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Great Planes Slot Machine

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Old 12-30-2010, 07:07 AM
  #1
SushiSeeker
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Default Great Planes Slot Machine

Any opinions on this tool?
Is it better than a hobby knife?

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...0&I=LXK263&P=K

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Old 12-30-2010, 07:10 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

If you have built at least one kit, you know what a pain it is to cut hinge slots. The Great Planes Hinge slotter is a wonderful tool that will save you A LOT of time and frustration! Buy one! You'll never regret it! I LOVE MINE!!!
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:29 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

I have one but I prefer a knife.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:04 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

This is THE BEST invention to hit this hobby in the last 30 years! I have one and would never be without it!
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:13 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine


Quote:
ORIGINAL: SushiSeeker

Is it better than a hobby knife?

Yes and no - it is easier to use than a knife in new balsa and away from the ends of an inset aileron or elevator with aerodynamic balance elephant ears.

A knife is easier to use when you may be running into old cutoff hinges etc. and when near the ends when inset. There will frequently be the perfect spot that is to close to the inset to use the machine.

I first got one when they first came out and liked and used it for new builds but not rehanging of surfaces for a refurbishment also many configurations at the ends required the knife anyway.

After the blades became dull I ordered a new set and some how lost a set screw of some sort (don,t recall exactly what and just reverted to the knife and never bothered agine with it. Thats been some years now.

John
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:21 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

Oh John, you are so set in your ways..

I've not used one. I use a knife but thats probably out of ignorance.

CGr.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

i bought one a couple of years ago as well. for me i think it's more of a love hate relationship. i love it because i hated cutting the hinge slots with a knife, but if don't hold it just right and very firm, it kind of does it's own thing with the cuts. if you're cutting through hard balsa, it's sometimes worse. depending on how i feel now while building, i either use that and CA hinges, or opt for a simple hole and robart point hinges. the cutting tool is pretty awesome though, and definitely recommend one if you have no desire to move away from those types of hinges. i don't know how many times i cut myself trying to work a knife through tough balsa, or made a cut crooked from a knife. GET ONE....
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:28 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

Okay guys, thanks!

For the $22 bucks that this is going to cost, I'm going to give it a try. The only thing I hate worse than hinging is explaining to my wife how much I really paid for the plane.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: CGRetired

Oh John, you are so set in your ways..

CGr.


I blame it all on a lost set screw

Anyway like most specialty tools it is not a total cure all for the hinging blues and definately not one size fits all but can be of some use.

John



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Old 12-30-2010, 08:50 AM
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: crash bandicoute

but if don't hold it just right and very firm, it kind of does it's own thing with the cuts.
It's worth noting that you should also buy the little $4 [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXPU13&P=M]red plastic guide [/link] to help keep the slots in line
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:11 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

First one I bought was total crap?? Finally I discovered only one blade was working? Tried to fix it but no go. Had it too long to send back. Bought one at the club swap meet NIB this year, this one works!! Greatest little machine I have!!!!
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

First one I bought was total crap??

He, he you found my little set screw Eh[sm=biggrin.gif]
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:22 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

I was going to say mine went dull, then I found this...maybe get an extra back up set so you don't work with dull blades.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXK265&P=Z
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:38 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

They do a great job on soft balsa. As the wood gets harder, they don't work as well. On medium hard balsa, I've had them cut two slots, the blades seperated and each took it's own path.No wayto inserta hinge otherthan get out the picklefork and blow a big chunk of wood out the back inthe process. On bass wood, they are useless.

I had two of them. The first quit working after three hinges. Tower replaced it and told me not to send the old one back. I tore it apart and found the gears were bearly meshing, a little forming of the mount and it was back in business. I kept one wiht the fine baldes and the other with the "heavy duty" ones. After doing the third plane, I retired both. I used the Dubro pickle fork and hook for a couple more then planes and then went to Roberts Hinge points and havent looked back.

Iwould save your money and buy a jug of fuel.

Don
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:42 AM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

I have two. Years ago I bought a cordless one new. About a year ago, I bought a BUNCH of stuff from a guy who was getting out of RC and a corded one was included in the stuff. I've used both and think I prefer the cordless one. Most amazing is that the battery in the cordless one still charges and holds the charge after I guess about six years or so. I just recently refurbished a Sig Somethin' Extra that was included with the stuff mentioned above. When I took the covering off (resembled shelf paper), the airplane looked like it had been built with a big hammer and cold chisel. I did what I could to straighten the edges and decided to put hinge points in it because of the old CA hinges still in the plane. Unfortunately, I had already recovered the plane and found that the hinge points created a huge gap between surfaces. They would be fine on new construction where you could create pockets for the hinges center square section to fit, but since the plane was already covered, I decided to go back with CA hinges. I had not marked the location of the previous hinges so I was a bit leery of trying to make slots at the same locations of the older hinges. However, the Slot Machine did it and did it well. I had to be pretty firm whan I hit an old hinge to keep it straight, but it worked. I agree with some of the others that this is the best single tool designed in the last twenty years or so for modelling.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:16 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

If you are a handy man and do other projects than RC, get yourself a Dremel multi Tool. I have been using one for quite some time on remodeling projects and just found out lately how handy they are for making hinge slots. They come with a 3/4 inch blade which makes a slot about one inch wide, so I took and old blade and ground it down to about a half inch wide and it makes perfect hinge slots. I just lay the trailing or leading edge on a flat surface and then use a piece of wood to shim the blade to the center of the edge and just plunge in the blade. Works great. I wood add some pics , but I'm not at home for a couple weeks.

Tom
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:44 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

I had one. In theory it's a great tool, but it's so cheaply made that when I tried to use it in a hard balsa trailing edge it died. It was still under warranty, I wrote Great Planes an email asking them for help and never heard back. It wasn't worth the time or hassle to keep asking for help so I chalked it up as a loss. By that time I was using Robart hinge points so I didn't really care.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:01 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

There is a little tool called 'The Digger' made by ??? It is my favorite hinge slotting tool if i don't use Robart hinge points. This little tool looks similar to a miniature pizza pie cutter. You have seen the one with the cutting wheel... On this tool the 'wheel' doesn't actually spin for the 'handle' and 'wheel' are all one piece. Instead of a sharp edge like a knife around the wheel it has serrated (pinked) egdes. I modified mine by bending the serrations alternately from each other slightly out of 'plane' of the handle. It's handle has a slot with a point in the center so that by dragging it across the edge to be slotted you mark centerline. The 'Digger' does exactly what its name states and is the easiest, least expensive, most painless and most accurrate hinge slotting tool I have ever used and I've used the 'slotter'. I think one could easily be hand made and would be worth the effort. I can post a pic if anyone interested.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

I use a metal nail file which I cut to fit in an Xcato knife handle. I make it about an inch long and grind/file a chisel edge on it. It works great on the small and larger 1/4 scale size hinges.
Frank
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine


Quote:
ORIGINAL: JohnBuckner


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

First one I bought was total crap??

He, he you found my little set screw Eh[sm=biggrin.gif]
I hate to sound too stupid but you have known me long enough. So, using my best dahhhh, Set screw???????????????????
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:00 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

Like some of the previous posters; I really like mine. But it will jump on you, the little red thing will not keep you centered or square and the blade is in the wrong place. It needs to be on the end like the chuck is on a standard hand drill or like the blade is on a sabre saw......so you can see what you're doing, line it up and push with your hand in the right position to counter the torque or the bounce, whichever it is. But it beats the heck out of an xacto knife.

Clay
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:33 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine


Quote:
ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer


Quote:
ORIGINAL: crash bandicoute

but if don't hold it just right and very firm, it kind of does it's own thing with the cuts.
It's worth noting that you should also buy the little $4 [link=http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXPU13&P=M]red plastic guide [/link] to help keep the slots in line
didn't know it existed. added to my wish list now. thanks...
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:20 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

It's a handy little tool when used right...use it on a couple of scrap pieces of balsa to get the hang of using it and I agree with Clay Walters. Who previous stated that the blades need to be placed in a different location to make it easier to use and to also help one line up the blades better....the one trick I've found that keeps the blades from walking on you is. After finding the center , with a hinge center marking tool, cut a shallow slit in that mark where you want a hinge with an x-acto knife . Then take the blades and tilt them slightly so one end is starting to penetrate the slit made in the balsa. Then turn the cutter on and gradually lower the blades so they are square with the surface...found out that when I was trying to make the incisions for hinges on a MoJo profile that I put together...in case you haven't built one, they use tri stock at the hinge lines...try holding those vibrating saw blades on the edge of a piece to tri stock...Without cutting ones finger... I've also found it works pretty well on replace ca hinges in the same location as the old ones, when one has to replace an elevator, rudder etc...Didn't say it was the perfect answer, but it does a decent job if one takes their time doing such..also like stated on hard wood it doesn't work that great...it'll work but like redoing hinges it takes a little time, you just can't force it..
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:53 PM
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Default RE: Great Planes Slot Machine

My guide is black but what's in a color. It just folds onto the edge and is held in place then the blades of the machine is slid into the slot. Turn on the slot machine and have at it!! Most the time it's a nice straight slot. Can't get much easier then that. Well, hinge pins but that's another stroy!! I see our new2 and improoved servers are still having fun with us!!!!!!!!

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