Introduction: Wooden Remote Control Quadrocopter Build

Picture of Wooden Remote Control Quadrocopter Build


Hello Everyone,

First, I would like to thank you for viewing my instructable.
And, if you enjoyed it, please give me a vote!

Now onto the instructable.

I've been into remote controlled toys since I was a kid.
(about 40+ years ago, summer of 1969?)

I had purchased a Roswell Quadrocopter (see blueprints on next step) back in 1999.
(still a kid?)
This is the first Quadrocopter I have purchased.
Never built it, though...(guess I never had the time)

Now, I dug the old flier out of storage and thought I would like to build a wooden one.
As, the original Roswell Quadrocopter was made from paperbacked foam.
Seeing now, the electronics and motors are much better then 11 years ago.

I will not be going into heavy detail on the build of this Quadrocopter.
As, that could make it a very long instructable.

Also, you may notice I don't have pictures of every step.
I didn't plan on this being a instructable, so I took what pictures I had
and did the best I could of describing what I did.

I will give you brief descriptions and hopefully this info will be useful for someone else.

If you are interested in some history on the Quadrocopter.
History of the Quadrocopter
Quadrotor on Wiki

If you like my instructable, please take a second and vote for me!

My quadrocopter took 2nd place at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.

Step 1: Stuff I Used to Build the Quad.

Picture of Stuff I Used to Build the Quad.

Step 1

I did all my designing with my CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) software.

I used a program called Aspire made by Vectric software.
Vectric - CNC software

I scanned in each part from my old Roswell Flier kit.
Then I traced them, modified each part  and turned them
into vectors.

I used a Sherline Mini mill to CNC the parts.
Sherline Products

 I did use the Mikrokopter electronics.
The copter is capable of hover hold, GPS, and flying FPV (first person view)
The electronics can be purchase here:
Mikrokopter Products

Motor used are:
Brushless Turnigy 2217 20turn 860kv 22A Outrunners

Another good website for reference would be
RC Groups Forum
The blog of my wooden quadro-copter on

The copter is made from Ash, Oak, Walnut and Paduak.

The battery used is a 11.1 volt lithium.
I am using a Poweredge 2200 mah 11.1 volt lithium.

Most important:  TIME, PATIENCE and lots of reading!

Now onto the next step...

Step 2: Making the Parts

Picture of Making the Parts

Step 2

The first parts to make were the frame of the Quadroflyer.

The frame consisted of the top plate, bottom plate, arms and motor mounts.

I did do a inlay of a Alien head on the bottom plate with help of my Aspire software.

The arms of the frame are made from ash.
Top plate is oak.
Bottom plate is oak with ash inlay. (slots are for velco strips used for battery mount)
Motor mounts are oak.

I did varnish all the wooden parts before I put together.

One other precaution: Make sure and line up the grain of the wood right.
For instance: On the arms you would want the grain to run vertical.
As, I had my copter fall on the floor and broke a arm.
I had to reinforce with plywood. (see finished copter photos)
If I made another arm, I would use hobby plywood.
Not as pretty, but much stronger!

EPS(Encapsulated PostScript) FILES BELOW,
are included to build the frame below.
All that is needed are some wooden dowels.
You may have to edit the files to meet your needs for motors, electronics, etc.
Also, the thickness of the wood used, for slots!

This will be a good start, though...
All other parts, your on your own!
Good Luck, and post pictures!!

Now onto step 3

Step 3: Wooden Motor Covers

Picture of Wooden Motor Covers

Step 3

I decided that the motors needed something.
So, I made some oak sleeves for the motors.

I designed them in my CNC software and cut them out with my
Sherline mini mill.

The final motor covers have a inlay of padauk wood onto the walnut wood.
Padauk it the red wood.

If you notice in the final pictures.
The front motor has a yellow wood.
It is made from padauk and yellowheart.

Now onto the next step...

Step 4: Making the Dome

Picture of Making the Dome

Step 4

I was going to use a Plastic dome from a Icee cup.
But, I thought it would not go very well with the wooden quad.

So, I decided to try to make a wooden one.
Again, I used my CNC software to design the dome.

I cut the dome from different types of wood.
It was oak, ash, and padauk.

It was all done in slices.
As shown in the pictures.

Now, onto the inlay on the dome.

Step 5: Doing the Inlay on the Dome.

Picture of Doing the Inlay on the Dome.

Step 5

The inlay of the alien head was cut into the dome first.
I used my CNC machine.

Then after the alien head was cut I just filled it with some 5 minute epoxy.
I had to tape off the other parts of the dome as I did not want the epoxy
to leak through.
I colored the epoxy with some acrylic paint.

After it dried for 24 hours, I sanded it smooth and cut the holes around the outer

Then a couple of coats of lacquer and buffed with some floor wax.
I think it turned out rather well!

Now onto the next step...

Step 6: Making the Wire Distribution Center, Aka As the BUSBAR.

Picture of Making the Wire Distribution Center, Aka As the BUSBAR.

Step 6

I had to figure a way to distribute all the wires for the quad.

So this is what I came up with.

I made the first one out of a delrin plastic.
More of a prototype.

So, I decided to make a wooden one.
I thought it went better with the wooden quad.

I made a smaller one for motor wires.

The busbar is made from walnut, oak and ash.

Pictures are worth a 1000 words!

Now onto the next step...

Step 7: Putting It Altogether

Picture of Putting It Altogether

Step 7

Now, I had to wire it all up.
I added the electronics, motors and wires.

That is where the BUSBAR came in handy.
Made the wires much neater.

I did have to add some reinforcements to the arms and landing gear.
I used plywood on the arms and carbon fiber on the legs.

I covered the landing gear with foam piping from you local home store.
You can also use the colored swimming pool noodles.

Now onto the last step...

Step 8: Finished Quad Copter

Picture of Finished Quad Copter

Step 8

Here is the finished quad copter.

I put the foam pool noodles on for the first few flights.
As, I did not want to damage the copter.
(fingers crossed)

The ones on the landing gear, will stay for cushion on landings.

I hope you enjoyed my instructable!
If you have any questions, please ask!
Oh, don't forget to watch my video!

I would like to give a big THANK YOU to:
Mike D. from Blaine, Minnesota
Designer of the original 1999 Roswell Flier.

Step 9: The Video of the Quadrocopter Flying

Picture of The Video of the Quadrocopter Flying
Video of the quad flying

Hey everyone,

Just shot this video this morning.
Nothing fantastic!

Still have some fine tuning to do.
But, it flies!


Oh, and don't forget to vote for me!

Step 10: Next Instructable...

Picture of Next Instructable...

Coming Soon...

Here is my next instructable.
Coming soon!

Wooden Transmitter Holder


ArifR37 (author)2016-10-22


SHREYANSHj (author)2015-05-09


quadcopter21 (author)2015-01-07

Can u please help by writing the perfect measurement for constructing the wooden frame...and what type material to use for the frame..please explain step by step the cutting of all arms,,plates,etc...with pictures
Thank you..

mezielo (author)2013-11-04

i love it, you are a genius. could you please send me the blueprints? tanks bro

crob09 (author)2013-10-15

I love it! You're one smart person!
I'm off to try cutting this on my Mill, thanks for the .eps (encapsulated-post-script) format files, very handy having them already in vector format.

Greasetattoo (author)crob092013-10-16

Thanks, and post a picture of your finished copter!

LesB (author)2012-01-03

Not only a cool project, but nice looking too. I understand how you get forward motion, by adjusting the motors to lifti one side of the aircraft so that the blades are slightly tipped and thus applying directional thrust. But how do you pivot the craft to make it face a different direction? 

Radioactive_Legos (author)LesB2012-01-03

Because two motors rotate clockwise and two motors rotate counter-clockwise, by increasing the speed of the clockwise motors and decreasing the speed of the counter-clockwise motors the quadcopter is able to rotate clockwise. The opposite obviously applies for rotating counter-clockwise. It's very similar to how a conventional helicopter rotates (called "yaw"). The tail rotor on a helicopter pushes to counteract the rotational force of the main rotor. By increasing or decreasing pitch on the tail rotors and thus the thrust, it can let the helicopter rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise. Hope this helps!

LesB (author)Radioactive_Legos2012-01-03

Gotcha. Tx for the reply.
Since opposite-spinning props are positioned opposite from each other, then same-spinning props are adjacent to each other. (I had to draw a diagram of a 4copter to figure this!).
So then, increasing the speed on one same-direction pair would tilt the frame resulting in horizontal thrust. So if my logic is correct so far, then turning the frame results a directional thrust. If that is correct, then is your turn-the-frame control the same knob as your horizontal thrust control? But then, I suppose you could provide horizontal thrust by increasing the speed of only one prop.
(Sorry, I tend to be hyper-analytical, and this thing fascinates me.)

Radioactive_Legos (author)LesB2012-01-03

Traditionally, the same-spinning props are opposite from each other. That way (in a "+" configuration, at least, where one motor is at the front of the quadcopter), increasing one motor and decreasing the opposite motor will move the quadcopter forward/backward/left/right or any combination of those, and increasing either pair of same-spinning props and decreasing the other pair will make the quadcopter rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise.

thanks for answering that question!

All the info you need is right here:

Happy New Year!!

sdevi reddy (author)2011-07-24

hey sir,
iam Jeevan reddy from india,sir can i use the motors which are used in dvd drives and also i want the detailed technical description of quadrocaptor.

maverick31 (author)sdevi reddy2012-01-02

hi hero..this is murali.. from vijayawada... its great that you have dare enough to do such a project.. did you succeded in doing it.. and i am at starting stage can you help me out in doing this

Michaelgoode (author)2010-10-24


vruiz3 (author)Michaelgoode2011-09-04

its on the last page

Michaelgoode (author)vruiz32011-09-05

I asked that nearly a year ago, but thanks! ;)

dermord (author)2010-10-03

oh might godd!!! you are a totally genious! ,do you sell it???

Greasetattoo (author)dermord2010-10-04

Not for sale!
But, if the price is right, we could talk!

vruiz3 (author)Greasetattoo2011-09-04

900+ dollars? :D

vruiz3 (author)2011-09-04

wow that monster has got to be worth like 900+ dollars

huf123 (author)2011-05-09

Just out of curiosity, what took 1st place at the state fair. Because this is one of the coolest home built projects that I have seen.

Greasetattoo (author)huf1232011-05-09

It was a rocket that was about 10 feet tall.

Oh, well!
Maybe next year! ( I have a different project that I'm going to enter, will have a instructable for it, too) Stay tuned....

Thanks for the kind comments, too!!

sdevi reddy (author)Greasetattoo2011-07-26

hello iam jeevan from india.please help me in this project.please email me the detailed circuit of quadrocaptor and also parts which are required for this.
i hope u will help me.

Greasetattoo (author)sdevi reddy2011-07-26

Everything you need to know.
Also, search for Mikrocopter on Google.
There is a Wiki page, too!

Hope this helps.

sdevi reddy (author)Greasetattoo2011-07-30

tnq sir.....................
can i use dvd player motors for quadrocaptor design
i cant get the motors which are prescribed by u......................................

sdevi reddy (author)2011-07-24

sir i was in this project since 3 months.please help me sir.
i want detailed circuit design of quadrocaptor.please sir awaiting for your reply

Greasetattoo (author)sdevi reddy2011-07-26

sdevi reddy (author)Greasetattoo2011-07-30

thank u sir for ur reply................

Amit Tulshyan (author)2010-11-27

respected sir,
>i didn't understand how did you build the remote control
>secondly i live in india can you sugest some other kind of motor which is easy to find any where

hai Amit,
iam from hyd..if u like to do friendship with me email is my email.we can share our ideas abt this project.

gurustein (author)2011-05-25

It's awesome.Few people in my country had made it and claimed it that they invented it.But now I came to know that it was invented many years ago.Thank You.

ddrocketman (author)2010-11-18

great touch!

tzq33tdq (author)2010-11-12

this is so awsome!!!

Michaelgoode (author)2010-10-25

hey, i love this, your work is great. I am a young and inexperienced builder, so im asking if you would help me build this remote contol car/robot thing. It will have a 4 wheel drive with tank steering, I have been wanting to do this for a while. I almost know what im doing :D

Hey Michael,
Thanks for the kind comments.

I would recommend you go to

Maybe someone there could help you out on your tank.
Good Luck, with it!

its not a tank it just has tank steering. But thanks for the help.

jaruwit (author)2010-10-10

very nice.

Pyrochrome (author)2010-10-05

Hi Greasetattoo,

Nice work, congratulation. You must be both artist and scientist.

With which software did you do the mounting insctructions drawing ?

I need to do exactly the same with my CAD files for my home made robot, you'll be nice to give me some advice to do it. thanks !

I give you 5, 'cause esthetism, engineering, and communication are all perfect.
(your tattoo rules !)

Greasetattoo (author)Pyrochrome2010-10-05

Thanks for the kind comments.

Which drawing are you talking about.
The blueprint drawing?
As, I did not do that drawing, it came with the Roswell Flyer I purchased in 1999.
I know you could use Sketch-up from Google.

As for the tattoo, that is not my tattoo.
I did the tattoo.
I am a tattoo artist, too!

Pyrochrome (author)Greasetattoo2010-10-06

OK, I was thinking that you draw it yourself.
(this file:

thanks !

MattFryy (author)2010-10-05

Yeah alright so this things pretty cool, but there's still space on top for a deathray or two. Make it happen and the Drone hasn't got a chance in hell!

Oh how I love technology.

Greasetattoo (author)MattFryy2010-10-05

Deathray coming on the next build!
Also, looking for a flux capacitor, know where I can find one?

MattFryy (author)Greasetattoo2010-10-05

Good to hear the world is well and truly doomed. In a good way :)
And no, but I'll keep my eyes open on eBay.

toddkrein (author)2010-10-05

How do you keep the pieces secured in mill during routing? Sprues?

Greasetattoo (author)toddkrein2010-10-05

Yes, I guess you could call them sprues, bridges, or tabs.
It is all done in the Aspire CNC software.
Hope this helps!

miauster (author)2010-10-05

Very, very nice work. You should be the first!!!

mrsayao (author)2010-10-04

Hey Grease! Good job @ the fair and being featured on Engadget! The Engadget world is wondering what the heck could've beat your awesome work, can you shed some light for us?

Greasetattoo (author)mrsayao2010-10-04

Hey Lee,
Here is what beat me..

Quoted from bombastinato (from
"the first place winner was Gerald Meux jr. of prior lake, MN. I'm not sure what he made but googling him his primary interest is apparently rockets, so his thing might be even cooler.
So I googled the guy and gave him a phone call. First place was a hand built 12 foot long rocket that did 10,000 feet in California. I've got a photo here but I don't know how to post it I'm afraid. :/
(Edited by author 4 hours "

Hope this helps!
Thanks for all the kind comments!

Please vote!!

Trace II (author)2010-10-04

I saw that at the fair!

sierra13 (author)2010-10-04

You have my vote :)
remote copters are cool by default but I really liked the usage of wood and the way it came out.  Very Steam-punk kind of thing. 
This reminded me of the Final Fantasy game..

About This Instructable




Bio: Thanks for viewing my Instructable! Click above link to see some of my tattoo work! I am a Tattoo Artist, 20 plus years and a ... More »
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