My New Pit Box


Well not quite so new, it's about 2 years old, but has only been out twice, so, as new.  I had previously been using a pretty crude but effective box made a while back, which had served me well.  It was an open type box, which is easy to use. But it does have downsides, knock it over and everything gets scattered, and a ridiculous amount of grass finds it's way in there during the course of a day.  So, I thought I'd follow the trend a build a "European style" pit box with a lid.  Good for transportation and stores a lot of gear.

My old open style pit box.

A pit box should be:

My box is built mainly for F2D, but I also wanted it to be capable of servicing most other models as well, hence my box is larger than most, but does store a lot.  I chose thin MDF (3-4mm) for the construction. It's easy to work with, and gives a good finish.  However, it does have a sponge like quality.  It will soak up anything liquid, so it must be finished well and entirely sealed.  The corners are reinforced with timber moulding for the strength factor.  To get a good square box, with a tight fitting lid, I found it easiest to build a completely enclosed box, and then chop the top off to make the lid, with a jigsaw.  It is then simply a case of fitting out the interior with compartments to separate your gear.  I used an R/C type power panel and a 12 volt battery.  This means I can install a small pump in the box when flying carrier, for refuelling the big tanks.  I could also use an electric starter if desired in the future.  A much lighter setup would be a 2 volt battery and amp meter, but perhaps less versatile.

My new pit box.  It is quite large, measuring - W-23cm, L-45cm, H-21cm.  Note the stickers, these are pretty much mandatory!  The outside of the box was sprayed black, and a good few coats of yacht varnish over this, fuel proofer might be better, but didn't have any at the time. 


Corner Detail - All corners of the box are reinforced with timber moulding.


The interior is separated into compartments.  A space for the fuel bottle.  A space for lines and handles.  A tool rack for drivers and pliers etc, and then a space for everything else.  Fuel syringes are held with tool clips as is the blow tube.  The bladders are hanging on the bolts which secure the lid clips.  Also notice the yellow strap to the left, holding the lid in position.


The props sit on an old bit of pushrod, which hinges at the bottom and sits in the clip at the top.


Plugs sit in 2 pieces of bent piano wire, sheathed with fuel tube.  These are glued into the box with the correct spacing, and give a nice push-pull storage solution!


Commercially available power panel and battery meter, perhaps a little heavy, but versatile and reliable.  Battery meter shows 12.6v, indicating battery is nearly ready for a charge.  A healthy 12v battery should actually read almost 13v, and a reading of 12v or lower indicates a dead battery.


Having built the pit box, I had a bit of spare MDF, so I knocked together a model stand.  Nothing fancy, just 2 main pieces cut with a jigsaw, 2 bits of dowel and a bit of broom handle!


So, that's my box!  It's strong and versatile and pretty good looking to boot!

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This article was first published:  10/05/2007

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