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How to install flat bendy type hinges?

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Andy Green looks at methods for hinging control surfaces - 27/3/12

Erfolg12/12/2011 18:49:59
11431 forum posts
1220 photos
Although I have made models on and off for some time, I have struggled to install the flat type flexible hinges.
I find it difficult to get the slot just the right width, The slot is either to narrow, preventing the insertion of the hinge, or to wide, then the hinge flops about.
I have previously made an initial slot using a scalpel blade, I then try to widen it out by trying to scrape a little from the side.
I have previously used white glue as the adhesive. This time I am considering using low viscosity cyno.
Is there a better way
Tom Sharp 212/12/2011 19:04:58
3575 forum posts
19 photos
There is a gel cyno on the market which takes about 30 minutes to go off, this should help you to sort it.
fly boy312/12/2011 19:12:20
3535 forum posts
18 photos
The flat hinges you refer to are called Mylar hinges. This is my method, there are many others. Mark centre line,then mark position and width of hinge. A Mylar hinge and slot made by a scalpel blade will be a tight dry fit.Then just wick in some thin cyano, and hey presto.Try it on some scrap balsa first, then try to rip the hinge out, this will give you some idea of the strength. I have only used this on up to a 60 motor but never found any problems. Heed well, cyano needs lots of ventilation when in use. Cheers

Edited By fly boy3 on 12/12/2011 19:13:51

ken anderson.12/12/2011 19:19:02
8480 forum posts
773 photos above...with the addition...i 'scratch' mine-both sides with the pointed end of the blade.......and then install them as above...
ken anderson ne..1 scratch dept.
Devon Flyer12/12/2011 19:33:01
622 forum posts
I use OHP sheet for hinges on smaller models. Just cut it into strips, rough up on both sides with a bit of fine grit paper and cyano into place the same as mylar hinges. Never had one fail in all the time I've used this stuff.
You can source it from numerous places and a pack of sheets will give you enough hinges to last a lifetime.
Erfolg12/12/2011 19:41:17
11431 forum posts
1220 photos
Ah, Overhead projector Sheet, without the link I would not have guessed

How do you make the slot?
Devon Flyer12/12/2011 19:47:22
622 forum posts
Posted by Erfolg on 12/12/2011 19:41:17:
Ah, Overhead projector Sheet, without the link I would not have guessed

How do you make the slot?

With a scalpel or a hinge slotter.

Andy Gates12/12/2011 19:50:29
636 forum posts
19 photos
Do you have a stripper (the knife variety)?
If you do have, set the blade to cut half the thickness of the control surfaces you wish to hinge.
Mark the start and stop points and cut the slot using the stripper.
Another thing you could try is fitting an exacto type blade which is a bit thicker than the standard scapel blade to make the slot a little wider.
I nomally just rattle the scapel blade backwards and forwards in the slot with the blade held at a slight angle instead of 90 degrees. This has the same effect.
Erfolg12/12/2011 20:32:12
11431 forum posts
1220 photos
What is a stripper knife?
Sparks12/12/2011 20:45:49
261 forum posts
55 photos
If you are using Cyano, drill a 1.5mm hole down the centre of the hinge slots. It helps the Cyano penetrate the full depth of the hinge.
Vecchio Austriaco12/12/2011 20:50:19
1498 forum posts
707 photos
as far as we can see you have quite a number of planes - so the investment of 3.50 could pay back nicely. I have purchased a 3.50£ hinge slotter and I have to say it works very well. Only the knive blades are not really cutting. so you have to either sharpen them or use an x-acto type blade instead.
cheers VA
Erfolg12/12/2011 21:04:49
11431 forum posts
1220 photos
Ah My Old Foreign Friend.

I will keep an eye out for the centering jig.

I recently came very close to loosing my Dornier 335, when a number of mylar type hinge came loose in tone of the pre-fitted ailerons. I realised that even skilled nimble fingered Chinese woman can make a mess of making the slots, as they are/were so wide.

I normally use pin hinges, but for some perverse reason have made the decision to the Guillows Thunderbolt. The build has been somewhat inspired by your Beechcraft. Although I have few hopes for the model.
Andy Gates12/12/2011 21:23:04
636 forum posts
19 photos
Something like this Erfolg
Vecchio Austriaco12/12/2011 21:24:13
1498 forum posts
707 photos
Normally I use a pin to center the hinges and after setting the right position and gap I remove the pin and I use the thinnest CA glue available - which is also reinforcing the wood in the area as it goes in because of capillar effect. Wait a bit and then treat the other side. No kick spray.
Never had a problem - except once - but this was a frontal mid air between two gliders - all hinges came off - all controll surfaces "rained" down.... Obviously to many G's
Greetings from the foreigner
PS you find the hinge slotter for instance at Als Hobbies - I was wrong with the price - it is 3£56p

Edited By Vecchio Austriaco on 12/12/2011 21:29:29

Erfolg12/12/2011 21:54:52
11431 forum posts
1220 photos
Old Chap

It is the sort of item I will keep my eyes open when I next visit a model shop. I have not seen the equivalent on the web sites I normally purchase from.

Like yourself I normally use pin type hinges. Having built two foamy ARTF with Mylar type hinges, they do seem to work well. It is on this basis i am giving them a go (again).
Alan Randall12/12/2011 23:00:29
446 forum posts
108 photos
Hi Erfolg,
I have used a hinge fitting kit for years. They usually include a center marking device and a guide jig for flat and pin hinges. Also a knife handle with a forked blade and a hook blade for cutting the slots.
Erfolg13/12/2011 18:06:17
11431 forum posts
1220 photos
Although I thought I had purchased a large number of Mylar type hinges, I can only find 3.
So it seems that I will be using pin hinges, of which I appear to have about 40.
I will be installing these, very much in accordance method that PM has previously described. There is one issue, I can only find 3 of the pip type pins, that again PM describes.
All the best plans of men and mice etc.

Edited By Erfolg on 13/12/2011 19:04:21

Peter Beeney13/12/2011 20:10:43
1568 forum posts
59 photos

Erfolg, You could in fact roll, or perhaps cut, your own. I remember reading about this, a very long time ago, it could have even be in Aeromodeller!

Take some strips of Mylar, cut them into hinge size pieces and using a straight edge and a sharp knife lightly score across the centre line, which is the actual hinge line. Turn it over and lightly score exactly across the back of this line. It’s not difficult. Bend it to and fro a few time and you have the perfect hinge! Like you now I then immediately thought this would soon tear through this weakened point but it doesn’t! It’s incredibly tough! I did try it at the time, I used some material from a plastic bottle.

So now refining this technique up to date, I think the plastic from the supermarket milk cartoon is an ideal Mylar substitute nowadays, in this case, anyway, and very plentiful. Cut some wide squares, score the cuts across the middle and then cut it into the appropriate hinge width strips. Next trim the ends to suit, cutting a gnat’s whisker off the corners for easy sliding into the slots… I also bought a decent hole punch for no good reason at all, a long time ago, and this has proved to be one of my most indispensable tools, for some jobs; so I punched some of the smallest sized holes, as glue anchors, in the originals I made and used PVA glue to install them.
But I do have to say, for all that, I’m a bit fussy when it come to the control surfaces, servos, pushrods, links and hinges etc. so I always use good quality commercial hinges anyway. And now I always use 24 hour epoxy, but only for the length of time I have to get it right. I also have a hinge slotting tool, identical to the Irvine example, but I have a feeling that mine was a Great Planes product. Again, an invaluable item, when you want to fit hinges.

If you have a milk cartoon it would only take a couple of minutes to try this out, and you could try your own strength test on the material.

And now I’m thinking that I might become slightly un-hinged……..

Erfolg14/12/2011 17:29:09
11431 forum posts
1220 photos
Well like most indecisive people when faced with a problem I have changed my mind yet again.
Searching around I have come across another couple of packets of hinges. These are a cross between mylar/plate type hinges and pin hinges.
Although I have been an adherent of pin hinges, I find that they can be difficult to successfully install, both inline, minimal gaps and slop free, on small models.
So I have used these

These require a smallhole drilling and then a bit of a slot


This is the finished hinging, the plate on the left and equivalent pin on the right.

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