I use a Ernst Ultra Stand, it is made of a heavy duty plastic, maybe polyethylene.
It is far stronger than the lightweight foam Robart stand.
My stand has pockets in the base for parts and such, but when I go flying I have lead weights I have made by filling cat food cans or pop cans with melted down scrap lead. (Old wheel balancing weights work great.) I place these weights in the bottom of the stand. My truck has a roll out tray covered with a short nap rug.
With the weights in place the stand will stay in place even during a full power motor test, with a 50" wingspan 3D plane. If I need it while building, I leave the lead weights in the truck. It has a thick foam padding strip that the plane rests on.
For a simple building stand, the foam Robart stand is fine, but I will some times buy a small styrofoam cooler, and cut notches in the edge to fit the plane.
I have seen many different stands from flight boxes that have legs and plane brackets that fold out, to simple X frames as you said.
One of my club members that flys gliders a lot, has custom made wooden trays, narrow but long, fit to his glider fuselages with Velcro straps to hold the plane. On each side of these trays there is a hole drilled in at a slight angle. He has 4" paint rollers with the wire frame but no plastic handles. He inserts the wire where the handle used to be into the holes. the paint rollers are then a soft place for the wing to rest on.
The trays also have a blind nut with the standard threads for a heavy duty tripod, so he can have his glider at any height he wants. And if you loosen the rotation lock, the glider will weather vane and stay pointed into the wind, rather than catching wind under one wing and falling over.
I use one of the Robart stands at the house. Made a stand to bring to the club made out of PVC piping at a good height to assemble a plane at the field. Folds up to get it out of the way in the garage,and back of the truck.
I have also reused the foam that a ARF has come in cut out some notches to use as a temporary stand.
My old flight box ... (unfortunately the U tops were fixed and not adjustable !)
And here you can just make out it had my panel / glow / starter etc. on it as well : (my ex-wife used to go flying as well !!)
One pal of mine used the kiddies toy that was plastic long thin covered soft metal. You could bend it to rings, around your arm, table leg whatever .. He fixed one each end of his flight box and it gave him flexible adjustable U.... I haven't seen that toy for years ..
Anyway - my main purpose is to arrive at designs of stand that can be used in workshop and also when setting up model in field ...
After building a lot of planes of different styles you see the order of the build. No stand works for all. The order in which the plane is put to gether requires some for thought. For instance if the planes plans is telling me to put the wheels on at the be gining they will be constantly in the way for the rest of build. So I build my planes according to the plans but in the order that works best with my building surface and stand. They always tell you read the plans before starting so YOU can determine what part goes together first for best result
I just thought of a guy who designed a flat bed clamp set up on tri pod. He used it to work on his helli. The flat bed rotated to any angle he needed to do the work. So a bed could be made to hold airplane frame at desired hight and angle. This set up gives you 360 degrees top, side and back.
I have 3 - 6 inch thick X 36 X 36 inch soft foam pads i put on my bench when i want to work on them . I dont like anything on my bench while turning my fuse or wing around that i can bumb into and make another dent to fix . I can hang the tail feathers over the end of the bench and turn it around on the foam pads with out having to be carefull . joe
I used to use a stand but like others in this thread I found it to be cumbersome. About a year ago I placed a very small 1/4" eyebolt in the top of my 1/5 scale Cub at the CG. Now I can hang it up at any height and it is very easy to turn in any direction or angle. Another plus its easy to hang up for storage.
To clear things up about a shop and the foam blocks i put down ,i have two working stations .One is just for framing up models and its against the wall 3ft wide by 12ft long and the other is a rolling square table in the middle of the room 4ft x6ft .I work on finishing my builds on the rolling table and put foam on it when they dont have wheels yet or if its a sea plane. I can roll it out of the way when its not in use but when it is in use i can walk around the model or sit in my chair to work on planes sitting on it. I most times frame one and set it up on my roling table and start framing another new plane on my wall bench . If i get frustrated or bored covering or framing another plane i can switch back and forth between the two. lol I know it sounds crazy but its just how i like to build . joe
I use Ernst RC Stands -- in fact have three. I also use then to transport my planes in back of truck which is covered, I toss a bean bag style dive weight in the tray on each one to keep it from sliding around on the rhino liner. I like the two trays for dropping parts into when working on them.
The late Polks Hobby used to have an adjustable X stand.
Best five dollars I ever spent. Snap together wood X frames, plastic center tube, and a pair of plastic tops with a nylon strap on them. Came in a nylon bag with a draw string. For FIVE DOLLARS!!!! I couldn't build one like that for $5.00!
I bought nearly 2 dozen of them I was so impressed with em. Gave to all my club buds.
They are my go to stands.
When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
For years I've been using styrafoam chests with cut outs for the fuse. I got a few of the type that perishable food stuffs come in packed in dry ice. They're very easy on the finish/covering and lift the model up some. They are also easy to rotate on the table. The small one for small foamys. The large one is holding a 90e hurricane under electrification. The cockpit fits inside the box and doesn't get beat up. different sized cut outs in the X & Y direction for different sized planes. Blue skies!
Nigel, I use a very cheap ( £9-00 or thereabouts I think ) lightweight Wickes folding workbeach at home to support models when working on them. It's like a lightweight Workmate really but it also has a tilt feature built in as well.
As the ground is getting further away every day I'm seriously thinking that it would be well worthwhile taking it to the field with me especially when I take the Lanc up there with four motors to setup.