition, and thus providing increased customer confidence, brand loyalty, and helping to minimise costly rejects and returns.

Safe Handling: Foil Caps can have considerable strength and yet remain pliable, providing product security, easy opening and safe handling. Where safety and security are of particular importance, the Foil Cap may be the preferred choice (e.g. on bottled drinks served on aircraft).

Product Security: ‘No Foil Cap = No Guarantee of Freshness or Origin’. High quality Foil Caps can only be produced in significant quantities using specialist equipment like the ACS Capping Press. Once removed, a Foil Cap cannot be replaced without obvious deformation (tamper evidence). Increase customer confidence and improve your sales by providing a means of identifying ‘your genuine product’, which in turn will help to protect your brand names and your investments in your valuable markets.…

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What is a Fibreglass Moulding ?

The only items produced by Kingston Mouldings today are GRP model boat hulls, which in almost all cases, are supplied with scale drawings to build the rest of the model, and every single one is produced in-house. Although GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) is the correct technical description for these materials, in this case it is exactly the same thing as fibreglass, a term that most people are probably familiar with. It’s important to point out that these hulls are a very different proposition from the moulded plastic items that are to be found today in many model kits. Although some more expensive kits do contain GRP or fibreglass hulls that are in most cases much the same as the ones available from Kingston Mouldings, many more contain hulls that are heat formed from sheet plastic. Some of these heat formed, usually vacuum-moulded hulls are very good, but many others are not.

People often ask if GRP is the same as styrene or ABS plastics, which are two of the materials commonly used for heat-formed hulls, and the answer is an emphatic No. In the vacuum forming process, a sheet of plastic is heated and sucked over a male or into a female mould. After cooling, the stuff becomes hard again, and it then retains the mould’s shape. Very quick, very simple, a relatively economical manufacturing process in fact, but these heat softening thermoplastics do have a number of significant drawbacks. One is that they will continue to soften each and every time they are heated subsequently, as many who have allowed a styrene or ABS based model to cook near a radiator or in the back of a car on a hot day, can confirm.

Another problem is that the vacuum forming process has trouble coping with sharp inside or outside corner radii, and unlike GRP, it can’t reproduce fine detail from the mould. Perhaps the most important single disadvantage of vacuum moulding though, is that the plastic sheet must inevitably be stretched by the forming process, something that can make the hull very thin indeed in some areas, particularly in deep hull sides and over sharp edges. This often results in a moulding that is thick and strong in places where it doesn’t really need to be, but relatively thin and weak in other areas where strength and rigidity are essential. To partly overcome the problem, many kits using vacuum-formed hulls have to incorporate quite elaborate built-up wooden strengthening structures in their design. In a good fibreglass moulding on the other hand, the thickness will be controlled very accurately without any thin and weak areas, as extra glass reinforcement can easily be added to any critical or highly-stressed areas during the normal moulding process. How neatly and accurately this is done, is entirely dependent on the skill of the moulder concerned however.

Almost all vacuum moulded hulls are made from some variety of unreinforced plastics, often styrene for cheaper examples, and possibly ABS or a related material for the better ones. Both of these materials can be difficult to cut or drill accurately, and they are not particularly easy to rub down to remove minor defects or prepare the surface for painting. Thin mouldings will also tear relatively easily, whereas the glass reinforcement in a GRP hull makes it much more resistant to damage of this kind. The smooth outer surface of a fibreglass hull is easy to drill, fill, cut or rub down, and as the material is more rigid than styrene or ABS hulls, paint bonds to GRP better, and as a result, it is less likely to flake off in normal use.

You’ll gather from all this that I’m not the greatest fan of styrene and ABS hulls, and in general that’s true. However, it’s only fair to point out that there are some heat moulded hulls around that are of a high standard, those produced by German kit manufacturers like Robbe are good, to give just one example, but at the other end of the scale, some quite dreadful flimsy lop-sided and shapeless vacuum-formed hulls are foisted on the model buying public. Like so many things in life, this is a case of ‘caveat emptor’, for those not versed in Latin, let the buyer beware. Whatever you are thinking of buying, whether styrene, ABS or GRP, have a good look at it first, or at least something else made by the same manufacturer before you part with any money, as I’d have to admit that there are some rather poor quality fibreglass hulls around as well.

GRP is the product of a non-reversible chemical reaction. Essentially, every moulding is produced by laying glass fibres in the form of mat or woven cloth into a female mould, which in our case would be model-boat shaped. The glass is thoroughly impregnated with a mixture of liquid polyester resin and hardener, and this takes quite a lot of skill, so depending on the complexity of the moulding, it can be quite a lengthy process. After it has all been allowed to harden or cure, usually for about 24 hours, the moulding can then be separated from the mould, a perfect replica of the original former that the mould itself was taken from.

This is much simplified of course, rather like ‘War and Peace’ in a couple of paragraphs, but I’m not trying to blind you with science. A good GRP hull is a durable item that should last for years, and little short of the most extreme heat, soaking in organic solvents, or jumping up and down on the thing is likely to damage it significantly. So GRP is more durable, and in practical terms generally rather stronger than vac-formed plastics in almost all respects, but you won’t be surprised to learn that it does have significant drawbacks of its own. Nothing in life is perfect after all, and the most important disadvantage of GRP mouldings is a slow labour intensive manufacturing process with lots of scope for introducing minor defects. This makes the quality of the final article almost entirely dependent on the skill of the worker involved, and it also means that GRP mouldings can never be as cheap as mass produced items.

That’s not to say that fibreglass hulls are expensive though, as in most cases it would be very difficult to construct a decent hull from wood to most of the designs seen here for significantly less than our prices, in fact it could easily cost considerably more, and that’s just from working out the cost of all the basic materials . Making a good model boat hull from wood is time consuming and highly skilled work, and once you’d built the hull of course, you would also have the additional problems of sealing the wood surface to accept a decent quality paint job, as well as ensuring that the result was perfectly watertight.

These are all problems that you can forget about when you build your model on a Kingston Mouldings fibreglass hull. Your pride and joy should have a long and trouble free life, and you’ll never have to worry about leaks or cracks in the hull letting in water and spoiling the paint finish, something that often happens with wood hulls, as joints open up as the material that model was made from ages.…

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