Make your own free website on

I just thought one of those one quarter size R/C car chassis with a chain saw motor. My buddy and I were talking about what would be a good body to go on it. We agreed on the Barracuda. How would I go about scaling down a Barracuda to the right size?
-Rodder in Redwood, California

Dear Rodder:
I'm a fresh water fisherman myself, but I'm sure the same procedures woud apply. Hold your barracuda by the tail, scrape the scales from the tail toward the head and keep scraping until all the scales are gone. If that's not small enough, just keep scraping, I guess. I see you call yourself a rodder.
Do you prefer spinning tackle or bait casting?

What's a butterfly carburetor?
Joe in Jonestown, New York

Dear Joe:
It's a fuel/air mixture device on a Harley Lepidoptera.

A year and a half ago we bought the kids an adorable little puppy. That adorable little puppy now weighs 115 pounds and is required to sound a warning beeper whenever it backs up.

My parents, God bless 'em, treat the pup like another grandchild and shower him with presents. Last month they sent a little rubber toy shaped like an airplane. It had one of those squeakers in it and emitted an annoying squeal whenever the pup chewed on it.

It seemed harmless enough, until today at the flying field. The pup apparently spotted a resemblance between his toy and my airplane because he trotted over and bit through the fuselage. Having done that, he got a puzzled, disappointed look on his face and walked away.

As much as I hate having to repair the plane, I think I can at least understand what happened. Having gotten used to chewing on a rubber airplane, the pup just thought he was doing the same thing on a larger scale. I do kind of wonder why he reacted like he did, though.
George in Crove City, Ohio

Dear George:
He probably couldn't figure out why it didn't squeak.

Low-wing and high-wing I can understand. They're pretty much self-explanatory, right? But what's the difference between mid-wing and shoulder-wing?
Fran in Frederick, Maryland

Advice for the Propworn
-By Jake

Dear Fran:
Picture the fuselage as a human body. A high-wing is up by the hat. A low-wing is down by the shoes. A mid-wing would be at the belt line. A shoulder-wing, narurally enough, would be up near the shoulder. The only one you left out would be mounted above the knee. This is the little known three-quarter thigh-wing.

My name is Gerald Smith. I am Tommy Smith's uncle. I am writing on behalf of the entire Smith family to urge you to stop encouraging Tommy by publishing his letters. We have tried to steer Tommy out of modeling, away from super glues, and into a safer pastime such as stamp collecting or antfarming.

Tommy cites you as an example and his idol, and insists on continuing his exploits with wood, plastic, and instant adhesives. Consequently, no insurance company will carry us, and there isn't a domestic animal in the neighborhood without at least one bald spot.

No family member is immune. I myself have been wearing a toupee continuously for over four years now because it won't come off. Aunt Harriet had to have the paramedics remove a telephone receiver from her grip, and Cousin Irene's spandex toreador pants had to be shaved off by a surgeon. (That one may not have been Tommy's fault. Irene has put on a few pounds lately.)

Please reweigh the entertainment value to your readers of Tommy's adventures versus the potential damage to life on this planet as we know it. I urge you to either cease publishing Tommy's letters, or better yet, warn him in print of the danger he faces.
Thank you, Gerald Smith

Dear Gerald:
I always felt Tommy's imagination added a flair to his stories that embellished considerably upon reality. Apparently not. I will do what I can.
- jake

DEAR Tommy Smith:
WARNING! Do not. . . I repeat. . . Do not loan your hat to Uncle Gerald. His toupee must be absolutely moldy by now.

What's the hardest thing for a novice R/C flier to learn?
Hank in Handley, New Mexico

Dear Hank:
Some would say it's to learn to reverse right and left when flying toward yourself. I would say it's learning to keep your temper when the crowd at the crash scene starts chanting, "Pilot error . . . Pilot error . . . Pilot error."
- jake

How's your book coming along? What did you decide to call it?
Reader in Reading, Pennsylvania

Dear Reader:
We've decided to call it "Not Necessarily the Worst of Dear Jake" because the publisher thought "The Best of Dear Jake" was an oxymoron. You remember what oxymorons are, don't you? They're self-contradictory terms like "jumbo shrimp," "pretty ugly," "military intelligence," and "The Nixon Library."

The book is not going too well because nobody outside fhe modeling hobby understands any of the material. Come to think of it, most people in the modeling hobby don't understand any of the material.

All is not lost, however. The book needs to sell about a million copies in order to be a profitable undertaking for the publisher. Since we have a few hundred thousand modelers in the States, that means the project will be a go if each one of you promises to buy five copies.

So, send in your pledges, I'll forward them to the publisher, and we'll get this sucker off the ground.
- jake

Reprinted From MODEL BUILDER Magazine June 1991
Click here to go to the DEAR JAKE archives.

Comments? Questions? Email the Webmaster