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Old Dec 20, 2014, 06:13 PM
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United States, TX, Katy
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Recovering a plane and need help with hinges

I am stripping and recovering an entire plane. This is a .60 size plane with a 70 inch wingspan. My main question what do most of you do when you get to the ailerons and tail feathers? This old plane had CA hinges and I want to replace them with pivot point hinges. How do most of you replace your old hinges and then recover the parts? Any advice would be helpful. I am going to post this in more than one forum so if you answer here do not worry if you see it somewhere else.
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 06:30 PM
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Cherokee Flyer's Avatar
United States, KS, Rose Hill
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Test fit the hinges, the remove them and cover the parts individually. Then do a reinstall with glue involved.

L.
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 07:47 PM
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United States, CA, Clovis
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Its easy if you're switching from CA hinges to plastics, or Robart style. Just cut the existing hinges flush, sand the surface like they never existed, the commence installing the new hinge per manufacture recommendation. You should be able to drill into/through them like they were never there.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 09:15 AM
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I don't think that replacing the hinges is that simple... I, too, would go for the Robart Hinges but you might want to probe where you're going to drill your mounting hole. My fear is that if you put it too close to the old CA hinge, the wood may be hardened from excess CA getting into it. It might be as hard as a rock and will probably be right next to some nice, soft balsa which will cause your drill bit to 'wander'. Just something to keep an eye out for.

Perhaps it might be worthwhile to probe the stab TE and elevator LE with a straight pin to find some soft spots where the CA glue hasn't hit yet and hardened the wood. I ran into that once.

It can be done; just be careful where you put the new hinges.

Just my $.02.

Bob
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 11:33 AM
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I've done this and had no problems doing so using a multi tool to cut the slots for the new hinges in the same locations as the cut off CA hinges exist.

If you have a multi tool, obtain or grind down so that the tool head is about 5/8" wide. The tip for using a multi tool to make the slots is not to free hand them. Clamp a hardwood strip to the edge of a work bench and then shim the piece receiving the slot so that the center line of the hinge is just above the strip. Rest the cutting head on the hardwood strip and simply push into and cut the slot, keeping the cutting tool resting on the strip.

I've got two different multi tools, a Harbor Freight A/C and a Rigid battery powered. The Harbor Freight does the better job.

Practice a couple first, but you will soon discover that hinge slots on a complete air frame can be cut in a matter of minutes whereas doing them by hand used to take hours... and they are more precise.

Another tip... when gluing, use some acetate or thin aluminum sheet and make a paddle that fits into an xacto handle. Drill some holes in the paddle. It makes working epoxy into the slots a piece of cake.

If you don't own a multi tool... consider it an important tool to modeling.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by AA5BY View Post
Another tip... when gluing, use some acetate or thin aluminum sheet and make a paddle that fits into an xacto handle. Drill some holes in the paddle. It makes working epoxy into the slots a piece of cake.

If you don't own a multi tool... consider it an important tool to modeling.
Great tip there... I just flip a #11 X-acto blade around in the handle.. it seems to make a nice mini-spatula as I call it... that and 30 min epoxy worked down in the slot works fine.

And... yes... I think its pretty dang easy... at least in my experience. As with anything patience is a key.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DGrant View Post
Great tip there... I just flip a #11 X-acto blade around in the handle.. it seems to make a nice mini-spatula as I call it... that and 30 min epoxy worked down in the slot works fine.

And... yes... I think its pretty dang easy... at least in my experience. As with anything patience is a key.
I tried getting some holes in an xacto blade to carry glue into the slot, but as you may expect.... they were too hard to drill. I've found that a spatula with holes does slightly better than the back side of a blade.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 04:59 PM
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I here you... those blades are hardened in some way I'm sure. The blades I have have a slot/slit/hole in the end opposite the sharpie end.. where they enter the handle.. and I noticed that one day years ago when I was doing hinges and looking for something to get the glue further in the slot... the slit/slot/hole seems just enough for a pocket to plug the glue in and spread it. I'm also pretty sure that not all X-Acto style blades are alike... but in any case, we're on the same page for sure. Have a nice afternoon.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 10:47 PM
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United States, TX, Katy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AA5BY View Post
I've done this and had no problems doing so using a multi tool to cut the slots for the new hinges in the same locations as the cut off CA hinges exist.

If you have a multi tool, obtain or grind down so that the tool head is about 5/8" wide. The tip for using a multi tool to make the slots is not to free hand them. Clamp a hardwood strip to the edge of a work bench and then shim the piece receiving the slot so that the center line of the hinge is just above the strip. Rest the cutting head on the hardwood strip and simply push into and cut the slot, keeping the cutting tool resting on the strip.

I've got two different multi tools, a Harbor Freight A/C and a Rigid battery powered. The Harbor Freight does the better job.

Practice a couple first, but you will soon discover that hinge slots on a complete air frame can be cut in a matter of minutes whereas doing them by hand used to take hours... and they are more precise.

Another tip... when gluing, use some acetate or thin aluminum sheet and make a paddle that fits into an xacto handle. Drill some holes in the paddle. It makes working epoxy into the slots a piece of cake.

If you don't own a multi tool... consider it an important tool to modeling.
Would you mind showing me a picture of the multi tool you are talking about?

Also, do you have a picture of the way you clamp the hardwood strip and follow the guide with the tool?

Thanks for all the replies.
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Old Dec 21, 2014, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mudbugnla View Post
Would you mind showing me a picture of the multi tool you are talking about?

Also, do you have a picture of the way you clamp the hardwood strip and follow the guide with the tool?

Thanks for all the replies.
This pic is from a build log I did a couple of years ago.

.
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Old Dec 23, 2014, 12:32 AM
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Guys, I've experienced this sort of thing before, cut a control surface off, sand the remaining little dag of a CA hinge flush and try and get the robart drill to go into the middle of it. The fact is that you're more than likely to slip down the side of the CA hinge, which will ultimately mean your control surfaces will be off centre when re-hinged. Yurrrk! :P

I have had 'some' success sliding a #11 blade in above and below the CA hinge, and picking the remains out, and using a du-bro style hinge (which I prefer) in it's place.

Occasionally you can even get lucky and grab the tag of the CA hinge and just crack the CA and it'll come right out, but this is a risky business, especially on a built up control surface. You may end up with a pile of sticks that once was an elevator!

If you're having trouble and want to use Robarts, sometimes it's better to readjust the hinge spacing so you miss the areas where the CA hinge is, so effectively you're going to drill into fresh balsa.
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Old Dec 23, 2014, 06:39 AM
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My apology for interjecting flat hinges into the discussion when it seems the question related specifically to Robart hinges.... my bad.
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Old Dec 24, 2014, 12:51 AM
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i agree with the "cut flush and relocate the hinge points" method. trying to drill through the center of a CA hinge wouldn't be fun at all.
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Old Dec 25, 2014, 04:01 AM
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ZAGNUT, it's fun to try but you'll probably junk the part before you get it right.

Acutally, that's not a bad idea, on built up stuff you could probably crack off the leading edge and glue a new one on and hinge that.
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Old Dec 25, 2014, 12:05 PM
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actually if the hinges are sound i would just leave them alone...but then i normally hinge and then cover over the gap anyways. most seem to prefer covering first and then hinging, and some don't trust CA hinges either.
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