I’m a sucker for tools and gadgets. I’ll admit that up front. I buy a lot of stuff that looks good in the ad but when I finally get it and use it I am often disappointed. When I saw a write up about the Perecman router base and template set a bell went off and I placed my order. Everything arrived from SkyKing RC Products (www.skykingrcproducts.com) about four days after I placed my order. That was a good start.
The first thing you need to know before rushing out to buy this tool is that you will need to own a Dremel Router base. You will be using some of the parts from the Dremel base along with the Perecman items. Here’s what the $29.99 kit consists of. A clear Plexiglass base that replaces the base that comes with a Dremel router attachment, a router bit and five clear Plexiglass servo templates.
To use the tool, you just unscrew two Phillips head screws from the Dremel router base and pull the black plastic base off of the gizmo that holds the rotary tool. Then all you do is reinstall the new clear base with the bronze guide bushing mounted in it. This bushing glides along the edge of the templates that come with the kit or ones that you make yourself. That step took all of five minutes. Now, you just put your Dremel tool in the router base and you are almost ready to go to work.
One thing I immediately noticed was that the Perecman base is made from a clear material, which allows you to see what your router bit, is doing. A black base doesn’t provide this “window” onto your work. I liked that feature a lot.
The kit comes with a bit that looks a lot like the kind of bit that comes with the larger Rotozip type tools but with a slightly shorter bit length. It is 1/8″ in diameter. The guide bushing is designed to be used with a 1/8″ bit. You could use a smaller bit but not a larger one.
I received the following templates with my kit:
- A 2″ round template that is sized perfectly for the Hitec servo mounting cans or for a variety of standard sized or even larger servos.
- I also received templates for Hitec HS55, HS81, HS85 and HS225 servos.
There are small pin sized holes drilled through the templates so that you can mount them to your work surface with straight pins like you’d find in any sewing box. The holes are counter sunk so that the head of the pin sits below the surface of the template.
If you are positioning the templates onto a wood covered foam core wing you’d just push the pins into the wing. The small holes can be filled with spackle or balsa colored wood filler. If you don’t want to put pinholes in your wings you can simply tape the template to the surface of your wing. I tried both methods and they work just as promised.
The resulting cut out provides a perfectly sized and tight fitting opening. The only thing you have to do after making the cut is make a small clearance slot for the wire that exits from your servo. I asked Ed Berris, the owner of SkyKing, why they don’t include this little clearance notch in the template. He said that the bit would make a larger notch than necessary so they leave this step up to the builder. A sharp blade in a hobby knife does the work in a couple of seconds.
I also tried this tool in an EPP slope wing that I was building. Boy is this thing slick. I cut a perfectly sized servo opening in my wing and was able to create a perfectly flat servo pocket floor that allowed the servo to fit flush with the top of my wing. The fit is so snug that is absolutely not necessary to glue the servo in place. You can simply place covering material over the servo. Naturally, if you were using it on a high-speed plane I’d suggest a little goop or epoxy just to be sure.
The Perecman router base set has other uses that I tested as well. I wanted to cut some spar slots in a foam wing. I made a template out of ¼” hard board. I simply cut a slot using my table saw to cut the slot to the right width. I did a blind cut where I placed the hardboard material on my saw table and then raised the blade. This provides a straight slot that is closed on both ends. I pinned this template to the foam core to secure it for the cut. I plunged the bit into the foam and let the guide-bushing ride along the edge of my template. Man is this easy!
If you were doing production work this thing would really speed up the process and it would assure perfect accuracy every time.
If you have servos that aren’t listed above you can easily create your own templates using ¼” Plexiglass or hardboard.
I’m sure I’ll find other uses for this tool attachment. It’s worth every penny that I paid for it. It not only guarantees perfect results time after time but it helps me build nicer looking models. I’ve been asked more than once how I get such perfect servo pockets. Now you know too.