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Old Mar 28, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Great Planes Slot Machine

Hello all, kind of new to building I have a question, I was looking in to buying the great planes slot machine to help install my hinges. Do you guys think it is worth the money and are they easy to use? Thanks for helping and your time.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 05:50 PM
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Worth the money? - yes, especially if you have several hinges to do, meaning a big project, or many projects. It might be to your benefit to try and find one to test, to see if you like it... or even go to the website or youtube and thier might be demos. I'm going to use mine in my build thread in a few days or so(Building a Dazzler)...

They take a slight bit getting used to, so you get straight slots. Just do a little practice with some scrap. The biggest thing is don't force it, even slightly, and it will cut straight through. If you do force it, it will skew the slot.. but they do work well, and will save alot of time.. if you have say 18-20 hinges in a plane.. that's 40 slots.. a slotting machine can do this probably in about 4 minutes... doing by hand you can expect 40 minutes... that's probably a fair analysis.. but like I said.. if you've only got 40 slots.. it might not be worth it... but if you're planning on doing more building... its a for sure tool.. and you can get the different blades for different slot sizes.. and blades last forever I think. yeah.. its a keeper.
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 07:38 PM
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hi
how would i do barn door hinges with this machine my aleiron are barn door types ,thanks
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Old Mar 28, 2011, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rye 332 View Post
hi
how would i do barn door hinges with this machine my aleiron are barn door types ,thanks
I would imagine it would work the same way... a hinge-slot is a hinge-slot. How would you do it without the machine?
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 06:53 AM
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An alternative to the GP slot machine is a Harbor Freight multi tool for about the same money but it will do much more than the hinge slots. For hinge slotting, buy the accessory 3/4" wide cutter. The slot thickness is perfect for DuBro hinges.
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 11:48 AM
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United States, MI, South Lyon
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I have one and it sits in the cupboard and collects dust. I have a better time and more control with the old school DuBro set and an x-acto.
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Another use...

I read where some one was using it to cut out hatches in existing in fuselage.

After doing it the old fashioned way, I won't go back. It works really well.

My 2 cents.

rc
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 04:18 PM
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I've looked at the Slot Machine and several of the multi-tools. I decided that I would have to build a jig to keep everything aligned to my satisfaction.

It's a moot point, now that I've developed a lung condition that forces me to minimize any exposure to saw dust. Respirable dust is mostly a product of power tools. Carving operations generally produce less dust than sawing operations, too. I pretty much have to stick to using an x-acto knife for installing hinges. Just have to make different jigs to keep things true.
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 07:09 PM
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hi
where do i cut the slot for ca hinges for barn door aleirons with this tool? thanks
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 08:05 PM
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Is that because the aileron leading edge is at an angle?
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Old Mar 29, 2011, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rye 332 View Post
hi
where do i cut the slot for ca hinges for barn door aleirons with this tool? thanks
Thats twice you've asked that. I wish I knew how to help, but its a somewhat open ended question... as there's many ways, locations, styles, etc.. of barn-door ailerons. Some will center the hinge on the airfoil, some will center the hinge above the foil. Do you know how many you need? What's the span, or better yet, what aircraft are we talking about?...

I mean.. come on.. there's way more then one answer if you aren't that specific... maybe thats' why nobody else commented.... I don't know.. I'm just trying to help...

It might be that your question should be posted in the forum... instead of within someone else's thread.. That would surely help.. but I really would try to be more specific... that can only help you get your answers you need. Good luck.

Also.. have you used the search engine to find "barn-door ailerons" ?

Thats it though.. from here, I'm keeping on topic to this thread.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 07:16 AM
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I answered his question, and posted pics, on another forum. When he sees it, his question should be answered.

The slot machine looks interesting, but I have to be honest, I've never seen one in person. Is it suitable for thicker hinges, like the largest Dubro hinges ?
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 08:41 AM
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@tomcrump, There are 2 types of blades, it comes with ca style, but you can buy ones for thicker hinges.

I bought just the machine and generally disliked it as I needed a rig to make things straight.... or a better technique. I then grabbed the accessory hinge guide and now I love the machine. I wish they made the guide in metal, but it keeps the hinges straight so I can't complain.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 11:30 AM
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In reading this... wouldn't it be nice if GreatPlanes sold the machine as a package with all blades, all guides, everything available for hinging intotherwords. Of course it would be more money, but if Dremel can sell a tool and include many access's, GP's might go a long ways. It would make it more inticing anyway I think.

I do have to say the machine isn't exactly industrial quality... so don't expect to find any metal housing/framework/etc.. other then the motor, a few gears in the drive mechanism, and the blades... and of course electrical, which is very light-duty also... the case, certain parts of the drive mech, trigger, etc... are all plastic. The blades screw down to a plastic tongue... and FYI you do have to "split the case" to change blades.. not any big deal for most of us.. but if a little care is taken it will last a reasonable time I think.

Some of us might even like to have a few of these tools.. I could see having another with a different size blade..just so I don't have to change them.. maybe after I retire and get to do alot more building...

I wish everyone well with thier "hinge-tool" decisions.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryokox3 View Post
@tomcrump, There are 2 types of blades, it comes with ca style, but you can buy ones for thicker hinges.

I bought just the machine and generally disliked it as I needed a rig to make things straight.... or a better technique. I then grabbed the accessory hinge guide and now I love the machine. I wish they made the guide in metal, but it keeps the hinges straight so I can't complain.
Thanks for pointing out the guide. I gave up on using the slot machine because I could never get my slots level. And it cuts too quickly in whatever direction you hold it without giving you a chance to see if it is parallel to the hinge line.

I'll have to try the guide and centering tool (with the thinner blade)

Alan

P.S The GP power planner is another tool that eats wood like a bear out of hibernation: hard to hold level, hard to move along the surface without tipping the blade into the wood - nothing precise about using it. I reverted back to a razor plane.
Both GP power tools look like great gift ideas until you go to use them
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