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hinge slot cutter

Old 01-03-2007, 10:08 PM
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KenVW
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Default hinge slot cutter

I have a plane ready to put all the hinges in. Up till now I have put them in manually, after I have covered the pieces. I would just cut a small rectangular slot the then do the hinge slot.

I have a great planes hinge slot cutter ordered and will be here in a few days. With this new tool should you use it before or after you cover?

Also this plane is being re-built so there have already been CA hinges installed. Will the hinge cutter, being a power tool, cut thru the remnants of the old hinge?

thanks,
Ken
Old 01-03-2007, 10:30 PM
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Flylow
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

The tool will work fine before or after you cover. I have replaced ca hinges a few times with the Slot Machine. It's very easy. Be sure to use the correct blade size.
Old 01-04-2007, 10:11 AM
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MinnFlyer
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

Here's two tips for you...

1) Get the little red plastic guide for the Slot Machine. The slot Machine is one of the best tools to hit this hobby in the last 10 years, but it can be tricky to use until you get the feel for it. The red plastic guide helps a LOT.

2) Do NOT put CA Hinges in a spot where a CA hinge was before. Move it over to the area just next to the old hinge. The reason for this is simple - Thin CA (Which is the ONLY type of glue to use on these hinges) needs a porous surface to wick into. The hinges are porous, and the balsa is porous, so it works well for this application. But once a CA hinge has been attached to an area, the old CA has filled the pores in the wood, so it is no longer porous and the glue will adhere to the hinge, but not to the wood (At least it won't adhere properly) and can result in a catastrophic hinge failure
Old 01-04-2007, 11:51 AM
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KenVW
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

thanks, for the good advice. I will heed it.

Ken
Old 01-04-2007, 03:42 PM
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KW_Counter
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

Ken,
MinnFlyer is correct.
Additionally, the slot cutter doesn't want to cut where the old hinges were.
It has become hard from the CA and it wants to cut in soft wood.
The blades are very thin and will bend or walk if they can't cut.
Good Luck,
KW_Counter
Old 01-04-2007, 04:37 PM
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SDR-Hammer
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

Good input so far. One thing I would add is do a couple practice slots on some scrap before pointing it towards your pride and joy. Especially if it’s covered already.
Old 01-06-2007, 05:06 AM
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

I have found the hinge slotting tool also to be one of the greatest inventions. The knife method was really scarey when thinking about how bad a cut the body would get if there was a slip. Read somewhere that cutting the slots before covering was a good way to trial fit every thing together without glue before covering. My method is to trial fit the hinges into both parts to make sure the assembly is free moving in both directions, and the hinge gap is very small. Then disassemble the aileron for an example, leaving the hinges in the aileron unglued. Now I cover the wing, and when it is done, align the uncovered aileron back next to the wing to locate the slots. Usually, when ironing the covering in the wing aileron hinge area, the slot position is seen,but to be sure I still mark each hinge slot in the wing area before setting the aileron aside. The Harold Higgley books suggested doing wrap-arounds of covering on a model before covering the whole part to make a better bond between the structure and final covering. I am not sure if this something everyone does or not. It has worked well on my models. After the wing has been covered, then the hinges in the uncovered aileron can be removed, and installed dry into the wing slots to be used to locate the slots in the aileron after it is covered. By the way I read somewhere that if you mark the center of each CA hinge at the pivot area with a crayon on both sides, the pivot area will not get stiff from CA penetration. Also, keep in mind that it does not hurt to pin each hinge with a round toothpick to make sure the hinge cannot come out in flight. Yes, this idea is over kill. Now think about flying your ARF without the hinges being pinned. An ARF trainer given to me after a crash, had the elevator hinges back out on me during a flight after the fuse was repaired. I was lucky only the wing came off during the somewhat safe landing.

Rich S.
Old 01-06-2007, 10:26 PM
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KenVW
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

Well I got the hinge slot cutter. All I can say is WOW. I will never use a knife again. I got the combo kit which includes all 3 bladesets, the guide, a marking device, and hinges. I put several "trial" slots in perfectly. The guide is a good thing. I can do it without it but why. It is so easy to use and guarantees the slots will be parallel and inline.
Great input here. Rich I especially like how you locate your slots after covering them up. I feel like it was money well spent. (actually it was a birthday gift certificate from Tower Hobbies from my son, I now know I raised him right )

can't wait to get back to my covering job
Ken
Old 01-08-2007, 01:39 PM
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Charlie P.
 
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

Old hacksaw blades with one end ground sharp on a bench grinder. Pencil mark the slot as desired. Place the sharpened end against the mark and rock back-and-forth and push to form the slot. Then run it straight in and out, flip it over and repeat to square the edges of the slit and size it to width. Free, and it hasn't failed me yet.
Old 02-13-2007, 06:02 PM
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Default RE: hinge slot cutter

Anyone changed Slot Machine blades (successfully)?

Have had my slot machine about 2 years. All was great until I just tried to change to a larger blade. First the rear screw would not come out ( was lose but would not drop out of access hole). No room to even get finger nails on it , so made hole bigger and removed it. Next, tried to change blades, but can not break screws lose. I have the correct size phillips screwdriver, but if I put more force to it, I am pretty sure the screws will strip. What is the trick? Seems like a catch 22 here, thread lock to hold the blades and soft screws (and shallow slots) that don't want to come out. Suggestions?

John

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