TIP OF THE MONTH
Every month, I usually have four or five engines pass through my hands for a stripped glow plug or four-stroke exhaust thread repair. It is surprising how many of the engines’ prop drive washers have been mangled by being held with regular pliers, especially the four-strokes. It was back in the January 2013 column that I brought to your attention a nifty pair of channel-lock-type pliers with nylon jaws. The tool was being sold by Micro-Mark and was really great for grabbing an engine’s prop drive washer to keep it from turning when tightening the prop without damaging the drive washer. This past April, I decided to give my son a pair for his birthday only to find out that Micro-Mark no longer has the pliers.
But I now have good news. I imagine that most of our readers, like me, receive a large number of merchandise catalogs, which just get thrown away. This past month, however, I was thumbing through one called “Whatever Works” while my wife was making lunch when I saw—guess what!—a dandy pair of plastic channellock-type pliers with rubber jaws similar to those discontinued by Micro-Mark. So, rather than butcher up your engine’s prop drive washer with regular pliers, get yourself a pair of these rubber-jaw pliers, called “Power Grippers.” They are a bargain at only $9.99 (plus shipping) and should be in every modeler’s toolbox. To order, visit whateverworks.com or call 800-4996757 and ask for part no. KF6-634.
Above: Power Grippers, available from Whatever Works, is a tool for every modeler; you should have a pair. Below: The result of using regular pliers to keep the engine from turning when tightening the prop is obvious in this photo of a typical prop driver.